Wenger bemoans lack of physical readiness


Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Monaco in the Emirates Cup was down to the team’s lack of physical preparation, according to Arsene Wenger.

With a squad coming back in dribs and drabs after the World Cup, there’s a big gap in the levels of fitness, and the manager says it was a ‘warning’ with the new season just two weeks away.

Speaking the press after the game, the boss said, “It is a good warning to us that we are not completely ready on the physical front yet.

“We had to dig deep but in the end it was not good enough. We have made a demonstration that in 24 hours a lot can change in football. As much as our performance was sharp, creative, dynamic and mobile yesterday, today it was static, lethargic and not convincing at all.

“I feel that many players had not recovered completely physically and that we were not completely ready.”

The manager singled out Olivier Giroud as an example of the fitness issue, saying, “Giroud was not ready today – I don’t know if I will play him in the Community Shield.

“Giroud had only three weeks’ rest and he will be back, he is working very hard in training but needs more time.”

With players like Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny in the same situation because of their World Cup commitments, and the German contingent of Mertesacker, Ozil and Podolski still away on their break, the early part of the season may well prove to be more challenging than we might like – especially with a Champions League qualifier to contend with.

There were no post-game comments about transfers, but Arseblog News is aware that the club are still on the chase for two new signings, including a centre-half and a midfielder.

However, the manager’s comments about the second half of the window being busy suggest he may be ready to bide his time over the new arrivals.

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North Stand

We have Sanogoal ready and waiting


I think we should play with a front three of Campbell, Alexis, and The Ox versus City with Cazorla through the middle.


Thats the best option we have, to play a front three of campbell – sanchez – chambo or
sanchez – sanogo – chambo with campbell coming on in the sencond half to replace sanogo, allowing sanchez to move into the middle and also rotate with campbell! Giroud will just slow things up as usual, also cazorla should start behind them and rosicky should maybe replace him in the second half!


Assuming we make no further signings before we face city this would be my prefered starting XL against city-

Ramsey-flamini(base on his last performance against them last season)
Cazorla(should be replaced by rosicky later in the game)
sanchez-sirmoregoals-chambo (with campbell replacing sir-more-goals later in the game to afford sanchez some time through the middle).

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Fookin’ Flameenee now there’s a pub player, fookin’ proper player ‘ee is, not bad for a fookin’ Frenchy.

Parisian Weetabix

Previgo you seem intent on failing to understand – or just ignoring – what Giroud brings to the team. Yes, Giroud lacks pace. When we are playing against big teams and we need to counter attack sharply then yes, Giroud’s lack of pace is a problem – in fact I would very much agree that we should play Alexis up front in the Community Shield for that reason. But I’m kind of fed up of these Arsenal fans who refuse to accept that Giroud has any use at all. When we’re playing against deep lying teams sitting in their own… Read more »

AS17 is for A.Sanchez not A.song

plus the corners and freekicks he heads out.


One of the most reasonable comments I have ever read on the internet, Parisian!

Parisian Weetabix

Thanks. That’s the thing, I agree in part with Previgo’s point. The problem is that he is arguing as though pace is everything, as though counter-attacking football is the only style that exists. Football can be played in a brilliant variety of ways, and if you choose to only appreciate one of them you’re never going to truly appreciate football.

Kanu's big toe

Very well said!

I have always rated Giroud and just because he may not start every game doesn’t mean he isn’t quality. A title winning team is one which has the depth of squad to not need to play any one player to death, but one which Wenger can tactically pick a team from week on week based on the oppositions strengths/weaknesses, fitness, morale etc.

Bring on the Prem 14/15! COYG!!


Although I’m a big fan of Giroud, I think in addition to his dribbling he has two other deficiencies: finishing and pace. On the other hand, among his strong sides you’ve missed work rate, in particular when defending. Maybe I’m overestimating here a bit, but I think he’s by far the best defending forward, which is completely overlooked. In other words, when Giroud has a bad game, he will miss a couple of good chances, but will work hard throughout the whole match. If some of the other forwards have a bad game, they are either absolutely invisible (e.g. mandzukic… Read more »

Parisian Weetabix

Sorry, I was lazily only thinking about his attacking attributes rather than defensive ones, which as you point out is something often overlooked in attacking players. It’s what makes Rosicky so fucking awesome yet so underrated. Giroud is incredibly honest on the pitch (:/) and has never seemed to think himself above doing the dirty work, which is commendable. Plus there’s the obvious benefits of his height when defending corners. It’s weird given the length of time he’s been with us, but I’m still hoping for Giroud to come good on his finishing. He’s got good technique and he can… Read more »

Dave Gooner

Giroud has no finesse whatsoever. How often have we seen him ‘look to the heavens’ as he blasts yet another eminently scoreable chance wide or balloons it into the crowd.

