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Mixed zone: Cook, Afobe and Arter all react to Arsenal defeat

Posted: Mon 08 Feb 2016

With two goals in two minutes securing the Gunners three points, the players passed though the mixed zone after the match to speak to the national press.

Steve Cook, Benik Afobe and Harry Arter all reflected after the Cherries suffered their first defeat in five games.

Cook on Bournemouth’s slow start and their spirited second half performance. 

“Unfortunately that five minute spell in the first half has ultimately cost us, and we are disappointed to have lost”, he said. 

“I thought first half we weren’t at our usual standard, but we got in at half time and knew we were still in with a chance. I felt if we got a quick goal in the second half we could take the game to Arsenal, as they’ve not won in a while. 

“The second half was much more of a Bournemouth performance. We pressed well, and put them under a lot of pressure. 

“We all worked our socks off, but we just couldn’t get that goal today. We can say we were a lot better than them in the second half, but they were two goals up. It was easy for them to just sit back and hit us on the counter. 

“You never want to lose a game, but we knew coming into the game, it would be one of the toughest fixtures of season. Arsenal are competing for the league, and if you make a half mistake against them you will get punished for it.

“In the Premier League you’re facing top quality players week in week out. We have been in the league for a couple of months now, so I think we are all ready to play and compete against top class players such as Sanchez and Ozil.”

Afobe on facing his former club and catching up with Arsene Wenger.

“I think the whole team are disappointed that we didn’t win the game, but for me it was a good experience to play against my former team," he started.

“I think we did well overall. The first half we were a little too quiet, and we gave them a little bit too much respect. The team were pleased with our second half performance, but unfortunately it was too little too late for us. 

“They scored two quick goals in the space of 5 minutes, and that’s enough for a team like Arsenal. They are all clever players, and as a team they are extremely hard to break down. It shows you why they are up there at the top of the league competing for the title.”

“I spoke to Arsène Wenger before the game, and he just wanted to wish me luck for the season. I wished him the same; he’s a really good person and manager. If they win the league it will be great for everyone associated with Arsenal. 

Arter on the game plan and AFC Bournemouth's chances of staying in the Barclays Premier League.

“The start of the game wasn’t as good as we would have wanted. We didn’t execute our game plan," he said.

“It was always going to be a tough game, we were paying against a world-class team. They have players who are seen as some of the best footballers in the world. 

“Before the game started we knew that if we weren’t on it from the start, we could find ourselves a couple of goals down, and unfortunately that’s what happened today.  

“After going two down, I thought we showed a great account of ourselves. On another day I think if we had got one a goal we could have really put them under pressure.  

“The manager gave us a game plan a while ago, and we’ve been working hard on it in training since last weekend. However football isn’t black and white, the game changes from time to time, and I think we just showed them too much respect. 

“Arsenal have quality players, all the way from the goalkeeper to their striker. We didn’t come into the league expecting and needing to beat teams like Arsenal. We don’t like to lose any game but realistically these are the games where if you do get anything from it, it’s a bonus. 

“Regardless who we are playing in the next few weeks, it’s vital that we still pick up points. We want safety as soon as possible. 

“The way things have gone recently, performance wise; I think we have a real good opportunity to stay in this league. If we don’t we will only have ourselves to blame.”

Words by Jack Clarke
Cherries Player HD subscribers can now see all of the post Arsenal reaction here.