The game against United was disappointing for many reasons. Two of our players picked up injuries, we dominated the game but failed to find the net, and we conceded in the softest possible way with an extremely unlucky own goal.
But manager Arsene Wenger was not just disappointed, he was angered. According to an interview on arsenal.com, the Frenchman says that Manchester United were ‘there for the taking’ and it was a horrible result for the players. The manager also made it clear that he did not blame the players; rather he was angry because they did not get the result they deserved.
I wasn’t angry with the players – I have a lot of respect for the energy they put in the game and the spirit they show.
I’m just angry because the players do not get rewarded and our fans do not get rewarded for the result that was just there for the taking today. We have suffered against United before but we cannot say that we suffered against them today.
If you look at the number of games recently, the number of shots our opponent has and the number of goals we concede, that is quite a continuity at the moment.
We were 1-0 down and we wanted to desperately come back, and we forgot our principles a little bit.
I have to see it again because I was surprised there wasn’t anyone there [in defence]. It was a moment where – especially with such a long injury time – if the game stays 1-0, it gave [United] some confidence because they just defended after.
I have a lot of respect for this group because of their great attitude, spirit and energy levels. Maybe the disappointment of being 1-0 down meant everybody wanted to go forward too much.
[Individually they have been] really good. At the moment it’s very difficult because we lack a bit of experience in some positions.
Our players really did deserve better for their performance against the Red Devils, but feeling angry or disappointed is not the answer. Wenger said that he was surprised there was no one in defence. But as manager, it is his responsibility to set the tactics and ensure that the team follows them. Maybe changes to the playing style or positioning of the players are required. As for the lack of experience, there is only one solution, investing in players in January. Wenger simply cannot afford to be inactive this time around. A strong transfer window is mandatory to ensuring that our season is salvaged and we secure European qualification. Fingers crossed.