You would think that there would be little that Arsene Wenger could say after the Gunners were destroyed in their fourth straight away game, especially against a relegation candidate like Crystal Palace. But of course he is obliged by contract to face the Sky journalist Geoff Shreeves after the game, and this is the full transcript of Wenger’s after match interview………
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.
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?
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.
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.
AW: Thank you.