Arsene Wenger has said that ‘disappointments are part of a successful season’ but admitted that losing is hard to take because his side aren’t used to it.
Arsenal have lost their last two league games, against Everton and Manchester City, but those are the only defeats in their last 20 games, a fact that gets overlooked as people jump headfirst into panic mode.
Wenger, as always, was much more zen-like than large portions of our fanbase, when he spoke to the matchday programme ahead of Arsenal’s Boxing day game against West Brom.
“It is part of our job to know that when you go into a season, you will not only have satisfactions,” Wenger said.
“Disappointments are part of a successful season. It’s how you respond to it that makes your destiny and that’s what we want to do. In the last 20 games we lost two, so it’s very difficult, because we’re not used to it, but as well we have to put it into perspective and fight for the next one.
“Whenever we lose a game we have to live with negative vibes from the outside – it’s part of our environment. Overall though we want to remember our strengths, our consistency since the start of the season and our quality.
“In both the games last week we were 1-0 up and lost 2-1, so there are two aspects to it. One is the aspect we cannot influence – refereeing decisions. The two goals at Man City were 100 per cent offside. The other aspect is our performances – which we can influence.
“We have to look at the fact that maybe we didn’t have that relentless attitude our success is based on
“Could we have done better? Yes, certainly. Especially when you lead, I would say it looked like we became a bit restricted. We didn’t play with the same intensity, urgency and relentless attitude we have had until now. We lost that and I think there was room to win the game at Man City.
There was big room as well to win the game at Everton and we have to look at the fact that maybe we didn’t have that relentless attitude our success is based on.
“We couldn’t find the second goal in either game, which is down to urgency, but I think we want to dominate the games and as soon as we are a bit in-between, it becomes a bit more difficult.
“But now we move on. We have a group which is ready for the fight. I am personally really ready for the fight as well and it’s now time to come back. The table can change quickly, especially over Christmas.”