The Frenchman says the New Year’s Day loss to Southampton was “self-inflicted”, with Wojciech Szczesny particularly culpable
Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal to overcome the defensive “ghosts” that have haunted his side’s campaign after yet more errors gifted Southampton victory on New Year’s Day.
The north Londoners were comprehensively outplayed at St Mary’s Stadium, though two errors from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny directly resulted in goals for Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic.
The 2-0 defeat saw Arsenal drop out of the top four and Wenger was disappointed to see his side gift Southampton such easy goals, believing they were architects of their own downfall.
“I cannot fault the attitude of the team, but we were again haunted by the ghost of what we have seen since the start of the season,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“This is not the first time it has happened. We did not defend well enough in the final third, and we paid a heavy price. It is a self-inflicted defeat.”
According to Opta, Arsenal have committed seven errors leading to goals this season, the second most in the Premier League behind Everton (11).
Next up for the Gunners is an FA Cup third round clash with Hull City – a repeat of last year’s final, which the north Londoners won – and Wenger is ready to ring the changes.
“I will make a few changes, that is for sure,” said the Frenchman, who is expected to drop Szczesny following his gaffes against Southampton and start summer signing David Ospina instead.