Jack Wilshere has called on Arsenal fans to stick by the squad despite yesterday’s opening day horror show.
The Emirates crowd did their best to remain positive on a tense and tetchy afternoon (mostly aiming their vitriol at referee Anthony ‘Have I booked you yet? I have now’ Jones) but with Villa’s late third goal came a mass exodus and a furious venting of frustration directed predominantly at Arsene Wenger and his lack of transfer activity.
Speaking after the match, the England midfielder underlined that after a maniacally haphazard showing he and his teammates have to accept the voicing of dissatisfaction but called for solidarity for the year ahead.
“It is understandable,” the midfielder told Arsenal.com. “People pay their money and we have to put in a better performance in order to win games. We want to win trophies so the message is – stick with us, it is a long season.
“Villa are a tough team but we are not happy with our performance. We have to look at ourselves and pick ourselves up for the [Champions League] qualifier in the week.”
Analysing the defeat, Wilshere continued: “We felt good going into today and we started well but we dropped the level when we should have maintained it.
“Still, it is a long season and we will have to go again now.”
While Wilshere’s comments are coated in a light smearing of optimism, Arsene Wenger’s post-game analysis has bitterness written all over it.
Directing his ire at the mouth-frothing journalists who’d had their headlines written for them by the Gunners self-destruction, the boss stated:
“You got what you wanted, you should be happy. Before the start of the season that was all you write in the papers so what do you expect?
“Could we have won the game with the players we had on the pitch? I say yes.
“If we don’t spend the money, it is because we don’t find the players. I am not the only one to work on that, we are a team that works on that and we are ready to buy the players if we find the players good enough for us.
“My job is to make the fans happy, but we haven’t lost a game because of that [not spending].
“We take our work seriously and we analyse every player in the world and spend 24 hours a day doing that.
“We are ready to spend, but until we buy players we have to win football games and it is not an excuse not to win the game today.”
There’s really not much more to add on yesterday’s events, it’s important that all concerned draw a line under it and get it out of their systems as soon as possible.
We fly to Turkey on Tuesday knowing a bad performance from what’s left of the squad could well do irretrievable damage to morale across the board. The knowledge of that should be enough to focus any minds that thought they could just coast their way to a win off the back of last year’s hard work.11,676 views