Arsene Wenger feels his side were too timid from the off against Manchester City even though Laurent Koscielny’s early red card left the Gunners fighting an uphill battle against the champions.
Although the French centre-back received his marching orders after just 8 minutes Roberto Mancini’s side had already set the tempo at the Emirates with a fluid attacking display.
Speaking to the media after the game the boss paid lip service to his side’s nervousness in the face of battle:
“Overall we started too timidly, with not enough authority in a game like that, and we allowed them to dictate from the start. We paid very early from it.
“We didn’t start with enough confidence or enough authority. When you play at home in a game like this you have to dictate your personality, which we did not do, especially defensively.
“After that, we played 80 minutes with 10 against 11 against a good team, and it’s difficult. But then again, on both of goals I think we could have done better.
“It’s frustrating because the team afterwards showed great heart, gave everything and showed great desire, but we’re a bit too nervous to play in a serene way at home and that shows in the way we start the games.”
Asked if he was annoyed with his side for failing to put the opposition on the back foot from the off, Arsene continued:
“It’s not anger because the players want to do well. It’s just the fact that we need to be a bit more confident in this kind of game. We want to do so well that we are a bit up tight. It’s not anger, it’s frustration that you do not see from the start what this team is capable of.
“Afterwards, you make it basically difficult for yourselves at 2-0 down with 10 against 11, it’s massive. If we had taken 100 per cent of our chances we’d still have come back. Giroud had a header, Walcott had a chance. If we’d put it in, maybe. But it’s too difficult.”
Arseblog News would love to insert some witty quip reflecting on the above, but it’s a cold, grey, Monday morning in January the day after another shitty defeat. Perhaps you might do the honours in the comment section…