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Wenger tries to stay positive

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20 Aug 2011 16:35:00

Wenger tries to stay positive

Arsene Wenger maintains everything at Arsenal is not "doom and gloom" despite the Gunners slumping to a 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool. Emmanuel Frimpong was sent off and centre-back Laurent Koscielny limped out injured in Saturday's Premier League encounter. Samir Nasri impressed for the Gunners, despite being expected to join Manchester City, but Arsenal's luck was out after Aaron Ramsey's own goal and a last-minute strike from substitute Luis Suarez handed the visitors victory. Wenger, who now has half his first-choice team out because of suspension or injury, must regroup his squad for next week's crucial Champions League play-off second leg in Udinese and the small matter of a trip to Manchester United. "We had eight players out and still had a good performance, so it is not all doom and gloom," Wenger said. "We live under circumstances where every defeat is an absolutely a disgrace and an earthquake. "We are very disappointed that we lost the game, but we are at the start of the season." With 20 minutes left, Arsenal were reduced to 10 men when Frimpong was shown a second yellow card after leaving his foot up in a 50-50 with Lucas, right in front of the referee. Liverpool snatched a fortunate lead after 78 minutes when, as substitute Luis Suarez - who had looked marginally offside - darted into the six-yard box, Ignasi Miquel's clearance cannoned off Ramsey's chest and back over the goalkeeper into the net. A miserable afternoon for the Gunners was compounded in the final minute when Suarez tapped in from close range following a quick counter-attack. Arsenal fans again chanted for Wenger to invest in more talent to add depth to the squad. "The target is to have a good team and good players. You can spend money and have a bad team," the Gunners boss said. "You want the supporters to be happy and when you don't win the game you can understand that they are not. "For now it is important for us to lift the players because they are very disappointed today. "We need to give them credit for their attitude and performance today, in the game it is very harsh to lose it the way we did." Wenger added: "Frimpong was a victim of his lack of experience and of his enthusiasm and heart. "He deserved a second yellow card, he should not have gone into that challenge." Nasri - whose £22million deal to City is, according to reports on French TV, said to have broken down - did not applaud the crowd as the teams came out of the tunnel, and was then jeered by some sections of the Emirates Stadium faithful when his name was announced. However, the midfielder produced a composed display, and was unfortunate not to see his mazy first-half run rewarded with a goal when a 25-yard effort flew wide. Wenger maintained he knew nothing of whether Nasri's move to City was still on, or whether he would select the midfielder again, and so cup-tie him, for the Champions League play-off on Wednesday night. "I always said that I would try to keep Samir Nasri and I have never changed my mind on it because I played him today," Wenger said. "He loves the club, he wants to play for us, if we decide to sell him we will do it and we have to stand up for it. "At the moment I am happy he is here." Liverpool had not won at Arsenal since 2000, but were just about good value for their victory this afternoon having enjoyed the better of the chances, Andy Carroll's towering header bringing a fine save from Wojciech Szczesny. Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has spent millions as he looks to reinvigorate the Anfield club, and believes that investment is paying off. "I think we deserved a goal. That's why I say the squad is better than last year. This is a great example of how strong the squad is," he said. "Overall in the game we probably just deserved to win. Dalglish can empathise with the difficulties facing Wenger. The Liverpool manager said: "Sometimes you go through stages in the season when it goes better than at other times. "Arsenal are a fantastic football club and Arsene Wenger has done an unbelievable job here. "I suppose they've had better times than they've had recently, but it's not for us to pass any judgement on that."


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