Thursday, March 30, 2023

Wenger hints at frustration with senior players

Arsene Wenger has backed Arsenal’s young performers and, without really naming names, expressed disappointment that some of his senior players fell short in the 2-1 defeat to Southampton.

The Arsenal manager was frustrated at the team’s inability to score an equalising goal having conceded a penalty and a 30 yard screamer in the first half.

“I think if we lost the game tonight it’s not because of Hayden and it’s not because of Chambers,” said Wenger. “It’s not because of Coquelin. We have to be realistic.

“I think the first reason for our defeat is the quality of our opponent and the performance of our opponent. The fact that we couldn’t score – we scored from a free-kick but apart from that we couldn’t score.

“If you look at the amount of possession we had in the second half, and you play for so long with the amount of possession we had, you have to score.”

Adding to his disappointment was the fact that the two goals the Gunners conceded were avoidable.

“It’s disappointing because we had a good start and we made two unnecessary errors on the two goals – they were big ones.”

Wenger also revealed that he couldn’t risk playing Per Mertesacker or Kieran Gibbs as both went into the game with slight problems, yet they both were named on the bench due to the lack of options in defence.

The duo are expected to be fit for the North London derby on Saturday however.

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Henry GoonerLegend

Great chance to give the youngsters a cup run and see what they could do. Oppotunity missed. Must say, I’m impressed by Isaac Hayden. 4th Choice CB??


I agree. Hayden looked very assured and it is starting to make a ‘little’ sense now why we didn’t bring in another Squillaci or Cygan when he can come in and do a job.

Credit to Southampton though, they worked hard for that result.


Too true – Hayden has a nice sense of composure and time-on-the-ball about him… I also think Coquelin is one of the stiffest of our youngsters as, no matter how well he does, Wenger just shunts him back to the fringes?
So many people are clamouring for a DM and he could be that player – has plenty of steel, good feet and seems to be able to pick a great pass when needed.


Arsenal Reserves 1 Southampton 2

Who gives a shit?

Now let’s stuff the Scum on Saturday!

Edu's Braces

I’d like to return to ignoring the Spurs ‘rivalry’ like we did from say 98 to 05, my early early days of gunnerdom I didnt even notice them. It’s the best put down really.

Gudang Bedil

Agree, honestly i didn’t even know they exist in the premier league until they bought Robby Keane. I thought they were promoted.

Formerly Known As El Capitano

Yeah I haven’t paid any attention to the Spurs rivalry since maybe they had Bale under Redknapp.. but saying that, that was their best team in the Premier League era ever, and it still couldn’t manage to beat one of the weakest sides we’d fielded at home in the NLD in the Premier League since I could possibly remember, and in that game they even went two nil up and still lost… jokers.. Anyway, last night.. was poor. I thought Arsene got a fairly good balance of youth and experience in the starting 11. Last nights performance did really highlight… Read more »


I agree they were poor but its unfair to single out Campbell as he tried his best to create openings. Even the best Arsenal players of the past took a few games to get going. Don’t write him off just yet.

Poldi was the most disappointing though. Barely involved again. Saying that he would normally slot that opportunity away and we will be sitting here admiring how prolific he is… He just doesn’t contribute enough to warrant a starting spot.

Formerly Known As El Capitano

I didn’t single out Campbell, I clearly mentioned him along with the other lads that had a shocker (Podolski and Rosicky) I just said Campbell and co.. because I thought it was clearly mentioned above that the other disappointments (& co) were Podolski Rosicky etc.. In essence, I couldn’t be bothered to write out their names again… yet in a twist of fate & irony,… here I am, writing out their names again. So I’ve ended up giving myself more work… if only I had taken the time to do it the first time round.. then this whole situation could… Read more »

Gunner From Another Mother

Now we in the US are stuck looking at Robbie Keane’s ugly mug. To make it worse he has a nasty habit of scoring against my Seattle Sounders (one time home of Ljungberg). When I lived in Los Angeles I had to see his damn face plastered all over 90% of the city busses. Mocking me…taunting me…damn it I hate Robbie Keane


Rosicky and podolski really let us down. Gutted for podolski personally,this was an opportunity to show why he should be playing more for the 1st team. Let himself down,the fans and wenger too.
Hayden and bellerin was fantastic today.
I think we’ve our 3rd choice CB in hayden. Bring on spuds on sunday!


