Wenger gave his latest Press Conference following the defeat to Blackburn. Here it is in full, with everything that was said.
Q: Can you explain the team selection?
A: “We had 11 international players on the pitch at the start of the game, and when we made the changes we were 0-0.”
Q: How disappointing was their performance then given that was 11 international players?
A: “Well, we had a lot of the ball. They defended well and I believe we had 70% of the time the ball, we had 16 shots at goal, they had 1 shot at goal. For us it’s a typical cup game, it was important not to concede and keep a clean sheet. I think we made a massive mistake on the goal and a game like that was down to keep a clean sheet and score in the final 15 minutes.”
Q: What was the mistake on the goal?
A: “I do not want to go too much in detail, but I believe we were really guilty on the goal.”
Q: You lost to Bradford before now, now Blackburn, how do you explain this happening?
A: “If you look well at the Premier League teams that have gone out against the lower leagues, you will see that it happened to many teams. We were not good enough today to win the game, it’s as simple as that.”
Q: Is it acceptable that this happens twice in one season?
A: “Not one defeat is acceptable. You are in this job to win every single game.”
Q: Did you hear the fans reaction at the end and is there something you’d like to say to them?
A: “I can understand. You do not want your fans to be happy when you lose against Blackburn at home when the team has one shot on goal. What do you expect?”
Q: In your long career at Arsenal, where does this rank in terms of disappointments?
A: “It is very painful and very disappointing to lose a game like that, but what is important now is to get that behind us and focus on the next one.”
Q: Is it more worrying now that in 2 cup competitions you’ve had a chance and failed to take them?
A: “Of course it’s disappointing, you think we are happy with that? Of course it’s very disappointing, it’s very difficult to accept. It’s a kind of today it happened, we had plenty enough chances to win the game like that, we didn’t. I think offensively we lacked ruthlessness, calm in front of goal, we didn’t make enough of our offensive corners and at the end of the day we were vulnerable on one mistake.”
Q: Is this your worst ever season at Arsenal, Arsene?
A: “The season is not over. For you, maybe. Not for me.”
Q: Does it help having such a big game, so quickly?
A: “I think it’s important to focus on our next game. It’s a good opportunity to show that we have character and that we are men who can fight for each other in our next game, and that’s all you can do. All the rest, take a distance with what people think and say, and show how strong and good you are in the next game.”
Q: How difficult is it to lift the team?
A: “It’s not difficult, it is our job. If we feel sorry for ourself, we would be completely wrong. We have a massive game on Tuesday night, and we have to show that we have some response in the team.”
Q: You’ve lost for the first time against lower league opposition in the two cups, is this a sign of a decline of the club under your management?
A: “I leave you all the headlines and definite thinking. Football is much more unpredictable than that. I believe first of all, sixteen years without losing against a lower league, nobody has done it. So that means until now the record has been quite good. It’s very disappointing that two happened in the same season, I agree with you. I prepared these two in exactly the same way as I did in the former sixteen years. If you lose a game people will be very unhappy, I am as well, don’t worry.”