Arsenala s Arsene Wenger said that the defeat against Monaco was more hurtful than the criticism afterwards.

Talking in his press conference before the weekend game against Everton in the EPL, Arsene said it was important that Arsenal responded well on Sunday.

a For us what is important is to respond well,a Arsene said. a We are on a strong run in the Premier League and we have to respond to that disappointment in a strong way on Sunday afternoon – thata s all we can do.

a We are back in the top three in the Premier League, we have an opportunity to stabilise this position and we want to take it.

a What is frustrating is that wea ve gone out in the last 16 [of the Champions League] in the last four years but twice against the future winner of the competition. This time we are still not out. We are still in the competition – we have a difficult task but ita s still feasible.

a We are a big club – that means we are a club who interest many people and that gives us a stronger responsibility. Of course when you come out from a disappointing game like Wednesday night, you dona t expect people to applaud. Ita s absolutely normal that we get criticised.

a What is hurting is the defeat more than the criticism. I do not say Ia m immune to it. I love to win and when I dona t win, Ia m hurt of course.a

Arsene also said that Giroud as disappointed as anyone else on missing the scoring opportunities.

a Olivier is like everybody else – disappointed,a Arsene said. a Therea s nobody to blame individually. Who is a striker who didna t miss a chance?

a He had his chances and he missed. For us on the night, everything went against us. The fact that we missed some chances was only one of the characteristics of the night.

a Olivier’s a strong character. Personally I dona t blame him at all. We lost as a team, we fight for each other as a team and he worked hard for the team even on the night. He didna t miss the chances on purpose. He wanted to score the goals but that can happen.a

Arsenal fans would certainly hope that Arsene can ensure that the team puts behind their disappointment in the Champions League and concentrate on the league campaign, especially since the fight for the top 4 places has become intense. Keeping their 3rd place would be extremely important if they are to avoid having to start next season once again unsure whether they will go through the qualifiers and into the group stage.