Saturday, February 24, 2024

Wenger confirms preference for ‘lighter’ players

Arsene Wenger has revealed the ingredients which make up Arsenal’s highly technical pre-season training regime and confirmed his favour for lighter players with high technical ability.

The Frenchman, who sacrificed his side’s usual Austrian training camp in favour of a lucrative a tour of the Far East, saw his side booed off at the Emirates following a disappointing 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls but has never hidden the fact that the aim of summer training is to prepare for the long-term.

“Arsenal has a special way to play the game so of course we want to respect that in our programme,” the Frenchman confirmed in an interview with Nike’s Inside Edge website.

“Arsenal’s game is based on the ball on the ground, movement, technical quality. Therefore 90 per cent of the session is based on that.

“Our programme is never to add kilos to anybody, it is more to take off [weight] because contrary to the idea that people have the most important thing is the coordination; the lighter you are the more chances you have to be coordinated.”

Citing the impressive development of England midfielder Jack Wilshere, and with a nod to the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong, Carl Jenkinson and Benik Afobe, Wenger further stressed the importance of using friendly match minutes to assess the potential amongst his younger charges.

“For me the pre-season is a good opportunity to see the young players. You have this [2010/11] season for example Wilshere who played 50 games having convinced me during the pre-season.

“Because the difficulty of the games is getting bigger and bigger, you play first in a small game and he does well, you play in a bigger game and if he does well [again] then he can convince you that he has the level to be in the team.”

After a somewhat traumatic end to last season, the boss also conceded that the opportunity to reinvigorate the squad’s confidence was also a big part of his role:

“The coaching staff has to put a positive culture into the team because confidence at the start of the season will be very important.”

Adding his support to Wenger’s unique training set-up, club coach and 1993 Coca-Cola Cup hero, Steve Morrow continued:

“In general we probably have a different training programme to most clubs. It’s very technical based obviously which is hopefully reflected in the way we play on the field.”

Much criticism has been directed in recent seasons at the club’s medical staff due to the spate of fitness problems which have quite literally (in some cases) hamstrung Wenger’s squad. Reflecting on his role during these important weeks before the August kick-off head physiotherapist Colin Lewin also highlighted that everything is done to micro-manage the needs of individual players.

“If we feel an individual or two needs to be stronger then we get the strength and conditioners involved to make a decision.

“It’s all about individuals; that is why we have a screening day and have a good look through them from top to bottom to decide what they do and don’t need.”

Fingers crossed the coaching staff, medical team and players all get themselves into prime physical condition ahead of the first match of the season at Newcastle on August 13th.

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William Hancox

When it works, it works wonderfully (see Spain/Barcelona). When it doesn’t work, you get booed off in a friendly.

Sanchit Shorewala

Booing at the end of a friendly is disgusting and disrespectful to the club as an institution.
I live in India, and I wish everyday that I could sit in the Emirates and watch just one match. It is hard for me to take the fact that our own fans misuse this privilege.

Savage is a Dave

Oh give over.

Sanchit Shorewala

First? Yeah! 😀
Anyhow, I really hope Wenger keeps his eyes and ears open. Though the fact that he appreciated the Kos-Verminator partnership worries me. Both did well, but I can’t stress enough on the need for another Centre Back.
Cesc is most likely to leave, hopefully the money will be invested the squad. The problem is not letting players like Nasri leave for 20m, it is that we aren’t sure if that money will be reinvested.


I wonder if Wenger, Morrow, Lewin have any idea that over 90 per cent (in my educated opinion anyways) of people who read/hear these words are only going to be thinking ‘oh that’s why we can’t defend to save our lives’ or ‘that’s why our players are always f***ing injured’


I don’t know about this idea, (not that I’m an expert lol). Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira, Pires & Anelka were all quite big fellas, and they could all fucking shift!


But thats when we played a far more direct 4-4-2 in a more physical league, posession is far more important in the modern game to play past 5 man midfields.


