Arsene Wenger started off a massive ten days for Arsenal by seeing his side dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship side Blackburn Rovers. As usual the Gunners completely dominated possession without putting the ball in the back of the net, while Blackburn sneaked a freak winning goal towards the end of the game.
Wenger had made seven changes to the side that beat Sunderland last week with an eye on the midweek Champions League tie against Bayern Munich, but he had no regrets over the XI he chose to start the match.” No.” he said when asked. “We had 11 international players on the pitch at the start of the game. When we made the changes we were at 0-0.”
He used the statistics to show that Arsenal had actually played well, but he was obviously not happy about the defending that led to Blackburn’s goal: “We had a lot of the ball and Blackburn defended well. I believe we had 70 per cent of the ball, we had 16 shots at goal, they only had one shot at goal. For us it’s a typical cup game where it’s important not to concede and keep a clean sheet and I think we made a massive mistake on the goal. In a game like that it was down to us to keep a clean sheet and score in the final 15 minutes.”
“I do not want to go too much into detail but I believe we were really guilty on the goal.”
“It is very painful and very disappointing to lose a game like that. What is important now is to focus on the next one.
“Of course it is disappointing. It is very difficult to accept but it happened and we had enough chances to win, but we didn’t. Offensively we lacked ruthlessness and calm in front of goal. We didn’t make enough of our corners, and we were vulnerable on one mistake.”
It is a massive blow going in to the match against Bayern Munich, especially as we had been on such a good run in the weeks before, but Wenger must now try and convince the players that they can beat the German giants despite that miserable performance. It won’t be easy to lift the team after effectively being dumped out of the last domestic competition we had a chance to win, but Wenger thinks he can do it. “It is not difficult at all. It is our job. If we feel sorry for ourselves we would be completely wrong. We have a massive game on Tuesday night and we have to show that we some response in the team.”
“I think it is important to focus on our next game and it is a good opportunity to show that we have character and are men who can fight for each other. That is all you can do. You take a distance in terms of what people say and show how strong and good you are in the next game.
“It is not difficult at all. It is our job. If we feel sorry for ourselves we would be completely wrong. We have a massive game on Tuesday night and we have to show that we some response in the team.”
The only consolation Arsenal fans can take into Tuesday is that it will be a completely different starting XI and our main players have had a good rest. But even at their very best do you think they can beat Bayern Munich?