Friday 23 February 2018

We're not out of it yet, insists defiant Wilshere

Jack Wilshere reacts after the defeat
Jack Wilshere reacts after the defeat

Jack Wilshere lamented Arsenal's poor start after the crushing defeat against Bayern Munich at the Emirates.

"We didn't start great and against good teams you get punished," the England midfielder said.

"In the second half we stepped it up and showed we could play but it's unfortunate we didn't do that in the first half. We could have got one with (Olivier) Giroud but it was a good save and they nicked another one.

"It'll be tough away but we're not out of it yet."

On Monday, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had hit out at critics of him and his side following their FA Cup exit at home to Blackburn, but there was to be no redemption as the Germans were superior in every department.

Wilshere refused to lay blame on the Frenchman, however, adding: "I don't think it's anything to do with the manager.

"It's down to us to perform. A manager can put us on the pitch and motivate us, but we have to do it when we're on the pitch and at the moment we're starting badly and getting punished for it.

"I think the players will take responsibility, we're man enough to take it. The boss has been here for 16 years and he's been doing a great job so you can't question him."

Wenger acknowledged Bayern's strong start was pivotal and was quick to praise the visitors for a magnificent display.

"The first shot on goal they scored and after that I felt we were a bit nervous defensively and we played against a team with a lot of class as well," he said.

"In the first half they played much better than us.

"In the second half we came back with better spirit, better domination, back to 2-1 and it looked more like it would finish 2-2, but again we were caught on one of their counter-attacks by a team who has quality and initiative. Congratulations to Bayern."

Wenger has not given up hope that Arsenal can still reach the quarter-finals but knows they face an arduous task.

"Let's not hide the truth, it will be very difficult but we will try to make the impossible possible," he added. "We have to go over there and play completely like we play at home. The third goal makes it very different but we have to try."

Irish Independent

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