'We do not win the big games': Arsene Wenger admits concern over recent Arsenal results

Arsenal have lost to Manchester City and Chelsea recently

Arsene Wenger called on his players to show him what they are made of after admitting he has become concerned by Arsenal's poor recent form.

Wenger's name was synonymous with success in the English game at the start of his reign, yet Arsenal have hit the rocks in recent years.

The Frenchman has not won a trophy in seven-and-a-half years and his team currently languish in sixth, seven points behind fourth-place Tottenham and 22 points behind leaders Manchester United.

Wenger, whose team have won just half of their home games this term, admitted today that morale in the Arsenal camp was low following their latest reverse - a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.

Wenger concedes his team's failure to deliver in big matches is a concern, and has called on the squad to bounce back with a win in tomorrow's London derby against West Ham.

"What is worrying is just that we do not win the big games. The position we are in now is a bit backs to the wall," Wenger told a press conference.

"We have to respond. I'm confident that we will but the team was very down after the Chelsea game.

"Tomorrow is a very important game for us. We have to transform the potential we have shown in the (last) two games into points and tomorrow is a good opportunity to do it."

Wenger bristled at accusations his players do not have the same heart as Arsenal icons such as Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira and Martin Keown.

"They care as much, if not more," a defiant Wenger said.

And having watched Arsenal overturn a 10-point deficit to beat Spurs to third last year, Wenger insists the current gap between Arsenal and their most bitter rivals this season is not as bad as many people would make out.

"The difference in points mathematically is not dramatic, but the consistency of our performances within games is what is worrying," Wenger added.

"When you see how we played in the first half (at Chelsea), and how we played in the second half it is difficult to believe that we are the same team. That is more worrying for me."

Although Arsenal fans generally support Wenger, the Frenchman's perceived stubbornness in the transfer market often grates them.

Wenger, who is understood to have a sizeable transfer kitty at his disposal, has been linked with moves for Yoann Gourcuff, Mohamed Diame, David Villa and Wilfried Zaha, yet despite the window having been open for 22 days, no new faces have been added to the squad.

Wenger sidestepped questions about a move for Lyon's Gourcuff, but hinted that midfield was an area he is looking to strengthen.

Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta are out of tomorrow's game while doubts remain over the long-term fitness of Abou Diaby.

"We have (an issue in defensive midfield)," Wenger said.

"It is a position where we are short. We are short when Arteta is not there because he is a player with a lot of experience, he gives us stability and you could see that in the last two (Premier League) games (when Arteta has been out). It is a position where we are a bit vulnerable at the moment."

One of the options Wenger appears to be considering is lining up a move for the man who has impressed in the engine room of tomorrow's opposition.

Diame joined the Hammers on a free transfer last summer, but the midfielder has attracted interest after it emerged that he has a £3.5million release clause in his contract.

"He has a great presence in the games. I've seen him in games where he's had a big impact," Wenger said of Diame.

"They have many players who can be dangerous, but he can drive the midfield."

One player who Wenger denied he was ever interested in is Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, who is reportedly close to signing for Manchester United.

"We were never in for Zaha," Wenger added.

"If he goes to Manchester United, good luck to him."

PA

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick