Wenger: Champions League is an explanation, not an excuse

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Arsene Wenger says that Wednesday night’s exploits against Borussia Dortmund were a factor in Arsenal’s performance against Fulham today but refused to use it as an excuse.

Clearly the Gunners suffered from some tired legs and despite Fulham defending very well weren’t able to reach the heights of the performance which saw them become the first English side to qualify for the knock-out stages.

At his post-game press conference, Arsene said, “We gave a lot on Wednesday night. It is the shortest time you can get Wednesday night to Saturday afternoon. But it is not an excuse. It is an explanation.

“We want to be in the Champions League so we cannot cry when we are tired. Our challenge is to win these kinds of games even when we are tired.”

However, the manager was pleased with the character of his team having come back from a freakish own goal by Thomas Vermaelen.

“We could have lost this game earlier in the season,” he said. “The positive again is that we have shown exceptional spirit, desire and refusal to lose the game. Overall if you look back at where we came from we have a long unbeaten run and of course we are disappointed because we dropped two points.

“But I feel we are in a way of improvement and hopefully we can show that again Tuesday night.”

Arsenal travel to Wigan for their next Premier League game but Man City in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night, a game for which the manager is likely to make significant changes to his squad.

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Arsenal
Arsenal

We better get the full 6 points against wigan and everton considering we’ll be well rested for those games
good we didnt lose, but we do need to win those kind of games

aditya swarup

Well we were obviously tired but today i was really angry with Ramsey’s performance. I can understand tiredness and sloppy passing but today some his play involved downright selfishness and too much holding onto the ball. In my opinion Arsh was ok in the first half but faded a bit, he could have had an assist if Ramsey wouldn’t have kept on kissing the ground and got on with the game. With Mike Dean as ref, he should have known, he would never get a foul. Even when put through on two occasions i remember, he made a mockery of the chances, running with the ball instead of passing and finally gave the ball away. He needs to understand that scoring is just an aspect of the game and winning is much more important. I know I am being a bit harsh but I consider him a top notch player and he needs to learn from his mistakes. Sensational game from Theo, superb crosses and the much maligned Djourou gave an outstanding performance. Saved our ass as we could have lost 2-1 in dying stages. Arteta and Ramsey need to know that holding onto the ball and running is not important, it is quick passing which helps.

aditya swarup

In the build up to Fulham’s goal, Arteta was guilty of holding onto the ball rather than passing it and he had sufficient time. Even in 93rd min he just ran with the ball instead of passing as result we couldn’t make a final attack.

danmort
danmort

Poor performace today, as Wenger said, game vs Dortmund played a part but can’t use that as an excuse.

Thought Walcott and Djourou played well, Theo’s becoming more consistent and his crossing has improved. Gervinho provided a bigger threat than Arshavin imo.

RVP can’t do it every week for us unfortunately. Ramsey and Arteta were poor today.

slim
slim

Ramsey and Arteta were really poor today. They hv got to b consistent. Good to see Diaby back and hopefully Wilshere very soon so that there will be competition in the team.

SamPye
SamPye

People are being hard on Ramsey and Arteta and I agree they weren’t up to the mark. I think generally they’ve both been excellent so far this season and we have to remember that Ramsey is a 20 yr old who is still learning his trade and Arteta has had to learn and adapt to a whole new system, squad and role within the team.

My point is that they were probably due a bad game together and they’ll get a chance to rest up as we’re bound to rotate the team for the next 2 mid-week games. Once Wilshere comes back into the squad (late January?) then we’ll be able to rotate more regularly as he can play in either of their roles.

I thought Arshavin was frustrating though he had enough bright moments to confirm again that he’s got the ability to perform but not the consistency. The same as normal in other words. Gervinho made a huge difference as you’d expect, and it was good to see Diaby who also had a few very nice touches. Fingers crossed he gets plenty more game time this year.

Abc
Abc

I agree and dont know why Arshavin gets the chance when he dont deserve it. Benayoun played well v dortmund imo he should have played while arshavin seems to not care very much. Also i guess Arsene should know the players are tired after such kind of game in mid week so he should have made more changes because fulham was crap and we could easily beat them.

Frog
Frog

How muc is AhnZi machachachachachalacha offering for arshavin?

Arsmart
Arsmart

Agreed. Very happy to see Diaby back and he looks very hungry. I think we need some rotation in midfield so his return is timely. Johan had a fantastic display today and i believe we have the strongest 4CBs in the league! Today was a blip.. The season is young so nothing us really lost yet. Onwards and upwards!

Boo69
Boo69

Wow
Djourou, Mertte, Vermealan and Kocielsny best 4 centre backs in the league loool thats the most biast comment ever and no way accurate.

