Arsenal are not getting any luck right now but it is not all doom and gloom, manager Arsene Wenger said on Saturday after a 2-0 Premier League defeat by Liverpool marked the latest chapter in a miserable week.
An Aaron Ramsey own goal sent the visitors on the way to victory and Arsenal went down to 10 men for the second successive league game after Emmanuel Frimpong was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Lucas.
“We cannot say at the moment we are very lucky,” Wenger told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com). “I think we had eight players out today and we still had a good performance.
“It is not all doom and gloom, there are positives in the game today.”
It had already been clear a quarter of an hour into the match that fortune was not on Arsenal’s side when defender Laurent Koscielny pulled up holding his lower back and left the field in agony, unable to walk unassisted.
When the ball flew off Ramsey’s chest after Ignasi Miquel’s attempted clearance, Arsenal players could only watch aghast as it bounced into the net and they were left questioning whether Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was offside earlier in the move.
“The result is very harsh on us,” said Wenger. “The decider was the sending off and the offside goal.”
Gervinho, sent off in last week’s opener against Newcastle United, and Alex Song, charged with violent conduct in the same game, were serving three-match bans while a host of midfielders were injured and Cesc Fabregas left for Barcelona this week.
On top of that Wenger learned on Friday he faced disciplinary proceedings from European soccer’s governing body UEFA after breaking the rules while serving a touchline ban in Tuesday’s 1-0 Champions League playoff first leg win over Udinese.
Wenger said having to play in the playoffs after failing to secure a top-three finish last term was putting on extra pressure.
“At the start of the season we have a heavy schedule compared to other teams,” he said. “That has an impact as well -- we have five big games when the team is not completely ready.”
Arsenal play the second leg against Udinese on Wednesday before visiting Premier League champions Manchester United on Aug. 28 and Wenger must get his players in a better frame of mind after they were booed off the pitch on Saturday.
“It is important for us to lift the players because they are very disappointed,” he said. “We need to give them credit for their attitude and performance today.”
One of the positives for Arsenal was that Samir Nasri played well having been in the newspapers all week with the latest rumours on his possible move to Manchester City.
“He loves the club, he wants to play for us (but) if we decide to sell him we will do it,” said Wenger.
“At the moment I am happy he is here. I don’t know if he will play on Wednesday.”
As Wenger wrung out his soaking wet hair as even the weather failed to cooperate at the Emirates, fans made their views heard with calls of “spend more”.