And that’s Wenger’s fault for barely letting Poldi and Rosicky see the field this year. How is anyone supposed to come in and knock off all the accumulated rust in one game?

Gunner From Another Mother

Or perhaps Poldi hasn’t looked any different in training for a while and hence the lack of game time.


Wenger should have brought on akpom earlier. He would have got us that much needed goal and the story might be different now. Wenger needs to change on the timing of his substitutions tho.


@fatgooner – well I give a shit. That’s why I went to the match. Actually, the result is less bothersome than the way it happened. Poldi in particular seemed to agree with your not giving a shit policy, which is annoying when he’s actually playing.Southampton gave a shit. Maybe they understand that success creates momentum and builds more success. The ‘kids’ seemed to give a shit. Hayden was pretty damn good in particular.


Well Wenger sure didn’t give a shit: he played a reserve side. Let’s be honest: with the lack of squad depth up front and in defence, we just can’t challenge on four fronts. So if we’re gonna sacrifice a cup then this should be it. Let’s have a real go at the Champions’ League instead. By the way, I feel sorry for Podolski: he has been treated badly by Wenger ever since he joined us. But he should have made sure that he left last summer. He clearly has no future with us. It’s no surprise that he doesn’t care… Read more »

Gooner Gary

Yeah let’s give a free pass to the guy on 110k per week – poor guy! Please tell me how he has been treated badly by Wenger? I’m intrigued.


*Aheeem* Giroud was played day in and day out in important matches, he never really made an super impression on me and most other arsenal fans. Podolski used to score when he got the chance yet he was never played by Wenger. Instead we were playing with Giroud who most matches struggled to even create chances.. I am not saying that Giroud is a bad player, I just say it was quite surprising to see him play Giroud instead, Giroud needs 10 chances to score 1 goal (Pretty much..) 23 goals on 50 games as our top-scorer. What I am… Read more »


Unbelievable how poor Podolski was. Wenger was right to try and sell him.

Michael Farmer

I was not surprised to witness Podolski’s poor performance.The other season we were playing at Q.P.R. needing three points to get fourth place in Prem. ahead of Spurs and he was the main striker.He is alarmingly abject in that position.He looks like a bloke who does not know much about football,but has been asked to make up the numbers on a Sunday morning game when a few of a squad have gone missing after been drinking all night.Or he looks like he has been drinking all night and dazed and confused out there hardly able to put some cohesive thought… Read more »


Opportunity for our squad and younger players to show they’re worth the time and effort. Missed by people you’d expect to show up…
Poldi and/or campbell likely to be off in January now. Wouldn’t be shocked to see us send diaby on loan until the end of the year either.


Whose fault is it when the team overpass when there are chances to shoot!
And those silly tippy tappy fruitless passes from Wilshere and Rosicky are annoying.
Keep your silly little 5’7 midfielders.! Doubt these lot can win the BPL.

Andy Mack

What’s the BPL?


Barnsley Paper boys League?
Birmingham parrot lashing?
Bald policeman’s long jump?
It’s a laugh innit said the cheery cockney stereotype


Poldi and Rosicky have not been getting games. Ofcourse they will be rusty. Whose fault is that?


Diaby has not been getting games for years now, he was Rusty but stil turned in a very good performance and outshone them both in a more difficult position and much more difficult circumstances.

Pod and Rosicky were woeful. end off. There is rusty and just plain shite. To be fair Rosicky tried hard.

Andy Mack

Didn’t Rosicky play an international last week?


Roll on saturday im over for the game. C.O.Y.G


Really starting to see why Wenger was willing to let Podolski go… Must say that I was very very disappointed with his performance or non-performance… Bar his shot that nearly went in what else did he do? At times I even forget that he was playing. Rosicky was also poor but at least he tried and he never shied away from the game and really did try to play better whereas Poldi was a ghost… Don’t know why Chuba didn’t get a run out instead, did he play yesterday in the u21’s game? But enough of all the negatives, was… Read more »


I remember a rather beautifully taken free kick in May…


Not to belittle Cazorla’s effort, but it needed Poldi throwing the keeper off for a step. Sanchez’s FK was something that just cant be saved. At the very top such small differences take exponential skill improvements.