He’s just not good enough to be an Arsenal forward, and has proven it time after time. He is mid-table standard at best, and has no place in our starting 11.

I for one hope that any new ambitious era at Arsenal will be one without Giroud.

I expect thumbs down for this, but its how I feel. Not for me thanks.


Dont forget the layoff for Podolski vs. Montpelier the other season! Banger!!

Third Plebeian

At the moment, I would prefer Rosicky to Cazorla. Rosicky has looked sharp. Cazorla has not.


Totally agree! Rosicky should start

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

I wouldn’t do that at all, I’d play Cazorla left, Giroud up front, Chamberlain right, with Ramsey and Wilshere in the middle, Arteta as holding where he can double up with Jack, with Sanogo to come on at 60 minute mark. This is Man City not Benefica, although I’m not adverse to Sanogo starting at all with Giroud as a sub after his 4-goal performance.

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

Oh sorry I want to add I’d sub Chambo with Sanchez too (Sanchez is still not match fit) — or the other way round.


Thats an awful arsenal you put right there!
But again i respect your opinion!

Bould's Eyeliner

but will you die for his right to have it


Not to worried about result. You could tell the players arent fit enough physically and mentally (koscielny at fault for letting falcao drift and score) arent ready. Still couple of good performances. Thought chambers looked tidy and oxlade looks like he has point to prove. Cant wait for next wkend. COYG

Jacob Boe

it was Nacho’s mark though. Kos had to defend the middle. Nacho had the job of defending the breaking runner and must have believed that it was Kos’

Parisian Weetabix

It looked to me as though Kos was marking him, but he and Nacho attempted to play offside, which is how we often dealt with these situations last season. Notice how it was all three new boys – Sanchez, Debuchy and Chambers – who played it on. I’d put it down mostly to Kos for not man marking, but in truth it was a general lack of communication and organisation that cost us that goal.


Giroud has no excuse to be tired. He barely played a part in the world cup. Sanchez Was miles better than Giroud in this game yet he played all the matches for Chille Plus he even has adjustments to do with the new team. I will not put my money on Giroud any day. A stricker and a DM will be good additions.


Deep down the heart of every arsenal fan- It is crystal clear like the biblical teke teke menoyafasin that we need an upgrade to giroud,
But i know we wont get that upgrade this summer so we should see more of sir-more-goals this season especially in the big games, wenger should be brave enough to drop giroud for the betterment of the team!

Parisian Weetabix

Ugh don’t act as though your opinion is fact, it’s incredibly pompous and narrow-minded. You haven’t even explained it properly, you’re just acting as though it’s some sort of gospel that needs no justification.

black gooner

Alexis looked like a retired wrestler introduced into a soccer team. Two months with the same standard of football I saw today and we can forget winning any trophy.


its like people expect players to be in perfect harmony and physical condition all throughout the year. Let the guys have a break, let them have a period where they aren’t at 100%. Its a friendly tournament, don’t expect champions league knockout phase footie! Its really silly to get negative about one game when the bigger picture paints this situation much more clearly.

A Yank In King Arsene's West Stand

To make myself happier, I’m going to assume that this is a sarcastic comment.


Results are secondary to fitness right now. Even though the same is true of next weeks game, there’s gonna be alot more hype attached. We must beat the scum.


Well aren’t you a cuntnugget.


I think I replied to the wrong person, can’t tell. LOL


It WAS a random insult on the face of it but a beautifully descriptive one. I liked it.

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

How can anyone like the word cuntnugget seriously?


Well, it combines two things every true gentleman likes.


Cuntnugget…well, that’s a first. Personally I prefer the great white thundercunt but you can never have enough ways to describe a cunt seeing as John Terry will probably breed.

