Arsene Wenger has spoken of his frustration after Arsenal failed to turn possession into points at White Hart Lane. The Gunners dominated the first third of the game but were undone twice before the break by lackadaisical defending and struggled to reassert themselves despite Per Mertesacker’s early second half header.
Facing the media after the game, the boss underlined his belief that his side should have taken the bull by the horns when the momentum was with them.
“It’s frustrating because we put so much effort it and we lost the game when we were on top of the game. If you watch the game again you will see that at the moment we were 2-0 down we should have been 2-0 up.
“They had a very difficult start, we were on top of the game, and the 2-0 lead of course gave them the confidence to defend well and that’s what they did for the rest of the game.
“It’s very frustrating because we had a great attitude but we come out with no points and as well because we were not efficient in the zones where it matters – at the front and at the back.
“Also, without being at any moment dominated, the only times Tottenham were dangerous today was on counter-attacks. If you are dominated and they create chance after chance, OK you accept it. But today it was a strange game to lose.”
Asked whether his defence could have done more to prevent two goals in two minutes by Bale and Lennon, Wenger stressed that ideally we wouldn’t ever concede before lamenting that conceding in quick succession had become an unfortunate trend this season.
“Ideally you don’t concede goals at all. It is frustrating because we had the best defensive record in the league away from home until today. When you go into a big game like that, once you’re 2-0 down you make it difficult for yourself because you have to come out, open yourself up against a team that is good at counter-attacking.
“But after in the final 20 minutes it was stop and go, they would foul and stop us from going. They stayed down a lot. We couldn’t get the final flow into the game because it was stop and go always.
“It happened to us many times this season [conceding two goals in quick succession] and only in big games. It’s difficult to say why, there’s no common thing, in all the games there is a different problem. But after you make it difficult for yourself. I cannot fault the attitude or the effort that the team produced, or the spirit the team has shown, but you give yourself a mountain to climb every time in a game of that magnitude.”