A more physical league? I don’t think todays is any less physical, you’ve said it there yourself with the modern game playing with 5 man midifelds, and they usually involve at least two defensive mids. I think someone in here said it best, its about finding balance. It feels ridiculous sitting through the past 3 or 4 seasons saying the same things “we need another def midfielder as well as Song, another quality central defender, another quality striker to help RVP’ but for whatever reason there’s still no suitable players bought (I like jenkinson and gervinho). If the coaching staff… Read more »


You know what I’ve been thinking the very same thing…. Sounds like mr. Wenger’s trying to justify why he only buys midgets to me….. Hehe!!! I’d rather watch the old Wenger’s Arsenal teams (big tall fast and also technical) any day….. Than today’s team that has 70% or 80% of the ball but they still can finish teams off bull shit…..


So why does AA23 look like he’s eaten too many baked Meerkats!!


“A team can attack for too long. The most opportune time for scoring is immediately after repelling an attack, because opponents are then strung out in the wrong half of the field. All the men are expected to play to plan, but not so as to stifle individuality.” — Herbert Chapman.

Ever get the feeling that recent Arsenal sides are doing exactly the opposite of what Chapman is espousing as a philosophy?


Sanchit i hear you, being from india myself i fulfilled my dream this season and went and watched a game, i was so shocked that the team was booed at the final whistle but i guess thats life when people are looking for scape goats and are spoilt


I posted this on a seperate page, but believe it needs saying. Reading many of these comments i am utterly disgusted. Quite clearly infiltrated by scum from the other end of the seven sisters!!! if your not, that’s where you belong, ‘cos you sure are not talking / behaving like arsenal supporters. Booing after a friendly!!!!….. for crying out loud, what is going to happen when we drop a point/s in the prem?? Get it right chislehurst twitchy!! our useless french manager has not failed to get the team into the CL, when on numerous occasions the so called experts… Read more »


I think you have confused Arsene with Arsenal. Despite being quite similar in spelling the two are actually quite different. Whereas Arsenal is an institution you love, Arsene is coming out as an arrogant prick who does not realise his own failures. For you to actually consider fans who are hungry for trophies, and voice their concerns due to the bullsh*t which we’re being told every year by Arsene, as Spuds supporters makes you seem just as delusional as Arsene. Then again, you can always wonder who should be branded a Spuds supporter; the one who is happy for Arsenal… Read more »


Sven I don’t think we have failed for the last 6 years, no we haven’t won anything but we have moved stadium and created a new team that bar a few losses last year almost won the league, they are all young and have stacks of potential and i truly believe that if the fans back the team we will be there at the end of the season (with a couple of purchases to help strengthen) with a chance to win the title still. I am neither an Arsene knows best type, or one that thinks he should go, but… Read more »


Dear Snowytunnel, I was at the game yesterday,i go to most home games now and follow the team regardless of the form we are in.I must say that while i do agree with you that there are many silly wannabe gooners talking rubbish right now,those of us that do love the club have to do what we can to help turn us back in the right direction.Now…..if booing at the final whistle is a terrible thing then should we just remain silent and not voice our opinion? 60000 people showing that they dont agree with arsene’s way at present is… Read more »

Gooner Jeff

I am 42 and have been going to Arsenal since I was 11. Paying 40p to get into the schoolboys. I’ve seen some filth at Arsenal Hawley,Chapman and Jenson to name but a few. Then there was the other end of the scale. Bergkamp,Henry and Vieira. I use to go home and away,including Europe .Until United away in the Champions League. It wasn’t the result that night that made me sick. It was watching Adeybayor stroll around without a care in the world. I havent been since. And nothing that has happened after has rekindled my love for Arsenal. In… Read more »


That’s are problem. Lighter players don’t bully games. They get beaten up. We need some proper strength in the side. The likes of Adams, Campbell, viera have never been replaced. And with defenders capable of pulling out gus ceaser style clearances we will always be shaky at the back. Where’s the strengh. Surely a balance of strengh and technical ability is the answer! Sort it out Arsene


Wenger wasn’t stating his preference, he was stating a fact. Players like Baptista that obviously work out to increase their mass muscle become worse at football.