A Yank In King Arsene's West Stand

Yeah, Giroud’s touch was a wee bit iffy and Alexis looked promising, but a bit off the pace as well (not complaining, just observing!). Chambers looked great both days, though, really making a case for himself. SO excited to see this team gel.

And finally – Big congratulations to those people at the Emirates who booed their team off the pitch after a preseason friendly. As always, your support and constructive criticism of the lads is appreciated and reflects well on all of us. Cheers.


Just got back from the match, during the squad announcements, Giroud got booed. I was abit surprised, but then during the match he got booed everytime he got a touch! Granted he didn’t play great today but its not ideal when your struggling and your own fans start booing you.

A Yank In King Arsene's West Stand

Yeah, I was wondering if they were booing him or trying to yell his name (*I* was saying boo-urns…) Giroud is transparently a confidence player. Booing him is so, so counterproductive. And extra-unreasonable given his, what, four days of training beforehand?



the only sam is nelson

the emirates cup is a nice day out for the plastics, they’ll be gone by the time pulis turns up with his double decker, back at home watching it on sky and tweeting furiously about stuff they don’t understand

still, looking on the bright side, today is probably the first in a month or so that fatgooner will have cracked a smile

The OX

The only thing I took from this game is that we need a defensive midfielder badly… Arteta is finished and Jack Wilshere is not the answer

wenger's coat zipper

I really feel sad for Arteta…but I agree. He lost the ball way to often and made silly fouls. This match, bar the fitness level, again showed why our worst lineup has both Arteta and Flamini in the team. That means I’d prefer Flamini to Arteta. Really sad

Super Sanchez

@black gooner. Isn’t it a little too early to be cynical? And ditch the word ‘soccer’ please

Daft Aider

We lost a friendly – no need for checking to see if the sky is falling


Excessive negativity after today is just as misplaced as excessive positivity yesterday. This is preseason, and as fans we shouldn’t be too swayed by lacklustre performances (of which there were a few). On a more positive note, Chambers has really impressed me, and I thought Debuchy and Akpom were two of the standout performers against Monaco. As the fitness starts to return, I think we’ll see a much more positive and invigorated Arsenal team. A fully fit trio of Campbell, Alexis, and Ox is deliciously frightening prospect. COYG!


Okay, with that, I am looking forward to next weekend’s game.

Keep your panties on the real football starts next week…


Physically most of our players are not there,giroud look sluggish,Sanchez trying to take on too many players,debuchy look quite okay,but In my opinion serge Aurier would have been a better choice


And that is why you’re not in charge of Arsenal.

sam gooner

I would really have liked for us to win the community shield. Would have been two consecutive. Who are probably gonna miss ? Ozil ?


Seeing as the Community Shield is being played next week, and seeing as we didn’t win it last year because we weren’t in it, would you maybe like to rethink that comment?


Some Arsenal fans are a shame to the club. For God’s sake this was a practice match



Gooner '75

Good luck AW with that 1st 11, options galore up front. Bring on €ity.

Buffalo Gunner

The two DMs playing for Monaco were immense. Give me Kondogbia or Bakayoko.


Relax guys. The players themselves were trying not to get injured. I’m sure they’ll be ready enough for the first game of the league season in a couple of weeks.

La Défènse

Why do our own fans have to boo our players? It’s PRE-SEASON, for fucks sake!

Jebezus, we probably vie for the most finicky/flaky/douchey fan atmosphere award. Even chavs don’t boo their own players like this…


Captain's Armband

It was pantomime booing aimed at Falcao.

Besides, Chavs don’t boo their players because they’re too busy cheering everything Terry does…which is even worse when you think about it. A strong indicator of collective insanity.

A Yank In King Arsene's West Stand

I wish you were right, but they were booing after the final whistle. Falcao had long been subbed off.


To everyone who thinks Khedira is the answer, he wouldn’t have played today/next week anyway. Probably why Arsene is willing to wait. I think we’re all overreacting to both today’s game and the Benfica game. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle of the 2 results.

Captain's Armband

The vast majority of Japanese people I have encountered in the workplace have represented admirable facets of their nation’s attitude to the task at hand – fastidious, accurate, efficient, high quality people. A pleasure to work with.

