Arsene Wenger calls on Arsenal to respond to Aston Villa defeat - starting against Fenerbahce in Champions League

The Gunners opened the season with a 3-1 home defeat

Manager Arsene Wenger believes how his squad respond to the opening day disaster against Aston Villa will shape their season.

The Gunners were booed off after they lost 3-1 at home to an industrious Villa side, finishing with 10 men following the dismissal of defender Laurent Koscielny for a second yellow card just minutes after he had conceded a controversial penalty.

Wenger was criticised by some home fans - with banners of "spend, spend, spend" and calls to splash the cash as frustrations around Emirates Stadium boiled over.

After failing to land any major summer transfer targets despite declarations by chief executive Ivan Gazidis the club were ready to escalate their financial firepower, with some £180million in the bank, it was hardly the ideal warm-up ahead of Wednesday night's first leg of a crucial Champions League play-off against Fenerbahce at the intimidating Sukru Saracoglu stadium.

Wenger, though, will use the next few days to focus on all things positive.

"There is always a lot of dangers in a team because it is a human activity multiplied by 25, the negativity can become quick and spread quickly," said Wenger, who saw defenders Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna as well as England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added to the injury list.

"It is the first game of the season and we want to bounce back.

"I believe our season will depend on how we respond to this defeat."

Wenger added: "After such a disappointing start that will be difficult, but we will bounce back because the spirit and the focus in the team is good.

"We missed chances, were unlucky and had injuries, roll the three together and it is a fragile position, but the difference between us and the rest is not massive."

Arsenal, who missed out on the signature of Gonzalo Higuain earelier this summer and have not been able to secure a deal for Luis Suarez with Liverpool, will have to make do with whatever side they can pull together next week, having now passed the UEFA deadline for registering new players.

Wenger, though, insists Arsenal's problems will not be solved by just simply spending for the sake of it.

"You can go up the Eiffel Tower and throw the money away, but you play with the players you have," he said.

"What is important is to rebuild the confidence of the team before Wednesday night.

"That is a massive game for us. In the next two or three days I will focus on that and let people around me work on the rest."

Wenger insists Arsenal remain an attractive proposition.

"The big players have gone to Monaco, but I think Arsenal is still more attractive than Monaco on a European level," he said.

"But that doesn't stop the players going to Monaco. It is the money, in this case. They don't go to Monaco to play the Champions League because they don't.

"I believe we are still a very attractive club for players."

The Gunners were already without the likes of midfielder Mikel Arteta as well as full-back Nacho Monreal and captain Thomas Vermaelen before what proved to be a bruising encounter against Villa.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was replaced at half-time with a knee problem.

"He is definitely out (for Wednesday)," said Wenger.

"We don't know how deep it is, but it is a bad injury."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future