Arsene Wenger believes some of his players suffered from the humiliating 5-1 defeat to Liverpool last season, after Arsenal conceded deep into stoppage-time during their 2-2 draw against the Reds at Anfield on Sunday.
The Gunners were 4-0 behind after just 20 minutes of the same fixture in February, and Wenger claimed the psychological effect it had on his team took its toll in a laboured display against the Merseysiders.
“We had problems today getting our flow going, we didn’t have enough possession in the game,” the Frenchman said.
“In the first half it [Arsenal’s performance] was down to tactical reasons and some psychological reasons.
“When we were 2-1 up we just let them come at us and we didn’t come out enough, maybe, to score the third goal. As long as you don’t score goal number three you are under threat to concede the second goal.
“Maybe it was bad memories from last year and it played a part. Some players were not at their best today. I felt like we played with the handbrake on a little bit in the first half.”
I have never heard of a manager defend his sides poor performance by blaming it on the thrashing they received in their previous visit to the ground. Isn’t that sort of defeat supposed to be used as motivation by the manager in the days leading up to the match?