Friday, March 1, 2024

Wenger eager to concentrate on domestic matters

Arsene Wenger said Arsenal’s 4-1 victory against Galatasaray was a strong response to last weekend’s defeat to Stoke and that he’s now looking forward to concentrating on the Premier League.

The Gunners ran out comfortable winners in Istanbul thanks to two goals each by Aaron Ramsey and Lukas Podolski as they finished runners up behind Borussia Dortmund on goal difference.

“We gave a strong response,” reflected the boss post-game.

“We were dangerous every time we won the ball back, had good penetration, goals and until half-time we were very strong.

“In the second half we suffered a bit more – some players had not enough competitive games and I had to take two players off. We were a bit more lightweight in midfield. It was, overall, a strong performance.”

Having assured qualification to the knockout stages for the 15th successive season, the Gunners head into the draw on 15 December knowing they could face any of Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG/Barcelona (yet to be decided which), Monaco or Porto.

After recent early exits in the knockout stages Arsenal fans will no doubt be eyeing a pairing with the latter duo, who played each other in the final in 2004 when the Invincibles should have conquered Europe.

“Let’s wait for the draw, prepare well,” said Wenger eyeing more pressing matters.

“We can focus now on the Premier League. It was my 180th game in the Champions League tonight, we won away from home and are now 15 consecutive years in the last 16. I believe that is an achievement.

“Let’s focus on the Premier League and until the end of February, and the FA Cup as well. Hull will not be an easy game. In February, we will see where we stand.”

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Dave Gooner

Make more use of Lukas in the PL Arsene. He knows where the goal is, and he knows how to bury chances. How a goal scorer of that calibre is sitting on the bench while others are so profilgate in front of goal – we need more than one regular goalscorer on the team.

Wenger's Glasses

True! I hope Arsene would trust the whole squad more, cos up front we got enough depth to rotate, no need to run Santi & Alexis to ground every games for 90 minutes.

Dick Swiveller

It’s tough though, who do you drop him for? Santi is profligate in front of goal but brings so much creativity with other creative players out that you can’t really drop him. We’ve seen what Giroud gives this team, and we need a focal point of either him or Welbeck. He could take some gametime off the Ox, but I thiink the Ox is so close to bringing it all together and gives so much work and power/penetration to the team that he needs plenty of gametime. I guess I don’t need to go through the reasons why we shoulodn’t… Read more »


Giroud is a good player when he performs, but his poor performances are not even Premier League quality. The game against stoke amongst other games were shockingly bad.


You know that Giroud usually needs several chances to convert it to one goal. Yet Arsene Wenger insists on benching Podolski, who imho, is the best finisher at the club. It would be very exciting to see him start regularly. If Arsene Wenger sells him in January I’ll be pissed off.


Podolski IS the best finisher in the team. Sometimes when i watch the chances giroud misses, i just wish there was a way to swap him that instant and bring poldi in.


The problem is that goal scoring is all he does, he doesn’t generally create his own chances, and he does little else when he plays that’s why I think he gets little playing time. If we had a solid DM, I think he’d have more game time

Dave Gooner

I want our striker to be a goal scorer above all else. That is what Poldi is. Goals win games. Having him and Alexis on the team at the same time can only be a good thing. And with Danny in there too, there isn’t a defence in the world that will be able to drop concentration for even a second.

We have the tools, we just need to use them.


To me it is not an either-or. It’s AND, but someone else has to lose out for him to start.

I love what Poldi brings in the box- he is by far the most efficient finisher. But it’s not a 1 for 1 comparison. Can he muscle off a CB with his back to goal and play a deft backheel while doing so?

Even in this match he had Sanogo to play Big Man knocking CB’s around – and feeding him the 2nd.


Because deft back heels are what it’s all about, not goals.

Dick Swiveller

I’ve seen us with Poldi as the CF, I’d rather I never have to see it again.

Also, have you ever seen a Championship striker? Even Giroud on his off days is far above that level…remember that Akinbiyi did pretty well down there and you see the level you’re trying to put him at. When he has to play an entire season as our only CF, he struggles, but this season he has been great throughout.




I would be happy to see him get some longer sub appearances, and tell the FB to sit back more and cover when he comes on. Part of why he didn’t have defensive worries is Bellerin wasn’t overlapped on him much and was playing more cautiously. With Poldi, that just seems to me to be the best way. Utilize his strengths.


Well, the first thing he can do is make regular substitutions at 60 minutes.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Well with Ozil currently out there is no need for Santi to be out on the left – Rotate the midfield with Ramsey, Cazorla, Flam and Ox, and the wide players are up for grabs by Sanchez, Poldi and Ox, with Giroud and Welbeck competing for the middle spot.

There’s more than enough games (and we have more than enough injuries) for everybody to be getting decent game time.

Mark Hughes

Probably because last night was the first time in ages that Lukas had actually put in a shift and also helped his full back out. If he works that hard every game and scores then I doubt he would be on the bench for much longer.


He didn’t even cover his fullback with any malice .maybe 10% Of the time. I could have made a compilation of him just wandering back


I dont know why people voted me down lol. Go watch the game he just jogs near them until the player he should be marking goes into someone elses zone, then that player reacts but gets 2vs1’d and then they either have a free shot outside the box or they come back pods way and its 3vs2 etc. it not only messes around with our shape it means the DM’s or LB has to do more work! Pod jogs and it pisses me off. Yes he can shoot but the turks were complete shit with no pace. Also Sanogo is… Read more »


Poldi is old fashion striker, his job is scoring goals,and I like it.
I got enough players trying everything but not their game. If he put the ball into the net,he can even take a selfie with chelsea doctor,I don’t care!!

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

Don’t mean to be a cunt but why do you inflict that gruesome fuck face on us with your icon and name?


Because Mark Hughes has got Wenger’s number and wins against us with every team he manages, Blackburn Fulham, QPR. Man City and Stoke
A picture of Jose Mourinho would also be appropriate or a picture of Wenger with a Man united logo stuck to his forehead.
I am sick of losing to that and them.
Pardew on Saturday. Time for Wenger to embarrass hisself and us again by engaging in a fist fight with that asshole after they score their second (predictable) breakaway goal.
I hope I am wrong
Up The Arsenal

alexis' shorts

Although the main criticism Poldi gets is his apparent lack of energy, I think another reason is that he doesn’t get involved in our interplay buildup very often. From yesterday’s game and a few other bits of video I pulled up it’s like he doesn’t want the ball unless he’s around the penalty box. At least that’s how it seems with his body language plus he will almost immediately pass the ball off and head toward the box. Thing is, the team isn’t built around his style of play, so that’s why it looks like he disappears. He’s not strong… Read more »

ZA Gunner

I say amputate Poldi’s left peg and graft it onto Giroud. A good hold up player with lethal finishing. Problem solved.


lets show the ‘special cunt’ how to beat Alan Padeaux.

Mark Hughes

Do you think Arsene could ask Alan how to beat Chelsea?




Despite it being a ‘dead rubber’, the positives that stood out for me were;
1. We scored from a counter attack (Rambo’s 1st)
2. We scored from a set-piece- somewhat. (Rambo’s beautiful 2nd)

I feel we’ve barely exploited those 2 avenues to get us goals this season.
Hopefully more of such goals will come.

Onwards & upwards. #COYG #VCC

Bullet in the Chambers

I dont see why everyone is calling it dead rubber. It wasn’t. Going into the match we needed a win. Its was not unrealistic to expect BvB to lose their match given their recent form. It only became “dead rubber” once both matches had ended but up until the final whistle there was a lot at stake. This isn’t a case of the players performing when it doesn’t matter. It did matter during the game. Just because Wenger fielded an alternate team it is not indicative of the importsnce of the match. It was a tactical choice given that we… Read more »

Man Manny

Some may say it was against a weak team but we also fielded a relatively weak team. Great win and good one for Pod and Ramsey.
The knockout is February; if we get our injured players back and do some good business in January, a big team may just be shocked in the CL.
Of all the teams angling for 3rd and 4th in the league, we have the best squad. Don’t see why we can’t do it. Lets go for it.


