Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger didn’t want to take the easy route by blaming his goal keeper Petr Cech for the disappointing opening day loss. The Gunners started their 2015-16 Premier League campaign with a morale shattering 2-0 loss at home to West Ham United. This was supposed to be a season of full hopes where the squad is expected to make a big dash for the title. And the form in the pre-season only hyped up the expectations. Apart from picking up the routine wins in the Asia tour and the Emirates cup, the Gunners also sprang a surprise at Wembley.
Wenger saw his hoodoo against Jose Mourinho broken with a victory in the Community Shield match. Not that the match was an important trophy date in the calendar but any match involving Mourinho and Wenger is bound to be vital.
So, the hopes were built up for an impressive start. But, that was not to be as Wenger saw his wards turn up a sloppy display to be beaten by a better team on the day – West Ham. The only low point was that Cech was seen to be at fault for both the goals.
The arrival of Cech from Chelsea was seen as the first step towards title march from Wenger. And the air of positivity around his arrival added to this. But, the Czech international was far from his usual best at the Emirates. He was obviously at fault for the opening goal by Cheikhou Kouyate after failing to deal with the Dimitri Payet free kick. Adding to the disappointment, he was beaten at his near post by Mauro Zarate’s low strike. But, the manager was quick to dismiss any suggestions that he would single out Cech for the disappointment. For that matter, Wenger did not want to put any individual at fault for the loss.
To be frank, Wenger was correct when he says that the loss is more collective than individual. The Gunners were hoping to make a flying start but at no point of the game did they look involved. The visitors looked well-organised but Arsenal clearly struggled to impose themselves on the game. This is more of a concern for frustration for Wenger than the performance of Cech.
Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace next Sunday before hosting Liverpool and these two games suddenly become very important. Wenger urged his side to bounce back quickly and show their real quality. If they want to prove that they are champion quality, times like this call for real action.