Wenger critical of Arsenal defending

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described his side’s defending as ‘too soft’ after they slipped to a disappointing defeat away to Stoke City on Saturday, the Independent has reported.

The Potters took the lead after only 19 seconds when Peter Crouch shot into the net from close range after Calum Chambers had failed to deal with a cross from the right, which was the same avenue from which the second goal came about, as Bojan Krkic latched on to a Jonathan Walters delivery with a classy finish.

Irishman Walters made it 3-0 before half-time as he smashed a loose ball home following a poorly defended corner, and although Arsenal fought back in the second half as Santi Cazorla converted a penalty and Aaron Ramsey volleyed low past Asmir Begovic from a corner, they fell to a fourth defeat in the Premier League this season.

And Wenger, who also saw Chambers sent off for two yellow cards, blamed a poor start for his side’s defeat. He said: “Stoke started strongly and we were not decisive enough in the defensive challenges.

“From then on we gave them an early present. We put a lot of energy into the game and in the second half we had good opportunities to come back but we couldn’t. Overall we put a lot of energy into this game, like we have always done recently, but unfortunately we missed our start. When we started to respond it was late in the game.

“They started strong, you have to give them credit for that. We were a bit inexperienced at the back. We couldn’t play [Koscielny] or Monreal and altogether we were a bit soft to cope with what they offered us.”

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