The Gunners were casual all night long, and the Swedish side deserved their victory, although the 3-0 win from the first leg and a Sead Kolasinac goal was enough to see Wenger’s men through to the Europa League Round of 16.
Yet the manager’s message after the game was inconsistent with what we saw on the pitch, a team that is properly prepared doesn’t take the opposition for granted, whatever level they’re at, and ultimately that’s his job.
Speaking afterwards, he said, “We were not at the races in the first half. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals. Our energy was higher, our domination was consistent and we were in control in the second half.
In the first half we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.”
And yet, Wenger insisted his team should have been ready based on what they’d done pre-game.
“We prepared properly and in a serious way, but you have external circumstances such as the fact we won 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think you just have to turn up to win the game,” he said.
“Football doesn’t work like that. We played against a good side and it’s what you see in the FA Cup.
“Against all teams, you can be in trouble every time you’re not 100 per cent focused.”
The question is why weren’t the team focused, and also why we could do so little about it despite harsh words at half-time?
Arsenal will discover their Round of 16 opponents at noon today, and the potential list of teams we’ll face is right here.