Wenger targets home form improvement

Arsene Wenger accepts Arsenal must learn how to make the most of home advantage if they are to force themselves back into the Barclays Premier League title race after suffering a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Newcastle at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners failed to capitalise on Chelsea's loss at Liverpool when they were beaten by Andy Carroll's header just before the break, when goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski failed to collect a looping free-kick into the penalty area.



It was the newly-promoted Magpies' first win at Emirates Stadium, and a second home defeat already for Arsenal, who lost to West Brom before the international break.



The outcome, though, could have been different but for Tim Krul's fine save from Samir Nasri's drive when the game was goalless, while captain Cesc Fabregas, still showing the signs of a hamstring problem, saw his free-kick deflected onto the bar and Theo Walcott also struck the woodwork at the start of the second half.



A miserable afternoon was compounded by the dismissal of centre-back Laurent Koscielny in stoppage time for a professional foul as the Gunners suffered a second successive defeat, following their midweek Champions League loss away to Shakhtar Donetsk.



The performance left both Gunners fans and their manager with another sense of frustration.



"Our home form is a concern because against Birmingham and West Ham they were struggling wins," said Wenger, who admitted Robin van Persie was not really ready for a return to action after coming from the bench following his long injury lay-off.



"Everybody comes here and plays very tight. When you score the first goal it is all right because teams have to come out, but as long as they can sit deep we have a problem to play through when we are not on full power."



Wenger accepted his men were below par, but paid tribute to the visitors' resolve.



"We were never in full flow, but we played against a good Newcastle team who are a team of men, strong physically, mature," lamented the Arsenal manager.



"We did not look sharp and we never found any sharpness. We never found the second gear.



"Overall, though, I still believe we were very unlucky to lose the game, they had one shot on target. We hit the woodwork two or three times and their keeper made a very good save."



Wenger felt Fabianski could perhaps have done better with the goal.



"He didn't have a lot to do and I think he was a bit too confident to take this ball," said Wenger, who revealed Arsenal may consider an appeal against Koscielny's red card, the foul on substitute Nile Ranger coming near the touchline rather than in a central position.



"It was not a technical mistake, it was a problem of timing and he thought maybe he wouldn't be challenged."



Like goalscorer Carroll, Wenger had also been in the media spotlight ahead of this fixture following allegations about his private life.



However, the Arsenal manager would not be drawn on the controversy.



"I arrived 14 years ago and you know what happened and I promised myself I would never comment any more, because for 14 years I have been insulted everywhere in England, and never with any truth," Wenger said.



"I promised myself I would never speak about my private life any more."

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'