Debuchy back, Ozil back soon and hopefully Kos can get those tendons under control!

Love your optimism.

Tony Hall

Great game last night. More of the same please!
Actions speak louder than words!


Our recent woes make you realise you watch football to enjoy football. And Ramsey’s goal was … football.


I’m sure I’m not the only one worried that if English teams keep crashing out, then one day 4th spot won’t be enough


That may be a blessing in disguise, we will no longer be contend with 4th spot and Wenger some how have to pull up his socks to achieve a top 3. We may still end up at 3rd but it won’t be as easy as 4th. As shown in the past few seasons, third place is always close to challenging the title but wither out at the end. Hence, Wenger can no longer rest on his laurels as 4th always seems to be easy for him to achieve.

Andy Mack

4th was a nice option when we had our issues.
Our target now is to be fighting for the No1 spot, and in a couple of years when our new money has had time to work, then we’ll only be happy with No1.

AW is the most ambitious manager in the PL but he’s also been realistic over the last few years knowing that selling players means we wouldn’t be able to fight consistently for the top slot.

Dick Swiveller

Nah, the Premier league still has far too much money for that to ever happen, think about the amount of money for the TV rights and the ‘prestige’ of English football when compared to bringing in a second Latvian team or wherever would take the 4th spot from us.

Whenever it is monetarily advantageous, you can bet all you have on footballing authorities to fight tooth and nail to keep it that way.


We are also ranked 2nd and it would take something quite special to drop to 4th (or 6th, whatever it is to lose the 4th team). It is also averaged over 5 years and so would take a few years to happen anyway.


I mentioned in another post that I thought we needed the English teams to do well in the CL in order for the Premier League to retain its top three UEFA league ranking, but someone else pointed out that Italy are presently in fourth spot and have a very long way to go to get to third. So England will remain at four clubs for the foreseeable future.


Oh I WISH that happens. Who knows, maybe it’ll push wenger to performing better.


I’ll be ‘Happy’ if we don’t get paired with Real or Bayern.

The mathematics would say its a 1/3 chance.

Factor in that we are Arsenal.
It’s a dead on cert.

Mark Hughes

Knowing our luck, we’ll get a best XI of both teams combined.


With Bayern Munich as the substitutes bench.


@%#$^%$, I meant Barcelona!


I love the champions league nights playing against the best teams in the world. Its what it’s all about.

It would be great if that happened at a later stage in the tournament but I’d be happy to play them either way.


We’ll face one of Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Monaco, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, or Porto. If that cunt of a linesman had got the offside right against Anderlecht, we’d be facing one of Juventus, Basle, Bayer Leverkusen, PSG, Schalke, or Shakhtar. Sigh … I suppose there’s a 50/50 chance of getting one of Porto, Monaco, or (grits teeth) Atletico, but knowing our luck we’ll end up with one of the big clubs. And UEFA will pass a special rule that the away leg must be on a Friday, the night before we play a 12:45p Saturday away match in the PL.… Read more »

Russian Fan

“15 consecutive years in the last 16. I believe that is an achievement”

Plz, stop it, Arsene. I can’t believe he said it once again, it’s not an achievement for our club, we had history and titles over all 128 years, how did last 16 became an achievement?


You might want to check how we’ve done over the last 128 years compared to the last 15 years…

Russian Fan

And what we’ve done? When Wenger arrived to Arsenal we had 10 league titles – same as United. What the situation now? We had 2 eurocups. Wenger for all this years had just 2 UCL semifinals, and not a single eurocup. You can dislike my comments, but that’s pure facts. P.S. Sorry for my English, guys, I love Arsenal and BPL, but as you can see it’s not my native.


