Arsène Wenger hasn’t held back in criticising his Arsenal players following the disappointing start to the season.

A 2-0 loss to West Ham was not the result Arsenal had hoped for or expected from the first game, and Wenger is insisting that his players respond.

How can they do that? Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Crystal Palace the Arsenal boss admitted that his players were probably not physically assertive enough in the opening game of the season.

“Sometimes, we are maybe too nice,” Wenger told the media. “If you want to say our aggression level against West Ham was not big enough, then I would agree with you.”

Wenger made a change to the midfield to pair Aaron Ramsey with Francis Coquelin and the Frenchman, largely praised for his performances last season, didn’t complete a tackle against the Hammers.

Wenger went on to say that complacency may well have been the reason for an approach to the game which, simply, wasn’t commanding enough.

“It’s maybe linked with the fact we were too confident and that we thought we would win the game anyway.”

West Ham punished Arsenal, with new signing Dmitri Payet shining on his Premier League debut.

While West Ham had Payet, Palace have Cabaye. The midfielder has returned to the Premier League after 18 months with PSG didn’t go to plan, and the transfer is a sign of things to come for English football.

“They [mid-table clubs] will get closer on a technical level to our level so it will not be so much an opposition of style,” Wenger explained. More examples can be seen throughout the league; Aston Villa have signed some high profile players this summer and Swansea City have added André Ayew to their ranks.

“They will all raise their level on the technical front, so these teams now have more players who can decide a game. Every mistake you make you can be punished.”

“You have to accept that you can win, lose or draw in every game. I know it looks silly today to say that, but it is like that.

“Even if you play against a Division Two team you have to accept that. This is the reality.”

Regardless of the players the opposition have the Arsenal side should be strong enough to win, but they have to play well. It is good to see Wenger targeting complacency and overconfidence after a timid performance last weekend.

Previous articleVideo: Arsenal legend questions mentality of the squad
Next articleWenger explains issues for young players
Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil