Wenger: We didn’t look like scoring

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Arsene Wenger admits his side didn’t look like scoring against Sunderland despite mustering 28 shots at goal and having 76% possession.

While the 0-0 draw secured a point that all but clinches third spot in the table, the fact his side failed to find the back of the net for a third successive home game has the boss concerned ahead of the FA Cup final.

Speaking to press after the game the Frenchman lamented another frustrating night at the Emirates before urging his side to put on a show for the crowd in Sunday’s final Premier League outing of the season.

“You can say that we dominated possession and we lacked a bit of sharpness in our movement, in the way we prepared our chances and in our finishing as well.

“Physically it was an intense game on Sunday from what we have analysed and we were a bit jaded tonight. We haven’t scored in the last three games at home and the fact that we couldn’t score played a big part in our spontaneous attitude when finishing.

“You have to expect your opponent to play well and you to be good enough to beat them despite that. Overall it is what it is.

“We are in a strong position now to finish in the top three. Let’s do it and finish the season well in the cup final. We have to recover. It’s important to win on Sunday and give a good final game to our fans. After that we need to prepare for the FA Cup final.”

Asked whether his side had played with enough width, the boss continued: “We played with three strikers. Two wingers and one centre forward. We had the full backs going forward. Sebastian Coates especially and John O’Shea defended our crosses very well.

“We didn’t look like scoring, even if we had 28 shots on goal. There was something missing always and you could see that they would throw their body in every time. We needed something special to score tonight because they defended very well.”

Manchester United could still pip the Gunners to automatic entry to the Champions League group stages, but it would require an Arsenal defeat against West Bromwich Albion and for Louis van Gaal’s side to secure a win that overcomes a seven goal deficit.

It’s not a situation that is particularly concerning Wenger.

“Have I got any nerves about finishing third? No. We want to win our game on Sunday, that’s all. We want to prepare to win the game on Sunday.

“You could see that some players are a bit [tired]. We played our 56th game of the season tonight and some players have given a lot. We still have time to recover for Sunday and prepare well for the FA Cup final. What is important now is that we win on Sunday.”

Talk of jaded players does seem a little odd given it was his choice to make only two changes to the starting line-up when other options are currently available. It remains to be seen whether he tinkers further in four days time.

 

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Trez

Well I agree…lack of cutting edge. But giroud should’ve converted that bellrin cross, but he was no where to be found.
We def need a new striker..Giroud doesn’t cut it for me. Enough of this myth of us not able to survive without him. If there’s someone better available, buy him not look for someone to “assist him”.
We go into next season with giroud and welbeck as our strikers, expect the same “arsenal cycle” may 2016.

Hi-brid

Tinker away. Rosicky and Walcott should start. Cazorla and Alexis should be rested.

Emmanuel

This is the sort of game where we needed Rosicky’s runs (carrying the ball) and probing. I wonder what the mozart did wrong because Santi really looked tired from about the 50th minute. He may be old but no way I start Wilshere ahead of Rosicky on any given day. We really needed to go into the final game without any pressure. Football is one old funny game so the players know they can’t rest because freak results happen all the time. Anyways, we’re The Arsenal, we never take the easy way out

Coq Au Vin

Please tinker!!!

Siz C

I don’t understand why santi wasn’t rested and replaced with Rocky? And why wasn’t Sanchez rested?

Kinda concerned about which Arsenal team turn up at Wembley?

frank from vienna

spot on in the last column, so why ffs doesn´t he change something earlier or even at the start? why not bring two fresh players like walcott and rosicky in the 60th minute? i really find those changes in the 70th or 84th sooo annoying.

Miranda

Yep, same old 70th-minute substitutions, same old refusal to rotate, same old excuses. ‘We lacked a little bit spontaneity’, ‘We were a little bit tired’. Having heard this same post-match explanation for over a decade, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask when Wenger thinks he’ll be finding the solution. Talksport talks a lot of rubbish a lot of the time but it was hard not agree with yesterday’s match commentator’s view that our failure to break down the better defences reflects badly on our coaching. We’re hardly short of talent. No team that includes Oezil, Sanchez, Wilshere, Ramsey, plus the… Read more »

Stringer Bell

Amazing the delusion of some, even a few on here who were saying Ramsey out wide was a good move, it’s awful and could never last. Tonight Jack wide was not the solution even if we had won tonight. It gets so congested in the middle. At least Theo provided some width and was a threat. I pray wenger don’t start the final with Ramsey out wide right. It means with him and Giroud we have no pace whatsoever. I would be amazed if he didn’t start Ramsey out wide because he dosent seem able to drop either Ramsey or… Read more »

Cygan's Magical Left Foot

He wants to fit all the players he wants the system that he stumbled into because of injuries gone with the wind. He is back to the start of the season trying to play one of the midfield wide. He will never learn, he is like kind of top four secured lets fuck up the system that made us look good. I was telling someone after last week game, he will drop Le Coq to fit Jack into the team and to hell with the result, just like not playing Theo on the right to fit Ramsey into the team… Read more »

Highberry

Anyone who can put square pigs into round holes deserves praise I say “well done le Professeur” square pigs after all would mean complete coverage of the slice of bread thereby making the perfect bacon sandwich.
Bravo

Chimichanga Monreal (cuz that's way more fun to say)

He didn’t play Coq because he knew the opposing team would just sit deep and not attack. No point in playing Coq in that scenario, play a different type of CM. He didn’t do it to get Jack into the team.

