Thursday, June 8, 2023

Wenger: red card changed the game plan

Arsene Wenger has admitted the red card shown to Aleksandar Mitrovic altered the way he expected his team to play against Newcastle today.

Having selected Theo Walcott up front, it’s clear he wanted to be able to use the pace of the England international, but with the home side sitting deep that left him struggling to make any impact at all against a packed defence.

“I expected more space for Theo Walcott,” he said. “At the start it looked quite promising but after 15 minutes it was a different problem for us.

“There was no space behind their defenders, the service through their lines was very difficult and they defended very well.”

He touched on the away form which has brought 6 points from 6 so far this season, saying, “It was important. We know we’ll turn it round at home so it was important mathematically not to drop points today, not to be too far from the top teams.

“It was important mentally as well because we dropped points at home. We had two different away games at Newcastle and Crystal Palace but we’ve got six points. That is very good.”

Results good, yes. Performances, not so much, but three points today very welcome despite the paucity of the overall display.

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Me So Hornsey

At some points I forgot poor theo was even on the pitch. Definately not his type of game.

David C

He should have scored on one of those chances though. Hopefully, that’s just rust and the confidence will grow when he pops one in.

P.S. Chelsea and LiverPOO both just lost.


Seriously, at this rate I’d rather try Campbell up top than Theo.
At least he offers something more than just pace (dribbling too).

Desperate times.

Santi Claws

It’s not a promising sign if our secondary striker requires such a specific set of circumstances to be effective that he’s rendered nigh-on useless in any other situation. I’d love to see, I dunno, a Bony-ish signing. An arsenal equivalent of a Bony, so not as egregiously expensive as the real thing, but good at most everything – fastish, strongish, well balanced, good finisher, good work rate, goes behind defences, can hold it up. Like, a Bony-Lewandowski cross. Maybe with a bit of Zlatan. And some Aguero too. We shall call him Zlafried Kün Aguebrahimodowski. So yep, if you would,… Read more »


Don’t we call him Welbeck?

Santi Claws

I believe we in fact call him Pele but he’s not much on the field anymore. Plus he’s a bit of a cunt these days (shhhhh)

Dope Smoking Pope

LOL !!

Walcott's left footed curl

I do think that are new striker should be able to score though.


£140,000 a week for a striker that can only shine when he has the opponents half to himself, just as well that no team ever sits back deep against us, watching us play tippy tappy sideways passing for 90 minutes around their box, whilst not trying to hoof it long up the pitch expecting us to monumentally implode when under a bit of pressure from their big lone striker. Oh right, only 19 teams in the league do that against us. This team is out of ideas and Wenger is quickly becoming out of his mind. Big talk about starting… Read more »


Should have therefore brought on Giroud earlier. I am most unenthused by this insipid Arsenal. All the talk in pre-season about automatism amongst our players, yet – at times – we look like a team who have come together for the first time. Oh and who’s kidnapped Cazorla? Give him back!



I was hoping and praying that Giroud would come out at half time but in typical Wenger fashion it was only around the 70th min – when they to push out a little bit in the long chance of finding an equaliser!

If ever Wenger gets banned from the touchline (say he kicks Mourinho’s butt), I guess it wouldn’t make any difference to what we do during the game.


Giroud was obviously of the same opinion. There was a lovely shot on telly of him on the bench, looking across (obviously at Wenger) and making the turnover motion with his fingers. That was still in the first half!


I get that the red card changed the game plan but I don’t understand why Giroud didn’t come on sooner then. Walcott was essentially non existent, except for the two chances he missed.


Because Wenger had to wait till 70mins of course.


Which was extra frustrating because I was ready for him to come on in the first half! haha


Its a contractual thing. Else Dick Law won’t sign any new players.

Bould's Eyeliner

I actually agreed with not putting on Giroud until 70 minutes, especially after we managed to wrangle a goal shortly after half-time. Playing with 10 is exhausting, and Wenger could reasonably expect McClaren to make his move first. Then that leaves 2 reactionary subs to play, and one sub in case of injury. In a game where we should have won with our starting line-up in paper anyway, it seemed a fair gamble to keep Walcott on, as: (1) it kept the opponents in their half – any more stretch of play would enable Arsenal to counterattack with pace that… Read more »


Which would have been reasonable if Walcott had not been completely ineffective. In the player ratings, Blogs said Walcott only had 18 touches for his entire 70 minutes on the pitch. The game was much better suited for Giroud and one can reasonably presume we would have put Newcastle under more pressure with him on the field. I think that would have done more to compound “morale defeats” to Newcastle rather than waiting to bring on fresh legs. Plus, we would have been able to keep them in their half with or without Walcott on the field once they were… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

This is true, but I’d also like to point out that hindsight is 20/20 – in a situation like that, you’d expect a CF to bite at the chance to score and be more proactively involved.

