Arsene Wenger has blamed complacency for the loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League last night. Former Gunners star Eduardo scored the winner in the Ukranian’s 2-1 victory, after Theo Walcott had seemingly got the north Londoners off to a flier, but an own goal from Craig Eastmond preceeded the Croatian international’s winner to deal Arsenal their first loss in the competition this season.
According to The Guardian, Wenger said in a rare public criticism of his own team: “I don’t want to speak about individual performances because I don’t think anyone was outstanding. It is a missed opportunity, especially as we were there with a draw. It was good to score the first goal but I believe it was a lack of maturity to make sure we focus 100%. We were not completely sharp and we were punished.”
Surprise at RvP call-up.
Wenger has also expressed his “surprise” at Robin van Persie’s call-up to the Dutch national side, despite only recently returning to training following an ankle injury. There were rumours last month that Holland coach Bert van Marwijk had plans to include the Arsenal star, but Frenchman Wenger denied that his inclusion would be possible. However, following the naming of the squad, van Persie is in there.
According to ESPN, Wenger said: “He has not played with us, not trained and I am quite surprise that he was named [in the Dutch squad].” The situation could spark a club-vs-country row, as Wenger has been an open critic of the demands of international football in the past.
Gunners chase Vrsaljko.
It has been confirmed that Arsenal are among the host of clubs hoping to capture the signature of Croatian youngster Sime Vrsaljko. The teenage defender has been getting top reviews playing for Prava HNL champions Dinamo Zagreb, and according to givemefootball.com his club’s vice-president Zdravko Mamic said: “everybody wants Sime Vrsaljko. I can tell you, that he is followed by Manchester United and also City, Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham, by everybody!”
However, Mamic also insists the club have no intentions of selling the 18-year-old starlet, though Arsene Wenger’s dealings with Zagreb in the past could put the Gunners in a strong position – it was from Dinamo that Arsenal signed Eduardo in 2007.