Zdenek Lukas

You really all level criticism at Rosicky who was given only his first game of the season and made one stupid mistake? Arsene should rotate more, players like Poldi and Rozza and Cahmbers have something to offer yet they don’t play at all in important games. Why? Have you all forgotten how TR7 can be lethal against Tottenham ?

Zdenek Lukas

I mean Campbell


Rosicky, I love and think he should be kept for his experience, due to the fact he is on a fairly low contract and is a good guy Podolski: interesting to see a German newspaper comparing him to Michael Owen (i.e. hit his prime and plateaued early twenties and is now knackered due to the number of games played as a youngster) I really can’t see how he justifies 100k a week. If he is going to merit his place on the basis that he only needs one chance to score, he should be burying chances like today. 100k a… Read more »

ST holder

Joel Campbell: a good world cup does not a world class striker make. I would like to see him moved on (with the standard 50% sell on fee) to benfica or the like, and gnabry made back up to Walcott and Sanchez.

a brilliant observation !


Last time I saw an Arsenal player take a free kick like that was only a few games ago. FA Cup final.

ooh to be

It’s really starting to piss me off that after EVERY game we draw/lose, arsenal fans feel the need to point fingers at particular players. First this season was wilshere, last week it was Ozil.. Today its Rosicky and Podolski. Southampton’s defence was rock solid today and they showed us why they’re sitting in 2nd. Our unfamiliar attackers just couldn’t find a way through. Happy with Hayden and Bellerin- looked like worthy back-ups


It’s the fickle fingers of some “fans” pointing again. It’s dissapointing really, I’m positive about the team in general and while I’d rather we were still in the cup I’m more interested in how we do against the sp*ds on Saturday and hoping that Özil and Welbeck will work as well as they did against the villains


‘It’s been a while since I’ve seen an Arsenal player strike a free-kick that beautifully. We finally have a free-kick taker! ‘

FA cup final… Santo Cazorla.. Dude seriously?

Santi Claws

That autocorrect eh..

Arsene's Wengerboyz

It has also been a while since we scored from a corner. In fact an Arsenal corner is usually a good time to take a piss.

Laycock Street N1

No one plunging the dagger into Super Jack? Terrible tonight, back to running into dead ends, the wrong choice of pass most times and the right pass over hit. Alexis getting frustrated at the shit supply.

Bright spot was Isaac Hayden. Hardly put a foot wrong despite some interesting diving ftom Mane and that clown Pelle.

I’m worried that we had Per and Gibbs on the bench although neither fit as we didn’t have other options…… Can’t think of whose fault that might be.


Hard to see Campbell getting any more games this season especially with Walcott returning next month.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

That’s true, and hopefully Walcott’s form will power him straight back into the first team.

However I do think blogs was a little bit harsh with Campbell today and maybe missed the odd thing he did as they didn’t appear in the liveblog. I remember especially a good occasion where Campbell cut in from the left to a central position, turned and played a perfect ball into the feet of the forward in the box, but was miscontrolled.

Belfast Gooner

Hold on there Belfast Gooner, there is a Belfast Gooner already – Me! Was wondering when I had booked myself to go to the Spurs match without realising it!

Az Ahmed

Won’t the real Belfast Gooner please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?


Come on guys. Podolski and rosicky have played about ten minutes each this season. Always quick to get on their backs after one performance against a full strength team whose sitting 2nd in the league. Liverpool took 30 penalties to get past middlesborough, Everton got flogged by Swansea.

Rather than slate our under par team, let’s just applaud Southampton.


As mentioned its not that they were shite ( which they were) but Pod wasn’t even trying. Looked distinctly uninterested in doing anything. Must be tired from posting endless selfies and smiling in training. But never seems to deliver in games.. Couldn’t even do his customary sledghammer strike in the game today.

Rosicky was poor but he put in a shift so fair enough.


Yeah thats a fair assesment. I am not sure how the hell he can visit cologne so frequently as he seems to do. Not sure if he still lives there and flys to training in London every day.

