Despite Ronald Koeman desperately trying to take the spotlight off the fact it was just his second win in twelve games by attempting to ridicule Arsene Wenger’s comments about the referee last night, the Arsenal manager says his team have only themselves to blame for the 2-1 defeat.
The Frenchman was critical of Mark Clattenburg for the award of a corner that ultimately led to Ashley Williams winner, but was making no excuses for his team’s defending.
Speaking after the game, the Everton manager said, “I am not surprised about Wenger and his comments. It is the third time in a row I won at home against Arsenal as a manager and three times in a row it was about the referee.
“I’m sorry, Arsenal – we won through the referee’s decision. I’m sorry.”
Having won just twice since mid-September, you’d think the Dutchman might show a little more grace than that, but clearly making it about Wenger takes the spotlight of his team’s fairly dismal run and his hand in that.
The Gunners, meanwhile, lost their first game since the opening day of the season, and Wenger pointed the finger of blame at his team’s inability to defend in their own area.
“In football you have to defend well,” he said. “We knew exactly what was happening and the first goal is exactly what we planned not to do.
“We have to look at ourselves tonight because we punished ourselves by not respecting completely the rules that we put out the night before we played.
“We lost the game because I feel we started well and after that maybe we lost a bit of urgency because we were a bit too comfortable and then Everton made it very physical.
“Overall, I believe that from then on it disturbed our game and we created less flow going forward. In the end, we unfortunately didn’t take our chances or two.
“We didn’t create too many but we had clear-cut chances in the game that we didn’t take.”
So, a disappointing evening all in all, and it’s now going to be a real test of this team’s mettle when they face Man City on Sunday.