Arsene Wenger believes his defence were just caught out by a great striker after Martin Keown claimed they lacked the hunger to defend.
Arsenal lost yet again away from home on Saturday afternoon after Harry Kane headed Tottenham to a 1-0 victory.
In truth, the result flattered Arsenal as they conceded numerous chances that kept Petr Cech busy.
The second half was especially poor, and prompted Keown to criticise the team’s defending after the game.
“Their team-talk at half-time, towards players that want to defend in the team, should have been about resolve,” Keown said on BT Sport (via the Daily Mail).
“They got a pat on the back but it has to be better in the second-half.
“The resolve, desire, hunger to defend is just not there and they allowed too much space to Tottenham, and they exploited it.”
Unsurprisingly, Wenger disagreed with Keown’s assessment, and feels his side were simply caught out by a prolific striker.
“I don’t think they lack hunger to defend,” he said, as reported by the Irish Independent.
“They got caught by a super striker who is one of the best in the world. He scores against everybody. All the defenders in the world must lack hunger then.”
Kane, who now has seven goals against Arsenal in eight games, found himself in between the Arsenal centre backs to head in the only goal of the game.
It wasn’t that the defence wasn’t hungry enough to stop him. They just physically couldn’t do it.
Spurs were a danger from crosses all game, so the real failure of the defence was not doing more to stop those.
Arsenal’s defending has been a major issue this season.
They’ve now shipped 22 goals in 14 games on the road.
With goals being difficult to come by away from home, such a leaky defence isn’t good enough.