Bearing that in mind, it baffles me as to how two officials from that nation at two of this summer’s tournaments have managed to demonstrate the opposite.

Any hungover sub running the line at a local park on a Sunday morning could have seen that the Monaco goalkeeper’s foul was an inside the box, last man desperation job. Truly weird.


The World Cup referee might or might not have bottled it in the face of crowd pressure, but in today’s case I think he just made an incorrect decision with the best intentions.

Also not sure why it was relevant to bring up his country at all? We can all criticize/praise match officials without disclaimers/qualifiers, I hope!


The thing that I don’t understand is that there was a huge mark left in the grass where the goalkeeper had slid, and it was completely inside the 18-yard-box. How Martin Atkinson doesn’t just look down and re-confirm what he originally thought about the foul is beyond me.


Scary I find myself agreeing with a Gary Lineker tweet ‘ For all you fans affected by your club’s pre-season friendly results…they mean nothing, absolutely nothing.” For me, games like today/ yesterday are a chance to see new signings, youth coming through, the shiny new kit etc. a nice result would be just that but who really gives a shit. It’s just about fitness at this stage. Next weekend will gives a bit more of an idea of shape, personnel for the opening game vs Palace but even then, our German WC winners will be spectators. Booing our players is… Read more »

Merlin's Panini

We were always going to be lacking a little bit the sharpness today with some of the guys playing today getting past the groups at the world cup so it wasn’t a surprise really. It’s only the (meh)mirates cup. It’s just a little bonus prize at the end of preseason. Next week will be the real fitness test.


Some Gooners really are something else.

Giroud, Kos, Debuchy and Alexis all returned this week from their extended breaks. It was their first game back. The players who have been there from the beginning of pre season are always going to be sharper.

Real Madrid have lost every game and drawn one in pre season so far. Does that mean they are in crisis? Get a grip.

Uppsala Gooner

Where is Diaby? I might have missed something, but seeems weird nobody mentioning his absence. Have I woken up to a parallel universe in which Diaby does not exist, or was everyone just expecting him to be injured after the NYC game?


He’s not injured, they’re just being very careful with him.


Play 11 diaby’s please


We’d have only 7 left on the pitch at the end of the game (and only 6 if one of them got a red card).


Once the blending comes right we good to go, new guys need time to settle in but again we need a quick sharp attacker to compliment our quick forward line of sanchez, chambo, walcott, ozil, ramsey, carzola. Giroud will disappoint if there is no genuine competition. CL and the FA cup again should be our major target and wait the outcome of the epl by May!


If winning isn’t everything, why do we keep score? – Vince Lombardi. In as much as its a preseason game for the players to get fit. I felt bad that we lost. Its high time Wenger made some hard decisions like bringing a defensive midfielder and getting another striker Giroud is not it.he might flourish somewhere else ,but he is too slow. Wilshere needs a kick on the backside ,he had a decent game today but Zelalem came in and did a better job.


Like i said in the benfica article, we need another striker. I’ll keep saying this over and over again; giroud simply does not cut it for me. He’s average at best; nothing more, nothing less. As for the dm issue, i’d prefer schiderlin over khedira, khedira is too b2b and he and ramsey together is almost as bad as wilshere/ramsey…kondogbia would’ve been great for us, shame we lost out to monaco. The ox is looking great…this just might be his season…we’re almost there…a dm, cb and a striker and we’ll be able to really challenge for the epl/ucl.


Really excited about Campbell staying 🙂


Under valued.

Fans just like shiny toys.

That was a fantastic goal which if it was Ozil, many would have been prattling on about.


Wenger has gotten use to having carpenters do a plumbers job. Wilshere and arteta are not defensive midfielders. He should get one for the team ,there are cheap ones out there (medel ,yacob ,diame ,onazi etc ) and we have the likes of bender ,gustavo ,martinez ,mascherano ,inler ,etc we’ve suffered for too long. We need the EPL and the champions league ,the transition period is over ,we have the money so he should do the needful


Your idea on the defensive midfielder is antiquated.

The current thinking is for the player to recycle the ball. Not just plumbing.

Arteta does that very well.

You don’t need size for that. Marscherano, De Jong are not particularly large.

jack is not a DM. We play with only one recycling midfielder. Either Jack or Ramsey nominally deploy next to Arteta or Flamini in support but his job would be to link.