Vidic, Jones, Smalling and Ferdinand for me all day

Even Gallas, King, Kaboul and Dawson is alot more reliable

How about Agger, Carragher, Coates and Skrtel.

I still think we need a regular alongside Vermealan

The Red and White Observer
The Red and White Observer

Boo69
November 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm
You missed a whole set of defenders who are better than ours, players from Man City, Qpr, Blackburn, Stoke and Wigan.. oh yes Barca, Real Madrid.and Bolton.( Smalling and Jones are not better than Kosser and JD) Rio is aged and Vidic isa great defender but we have his mini me in TV5. The grass is alwys greener…

Anotherswissgooner
Anotherswissgooner

Biased anyone?

Arsenal75
Arsenal75

Lets face it we still arent good enough, this is the same side who lost 8-2 to united almost, we have improved but still dont have a better first xi than Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City lets face it thats why we are in 7th.

The spuds went and won today without VDVaart and Modric, we wouldnt of been able to do that without our best 2 players.

On a side note I was really impressed with Moussa Dembele he hardly gave the ball away and is only 24, would be perfect for the Gunners in a back up role for RVP

The Red and White Observer
The Red and White Observer

“this is the same side who lost 8-2 to united almost” OH MY LORD …REALLY

Witoldo
Witoldo

As predicted, all it took was one draw after a long string of wins for the naysayers and doubts to return…

Witoldo
Witoldo

Yeah, you’re right, our first XI is awful…just look at our Champions League position. Unlike Chelsea and the Mancs, our fate hangs in the balance heading into matchday six.

ManBearPig
ManBearPig

Me thinks we got a spud in disguise…. Muppet.

Steve
Steve

I see you named all of the teams that have the ability to and, in cases, have spent 100 million+ as those that are better than us.
Also, bigging up Sp*rs is suicide in an Arsenal blog.
Also, Szczesny; Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny, Traore; Ramsey, Coquelin, Rosicky; Walcott, van Persie, Arshavin. This is the team that played against Man U in August… Please tell me where Vermalaen, Santos, Song, Arteta and Gervinho are. Same side… you’re an idiot

Steve
Steve

Oh and these were the subs: Fabianski, Miquel, Sunu, Ozyakup, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Lansbury. Filled with youth, currently on-loan reserve players and players with little to no confidence.

Arsmart
Arsmart

@Boo69
I’d take our 4 over all those u listed! Jones? Coates? Please!

feygooner
feygooner

Jones is a ridiculously overrated player. Sure, he has potential, but people have started comparing him to Duncan Edwards….

The only Arsenal CB Jones is better than atm is Djourou, and Djourou is our 4th, possibly 5th choice.

Kenyangooner
Kenyangooner

I think the team rallied back really well after going behind, no shame in taking a point out of a well organised defensive fulham….there will be occasional blips in our game and brilliant moments… The upside our first eleven gets to play weekend games only for the next two weeks thanks to the fact that ”we’re the only EPL team in the CL n top of the Group”… Up and onwards..COYGS!!! #NASRIisaCUNT!!

Vikram
Vikram

I think people who have started with negatives again are anything but fans of The Arsenal. And all this for a draw after a string of wins?

ramgooner
ramgooner

well stop the negatives…let’s focus on na$ri now!…fuckin prick….we shall get behind the team at the emirates and we shall dedicate a separate stand to demonstrate what a cunt na$ri is…we shall start from adebayor and show a hall of shame banner to show the evolution of that prick na$ri and we’ll show a hall of fame banner from ian wright to henry to fabregas………as for as the game is concerned i hope the little korean we have with the help of AOC/benayoun’s assist scores a winner!!!!!we shall prove
VALUES>MONEY

Boo69
Boo69

I have ssaid that we have done marvellously well of late, but we are 5 points behind spuds and they have a game in hand, all I am saying is 4th is going to be difficult because the Ramsays, Artetas and Gervinhos are not consistent enough or good enough.

Jones is much better than Djourou and Mertesacker who must be the slowest defender in the league, Koz is probably on his level, TV is one of the best in the league.

I am not creating an anti arsenal protest I just believe the guy who wrote we have the best 4 central defenders knows nothing about football…..the footballing world still doesnt rate us defensively for a reason

Anotherswissgooner
Anotherswissgooner

BOO69
The media doesn’t rate our defense? Now there’s a surprise!

Steve
Steve

Quick, someone tell Wenger the “football world” doesn’t like our defenders.

How did Sp*rs get on in the champions league this season? Oh wait, they haven’t got to fight the fatigue of playing 2 matches a week and can rest up in between matches….

