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Sep 17, 2011

Wenger worried over Arsenal form

Arsene Wenger knows that Arsenal have endured a dismal start to the season and accepts that continued speculation over his future is inevitable.

Arsenal have been in a rebuilding period after the loss of key players and the 8-2 defeat at Manchester United but, after a victory over Swansea and a draw at Borussia Dortmund, they collapsed to a 4-3 defeat at Blackburn on Saturday.

The defeat - which included own goals from Alex Song and Laurent Koscielny - marks Arsenal's worst start since Wenger's arrival in 1996 and the Gunners have conceded more goals than any other side in the league.

Wenger said: "It is terrible. It is just not good enough. Of course we are very frustrated - the spirit in the team is quite willing but if you look at the number of goals we have conceded that is not good enough.

"You cannot come here and concede four goals the way we did today. On the other hand I believe that the group will take off but it's important that we get quick results."

He added: "You cannot say you have no worry when you see the performance we have put in today. It's just not defensively solid enough when you are 2-1 in front against Blackburn and you know if you are solid enough defensively you will score goals.

"It's not all negative today. That's, in fact, the frustrating thing as well. At the moment we do not have the capability to focus defensively to win games like that. It is important you do not give cheap goals away like that.

"Overall we created many chances, even in the second half but we had a lack of focus on what we knew they were strong at - corners, free-kicks. Overall we lost a game where we scored six goals and that's quite disappointing."

There were questions raised over Wenger's future after the defeat at Old Trafford and he knows there will be further doubts in the wake of this latest shock.

"Speculation is part of modern life," he said. "What can I do about that? My future is focusing on what I do well and that means giving my best for the club. I have no influence on the speculation."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean - who had yet to win a game this season - was facing serious questions about his own future before kick-off, with around 200 fans protesting at Ewood Park.

Kean said: "I have said I was disappointed with that. The most important thing is 99% of the fans didn't demonstrate and hopefully even the 1% that did will go home happy.

"I don't mean to be bullish but I can only reiterate the backing I have had from the owners and the players. You don't play like that if you have any type of split or division in the dressing room. We feel the criticism we have had has been a little bit unfair."

Arsenal were leading the game 2-1 at half-time and Kean told his players to get stuck in to spark the comeback.

"At half-time I told the lads they were giving them too much respect and needed to get closer to them," he said. "We really showed what we were all about then, digging in and being very effective on the break.

"I might sound like a broken record but our performances have been good, and last time we were at home, against Everton, we should have got all three points."

Yakubu scored a brace on his debut and Kean said: "The Yak brings experience and know-how and he's clever. People have a go at him for not moving but he's saving his energy and then when he does go he's very effective."

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