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

I was just as disappointed with Jack Wilshere not closing down Clyne for their winner, as with Poldi and Rosicky. It was very similar to both goals conceded vs. Bayern Munich at home last year (Kroos’ curler; Lahm’s cross to Mandzukic’s head) with Jack just standing still despite only being 5-6 yards away. This whole 4-1-4-1 system to get Wilshere ‘in the team’ along with Ramsey has cost us points already. Truth is Wilshere and Ramsey play the same ‘box-to-box midfielder’ position however Ramsey is simply a better player – not just the goal-scoring but also these little things too.… Read more »


Poldi and Campbell should be let go in january, as much as i like Poldi he really doesn’t offer much apart from his hammer of a left foot. I’d rather see Gnabry in the team ahead of Campbell as he’s a bit predictable. Should get a few million for both of them to go towards the fabled DM were after. Diaby won’t be going anywhere.


I honestly dont give a rats ass, about the COC, like somebody said, we cant compete in all competitions, we have a very light squad, we should be focusing on defending the FA cup and winning the EPL,

Andy Mack

The point with the TinPotCup is that it gives the 2nd string/youths a run out so that when they’re called to the 1st team ‘fans’ don’t get pissed that they’re all rusty. It’s certainly not important to us but it’s good to be in it.


Wow, Alexis delivered the perfect free kick.

Sublime. No way any keeper could’ve kept that out.


I think Podolski, Rosicky and Campbell let alot of people down today including Wenger. They have been the most vocal about game time.. They got it today and they all failed for different reasons. Podolski was just shite, but he was also inexcusably lazy and uninterested. Campbell was efficient but was not a threat and was nullified pretty easily by a young left back i might add. I for one was expecting alot more from him, so i dont know if this impacted on how i judged his performance. Rosicky was pretty shit throughout but he will always run which… Read more »


Surprised by rosicky’s poor performance but I suppose lack of game time could account partly for that with him and podolski… Although others did better so that don’t really hold much water.

Podolski didn’t surprise me at all. Great fella, howitzer of a left foot but rarely offers anything but that.

All round it was good for a lot of the boys to get game time and I’m genuinely not too disappointed we’re out. Like fat gooner said we don’t have the squad for 4 tournaments

Andy Mackenzie

It’s not the Arsenal team’s fault. They’re not being allowed to play their game. Clyde saw the gap, realised he had a chance and put his laces through the ball. GOAL! Wenger refuses his players to do that. ‘Walk the ball into the back of the net, that’s the way to score.
WHY, WHY WHY? Won’t Arsene allow them?


It’s not like he runs on the field and stops them shooting. What are you, high? Wait, no. I’m high. But I still disagree with you. Free will to shoot, I’m sure all the players have it.


i think thats wrong,plenty of players that we known to shoot a lot more from further out come to us and it seems ‘trained’ out of them to take shots when a pass is available….tippy tappy ticca takka miss counter concede


Lol, very funny. Actually, it’s a no – shoot syndrome plague.


Hayden clearly didn’t get the memo. He’ll probably never start a game again. Evil Wenger- Destroyer of shots!


You already said that btl on another aresblog post, any other observations? If not save the ink.


Wenger refuses to let the players shoot? Wow that’s an interesting theory :O


Leicester 5-3 Manchester United lol
Welbeck 1-0 Falcao lol

Just Saying.


According to some analysts Wenger has been making the same defensive errors the last 5 years and yet shows no sign of change. Yeah they swept AV 3-0.Spurs will be licking their wounds and would be fired up like WH against Pool. The reds play a similar passing game to the gunners. What SA did was to show you can beat the big teams. How? Simple You see the gunners game need time and space to play their beautiful passing game. Start closing them and you will be surprised erors will be made. I wont be shocked if Spurs nicked… Read more »


…although this Arsenal team was packed with young players.

The entire back line is a youth squad.