NorthernGoon
NorthernGoon

Well said Vikram.

We played a game against a pretty decent Fulham team and yes we would’ve preferred three points but a point is still a point. Their goal or rather our own goal was to quote blogs “freakish” and that’s all there is to it.

It was a shame to see Ramsey play badly yesterday as recently he’s been Johnny on the Ball but unfortunately we’ve seen that side to him a few times this season. Albeit since the Blackburn game he seems to have been fairly solid.

Whether we like it or not he’s still a young lad and I’m not totally convinced he can cope with the pressure week in week out whereas Jack thrived/thrives off it.

Really looking forward to seeing Jack and Arteta playing alongside each other.

HP
HP

Funny thing is last season we had a multitude of scorers but now we are relying on reliant robin because we are playing more direct but he can’t be expected to score all the time.

Come Jan we need a genuine attacking mid who can score goals, ramsey /gervinho can’t finish at all and that puts immense pressure on robin, ideally sell of rosicky,squid and arsha and bring in quality players not neccesarily ones that would cost 35m

I wouldn’t look too into the game, we were clearly tired but that as wenger said, is not an excuse. To me it showed one of his glaring weaknesses, rotation. It was only a matter of time the players got knackered and it showed.

I would have played park behind RVP because he has good passing in him and started benayoun as well

Thorough

We are humans and so its normal that tiredness sets in here and there. But what is hard to forgive is that Wenger saw how woeful Ramsey was and didnt replace him until we conceded. We, ‘supposed doomers’, are shouting hoarse because the way we are dropping points – coupled with the way Tottenhma is gaining – makes catching them a lot harder. And I do believe that to be in the top four we must be ahead of Tottenham. Dont get deceived by Chelsea’s dip in form, they have so much experience to turn it around or Abramovic can open his vault in January to turn their fortune around. Plus, their best player, IMO, Michael Essien is on the way back. Being five points behind d Spuds, potentially eight, is not the best and we cant afford to drop points against teams like Fulham no matter how well they are organized or how tired we are. It is not as if the League hampers us from changing our starting eleven. And if after a thorough retrospective study by Le Boss, and he thinks we need to buy more in January then so be it. We know we have rescued our season based so much on the buys we have made especially Gervinho, Arteta, Santos n Per, and if we have to do it again then lets go ahead. Until then we must stick with the team that works, especially our attack. A tired Gervinho looked amazing yesterday and I bet if he had been there from the start he would have disorganized them the more. And probably this is the time for Le Boss to slough off his principle of always subbing from 70th minute upward. If he had made the 2 changes he hurriedly made after we conceded at the begining of second half we would have been celebrating 3points now. And if you want to tinker Coach, where the hell is the most impressive sub we have had all season – Benayoun.

andy
andy

i follow arsenal and a few of the blogs because of a general interest in football that doesnt involve greed and absurd amounts of greenery. My point is where were your fans yesterday if the team is low the whole point of the crowd is too lift them, thats part of the fan/team deal. Am i wrong? overstaing the point? the loudest your fans got was when zamora got booked and when schwazer time wasted. im not sure about the excuse i hear about the fair weather fans who have only been there sincce 96, but that cant be all 53000 can it? cambridge united fans make more noise and there are only a few thousand. I read the passion in the blogs but feel an insipid vibe from the crowd. Am i being unfair?

Arsmart
Arsmart

Call me an optimist but its November! If it was Feb and we were potentially 8 points behind Spurs I might agree.. But we’re not.. And I truly think we won’t finish behind them.. As for Merte being slow.. So? We knew that before we bought him.. What he lacks is speed he makes up for in experience, positioning and awareness of the game! when Djourou is on form he’s outstanding.. Do u really think Jones or Coates could have done to Messi wat Djourou did? He n Koscielny had that Barca attack on lockdown!

Steve
Steve

Does anyone know how many players Spurs will lose to the ACN? Just wondering…

NorthernGoon
NorthernGoon

I’m going to risk being a social pariah now and say I completely agree with you Andy.

What I find most bizarre is that the away support is completely contrasting to the home support. I only tend to get to away games and on the road the fans are – or appear to be – a lot roudier.

Is it the accoustics of the Emirates and the crowd setup or is it just that the away support are a lot more vocal?

totalfootball
totalfootball

maybe its just the fact that we havent been winning anything because back in highbury the crowd wasnt like this. we need to intimidate our opposition we are the 12th player in the stadium. feels like we are watching tennis and only scream “ooo~ ahhh~ yeah~” when something happens.

Steve
Steve

I actually think it’s the acoustics. Me and my brother went to the Stoke game a couple of weeks ago and it was actually fairly noisy with songs, shouting, etc….