West Ham haven’t won 10 league titles! You crazy! For those of us who have supported the club for longer than five minutes, we remember some spells pre-Wenger when we were quite good, and we remember what seemed like an eternity as the second best club in North London – yes, that’s right kiddies, the scum at the Lane were better than us. We remember what being inconsistent was like, when getting into Europe was something unusual for our club, and when we could only dream of playing against the likes of Bayern and Barca because we’d got knocked out… Read more »

jack jack jack

@Double <3

Andy Mack

It’s not the BPL, it’s the EPL or PL.
BPL would have to include Scotland etc.


“Barclays Premier League”

Dale Cooper

Barclays Premier League. Quite a lot of foreign broadcasters/websites call it the BPL.

Also, don’t forget about our friends in Swansea!

Andy Mack

I apologise.
I assumed he was referring to the british premier etc.
Cardif & Swansea play in the English (Barclays) PL but I’m pretty sure there is a welsh league (I think it’s a requirement to have a national team in international footy)


Well, Cardiff USED to play in the BPL …

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

Too much vodka for you commie!


It’s an achievement because all the teams around us are trying to get the same thing. Liverpool crashed out this season, Chelsea crashed out two seasons ago, City are hanging by a thread. United didn’t even make it. Spurs did it once, Everton didn’t even get to the group phase. And everyone else just dreams.

Last season I was impressed that we got 4 wins, 12 points and never even topped the group. This season we improved to 13 points, and still no luck…


You are one of those unrealistic fans who plays too much FM and is impossible to satisfy. His comments were made with regards to qualifying to the last 16 last night and not to compare qualifying to the last 16 to the achievements made in the history of Arsenal. Again, if you don’t understand how qualifying to the last 16 15 years in a row is an achievement just look at Liverpool last night or Man City tonight (hopefully). Just because we are Arsenal doesn’t mean we have a given right to play in the Champions League every year and… Read more »

Dick Swiveller


I don’t think I need to analyse anything, as plenty of peple above me have pointed out how an acheivement is still an achievement even if it isn’t winning the pentuple every season, just felt I needed to add a scornful laugh.



You can’t dream of winning it if you can’t get out of your group 😀

Baby steps…

Also, for all the talk of us never winning it, or never having a chance, we were only 15 minutes away. Fine margins…


Actually, we were one blown offside call away – Anderlecht’s first at the Emirates was about two yards offside.


Correct, but I was talking about winning the Champions League (re the Barcelona final).

Liverpool fans keep claiming they’re a bigger team because they’ve won it and we haven’t. They’re right in a sense, but we weren’t far away.


Ask Man United for all the trophys they have won, how much it hurts not being in the champions league this season. Everyone keeps banging on about not winning anything for 10 years but forget that its always going to be about now. Even if he’d won it the last ten years, we would be singing “What have you done for me lately?” I fault Arsene for particular games that we lost when we had a full first 11 fit. Now the guy can’t help it that more than half of his first 11 were not available from the start… Read more »


Agreed, everyone was bashing united, even their own fans went into hiding last season avoiding any debates in football. Doesn’t matter if you won a treble last season, if you are having a bad season, you will get thrashed in talks.

Dick Swiveller

I agree that our first 11 is as good as anyone (now that they’re up to speed with each other, and actually building relationships) but I’m not sure how important that is as injuries DO happen and to fail to take them into account is, without a doubt, an oversight; especially given that we’ve dropped a fair few points, just by not having enough defenders in the squad.


All valid comments….buy many feel another manager would and could do better with Arsenal’s resources.

Mark Hughes

More like some not many.


