Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain spoke to the media after Saturday's defeat at The Hawthorns, and apologised to the fans for what he labelled an 'unacceptable' performance.
The Gunners slipped to a fourth defeat in five league matches, leaving us five points adrift of the Champions League places, and afterwards Oxlade-Chamberlain outlined his bitter disappointment.
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- West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Arsenal - Report
Here's what he said:
on a frustrating afternoon…We’re very disappointed. In the first half, I felt it was very comfortable for us, and we just had to be careful of them on the counter-attack and on set plays. They scored from a set play but we responded quite quickly and for the rest of the half, I felt we controlled it. It felt like it was a matter of time until we broke them down. And then in the second half, they came out with a different attitude - they pressed us higher and made it a lot harder for us. The second goal was disappointing. I can’t really remember what happened but it was a bit scrappy. Then again, we let ourselves down on a set piece. West Brom made it really tough and defended really well from then on. Ultimately it’s a really disappointing day for us.
on what the team could have done better…Headed the ball away. When you’re defending set plays, you’ve got to be first to the ball. For the two goals, we didn’t do that. We knew who their dangermen were and we failed to stop them, which is really disappointing. We’ll look at that and we’ll have to review what went wrong. Dawson’s got the run and he’s attacked the ball really well for both goals and he’s finished them off. It’s really disappointing because we knew we had to be careful of him. Set plays are what Tony Pulis’ sides do better than anyone. We knew that and we failed to deal with it today.
on how damaging the defeat is…It’s not what we needed. We knew we needed three points and we need as many points as we can get, especially in these games. We’re bitterly disappointed and all I can say is we’re sorry to the fans because that’s not acceptable for Arsenal Football Club to lose the way we did today. We’ve just got to try to get over this now and focus. We’ve got to keep fighting because it’s not been pretty for us recently and I’m sure it’s not going to get any easier anytime soon. We’ve just got to try and fight our way out of this.
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