Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn on his future but insisted he was determined to put things right after a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace heaped more pressure on the under-fire Arsenal manger.
Wenger’s contract is up in the summer and he has refused to comment on recent speculation that the club has offered him a new two-year deal, but this latest setback will act as more fuel for the vocal section of fans calling for him to go at the end of the season.
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A fifth win in six games has moved Palace six points clear of the drop zone while the Gunners stay seven points off the Champions League places and are now closer in points to their conquerors in 16th than Premier League leaders Chelsea.
“I’m disappointed and determined to put things right,” Wenger said. “Tonight the worry is not me, it’s the fact that we lost a big game and when you lose a big game it’s a big worry.
“It’s a difficult defeat but on top of that it has consequences on our chances to be in the top four.
“We understand that our fans are very unhappy.
“I have managed over a thousand games for Arsenal Football Club and we are not used to that and it’s a big worry. We have to respond very quickly and not accept it.”
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He added: “We created quite dangerous situations but defensively we were exposed many times and offensively we couldn’t finish.
“I think they were sharper than us in the duels and many decisive situations tonight. In the decisive duels I think they were stronger.”
Andros Townsend opened the scoring for Palace after 17 minutes in a first half dominated by the home side before five minutes of madness in the second half saw the Gunners beaten.
Yohan Cabaye converted Wilfried Zaha’s cross in the 63rd minute and shortly afterwards, Emiliano Martinez brought down Townsend in the box with Luka Milivojevic converting from the spot.
“It wasn’t a shock tonight in terms of our performance for me,” said Palace boss Sam Allardyce. “The result is a shock for everybody but the performance was there against Chelsea (when Palace won 2-1).
“We all know that they are in a poor spell of results for the first time for years. Every player, whether they’re a top player on not, feels the frailties of that when they’re not on the best of form and the best run of results and if you can take advantage of that, that’s fine.
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“The weaknesses with Arsenal have been defensively because they leave (Shkodran) Mustafi and and Gabriel really exposed, Monreal and Bellerin play like right and left wingers, the wingers come inside with the centre forward and they’re just left on their own.
“With the work rate and the determination of the team to to log on to Arsenal’s team when they lost possession, we had a lot of possession off them and created lots of chances.”
“We’ve got to keep ploughing on and pushing on and with this level of performance, if we continue, we’ll be okay.”