Wenger urges unconvincing Arsenal to respond to West Ham loss

“There are no excuses for that, we have to do well in the Premier League”.


Petr Cech suffered a nightmare English Premier League (EPL) debut for Arsenal as the goalkeeper’s costly blunder condemned the Gunners to a shock 2-0 defeat by West Ham yesterday.

Cech’s rash charge allowed Cheikhou Kouyate to head West Ham in front from debutant Dimitri Payet’s 43rd-minute free-kick and the Czech international’s slowness to get down saw him beaten at his near post from 25 yards by Mauro Zarate shortly before the hour. It’s not easy to minimize their game.

Wenger also said that signings were not necessarily the answer.

Cech’s dismal debut was especially galling after he was hailed as the solution to Arsenal’s long-standing goalkeeping problems.

However, the 33-year-old was badly at fault when he failed to punch the ball clear while rushing off his line. The concentration and organisation was not there from the set-piece -too far from our goal, too much distance to run into, we killed ourselves. We had a good preparation and that should give us the needed confidence.

“It was a collective lapse”. This was a man who was already looking frustrated on the sidelines during the first half as he watched his team opt to shoot when they should have passed, waste the ball and generally not do many things well.

“I can’t see many individual convincing performances today so it’s hard to single someone out”. It’s hard to see beyond that.

Cech has been Wenger’s only major signing since the end of last season and, earlier in the week, he was keen to distance himself from links with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

Arsenal toiled in the sunshine at Emirates Stadium, dominating possession but lacking ideas against a West Ham side that has been playing competitive pre-season football in the Europa League under new manager Slaven Bilic.

“We are all very pleased and it is great start for us. When you’re a pro footballer, you have to face your responsibilities and not always look at something else”, said Wenger after the West Ham loss. “Then they know it works”.


West Ham started with 16-year-old Reece Oxford in midfield, while Olivier Giroud was given the nod in the hosts’ attack ahead of Theo Walcott, and Alexis Sanchez made a surprise appearance on the bench following his return from holiday after Chile’s Copa America victory.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho lower centre left celebrates with teammates after scoring against Stoke