Walcott: They wanted it more from the first whistle

Monday night's defeat on the road following 3-1 losses at the hands of West Brom and Liverpool in March, as well as Chelsea in February.

Carragher, who had earlier criticised the latest meek performance from Arsenal, was appalled by Walcott's admission that he felt from the start of the game that Palace wanted it more.

Faced with the prospect of missing out on the Champions League for the first time since 1997, Wenger has hardly helped his cause by refusing to confirm if he will sign an extension to the contract which runs out at the end of the season.

He said: "You look at Griezmann this summer, he's available but you know he's only going to go to Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City because he'll probably cost around the £80million mark and he'll go on to over £200,000 (a week) wages". Palace were the better side by a country mile on the night, but the sad reality for the visitors is that it's not that much of a shock in what has been a thoroughly poor season all round for the Gunners. "You come here with the hope of winning the game". They are extremely disappointed and I can understand that, like we all are, but Crystal Palace were sharper than us. Allardyce's tactics have not always been the most subtle but under his stewardship Palace have become formidable opponents - particular at their raucous Selhurst Park ground.

"It's not the right moment to analyse the game". I think we had a lot of the ball, we had a lot of possession, and I think we won many second balls as well.

GS: But why do you think you were unable to change things? "They were stronger in the decisive duels, especially Benteke tonight".

What was said at half time? "Everything worked perfectly for us today", said Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce. It's damaging, of course. "It's damaging of course but top four is hard for us, it is a hard defeat and it has consequences on our chances to be in the top four".

That drew a smile because he must've been expecting it for over three minutes.

"But I can not go on forever after a game like that, I'm disappointed and determined to put things right".

"The biggest thing was letting the fans down tonight", Walcott said via his club's official website. "He (Wenger) is a great man in my opinion".

Palace would go on to earn a convincing 3-0 win over the Gunners, with a large section of Arsenal fans calling for Wenger to go as the game drew to a close, but still the former Monaco boss sidestepped questions over his future.

  • Julie Sanders