Arsene Wenger Calls For Perspective And Backs Arsenal Despite West Ham Defeat

Arsene Wenger says there is no reason Arsenal’s opening-day defeat should stop them having “a strong season”.

West Ham’s 2-0 win at the Emirates pricked the optimism of a flawless pre-season capped by victory over champions Chelsea in the Community Shield.

But ahead of this weekend’s Super Sunday trip to Crystal Palace, Wenger has called for “perspective” and challenged his side to respond at Selhurst Park.

He said: “We have a big following and disappointed people are emotional, that is understandable and it hurts us as well to disappoint people who have a high level of expectation.

“We have analysed what happened to us, but we don’t have to go overboard with what happened. It is a defeat and it hurts, but that shouldn’t take our belief in our potential away.

“A strong season is down to the way that you respond to disappointment so we will focus on our next game. We will prepare for that.

“Every defeat makes you a bit smaller, but it is our job to take it in perspective with 37 games to go.”

Petr Cech’s debut performance against West Ham was widely criticised after he was beaten to a free-kick for Cheikhou Kouyate’s opener and then allowed a Mauro Zarate shot inside his near post.

Wenger put the first error down to “wanting to save the team in a situation where the defending was not great” and said: “He is a great goalkeeper and needs to focus on the next one. He analyses it very well, he is a bright player, a bright man.”

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