Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after Liverpool rout: ‘Everything’ is wrong with my team
PUBLISHED: 19:16 27 August 2017 | UPDATED: 19:20 27 August 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted ‘everything’ is wrong with his team during their 4-0 loss against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon at Anfield.
The long-serving boss who signed a new two-year contract extension deal in May to the surprise – and objection – of many supporters looked downbeat as he tried to explain his side’s humiliation at the hands of a vibrant young team marshalled by rival Jurgen Klopp.
The thrashing saw the North Londoners lose their second game in eight days after last Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Stoke City – but it was the manner of defeat that led to disgruntled Arsenal fans in the away end walking out before the hour mark in disgust.
With the three-man defensive backline looking nervous and disorganised despite the return of Laurent Koscielny after a three-game ban, Liverpool’s pressing discipline and attacking intent marshalled superbly by the deep-lying Dutchman resulted in a dreadful performance from the visitors.
Speaking immediately after the game Wenger, when asked what was wrong with the performance, conceded: “Everything. From the first to the last.
“Physically, technically, mentally, we were not at the level – we were punished.
“That was it. The performance was not at the requested level.
“Everything was wrong today. Why? That is a question that is difficult to answer straight after the game
“There are some reasons. I believe in our first two games our performances were good but today the performance was not acceptable at this level.”
On being asked if Sunday’s rout was as big as he could remember, a sheepish Wenger replied: “My memory is not big enough.”
Wenger was also asked if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would stay at the club in light of attention from Chelsea and Liverpool. Wenger replied he would only be able to answer the question after deadline day.
He said: “What will happen after the transfer market over the next three or four days I don’t know.”
When asked about Shkodran Mustafi’s future he replied: “Similar question similar answer.”
First half goals from Roberto Firmino and the superb Sadio Mane, coupled with second half efforts from Mo Salah and substitute Daniel Sturridge sealed the emphatic win for the Merseysiders.
But it was the manner of defeat that was so troubling to fans and observers alike: a woeful performance in which not only was Arsenal’s workrate, tactical acumen and desire found wanting in extremis as the side appeared to consist of 11 disinterested individuals who did not appear to care about the loss – but the espirit de corps and pride in the shirt found in the DNA of all great, and not so great Arsenal sides, was completely absent.
Wenger added: “It’s true today we were an easy opponent for Liverpool.”
For many the fault lies with Wenger – but serious questions have to be asked about the performance of those above him too, if humiliations such as this by the Reds are not to become commonplace.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.