Many are unable to come up with viable suggestions. Off the top of my head the managers who are certainly as good or better include Ancelotti, Pep, Klopp, Rudi Garcia, Simeone, and Mourinho. I’m on the fence about Pellegrini (loved his Villareal team, he did great work with Malaga, got short shrift at Madrid, but hasn’t made the most of City yet) but he’s clearly not coming over. In fact most of those guys ain’t goin nowhere. You could maybe talk me into Tuchel or Spaletti if Arsene quit, but I wouldn’t fire him for them. Honestly I think our… Read more »


Thanks to Ramsey’s goal, I will never again look at a football casually. It is an object worthy of respect.


There’s beauty in there once the Trophies Only blinders are cast off, or set aside for a moment.


What I admire about Wenger is his dedication to Arsenal Football club. If I were in his shoe, I would have left along with the exodus of Fabregas, Nasri, RVP. All our big players left and Wenger stay to steady the ship. People talk about Wenger’s earning 8 Million pounds, but do you know he was offered by Real Madrid, PSG and Monaco that not only could have match his currently salary but double that. Had Wenger care about his resume or reputation, he would have left for greener pasture. Yet, he stay to endure the insults, the pain, the… Read more »

Andy Mack

When a player gets paid 150k per week (7.8m per annum) he’s unlikely to respect his boss who’s only paid 2 or 3m. Standard business practice.

bims lay

That is what you get when you have a good manager, who also over the years, grew to love the club that he is managing….I personally believe that he is also an arsenal fan at heart. You really dont have to be a fan of the club you are managing, to be a very good manager……witness Mancity, witness Chelsea, bayern, Real, Barca…etc….but you dont stay in one for 18 years, despite being touted with better offers, from rival clubs, unless you really love the club, as a fan……witness manU/Alex Fergusson, arsenal/Arsene Wenger. The man deserves a lot more respect than… Read more »

sanchez la sangat

Great response from the team.Now the difficult part,to maintain the performance.we need someone who can bark to the team when they lose their way of winning.woof woof


I’m one of the few who fancies our chances in the CL but it’s good to have a cushion domestically so we can really concentrate on Europe.

Andy Mack

In many ways it suits our game better. There are some really poor CL refs but most are better than the PL refs as they tend to play to the rules more than the PL ref, who let fouls go in order to let the game flow, and we get fouled a lot!
Just a same the opposition is so good at this level….


Last night’s dominance wasn’t complicated to understand…

We just love playing against a defensive high-line. It was the main formula of the Invincibles, and that one game against Ajax changed everything and became the blueprint for foiling us.

Basically, any team that plays a high line against us hasn’t done their homework.

Adam Richards

I don’t know as an Arsenal fan we are forced to go through moments of joy followed by gut wrench pain on a continuous cycle. Or the media/us just looks to make this happen.

For one of the most consistent clubs ever it is sure is a roller coaster ride.


Giroud has proved he iisa good impact player, for the rest of the season I would start welbeck ox and Sanchez as front three bringing Giroud off the bench as plan b . That miss against stoke is unforgivable seeing as he never creates his own chances

Russian Fan

I read all the answers and I can’t really believe I see that situation. It’s probably easy for me to critisice Wenger from 10000 km away, but you guys, supporting the greatest club of the biggest cities in the world and paying the most expensive tickets in Europe still think that Arsenal Football Club deserves this? Deserve just a 4th place and last 16? 5-6 biggest, richest and popular club in the world with great 128 years history? I really can’t understand it, guys, sorry, where’s your pride?


Nothing wrong with my pride. It isn’t measured solely on 1st or nothing. Ask Dortmunders if they are proud of supporting their team. By their voices I’d say they are, and they were or are bottom of the Bundesliga. To me pride is seeing beyond that. Thick or thin. Besides, we haven’t finished the season so no point in saying 4th yet, and with the recent change in the financial picture and the return to buying top talent, I think the club is on its way back to where we all want it to be. This year? Next year? If… Read more »

Dick Swiveller

Not really sure if we ‘deserve’ anything, but competing against two teams with blank chequebooks and the biggest club in the world (possibly second, Madrid may be bigger), it seems like it isn’t something we should expect but certainly something we should aspire to.