Needless to say it doesn’t seem like Walcott is going to play up top again, anytime soon.


If Mitrovic hadn’t been sent off Walcott would’ve got a hat-trick.




I was worried a few hot heads were going to take that comment seriously.
… actually, ‘worried’ may be an overstatement.

Dope Smoking Pope

that seems to be the reasoning here,lol.

Pass debuchy from the left hand side

That’s my gripe with Theo; in order to be effective as a central striker the conditions have to be all but perfectly suited for him to have any sort of impact.


Nice name mate.


We are in such an awkward situation.
At this rate, with no seemingly available WC strikers in the market, I’d rather we returned for Draxler and try and convert him to CF. I’d rather watch a player with the potential of becoming our striking saviour then the reality of what we have not being quite good enough.

If we can’t find a WC striker, let’s do the classic Wenger move of making one.


Would actually fancy bringing Draxler and try to conver him into a striker, he have good qualities that can be used in that position

Ramsey's Spirit

I would rather sign a player suited to the left and move Alexis to striker, finding a better striker than Alexis would be difficult


That too, or Ox left and Theo right.

Heck Campbell up top.

Gudang Pelor

Wenger can only play Walcott as CF, his agent makes sure of that in the last contract. :p


Which make someone like Draxler or Griezman worth it still, Draxler can play on the wings or CAM, Griezman can play on the wings and would be nice to see how any of them would do as striker, since both have qualities to play there

like a red head Ljungberg

why not griezman then, also has an release clause so is “available” for a price


Draxler just signed for Wolfsburg to replace de Bruyne.


3 clean cut chances in the first half
3 unbelievably poor misses

that’s the striker Walcott

a good finisher with great movement and good pace


Is Charlie Austin worth the gamble at 15 million? I think so. proven in the top flight, a natural goal scorer and tremendous work rate. Not without his flaws, but I can’t see any other striker being available and it’s obvious that something different is needed.

Dope Smoking Pope

Is it not the managers job to adjust the team towards the opposition or do we only have one plan going into the game and if that don’t work we just wing it and hope for the best ?


second option. we only have one game plan and if that doesnt work we’re unable to change the tactics in the middle of the game

Ex-Priest Tobin

Since when has Brendan Rogers lost his hair and joined the Arsenal team?


10 a side with Walcott up front!


After today, that win against CP looks pretty good. At least we’re not Chelsea bad.


Agreed, but by that logic the loss to West Ham and draw with the scousers look a lot worse!


By that same logic Chelsea still remain bottom of the pile since we battered them 1-0 at Wembley

Tshaka the gooner

4 things become clear today

Walcott is not a striker to rely on,so is Geroud
Ramsey is not a number 10
Gabriel will soon takeover from Per
Coquelin continues to prove doubters wrong

Stewart Robson's therapist

Fifth thing: whatever else happened today, we’re not as bad as Chelsea.


Now the Arsenal fans will stop regretting fabregas

Gudang Pelor

Maybe he gets homesick again?


Happy with the 3 points but I thought our play was pretty uninspiring. However, after seeing chelski and the mugmashers getting shafted at home, I’m feeling much better. PS, even the loss to West Ham at home isn’t looking too bad, guess they’ll be the visiting team to fear for the big teams.

Crash Fistfight

What’s with the lack of home wins in the PL this season? Isn’t that 7 home wins out of 27 games so far?


It’s pretty insane tbh. Maybe the pressure of playing in front of your fans is now becoming a hinderance for teams. I don’t subscribe to the whole ‘EPL is the best in the world’ stuff but it is definitely the most competitive and entertaining.


Jose Mourinho lost his 100th home game and Mugsmashers were well beaten and outdone at

I feel Good…


It’s been a beautiful day. Jose Mourinho de-mystified at home on the occasion of his 100th home game. The Scousers losing at home 0-3; obviously, after their play at the Emirates, they had started to believe the hype about their title chances.
That Sakho looks a bargain, considering he was FREE! Yet, our scouts cannot seem to find us a good striker who won’t cost £50m.


it’s all about the counter attack this season. i really think gabriel should keep his place with kos as the two of them are able to track back versus mert. all preseason it looked like walcott would be our starter, but then he’s benched for the first 3 games. wouldn’t it have been better to stick with walcott from the start and continue the style of play that had brought us the fa cup and community shield?

in any case – after 4 games it should be clear to everyone that we need a new striker.


