Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal fans to stay united behind the team after Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Stoke at the bet365 Stadium, insisting that his side dominated the game and were unlucky not to come away with the points.
New Stoke signing Jese scored just after half-time on his Potters debut to condemn the Gunners to their first defeat of the season, the 1-0 scoreline a stark contrast to Wenger's side's 4-3 thriller against Leicester just eight days previous.
Wenger: "We have 33 players at the moment and that's too many. I'm not thinking about buying players tonight."— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) August 19, 2017
Quoted by the Mirror, Wenger said: “Let’s not go overboard. We lost one game. I can understand that (negativity), but overall I believe there were a lot of positives in the game as well because we created many chances. We had great domination and unfortunately we dropped, I agree with you, three points.”
The Frenchman was also forced to defend his decision to drop Rob Holding for Shkodran Mustafi in a game which saw him start left-backs Nacho Monreal and Saed Kolasinac at centre-back - with right-back Hector Bellerin playing as an advanced left wing-back and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the opposite flank.
“We conceded three last week," Wenger said, "so I changed a bit because Mustafi came back and Holding had lost a little bit of confidence. Overall, centrally, we did quite well. When you lose a game, you lose a game, but we didn’t lose the game only today because of bad defending.
"On the goal, I agree with you, but when you have the number of chances we have away from home and you don’t score, you can always complain about the offence and defence.”
The north London side now sit three points behind runaway league leaders Manchester United with a goal difference already worse by eight goals following a pair of dominant 4-0 wins for Jose Mourinho's side to kick off the season.