Arsene Wenger accepts his side lack mental "maturity" - but challenged them to bounce back from their FA Cup exit by beating Bayern Munich.
The Gunners' campaign suffered another setback yesterday when a scrappy second-half goal from former trainee Colin Kazim-Richards sent them crashing out at home against Blackburn, despite having plenty of chances to put the tie beyond the npower Championship side.
It was far from ideal preparation for next week's crunch Champions League visit from the imperious Germans - and Wenger accepts his men need to take a long hard look at their mindset.
"I think we have a great team, but this shows that we still have to show more maturity on the mental front. We have to understand what it means to win big games, and this was a big game for me," said Wenger, who suffered FA Cup defeat at the hands of lower league opposition for the first time.
"I am the first to stand up and say I am responsible for the team selection, but that is not an excuse: if we cannot beat Blackburn like that, I don't think it is down to the selection of the team.
"The top level is about consistency in every single game and that is what we could not show.
"Coming after the Sunderland game we came out with a flat performance and that shows that, mentally, we are not capable at the moment of preparing in exactly the same way for every game.
"Maybe they still thought 'okay, we are playing at home against Blackburn, it will be difficult, but we will win the game anyway' - it doesn't work like that."
Arsenal now face an uphill battle to end their eight-season trophy drought, with any hopes of a sustained challenge in the Barclays Premier League long over.
"It is (always) vital for us to fight for silverware, but unfortunately this one will not happen for us now and we can only look at ourselves and not complain about anything else," Wenger added.
"Now it is vital for the end of our season that we respond in a strong way on Tuesday night."
At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Wenger had suggested were Arsenal to come through over two legs against the runaway Bundesliga leaders - runners-up to Chelsea in Europe last season - then they would gain the confidence to go on and win the competition.
However, after yesterday's shock defeat he stressed: "Just now it would be a bit pretentious to say that [we can win the Champions League], but you never know.
"We have to give it a good shot on Tuesday night and see where we stand afterwards.
"The players are really hurt, but now you have to take it on the chin and come back with a strong response. That is all we can do."
Midfielder Jack Wilshere, who came on as a substitute with 20 minutes to go, just before Blackburn scored, cut a forlorn figure at the final whistle.
The England international, though, maintains the squad have no option but to pick themselves up and raise themselves for another stern character test in just a couple of days.
"We know what this trophy means in England and we wanted to go all the way, but now we have got to regroup," he said.
"We have got a big game on Tuesday and we need everyone behind us.
"We have beaten big European teams here before so we need to do that again."
Wilshere feels Arsenal can draw on the progress made by Chelsea last year, despite their inconsistent Premier League displays.
"Chelsea weren't having a good season and they got a bit lucky in some games, but showed great character. We need to do that now and come together as a team," he added.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
Sorry Arsene but you are deluding yourself and cheating the fans by saying you have a quality team. Hope you don't get relegated because this lot don't have the bottle to get out of the championship. You need a goalie and a couple of centre backs...and English ones !!
Xenophobia ! Yeah cos Vieira and Petit weren't any good were they!
Oh for goodness sake the manager has finally realised him and his team of dross are a complete waste of time and wsges this side dnt even deserve 2b in the prem league its getin harder 2 keep the faith wit afc week on week sumat has 2 b dun
Oh are you for real then just boo them another fickle fan go and watch spurs then they've won 1 trophy in 20 years what's arsene won for you you ungrateful lot and not just won but won in style support your team like Liverpool do and then you may beat Bayern like we beat Swans yesterday
Oh im sorry i musta missed wen we won sumat since oh yes i remember 2005 iv always supported them an always will but i dnt havta blindly follow the belief that aw is the best 4 afc an i reckon even he hasta realise he had problems hence no contract disc i reckon the onli scoutin he is doin is another managers job in france
Arsenal has bunch of soft footed footballers with wages they do not deserve, Living highlife in London could be the problem that they cannot kick the ball in to the net. move to Manchester area, Northern footballers doing well
Stop living in the clouds and get a new manager.
Oh people get real if they played that game another 99 times arsenal would have won I bet they go and beat Hayden now and you fickle fans will. E going on to say we can win the European cup now ! Be careful what you wish for Wenger is your greatest ever manager and this is how you treat him take it from a Liverpool fan who wishes Rafa was still with us but would never boo Rodgers reds
Id say 2 that wat xactley has he dun every other team moves fward wenger is living on past plaudits iv respect 4 the man but id have more if he wud change afc and his attitude as 2 winnin he keeps makin xcuses they aint needed make a team that wins sumat not just turn up
Darryl Edwards...didn't think Viera and Petit played in the back four ! Maybe you know something the rest of us don't. Adams and Keown did though and Seaman did too...all English
For today so far. Farandonney (14/1) and Supa Seeker (15/2) both EW 2.10. Shockingdancer (Nap) took 9/2 mow 6/4 but may be a better price a some stage from the course betting. all at Wolverhampton.
16 years of continuous champs league knockout stages and your pinIng for the kick and rush football of the george graham days oh my lord ??? Yes you can change and go backwards into 5th 6th and 7th !!! Youve played consistently the best brand of football this past 8 years you ungrateful lot !!! Yes I realise Petit Nd Vieira weren't centre backs but you have ball playing centre backs just because of their passports saying British Dyou think Cahill lescott jagielka Upson would do any better I don't !!! Be careful what you wish for Arsenal fans you have no divine right to win a place in the top 4 every year this guy is your best bet at the mOment !!! Support your team and your players feeling that support may not make so many school boy errors don't be like Chavski fans