Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal struggle to defend set-pieces
Manager tells rearguard to take charge when defending set-pieces after late goal costs gunners at Wigan
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on his side to improve their defending from set-pieces after the gunners conceded from a corner late on to deny them victory against 10-man Wigan.
Arsenal missed the opportunity to go level on points with Manchester United at the top of the Premier League after Sebastien Squillaci headed into his own net as he attempted to stop Gary Caldwell scoring ten minutes from time. The Londoners had been leading 2-1 at the DW Stadium thanks to first-half goals from Andrey Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner after Ben Watson’s penalty had put the home side in front.
Wenger’s men -who also conceded from a Chelsea free-kick during their victory over their London rivals on Monday -have long been criticised for their defensive fragility and their tendency to concede from set-pieces, and the Arsenal boss believes the weakness is down to a lack of communication between the gunners’ rearguard.
Wenger said: “It looks like nobody takes charge of the organisation really and that’s something we need to communicate better. We need to be more alert on these kinds of corners.
“You can of course work on it in training but once you are on the pitch the communication is very important and sometimes when the focus drops a little bit somebody has to be aware of it.”
Wenger defended his decision to make eight changes to his Arsenal side’s starting line-up on Wednesday, insisting it is the only way to deal with the hectic festive fixture schedule. He said: “With all these matches we cannot play with the same team always – but I don’t think that was a problem. I don’t think it’s a shame – overall the draw was all right.”
Meanwhile, club captain Cesc Fabregas has criticised referees over their inconsistency after Arsenal appeared to be denied a late penalty against Wigan.
abregas, who was suspended for Wednesday’s clash, believes referee Lee Probert was wrong for not penalising James McArthur after Samir Nasri’s free kick clearly hit his hands in the last minute of the match.
The Spanish midfielder wrote on Twitter: “What’s the difference between this handball and my one versus Spurs? Referees don’t want us to complain about them but they make life difficult for themselves.
“I’m not complaining at all, I’m just saying why on the same thing some refs say it’s a penalty and some not. Is it a rule or just what they feel?”