David Pleat conceded we were second best in a costly first half performance in Friday's 3-1 defeat at Everton.
All the damage was done in the first 45 minutes at Goodison Park. Everton bossed it and goals from David Unsworth, Gary Naysmith and Joseph Yobo left us reeling at 3-0 down.
We restored some pride in the second half, Stephen Carr pulled a goal back but just as things were looking up slightly, the full-back was sent off for a second bookable offence and now misses Arsenal as one of a three-match ban.
"The first 30 minutes were very poor," said a disappointed David at Goodison. "We didn't stay with the game and Everton's passion and aggression early on set the whole mood of the game in their favour.
"You can have the best players in the world - I saw it happen to Real Madrid in midweek - if you can't stay with the game, if you can't match the other team for drive, then you'll be second best.
"We did not cope with the drive of Everton and when we got possession of the ball we gave it away. Combine the two and we were second best in the first half. It was a very poor first half display."