So another away game for Arsenal and yet another defeat, but (look on the bright side!) at least we scored our first goal on our travels at last! Watford played with confidence and belief, which is more than we could say about our players, and they certainly were looking for a winner right up until the final minute, while we looked like we were playing for a draw after Watford’s equalizing penalty.
Wenger, of course, doesn’t accept that the ref got the decision on the penalty right. “I would say it was not a penalty. It was a decision from the referee and that’s it.”
He went on to say “I don’t want to interfere too much with the referees and their decisions and what’s going on. I just want the right decisions to be made during the game.”
Arsenal seem to given many penalties against us in the last year or so, so does Wenger think that there is a hidden agenda against us? “I don’t know. I don’t see any pre-conceived idea. I just think the decision is wrong and that’s it. It came at a moment in the game where it was absolutely important for Watford. [If there was] no penalty, [there’d have been] no goal.”
But the fact is that we had many chances to go further ahead before the equalizer, so what does Wenger think is the reason for that? “We should have [scored], yes of course. It’s not the only major fact in the game. I thought we played very well in the first half but I was not so happy with the level in the second half. I think our level dropped in the second half and we missed many chances to kill the game with goal No 2 and goal No 3 – they should have been scored. After that, at 1-1, there was no need to panic. I believe that on the second goal we can only look at ourselves.”
Ramsey and Alexis missed the game after their international disappointments, so does Wenger think many of our players were affected by the break? He was asked if he thought this may have been a contributing factor? “It is, but if you look well at the game today, I think with a bit more killer instinct in front of goal, we should have won the game. That’s where we are guilty. The decision on the penalty we have no impact on at all. Not everybody is at the same level physically, that’s for sure, but I feel despite that, we should have won the game.”
Yes we should have beaten Watford. We should have beaten Stoke. But we didn’t. So we are now nine points (and a zillion goals) behind Man City, so is that already an impossible gap to make up? “It will be difficult, of course.” Wenger concluded. “At the moment we are not looking too much at Man City, we are looking at ourselves. We have to bounce back from our disappointment today. We look like we can make results when we play our game like we did in the first half. But we need to be at the level like that for 90 minutes.”
Yes we do Arsene, so why aren’t we????