Buy a striker mr wenger
excusing already lol


Sanogo, Campbell, Akpom.

All look sharp and hungry.

oh yeah and we have some bloke called Giroud who scored more than Cavani or Negredo. A number of assists too.


I was at the match, people weren’t booing the team off (as much as it may have looked that way) – rather the referee, really bad decision making. Regardless, it’s a friendly and it’s a bit stupid that so many fans have taken this as a sign of impending doom.


Those fans are concern about the Emirates trophy as it represents our perrenial best chance at one…oh wait, we won the FA cup did we?


Bouldy's Tupee

I don’t know what it is but the Ox, Gibbs, and Ramsey are playing such great skill. Their touch is superb on the ball better than last season!
Campbell and Sanogo playing together up front appears to be a great combination are demolishing Benfica on Saturday.
I’m optimistic and in Wenger I trust.
One more or two more signings will def get us that title!!!



Arsenal represent the future of England.

Wenger has bought and brought up some of the more technically gifted English players in this new generation.

God forbid (with exception of Sterling) England’s future is with Liverpool. Look what happened this world cup.:)

Jacob Boe

I love Jack Wilshere as much as the next gooner, but if he wants to fit in the team, he has to learn how to stay on his feet. The foul he gave up in the Monaco attacking third today that led to the goal was a perfect example of a continuing lack of maturity on his part. I just don’t know how he’ll fit in, especially if a DM is acquired and brought in…


He will fit just find. He gives us dynamics going forward with his dribbles. The DM position is currently Arteta and Flamini Jack is NOT a DM. He is a central Midfielder next to the DM, the link role. The other players in this role are Ramsey, Rosicky and (to some extent) Zelalem. Here’s the thing again, people tend to get on the case of a young player (like Ramsey) before they come good. Jack is a year behind Ramsey in development as is his age. Most players for us have come good at 23 which is where he is… Read more »

Parisian Weetabix

I don’t think gaffer really suits Wenger. He’s more of a le prof.


I am amazed at the negativity some fans are demonstrating. Let’s not take the results in pre-season games seriously. Players will get fitter in the next two weeks and will be physically ready by the start of the season, with the possible exception of Ozil and Podolski. However, we have got depth in those positions. This has been a great summer for us Gooners. After a long time! We have strengthened well and if reports are to be believed a couple more signings are in the pipeline. I strongly believe we will challenge for the title this season. We have… Read more »


Arsenal fans are not the best (Present company excepted)

There seems so little enthusiasm for some of the organic development in the squad in Campbell, Akpom, Bellerin. So little encouragement.

Instead all the cacophony is reserved for the big signing Alexis.


Although of course…if you score four goals you win them over.

I thought Campbell’s goal was brilliant execution though.

Had that been Ozil, there would be people raving about it


Perhaps off-topic, but where the hell was Diaby this weekend??!


He was on the bench next to Sanogo later but not named to squad for the games.

Either he has a “Vermaelen” injury or the gaffer wrapped him up in cotton wool before the season’s kick off for fear of another knock. Mark fragile.


Couple of observations from the pre-season Emirates Cup : 1) Sanogo. Has he found his feet? All four of them? Good balance and feet for a big player, some good decisions when distributing. Adebayor with thecnique? Hopefully he doesn’t have similar rampant ego too. 2) Campbell. What a well taken goal and some great distribution. As mentioned, had he been Ozil, many would have been gushing non stop. He isn’t here to play a bit part role make no mistake, he may be an important piece up top for us this season. Like to see him more central. 3) Akpom.… Read more »


Er..couple only?


Seeing some of the “top” comments on Arsenal’s facebook after the game makes me laugh…Absurd


good old arsenal fan they need to find their next victim for abuse…let me present you Olivier Giroud,who clearly isnt world class ( but still a good striker) but doesnt get injured, get overplayed, still score 20+ goal when everything around him fall apart = worst striker in arsenal history according to some nobody on the internet of course i would love another striker , nobody will deny this , not me anyway he get blamed for loosing us the title (nothing to do with the injuries ,lost of form of some other player like carzola/ozil/flamini) , blaming for not… Read more »