Saturday, June 15, 2024

Wenger eyes defensive stability in 2015

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal must focus on their own performances as they enter the second half of the season and hopes defensive stability will help them close the gap on their rivals.

The Gunners currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea and with Southampton, Manchester United and Manchester City also ensconced in the Champions League positions.

Questioned whether he thinks his side are likely title challengers given their current standing, Wenger refused to be drawn on specific aims instead underlining the importance of giving their all.

“We will fight to be as close as possible [to the top],” he told his pre-Southampton press conference. “We are not in a mode of calculating, we are in a mode of ‘let’s go to the next game and win it’.

“You give your best and if there is a weakness in front of you, you want to take advantage of it. I don’t know if there will be any weakness in front of us, but what I know is that we can give our best until the end of the season to have a chance to do it.

“I believe that there is a deficit between the potential we have shown and the number of points we have. That’s what we want to get right. I feel we were very, very unlucky with the injuries we got. With the number of injuries we’ve had, we have survived quite well.

“But I believe that hopefully in the second part of the season, we’ll have more stability, especially defensively, to be more consistent.”

One of the keys to achieving that stability will depend on the fitness of Laurent Koscielny. The French international has missed a big chunk of the season so far with Achilles and calf injuries, but returned to the starting line-up on Saturday to help the Gunners grind out a 2-1 victory at Upton Park.

“His individual quality is huge, he is a top-class defender,” the manager said of his compatriot.

“On top of that he has a lot of experience together with Per Mertesacker and you could feel that in the game against West Ham.

“They understand each other well, they understand each other’s movements and they cover each other very well.

“You judge a defence more as a back four. We want to show have big targets in front of us now and that our back four can deal with the problems we have. In some games we were a bit exposed because we had a lack of experience.”


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happy gunner

Hopefully cloning becomes a reality soon and we can produce another kosc that’s not banjaxed. Or you know we could buy another CB, but I’m pretty sure cloning is more likely


I was going to comment something along the lines of buying a CB but after you opening comment, there isn’t anything more to say!

My name is my name

Cloning Kos would be amazing.


Giroud gets injured kicking a ball. Debuchy gets injured landing on grass. Özil gets injured passing the ball. I think bad luck doesn’t even come close to describe our injury crisis.

Andy Mack

Mikel and Ramsey both out during the same game!

It has a much wider effect when it’s ‘in game’ as it also makes certain sub necessary so the ‘rotation’ substitutions become much more limited (and AW isn’t too good at that anyway).

Andy Mack

Add into that the injuries to Hayden and Semi, just at the time we could have ‘blooded’ them both. OK it may have proved to be too soon but at least we’d have found that out.

Dick Swiveller

We had the option of playing Chambers in the middle, and Wenger opted for the experienced option (after what happened at Stoke, he may well have been right) then so unless Hayden or Semi are seen as having more potential than Chambers, or less of a risk combined with him at RB, rather than Bellerin, then I doubt they’d have got a game.

Andy Mack

I think one of them would have got a game in the one where Flamini played at FB, but they were both ‘out’. I think AWs aware that he needs the right mix of CBs for it to work and that he didn’t expect CC & BFG to be a great mix but just had to try it. If one of the others had a decent game then it would have put them in with a chance at other games.

Truth hurts

Rosicky gets injured sleeping at night and Arteta gets injured trapping a pass.
Its unbelievable

Me So Hornsey

One of the keys to achieving that stability is to buy another defender, fit Kos or not.

However, I’ve looked at Winston Reid’s stats and also his a couple of YouTube links (which obviously tell us everything I need to know), and I have to admit I’m not convinced.

He’s very fouly and not very passy. A bit of a hoofer if I must say. He’s tall and strong though but a totally un-Wenger like signing as far as I can see.

A bit of a Christipher Samba ring to that rumour.


Perrin seems much more likely. Probably about the same price, can play two (three in a pinch) positions, very experienced, although admittedly not in the PL. He’s the same age as kos and mert, which isn’t ideal, but otherwise seems a lot like a wenger signing.


I wish he could see that we weren’t ‘unlucky’ with injuries. Everyone could see we needed another defender. We didn’t get one and injuries screwed us in defence. Fabregas was available, we didn’t get him and injuries screwed us in midfield. We did buy forwards, so injuries didn’t screw us up front. Injuries are only a problem if you don’t have cover. It’s not luck.

Andy Mack

We were unlucky with injuries but we could have been less unlucky if he’s got a CB in the summer. We’ve more MF players than we usually know what to do with. If he’d bought another one then the web would have exploded with ‘he’d bought a player we don’t need but failed to get a CB !’ and then we’d have people moaning about salaries for MF players that warm the bench. On top of that many wouldn’t want the two-faced Spaniard back here after he went ‘on strike’ to get his dna move. AW knows we need a… Read more »


And i’m sure we couldn’t afford to spend 65 mil on two players especially 30 mil for attacking midfielder when we are packed with AM’s, so if wenger had to chose to spent 35 mil on one player, alexis or cesc which you would buy? It’s not brainier even to compare, we have had so many unlucky injuries in midfield with ozil, wilshere and ramsey, but i’m sure in the second half of the season if the inured players are back 100% or the next season this team will prove that we don’t need cesc, and after I watched his… Read more »


Blah blah blah

Have a squad capable of dealing with injuries, a balanced squad even

Andy Mack

How many is that then?


47 midfielders, and 12 defenders, apparently.

Ozil, Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey (off and on), Arteta, Debuchy, Giroud, Kos, and Ox were all out at the same time. And that wasn’t even everyone. Throw in the occasional Gibbs / Monreal and GK’s for funsies.

There is no way anything but bad luck could explain that, especially with 5 of those NOT being overuse injuries.


15 attacking minded midfielders and 10 strikers

obvious stater

Buy Hummels, must be able to lure him away from Dortmund seeing as we are considerably richer than yaaawwww and they are relegation fodder.

Or swap Podolski for Vidic. Jobs a good un

Andy Mack

There must be better options than those two surely.


Look, we have a top,class manager who needs our support. Wenger,should jst try n get his CB n DM a little bit quicker in January…


And your point is?


Wenger saying he needs more in midfield must mean a DM is coming in?

Fingers crossed….

Andy Mack

Where did he say that we need a MF?

I want Varane

My name says it all.

Andy Mack

Nice idea but very very unlikey.


No need to clone. Just buy a CBack. Considering Meterscielny are 29/30yrs, we will have to visit this sooner than later. The player coming in should preferably be able to rotate through the Meterscielny combination. A such,a blend of both players is desirable but quite obviously will be difficult to find. Also I feel the player should be about 23-26 with plenty of upside but sufficiently developed and experienced. We need a player for the now, particularly if Per gets a knock being that he is in the red zone. Height is also an issue given back up to Metersecker.… Read more »

Me So Hornsey

Van Dyke and Carvalho it is then. I expect both to have joined by the end of tomorrow, no excuses.

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