Wenger: Almunia was as poor as anyone
Arsene Wenger feels it would be wrong to single out Manuel Almunia for the humiliating result against West Brom on Saturday.
Arsenal’s much-maligned goalkeeper seemed to have redeemed some confidence as he caused and then boldly saved a penalty kick which was awarded to the Baggies late in the first half.
But Almunia – shades of Barcelona’s visit to the Emirates last term – then conceded two goals in quick succession after the restart and partly presented West Brom’s third.
In truth, every defender in front of the Spaniard was as culpable for today’s horror show, but while Almunia did his reputation more harm to fans, Wenger refused to let out any direct criticism.
“You can have question marks about many players today if you look at the performance, especially the defensive one. Many players made massive mistakes defensively.”
“I do not want to come out on any individual performances because we were collectively poor. You could single out a few players who have made mistakes.”
The Frenchman made nine changes to the side which began the Carling Cup clash at White Hart Lane with Diaby back from injury while Eboue enjoyed a rare start in midfield.
Despite all those line-up alterations, the Gunners appeared short of energy as West Brom capitalized on a spineless display from Wenger’s men.
And the manager himself made no excuses after the final whistle on Saturday.
“Overall it was a poor team performance and we have to analyse why and make sure we respond well because we have had good performances since the start of the season.”
“It is the first real bad performance and it is unexplainable how bad the whole thing looked for the whole game.”