Bob Bradley felt Swansea City showed Arsenal too much respect as they suffered a 3-2 loss at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Theo Walcott pounced on defensive errors to put Arsenal two goals up, but Gylfi Sigurdsson halved the deficit before half-time with a fine strike.
After Mesut Ozil and Borja Baston found the net, Granit Xhaka was shown a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Modou Barrow with 20 minutes remaining.
Swansea were unable to find an equaliser and could have fallen further behind with Walcott striking the woodwork twice in the closing stages.
While Bradley felt there were positives to take despite suffering defeat in his first match at the helm, his team’s initial approach let him down.
“It was an exciting game, but we didn’t finish the way we wanted. I didn’t like our start. We were slow to step out and gave them too much space,” said Bradley in his post-match news conference after the Premier League clash.
“That coincided with two goals for them, but we also saw moments where we pressed well. In some ways we showed too much respect but we kept going, we kept at it and in the end I’m disappointed.
“The feeling among the players is that we had a good week of training and if we can take the best points from today into the next 30 matches then we have a good chance.”
Bradley has enjoyed getting to know the players since taking charge at the Liberty Stadium and hopes to develop the speed at which they use the ball.
“I like the team. It’s good with the ball, the spacing, timing and reactions to winning the ball – it’s complete football,” he added. “It takes a lot of work to become a good team.
“The difference between the top, middle and bottom teams is tempo, the speed at which the ball can move. That’s what will take some work.
“The work to become a good team is real and hard work. I like this group and there’s not one of us that walks out feeling good, but we can still look at some of what happened.”
Barrow set up Borja’s strike and caused the Arsenal defence plenty of problems, but Bradley is hoping to get even more out of the winger.
“I think he’s just scratching the surface. My gosh, this is a player with talent,” said the Swans boss.
“We worked with him in training this week and I was pleased with what I saw. I told him I’m not going to be easy with him in training next week – this is just the start.”