Walcott should start against Chelsea, they seem so easy to score against these days 😀 Oh how they miss the Tall Czech man called Cech


Ruthlessness – Wish wenger knew the meaning of the word.

Hook walcott off at half time, pat him on the back tell him whatever you must. Get Giroud on, hit them for 5.


I wonder what Torres is up to these days…..

Yes, things are desperate now.


Why not Pato? He’s still 25


Is Kanu Still playing? would even fancy him


he must be like 27 y.o. now!



It’s funny how Mou was making light of a loss happening today to the press. As if he didn’t even think it was possibel for Chelsea to lose to Palace.

Well fuck you! Hahahahaha


i remember, theo was poor after his last contract extension before the 2015 extension. i can give him the benefit of doubt, but i just don’t think he’s a number 9. he’s just not dynamic enough. in hindsight, it’s really surprising he’s been retained at the wages he earns. maybe, wenger just put his foot down and refused to sell him to a rival. i expect giroud to regain his place in the next game. i know, he’s not perfect but overall i think he’s much more useful than walcott at the moment.


I really don’t like how Walcott gets excused of a poor game because ”Its not his type of game” Guess what teams defending deep against pace is not a new tactic. It is basic 101 against pace…All this does is expose Walcotts lack of Ability at everything else. I really like Theo and he COULD and has been an effective player for us BUT he will NEVER be a good footballer. Thus never be the striker we need…The guy has been at Arsenal since 16 yet he has seems to barely learned anything. Very VERY limited player….He should be terrorizing… Read more »

Arsenal Runnings

First for a long time an international break is so welcome….transfer deadline will have come and sorted out…..league table, all things withstanding looks promising….lets kick start our season now….COYGs close ranks ….. manager, players and fans its us against them.

Stringer Bell

They are a real bummer those red cards for the opposition. It really messed with our game plan. Fuck me I’ve heard it all now.

Dope Smoking Pope

Playing against the opposition who is a man down is not an advantage is the logic the extra man gets in the way and Muck things up for everyone else on the pitch.


Using Ozil as a trading chip is perhaps the only way for us to get the truly big clubs to talk seriously about selling a Lewandowski/Suarez-level striker. There’s just not enough money in our bank to make them consider selling a true A-list guy otherwise. But offering another true A-list guy as part of the deal would at least bring them to the table to listen, even if some would reject our specific ideas. I’d hate to see him go, mind. But what’s more valuable in this market, an incredible playmaker who doesn’t score or an incredible striker? Particularly with… Read more »


Forgive Theo guys, Newcastle were playing ‘Prison Transport’. No space to run anywhere then.


I said this at the beginning of summer. Benzema was never going to happen. And not because of money, we couldve offered 100m and it still wouldn`t have made a difference. From a competitive viewpoint, unless real madrid had a world class striker liked up as a replacement, it simply wouldnt make any sense for them to sell. Not to mention im a realistic fan, i couldnt see benzema wanting to leave because as much as i love the club if we`re being honest moving from madrid to arsenal for any player is a step down. Why would he want… Read more »


Ugly game all the way around. At least Newcastle were a caught out as a nasty bunch of fouling shitheads


Now for something completely different: Vermaelen just scored for Barca! (I wonder if he’s available ;^)


Winning ugly and 3 points in the bag made my day, take that up the arse Chelsea hahaa!


Theo should have been sold not given a new £140k per week contract – money that could have been better spent elsewhere!!!


Might be the first time I’m actually looking forward to an int’l break. See if we can’t clear our heads a little and come back firing.


I wish there was a way to combine Theo with Giroud or at least play them together.


Yesterday was the ideal time to play them together once Newcastle went down to 10 men. Going to an old fashioned 442 would have stopped them sitting too deep with Giroud leading the line and they could not have pushed out with the threat of Walcott’s pace.
Why Arsene waited until the last 20 minutes to do something is baffling.


This is the kind of win that two years ago when the Manc wankers did it under the Scottish beetroot the press fell over themselves calling it a gritty win by a team of battlers. Last year when the Chel$ki oil cunts did it, the press fell over themselves calling it a tactical masterpiece from a manager who sticks to his guns to grind out the win. But let Arsenal do it, and the world is coming to an end because we’re shit.

We won, for fucks sakes. WE WON!


Amen to that.

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