I would not read too much into it.;)


It was time for the likes of Podolski and Rosicky to shine but honestly, its difficult sometimes with a disjointed squad that has not played too much together and an inexperienced back line. Also surprised it was Jack starting. Would have preferred Flamini which would have allowed Diaby a chance to move forward more. It is what it is. This is the lowest priority for us at the moment and we were up against a well greased and determined Southampton who has more investment in the competition than us. That said some positives today namely: 1) No injuries 2) Coquelin… Read more »


Looks like Wenger might want Diaby as an option at the base of midfield, if Diaby does recover his mental and physical levels and can get around 15 games, that might be an interesting one. Rosicky was just buzzing around with no end product, and conceded turnovers with bad passing. When one lacks sharpness or match practice, it just doesnt make sense to go for hollywood passes everytime, and was unnecessarily petulant. It looked like the team suffered because he was supposed to be the conductor and he was just not effective/laid-back enough in that role. Coquelin is a strange… Read more »


I was at the game….and Podolski was totally anonymous.

Black Hei

“The only plausible reason that Lukas Podolski remained on the field for the full 90 minutes was that he was so anonymous that Arsene Wenger must have assumed he had brought him off already.” – Ian Macintosh


William, William….William. no, who ever says Arsene keeps making the same defensive mistakes for 5 plus years is dense. The stats will show steady improvement and a top 3 D…with the keeper who kept the most clean sheets, the next part in the stat is how much we got plowed away from home…yet still held those stats.The only mistake repeated is lack of cover.


The problem is not really lack of cover, it’s the style of defending we choose to play doesn’t match up with the personnel. Playing Mertesacker in a high defensive line is recipe for disaster he can be turned easily when we lose the ball in the middle of the park when playing that way. It worked last season because we got early goals against many of the weaker teams and started to defend a bit deeper after the lead which hides mertesacker a bit. But we’re being found out early on this season when the opponents score early. Our defensive… Read more »


To be realistic Wenger, it’s the lack of senior defensive options that cost us this game. Once upon a time, the slogan “One nil to the Arsenal” was a valid test to Arsenal’s defensive resolve and the first goal of the game, scored by Arsenal was good enough to win the game.

Black Hei

Lol, what a statement.

Junior Rosicky gave away the penalty. I guess his footballing age is U21.


Well, I think you are right to call Rosciky junior in this context when you consider that he is not a defensive player 😀


I want Alexis taking every free kick from now on. He’s our Messi, fuck it.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

I’m so happy for Diaby. He was just pinging brilliant passes all over the pitch. It brought a smile to my face.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

“According to some analysts Wenger has been making the same defensive errors the last 5 years and yet shows no
sign of change.” William


Can you ask the “analysts” what they’ve accomplished in football? It is easy to sit in a studio and talk nonsense out of one’s ass. I promise you that most of these guys don’t know football. They got their jobs because they know media execs.


Quest que cest?


Henry.These guys are senior players with experience. Merson is an England international. Surely he knows what he is talking. The problem is Wenger thinks he can do no wrong.
When you compare his appalling record against Mu and Chelsesa in particular he has been a regular loser.
The managers of these 2 teams will play like in the Chelsea vs Mc game and stop all routes to goal.To Wenger this is soccer heresy.But these teams win games.
Until Wenger chooses to win ugly,believe Arsenal will continue to lose to the big teams.Spurs will play this way to beat Arsenal.


Haha, considering England’s consistent world beating performances for decades, since when did being an England international become a yardstick for football knowledge. Case in point – Stuart Pearce.


Merson said recently. “Arsenal are a gazillion miles away from winning anything”. He is not an expert. Hilarious, yes. Entertaining, yes. Expert, no. We did not get beaten by any of the big teams at home last year, we olny lost to Villa on the opening day. So why getting beaten at home by a small club wouldn’t surprise you, simply because we got knocked out of the cup by playing a very inexperienced team against a high flying and full strength Southampton, is beyond me. I will be very surpirised if we lose. It could happen but it would… Read more »


Big Per and Gibbs both have slight problems. If they both get injured then we’ve got big problems!


Sad to hear Arsenal lost. Stayed awake but to my surprise they showed Everton’s and Liverpool’s game here in India. Any defeat is difficult but loosing at home becomes really hard to take. Anyways, just lay off the players and focus on the Spurs game this weekend. COYG!!


Why are people complaining about Rosicky and Podolski?
It was their first game this season….of course they’re not gonna be “up to speed”.

