English Premiership

'Unacceptable' Arsenal put Wenger in firing line

2017-08-28 07:47
Arsene Wenger (Getty Images)

Liverpool - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described his team's performance as "unacceptable" after they were swept aside 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.

Arsenal turned in an abject performance in Sunday's game, despite the return of Alexis Sanchez following his delayed start to the season, and Wenger did not attempt to offer up any excuses for the humiliation.

"Everything," said Wenger when asked what had gone wrong.

"I think from the first minute to the last minute we were not at the level requested for such a game.

"Not physically, not technically, not mentally and we we were punished. That's basically it.

"Of course, you can analyse the chances we gave away, but I just think overall the performance was not at the requested level."

Wenger, who spent barely two minutes in his post-match press conference, could offer little explanation as to why the display was so abject.

But after using the uncertainty over his own future as an excuse for some poor showings last season, he could not do the same at the start of the new campaign.

"That's a question which is very difficult to answer straight away after the game," said the Frenchman, who signed a new two-year contract in May, after being asked to explain his side's capitulation.

"There are some reasons, but I don't think I have too much to comment on that now.

"Last season I said that after 30 games. Now we have played three games. We have played one home game and two away games.

"Given our first two games, our performances were quite good, but today the performance was not acceptable at that level."

Wenger had been more forthcoming in a television interview after the game, although he was not in the mood for knee-jerk over-reaction.

NO HUG FROM MIGNOLET

"The result is a consequence of our performance," he said. "We were not good enough.

"We were beaten everywhere physically. In the end I believe we made it easier for them and the mistakes gave them a cushion.

"It was shocking, but our performance was absolutely disastrous. Not to become too emotional, we have to take some distance.

"There are some reasons behind it and the players now go on their international break, but we do have to take the consequences of our performance today.

"If you find a manager who is happy with that performance today, I wish you good luck. The emotions are negative, but it's not the right moment to talk about that."

The manner of the defeat will again put Wenger's long-term future in the spotlight, but he did not want to comment on the away supporters booing his team and chanting for him to go.

"I don't want to answer that. It's part of the crowd's feeling," he said.

"If some people feel as if I am the problem, then I am sorry that I am the problem.

"But we want the fans to be with us even when we lose like that. All we can do is come back and give them a different level of performance."

Opposite number Jurgen Klopp was understandably delighted with his team's display and especially happy that his gamble in replacing first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with Loris Karius had paid off.

"We created the situation before the season started that we want three really strong goalkeepers," Klopp said. "And that's our situation now.

"I told Si yesterday and he didn't give me a hug and say, 'Thanks boss, that's what I thought we should do!' But I wanted to give him a rest and have Loris in the game.

"If nothing else, I can say 100 percent, our next game against Manchester City, Simon starts."

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Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion, Emirates Stadium 21:00
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