Arsenal’s top four hopes took another damaging blow on Monday night as they weer thrashed by Crystal Palace.
Arsene Wenger’s side are now seven points off the top four with a game in hand.
Speaking after the game the Frenchman insisted he was ‘determined to put things right’ in a long post-match interview with Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves..
Geoff Shreeves: Arsene, was that a terrible performance and a terrible result for you tonight?
Arsene Wenger: I felt that they won decisive duels. We created quite dangerous situations but defensively I think we were exposed many times. Offensively we couldn’t finish. I think the first-half was quite level and then they come out in the second-half stronger than us and we were a bit unfortunate I think on the second goal, and on the third goal it was a penalty that killed our game.
GS: Were you also unable to handle Christian Benteke this evening? He seemed to cause you all sorts of problems.
AW: Yes he was up for it, he’s a handful for everybody when he’s like that.
GS: They were also winning all the second balls as well. Were they more committed? Was there more desire from Crystal Palace tonight?
AW: I think they were sharper than us in the duels and certainly in many decisive situations tonight, yes.
GS: That must be deeply concerning for you. What do you put that down to?
AW: Look, it’s not the right moment to go in any… We have to analyse the game. I think we had a lot of the ball. We had a lot of possession. If they won all the second balls we would not have so much possession. I think we won many second balls as well, but there were in the decisive duels… I think they were stronger, yes. Especially Benteke tonight.
GS: What did you say at half-time because it seemed to be more of the same the second-half?
AW: Look, what we say in the dressing room remains in the dressing room.
GS: But why do you think you were unable to change things?
AW: I just told you. You know. I thought they won more decisive duels than us.
GS: How damaging is this in terms of your quest for top four tonight?
AW: It’s damaging of course. On that front of course, that is what is most difficult for us. A difficult defeat but on top of that it has consequences on our chances to be in the top four.
GS: Also when you hear the fans singing ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ they’re showing their deep unhappiness with the performance. What do you make of that?
AW: You can not… you understand that our fans are very unhappy. They come here with hope that we win the game.
GS: How worried are you personally by what you saw tonight?
AW: No, every defeat is a big worry. I’ve managed over 1,100 games for Arsenal Football Club, and we are not used to lose like that. And of course it is a big worry.
GS: How concerned are you that this season is just drifting away, petering out?
AW: Yeah, unfortunately at the moment it is like that and we have to respond very quickly and not accept it.
GS: Do you think the situation regarding yourself has any effect on what’s happening? They looked leaderless, rudderless tonight.
AW: Geoff, I don’t know. But I can not go on forever after the game like that. I’m disappointed and determined to put things right. Tonight the worry is not me. It’s the fact that we lost a big game, and when you lose a big game it’s a big worry.
GS: OK. Lastly, is there any news on your situation?
GS: Arsene, thank you.