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Wenger admits Arsenal lacked fight after Everton defeat

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Sunday, April 6, 2014
4:42 PM

Arsene Wenger has admitted that his Arsenal side lacked fight in their 3-0 defeat to Everton.

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The Gunners used to be the beacon of passing, attacking football, but the Toffees’ dominance hinted at a shift in power towards the Merseyside outfit.

Steven Naismith opened the scoring after 14 minutes with Romelu Lukaku doubling the score 20 minutes later.

Mikel Arteta put through his own net on the hour mark to seal the victory for the Merseyside outfit and the Frenchman admitted himself worried by the performance.

Wenger said: “Was there a lack of fight? You could say that. It is a massive worry to lose a game like that.

“We have to analyse it well and come back with a different attitude, with more personality and stronger challenges. We have to go back to basics.”

The defeat hands Everton the advantage in the battle to finish fourth and Wenger admitted that his side will find it difficult to retain their Champions League spot.

“I am absolutely 100 per cent determined to fight to make the top four but it will be difficult,” he added.

“We have still a programme that is feasible. We have to first focus on the quality of our performances before we dream of places.

“Let’s get back to playing better than that.”

It’s not the first time Arsenal have been on the receiving end of a drubbing away from home.

They were beaten 6-3 by Manchester City, 5-1 by Liverpool and 6-0 by Chelsea before this heavy defeat at Goodison Park.

There have been suggestions that fear is holding back the Gunners and Wenger is unsure what the problem is.

“I don’t know. It is very difficult to identify that it is fear,” he said. “Our big team defeats away from home have taken something of our charisma from the team.

“Is that belief? Is it fear? Is it confidence?”

He added: “Until [the defeat to Liverpool] we were very strong away from home.

“We had the best record away and we have lost a lot of confidence.

“Today we went behind early. Everton were very good on counter attacks.

“We had a lot of the ball and were not really dangerous.

“Everton defended well and at the moment we lack a bit of confidence to be dangerous and lack penetration as well.

“You feel from outside that the penetration and incisiveness of our games is missing.”

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