Then again, an extra CB wouldn’t have cost us much more than 15/20m and would have saved us a few points, so it’s not like we’re at our glass ceiling, we cut through that with the two diamonds we brought in over the last 18 months.


By that silly kind of logic, clubs like West Ham and Bolton who’ve never won fuck all should play to empty stadia. Please do grow up. I’m sure that right now Man Ure would swap places with us in a heartbeat. So would Liverpoo.

Russian Fan

Ok, guys, I understand. Wenger prefers gubbins, you prefer it too. Arsenal FC doesn’t Don’t forget to support Wenger, when he’ll say “We avoided relegation, it’s an achievement”.

Russian Fan

As Bill Shankly once said, “If you are first you are first. If you are second you are nothing”. And who the f*** is forth?


Its pretty obvious who are the ‘johnny come lately’s’ or simply the youngsters who post on this site. 1, they have no patience; 2, they have no perspective as to the history of the club or the EPL in general and the time before that existed.
That’s fine, we all started at some time, supporting the mighty Gunners, but why are they all of the #wengerout camp, I wonder?


Because they think life’s a video game where if you don’t win some vast reward every five minutes, it’s not worth playing. Instant gratification required, and throw your toys out of the pram if you don’t get it.

Don’t worry, N16, in 20 or 30 years they’ll all grow up and it’ll be their turn to wonder and remonstrate at the impatience of the next generation.

(Wenger, by then in his 40th year of leading the club, will still ooze class and dignity.)


Arsene Wenger managing until he is 87 years old? Comedy gold.


okay, you have it out for us, let me give you some in return… do you want us to do highlight Wenger’s incompetence every game? this game is even more proof we need fresh eyes…his inability to rotate and trust his fringe players in crucial games (admittedly this season, it’s every league game because he can’t make the attack work with his regular “pet ensemble” of players who view their place as automatic and will not get dropped no matter what…why would we preach patience after so many years of the same crap? Just because you think the standard that… Read more »


I am Arsenal for 45 years, a real plastic who has never been to a game.
Wenger must go before he incites a riot, there is still time, till May 2015

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Just ran a simulation of the draw and over 7,500 iterations this is the probability by oponent
Bayern 23%
Monaco 18.3%
Barcelona 15.3%
Porto 14.8%
Real Madrid 14.4%
Atletico 14.1%

Not surprisingly Bayern is top…


Wouldn’t the odds just be 17% for everyone? (naturally because we’re arsenal somehow we’re destined to find bayern/real, but still)

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Take the German clubs for instance, all of them have only 5 possible opponents since there is 2 German teams in each pot and they can’t play the other team from their group. So, ignoring the other team’s conflicts Bayern would have 20% chance of playing us from their viewpoint but only 17% from ours. There are even more dynamics at play that are more complex than this, as evidenced by the simulation.


Hmm interesting. I suppose it does get a bit complex

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Would be interesting to hear if 7amkickoff has something on this.


I would like to draw Bayern and beat them LOL
Did you see their goal last night?
Fuck! it looked like The Arsenal on that rare day when they can string more than two passes together.


Just to make a point, I don’t think it’s fair those wenger apologists should call those in the wenger camp out after one petty victory…we all have our point of views…but those in wenger out camp are calling out the manager because of FOOTBALLING reasons…the results on the pitch over 10 years speak for themselves. The wenger apologists are telling me to look towards the future under the same formula, same leadership hoping there would be a change in fortune because you have to be loyal and not fickle and patient and all those nice things you have to have… Read more »

ZA Gunner

Or that the past ten years haven’t been that dire when you take all the factors into consideration, and that it’s easy to call for his head, but not as easy to identify a successor who is definitely going to be an improvement. I’m also getting a bit tired of Wenger (and what look like obvious repeated mistakes), but I believe more than anything that he has earned the right to see out his contract and benefit from our new spending power. He has been completely fucked by injuries this year (partially his own fault, granted). I’d love to see… Read more »

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