Also, well done to Fatgooner for hitting over 100 green thumbs. First time for everything I guess. 😉


We need someone to pick on. Earlier this season it was Ozil, Arteta and Flamini. Today it is Rosicky and Podolski. I am pretty sure that every time we lose this season we will find someone to scapegoat


This unfortunately seems very true. Year after year in recent seasons.


Didnt Rosicky have a full preseason, played internationals and has been training injury-free? Whats the excuse then?


No excuse, it’s simple….he had a bad match. Nothing to look into regarding Rosickys performance. It wasn’t good at all, end of story………but he proved that he isn’t “past it” by running the show for the Czech Republic in their most recent matches, so he’s not a worry for me at all. You can also count the amount of crap performances Tomas has had for us on 1 hand. Podolski on the other hand is a different story, along with our definitely “past it” DMs.


Is it me or does EPL sound SO much better than BPL? Can we stick with the former please, despite Swansea being in the EPL!!

Andy Mack

No such thing as the BPL football wise.


If we let Podolski go we would need an replacement in that particular position as Chambo, Walcott, Alexis is better at the right wing.. #Reus?


I’d love to see Alexis at left wing.


When Walcott returns Alexis is a natural shift over there, Cazorla plays out there quite a lot, and successfully; less crosses, but better end-to-end and controlling play. Ox has and can play left or right, and if Campbell can up his game. Rosicky (i know, bad time to mention that option). My take is we’re pretty well covered with options there.

If we get CB cover and a DM or sufficient defenders to groom Chambers in there, then sure, Reus would be nice> but only after those holes are patched please!


Poldolski 100 grand a week for being the class clown.


Not a bad gig if you can get it, eh?

Arctic Troll

Paul Merson? You mean the Paul Merson? The one who Wenger got rid of as soon as he could, and has never forgiven Wenger for it? The mistakes last night were all in midfield. Rosicky had one of those nights. Podolski just stood around looking like a lemon,meaning Alexis ended up doing his work as well as his own. I’d have taken Poldi off at half time, he was dire. There was nothing happening up front, we just passed from side to side, and that’s Poldi’s fault. And Campbell, who was utterly predictable. Hayden was very impressive, far more than… Read more »

Arctic Troll

@SP: Based on last night you could replace Poldi with a training cone for all the difference it would make.

Tony Hall

We were worried about our young defenders yet it was several of our senior players that let us down.

On the plus side how great was it to see Abou pinging passes all over the pitch and bombing up and down! So pleased for him! Most players would have given up years ago. Really hope he can stay injury free and play a part in the season!

Tony Hall

I don’t care if it was just a league cup game. We play every game to fucking win … end of! The youngsters clearly gave a shit!

3 Billion Dollar Stan

We should have used Podolski in a deal for Draxler last January.


Throwing in Podolski wouldn’t have made a difference….if I remember correctly Schalke wouldn’t budge on his release clause & Arsene, staying true to form, wouldn’t match it. Draxler is one of those players that is almost a guaranteed star if he stays fit IMO & I would rate him only behind Reus & Kroos in the German squad, definitely ahead of Goetze tho.
Other problem is that Podolski probably wouldn’t go to another German club at this point in his career unless is was back home to Koln.


Positives for me are that we have:

LB – Gibbs, Monreal, Coquelin
CB – Kos, Per, Chambers, Hayden
RB – Debuchy, Chambers, Bellerin

I think I’m happy with that defence and any signings would block the development of the younger guys.

Anonymous Physicist

I wonder whether the poor performances of Podolski, Rosicky and Campbell were down to them being disappointed that this was the only competition they were getting a chance in so far? It’s no excuse, but at least Podolski and Campbell seemed to be the least up for it, and they are also the players most vocal about not wanting to be a bit part player. Maybe there is such a thing as too much strength in depth? Apart from those players, the rest of the team seemed to be either excited to be getting a chance, or happy to do… Read more »

Anonymous Physicist

Actually, I don’t mean ‘once Walcott and Gnabry are fit’. I mean, I wouldn’t care too much, especially considering we also have Gnabry and Walcott to come back. I know we will also have some injuries, but even with injuries we hardly seem to need all the attacking players we have.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x