Following Arsenal’s shock FA Cup defeat to Watford at the Emirates on Sunday, manager Arsène Wenger lamented his side’s inefficient possession in the final third, but insisted that they should be judged at the end of the season.
Arsenal’s incredible FA Cup run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Watford on Sunday. The Gunners went into the game chasing their third consecutive Wembley semi-final, but second-half goals from Odion Ighalo and Adlène Guédioura gave the home side a mountain to climb.
A late Danny Welbeck strike was not enough for Arsène Wenger’s men to force a replay, and the French manager expressed his disappointment at the Gunners’ wastefulness in possession following the defeat.
“We have to look at ourselves maybe on the first goal,” said the Arsenal manager (via ESPN FC). “The second goal was a fantastic shot and I felt it was a real cup game.
“We do not make enough of our possession in the final third. Watford is a team who is good on the break and they depend on Ighalo and Deeney. The defence kept with them and overall we did not give many chances away.”
The Frenchman also asked that his team be judged at the end of the season, insisting that they would keep fighting for the Premier League title till the end of the campaign. “What is going on at the moment is very, very difficult to take for the players, but judge us at the end of the season,” insisted Wenger.
“We have lost a game. We are sad and we want to focus on the next game. Arsenal has lost games before in history and we will lose again in the future. We will stick together and cope with it and prepare for the next one with complete belief.
“Supporters stand behind the club and we want to fight until the end of the season for every single game.”
Arsenal’s season could well have ended prematurely once again
The FA Cup exit means that Arsenal are out of the competition that was arguably their best chance of winning silverware this season — as has been the case in their previous two campaigns.
Wednesday’s Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie against FC Barcelona is unlikely to be anything but a mere formality given the Catalans’ 2-0 lead from the first leg. The Gunners also currently lie a sizeable eight points behind Premier League leaders Leicester City.
With away games against Everton, West Ham United and Manchester City still to come, Arsenal also have one of the toughest fixture schedules among the sides that are currently vying for the Premier League title. Calls for Wenger’s resignation from within the club’s fanbase has been growing stronger over recent weeks, and on the evidence of recent results, the legendary manager will have some difficult questions to answer come the end of the season.