This has nothing to do with the amount of fairly short and weak players we currently have in the team.

Ejiro Esiri

Wengerisa silly cunt and is getting it all wrong again! We Nigerian Gunners are gonna be doing our boos from here… smh! it would only get to london if john terry(cunt) becomes a responsible man.

Danish Gooner

The mad scientist speaks again,when will this stupid asshole shut the fuck up.You are lighweight in defense that is why teams constantly bully you and wins game where you have 70 percent of the possession.


Again, I have removed comments which are nothing but personal abuse.

And really, if you disagree with what Wenger does, then fine, but you can make that point without calling him names either.


sorry if i was deemed as guilty there but surely its the chap i responded too!? his comment is still there and i personally find it an abusive comment…i am a life long loyal fan and i will stand up to people who are just nasty and vindictive when they clearly do not support the club for the right reasons.
Sorry if i did offend though as that was far from my intention

Ejiro Esiri

am sorry too I was just commenting like every other fellow before t*rik came on me.Btw, whats it with Nigeria? Racism?





According to Joey Barton’s agent, we would have won the league last year with Barton in our team (somehow he got on 5live earlier). However, he also said Newcastle have made a ‘fatal’ mistake by releasing the player, so he’s obviously a bit of a dong.


eljiro…….i am not a racist and with a name like Tarik Belhaj
i see it as further proof that you are an utter moron. Good luck to you…..oh and Arsene Wenger is the reason that we all get to watch free flowing football so when refering to him as a stupid cunt …yes…i will take offence….END OF…GROW UP SON!


Oh, so you have to be white and English to be a racist then? Well I have news for you, some of the most racist people around are neither of those.


Ok let’s get this into perspective. Most of us on here are arsenal fans for good reasons the 2 reasons I can think of are 1 family ties/local team or 2 we enjoy watching the way we play. I fall into the first section but then again only being 26 means most of my memories are during the wenger era so I’ve grown to love the way we play. Here’s the question would you rather watch arsenal for the love of arsenal or would you want to see them turn into a efficient but boring team (like Jose did to… Read more »


To hear Wenger saying Arsenal try to take weight off players is disturbing. It’s not as if physical strength and technical ability are mutually exclusive. Strength training not only builds muscle mass but makes the body more balanced, powerful and contrary to what Arsene says, coordinated. On top of that, weight training increases bone density, as well as ligament and tendon strength which all help to prevent injury. I would like to see what Wenger said and his strength training program in a wider context, because from what I read above, it looks like Wenger is missing out on the… Read more »


Can we run a book on which paper will first feature the headline “Arsenal stars in Anorexia Shock” ?


I do get where he is coming from and it does make sense about skill and balance, it does seem lead to injuries though. Without the injuries we will piss the league as we should of last season(end of season mental issues aside), but glass breaks and I just hope this season the glass is reinforced super tough Lennie/John Terry destroying glass. This season needs to be about TEAM balance as well as individual.


So many posts, have only gone to prove exactly what i was trying to say last night. How sad it is, Arsenal Supporter v Arsenal Supporter. Something i have never been witness to. Lets get a few facts in place, so that hopefully we can all get a sense of perspective, and get back on track & support the team 100% as we head into another season. Are Trophies Important?…YES, Is silverware highly desirable every season?..YES Are trophies everything?….NO Is six years a drought?… No 17 years (’53-70) that’s a fuckin drought!!! Has the manager been operating under financial constraints… Read more »


While your sentiments are correct Snowytunnel, I do think that a bulk of is also the same excuses the last few years mixed in with the lying from the hierarchy. There’s been money to spend—it’s not been spent. The ticket prices have increased again. Property developments have also brought in income. Sadly, the club seems to be running itself like a modern corporation, but it’s a football club. While being financially sound is a very important aspect, the supporters are seemingly being treated as customers or employees, not as members of the group that can be perfectly critical—even the bloggers… Read more »

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