Wenger keeps faith but says Arsenal must improve

Arsene Wenger has refused to write off Arsenal's chances in the Premier League, but warned his side they must eliminate the defensive mistakes that have scarred recent performances.

The Gunners manager watched in frustration as his side allowed a two-goal lead to slip for the second time in five days before eventually being forced to settle for a point in a 3-3 home draw with Fulham on Saturday.

Wenger was critical of a defence that has now conceded 12 goals in four games.

"The positive is we can score goals now. The negative is to concede three goals at home and the chances we gave away -- I don't think defensively it was a historical performance," he said.

Wenger was particularly frustrated by the poor marking that allowed Dimitar Berbatov to head Fulham back into the match after Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podoslki had put Arsenal 2-0 up.

And the manager's efforts to remedy the problem will be hindered by the looming international week.

"I feel where we are most guilty is on the corner," said Wenger.

"We were 2-0 up and Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz, we know, can create chances. But nobody jumped for the ball at all, we just let them score. That doesn't happen very often when you are at home.

"We have to just keep working on it but it will be difficult this week because everybody goes away."

Alex Kacaniklic and Berbatov put Fulham 3-2 up before Giroud levelled with his second goal and the home side were denied victory when Mark Schwarzer saved Mikel Arteta's injury-time penalty.

Giroud's performance impressed Wenger, who said: "Giroud had a very good game. He had presence, wins the long ball, he is dangerous and starts to have belief in what he is doing.

"I feel there were a lot of positives in his game today."

The result left Arsenal 11 points behind leaders Manchester United, who came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Aston Villa.

"It's not an ideal situation, but we have shown before we can fight and we have shown today we can fight," said Wenger.

"There are a lot of positives in our team. At the moment we don't get the positives we want, but I still feel we have good potential in our side."

Wenger had been angered by Roy Hodgson's decision to include Jack Wilshere -- who was suspended against Fulham -- in the England squad so soon after the midfielder's return from a 17-month injury lay-off.

And the manager questioned whether Theo Walcott would be fit to join up with the England squad for the trip to Sweden after he limped out of the Fulham clash.

Wenger said: "Walcott has a glute problem and we nearly took him off at half-time, but we left him on and it got worse.

"At the moment he is limping and I don't know if he will be capable of joining the national team or not at this moment.

"What I can do is pray that everybody comes back in good health."

Fulham manager Martin Jol believes Bryan Ruiz is delivering on the promise that persuaded Fulham to pay £11 million ($17.5 million, 13.8 million euros) to sign the Costa Rican from FC Twente.

And he believes Ruiz's partnership with Berbatov is improving with every game.

Jol said: "Ruiz is more like an offensive midfielder and Berbatov is a striker who can drop in and do things.

"Today we thought it would be good for Berbatov to drop into holes and try and create openings for others. I can't remember creating so many chances against Arsenal.

"I knew how good Ruiz was. He must confirm it and perhaps he didn't do that from the start.

"He scored 24 goals as a midfield player. It's not the biggest league in Holland, but he was the top scorer with Luis Suarez and has similar qualities."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options