Arsene Wenger says he’s not mad at his players following Arsenal’s defeat at West Bromwich Albion, but he does believe they suffered a destructive loss of focus in the period after Olivier Giroud’s opener.
The Gunners were in firm control at the Hawthorns when the French striker broke the deadlock on 28 minutes before James Morrison’s volley and Mikel Arteta’s own goal saw them crumble before half time.
In the second period the visitors missed a host of chances as they piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser before Santi Cazorla compounded a bad day at the office by missing a late penalty.
After the game Wenger told Arsenal Player: “The result does not reflect the game but we have to look at ourselves. I think at 1-0 up we became a little too easy and the equaliser they scored sums it up well, they didn’t even need to have the ball.
“That is where we have to mature. In the second half we gave absolutely everything. We were unlucky and it was a bad day because we scored an own goal, missed a penalty and overall didn’t deserve to lose this game.
“We have to look at ourselves and think why did it happen to us? I believe we lost a fraction of focus when we were 1-0 up. It is frustrating, it is disappointing and what you want is to learn from a game you don’t deserve to lose.
“We had 72 per cent possession and if you lose it you have to look at yourself and think what happened to us.”
In his post-game press conference, he added: “I cannot be mad at the team because they gave what they could until the last minute but we lost a bit of focus at 1-0 – at 35 minutes we were 1-0 up and then at 45 we were 2-1 down. Our defending on that level was very, very poor.”
Yesterday’s defeat sees us drop down to fourth in the table level on points with Manchester City who took a hammering from Liverpool.
That we’re only trailing Manchester United by one point and only two behind surprise leaders Leicester means we’re very much still in the race for the title. We do though need to regroup quickly if we’re going to find the momentum we need to get us through the hectic Christmas period.