'It was pathetic' - Sam Allardyce with the most stinging criticism you will hear from any manager this season
Everton manager Sam Allardyce admitted he was 'very, very angry' after his side's woeful first-half performance against Arsenal paved the way for a 5-1 hammering at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal's revamped forward line featuring new signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan looked impressive as a hat-trick from Aaron Ramsey, and additional goals from Laurent Koscielny and Aubameyang eased the Gunners to a comfortable win.
Yet it was Allardyce's post-match comments that will grabed the headlines, as he pulled few punches in lambasting his team.
“It was a disaster, a pathetic first performance,” declared the Everton manager. “I think I have a lot of trouble with the players taking onto the pitch what we asked them to do. The consistency level has been a worry since that burst when I came in.
“The fact we can perform at that level against Leicester then dip so low in the first 45 minutes against Arsenal.
“The longer and longer I go on, the players are showing so much inconsistency that I face an uphill battle trying to get them to play at their best week in, week out. It was a pathetic first-half performance.
“It doesn’t matter what system I pick, it’s about players playing to their best. You can show them but it’s up to the players.
“I’m not frustrated, I’m angry, very angry at the players performing to that level. It's unacceptable.”
Allardyce may well look to make changes to his line-up after a team performance that left him with lingering concerns, with his opposite number Arsene Wenger expressing alternative emotions as he delighted in the a fresh look to his Arsenal side.
“It is very early, but the new players look to have the quality to integrate into the game we want to play,” said Wenger. “They are quick, have sharp movement and agile and want the ball. It is very good and positive signs.
“It’s exciting, but this is one game and we have to build from here. We have some important games against Tottenham and Man City next and we have to show we can continue this form.
“I want to qualify for the Champions League through the Premier League, that’s why the games in front of us is so important.”
Bigger tests lie ahead of Arsenal in upcoming games against Tottenham and Manchester City, but it is the fall-out of this performance from Everton that will be worth following in the next few days.