Arsene Wenger believes that a catastrophic combination of personal and collective ineptitude was the reason behind his side’s collapse in the second half against Blackburn Rovers.
Looking good value for their 2-1 half-time lead at Ewood Park, the Frenchman looked on in horror as first Alex Song and then Laurent Koscielny netted own goals past Wojciech Szczesny, while his side’s inability to deal with set pieces also led to Yakubu’s second goal from a corner.
Speaking to Arsenal Player about Saturday’s 4-3 defeat, Wenger made clear that the unfortunate manner in which his side conceded was no excuse:
“[There was] a lack of concentration, a lack of communication, a lack of coordination and [a lack of] individual urgency.
“I believe as well when you score an own goal, you have to look at yourself. It’s never, never, never, never, never completely out of reach, or very rarely. Out of 100 own goals there are maybe 5 or 6 where you have no chance at all, all the rest you have to look at yourself.”
Handing a Premier League debut to Andre Santos at left-back and with Per Mertesacker making only his third appearance in the red and white shirt, the Arsenal defence had a raw and unfamiliar look about it.
Recognising that his side need more time on the training pitch together, Wenger went on to concede:
“Yes, there’s a little question of time and timing. Santos is new, Mertesacker is new, but they were not especially guilty on goals you know? Maybe as a unit we need more time to work yes.”
Still visibly annoyed at the somewhat belligerent fashion his side continue to throw away games, Wenger also stressed that reacting positively to the latest defeat will ultimately determine whether the rest of the season is a success.
“I believe that the Blackburn game is very disappointing and frustrating. I must say that the disappointment and frustrations are absolutely huge because we feel that we have given this game away, not lost the game. There is nothing worse in our job than having that feeling.
“Overall I personally want to focus as well on the positives and on the huge potential that is in our team. We had 22 shots on goal and 61 per cent of possession.
“I believe our season depends now on how we respond to a disappointment like that and how quickly we can cut out the mistakes we made on Saturday.”