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Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Saturday, 25 September 2010 19:43 UK

Arsene Wenger laments 'poor performance' by Arsenal

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger cut a disconsolate figure as his side crashed to defeat

Arsene Wenger made no attempt to disguise the shortcomings of his Arsenal side following their 3-2 home defeat against West Brom.

Peter Odemwingie, Gonzalo Jara and Jerome Thomas put Albion 3-0 up before Samir Nasri gave the Gunners a glimmer of hope after scoring a late double.

"It was a poor performance, defensively and offensively," said Wenger.

"Not one player performed to their level. We had an off day and were not good enough to win the game."

It was an unusually candid critique by Wenger, who refused to gloss over failings that he felt were the result of wayward concentration and sloppy play.

Arsenal currently sit second in the Premier League table but had they won they would have moved to within a point of leaders Chelsea who the Gunners face at Stamford Bridge next Sunday.

"We were not capable of the right level of concentration," added Wenger. "The concentration that gives you the sharpness was not there today.

"We were poor everywhere - at the back, up front and in the middle of the park. Anything was difficult for us today, to pass the ball, to win it back.

"Overall we got what we deserved, that is zero points. We didn't deserve more."

Doubting Thomas

Wenger refused, however, to single out Manuel Almunia for criticism, despite a poor performance from the Arsenal goalkeeper that is sure to come under scrutiny.

Almunia conceded a first-half penalty for bringing down Odemwingie and, although he saved Brunt's resulting spot-kick, he was later beaten at his near post by Jara.

The Spaniard's miserable afternoon took a further downward turn when he inexplicably came off his line to meet Brunt, who fed Thomas for West Brom's third.

"You can have question marks over many players today if you look at the performance, especially defensively," insisted Wenger.

"Many players made massive mistakes defensively. I do not want to talk about any one performance, we were collectively poor. You could single out many players.

"Overall, it was a poor team performance and we have to analyse why and respond well. It's unexplainable how flat the whole thing looked for the whole game, it's a mystery for me.

"Something in our performance today was not right. It was unusual to see a team as flat was we were."

Wenger's disappointment afforded a pointed contrast with the quiet satisfaction of his West Brom counterpart, Roberto Di Matteo.

"I would say we deserved it, the way we played, the way we created chances, scored goals and played very well," said Di Matteo, whose side moved up to fifth following their win.

"We pressed them very high, we pressed them all over the pitch. We managed not to let them play their usual way and, when we had the ball, we passed it very well and created chances ourselves.

"I don't want us just to be pretty, I want results at the end of the day."

As the Italian pointed out, West Brom have come a long way since their 6-0 mauling at Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League season.

"We got a hammering at Chelsea and it wasn't a pretty week after that, but we've learned," added the Italian.

"We've cut out those mistakes and that gives us a chance to stay in a game and win things.

"We go into games believing we can win. It was the way we won, we were not lucky. We played some tremendous football and defended well too."

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see also
Arsenal 2-3 West Brom
25 Sep 10 |  Premier League
Saturday football as it happened
25 Sep 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
25 Sep 10 |  Football


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