Ger Scully

Wenger’s two most successful sides had a central midfielder on the right. The industry of Parlour and Ljungberg complimenting the pace of Overmars and guile of Pires. Playing Ramsey there is not a bad move as he’s clever enough to exploit the channels. We need to be more creative on the left side and utilise the runs from the right like we used to do.

Cygan's Magical Left Foot

Exactly my point, football have moved on and Arsene and by the look of it also you, stayed in the past, it is not 2004 any more.

Goone's Farm

You talk about football evolving but tell me, how was the team that drew to us yesterday set-up, or the team that beat us at home just the game before? Hardly evolved stuff. Tactics don’t magically stop working when they’re no longer mainstream. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the last two goals we’ve received were caused by badly handled crosses from the right flank. We need someone to provide cover for Bellerin, he gets exposed too easily when he’s isolated. That’s why Ramsey’s getting the nod ahead of Walcott. The man doesn’t trackback enough, simple as that.

Stringer Bell

Yep, simple as that Ramsey covers bellerin and we don’t concede, just don’t score at the other end either, simple as that smart arse.

Alexstratz

3 strikers? So Wilshere is a striker now?

cezi

Giroud tends to make it look like you are never gonna score given the amount of opportunities he manages to fuck up. Anyone who says that he is world class should wake the fuck up and smell the coffee. He is one of the slowest and worst techniqually gifted players in the entire league. His playing style is all about his physicality inside the penalty box. And yet you find deluded fans having a go at Özil when he probably fed Giroud and various other players with plenty of good passes & crosses. Techniqual ability & pace for strikers are… Read more »

newxieland

Well at least we get suckered at the end…

Need to be a lot more ruthless in front of goal next season.

Can’t help but feel that our front three are all very direct… need a schemer in the moulds of a Hazard/Silvia to pick apart the 10 buses that opposing teams parks at the Emirates.

Arseblood

Rest them all on Sunday!

Dilcsi

A game we were — let’s be honest — relatively lucky not to lose, in the sense that their chances were better than ours.

Villa will fancy their chance at Wembley…

Topemi

If these guys were injured, he will find a way to use his reserves, why not use them now and make other fresh?

Goone's Farm

Since we all seem to agree we never looked like scoring yesterday, why not discuss what Striker we could bring in the summer to provide goals and efficiency. Now the standard answer is “We need a world class Lewandowski/Suarez/Aguero level player” followed by the obligatory list of all the most expensive and coveted top strikers (Cavani, Benzema, Reus, Griezmann, Tevez, even Lacazette) that we will most likely not get. I feel like we’ve been overlooking many good options just because of our obsession to get a “world class player” as if we need to validate our ability to compete with… Read more »

WinningGunner

For me, the player I think will fit into our system is Jackson Martinez. He might be expensive but I think he will give us most of what we need. He’s a big guy like Giroud meaning he can hold up play and score. He’s also young. Another player is Dzeko, I think City may cash on him this year like they did to Tevez.

Goone's Farm

Very good options too. but like you said, if they’ll come it’ll be at an expensive price. Not that it should matter so much now that we have the ability to spend. But You know Wenger and the board.

sam

For me last night’s game really highlighted the need for us to get a world class striker. We might not win the league with a 25+ goal scorer but we will sure be challenging at the very least.

Jaywon

how I wish Arsene rested Sanchez and cazorla last night…I wld ve started Ramsey and wilshere in d middle and Theo on d right. cld even have started Rosicky on d left. I bet we wldnt still ve lost. I have continually said Ospina is good enough even if some people think otherwise and he has been showing that.

Monkey Nuts

Is not the problem with this squad and subsequent first 11 that not enough goals are scored by the midfield. Sanchez obviously has done well up to about 2 months ago and Ramsey up to his injury at the beginning of 2014 was banging them in. However goal returns from Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshire and Walcott are generally poor and with Sanchez and Ramsey drying up also this is really compounding a problem. Giroud and Wellbeck are confidence players and will score more if everyone chips in.

More effort form the midfield is required.

Goone's Farm

There is a lot of truth in what you’re saying. The midfield’s contribution in the goalscoring department has declined but the problem I believe, lies not in a lack of effort but a lack of proper execution. They are taking shots, they are still trying as ever. But when was the last time Cazorla scored? Just think of the number of shots you see him take every game yet his last league goal was against Palace in February. That’s too wasteful from a player who’s touch is as good as Santi’s. He recorded per Squawka 91 shots in the PL,… Read more »

ger

I remain an optimist.
However, its difficult to look at the league table and see that we are 4 pts behind City, when we recently looked like getting ahead of them………
Can anyone put a finger on where we are? And please dont say third!!

Fergie the Gooner

A couple of “world class” players short of being able to compete for the title?

WestSideGooner

What is the use of having a loaded bench with good quality players ? Why play Ramsey immediately after coming back from an injury? Why play Kos when he had a flu midweek? When is the last time Ozil had a rest after coming back from injury? Why don’t we rest players and instead play with the same starting lineup in every fucking game? Will our backup players have match fitness when any of our first XI gets injured?

james

i think someone should lick my ass

santori

Some of our shooting was tepid to say the least.

Hope we do a shooting clinic for the lads before the next one

We had better opportunities particularly when Walcott and Rosicky were on. One made a number of off ball cross the box runs and the other exploited the diagonal channel which we should have done earlier in game. Frankly, thought Walcott should have come on start of second half. Wenger’s timing for subs has always been too timid and it cost us time in opportunity to score.