Boss: New boys need to get match fit


Arsene Wenger says that new signings Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez found the pace of the Premier League a surprise, but also that their lack of football means it might take a few games for them to get properly up to speed.

The German international played the full 90 on his debut in today’s 2-1 win over Southampton, while Lucas was taken off just after the hour mark. But the fact they haven’t played much this season was a contributory factor according to the manager who has backed them to find their form with more appearances.

Speaking about Lucas he said, “He has had one game in La Liga, and then he didn’t play many more because they knew he would go.”

And on the German, “Mustafi has only played one half since the start of the season with Valencia, so they are missing games.”

He continued, “I feel both are short a bit, they lack competition and their second half was much better than their first half.

“They were a bit surprised by the pace and the commitment of the Premier League, they will adapt to that. As well, they were a bit on their nerves in the first half. In the second it was much better.”

The pair should both be involved to some extent on Tuesday night as we kick off our Champions League campaign against PSG in P.

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Perez, please become lethal ASAP. We really need his ferocious work ethic on top of his skill and ability to finish. Arsenal need to be lethal in front of goal. Otherwise, we shall be found wanting this season. I wish him all the best though… A lot of people are looking up to him to provide goals.. No pressure.

Mein Bergkampf

Shouldn’t training sessions in the week have made this clear to Wenger? Perhaps he’s forced into playing Mustafi but we had a fit Giroud on the bench. Did the same on the opening game, playing tired Rambo over Santi. With our injury history should he be gambling on unfit players when there are fully fit alternatives? Ah fuck it, three points, no injuries. Shut up Mein Bergkampf.

Antispuds returns

We are playing a difficult game on Tuesday and the new boys need to start somewhere. This was the best opportunity to introduce them to premiership. He had number of options even to play Giroud and Lucas upfront but decided to rest Giroud for Tuesday and still got 3 points. I call that well thought tactical ginius. Why are you complaining again?????

Mesut O'neill

Yeah tactical genius is what won the game not an awful penalty decision.

Wenger in&out

Nothing awful about that penalty decision after I had a second look.
He held his shirt and put a leg up.if you have been watching the games this season it is something refs are now strict about.
Wait until it happens to us (hopefully not) .
We won the game and that is all that matters, hope the team keeps improving on this.

Mein Bergkampf

Not complaining, just questioning why two footballers who Wenger decreed to be unfit and unprepared were used in a game which was also described as a must win. I actually also feel that the Soton game is so much more important than PSG away. Just seems a weird one to gamble on. And in terms of getting match fitness, two or three substitute appearances tends to be Wengers approach usually. Very rarely does he throw players straight back into the mix in recent years.


You do understand that players need to play competitively to get match fit, right?


Wenger frequently uses the term ‘match fit’ to mean their sharpness, not their actual physical fitness. I think that’s what he has done in this quote as well.

Dan Hunter

Tactical genius? I know you’re kidding because we scraped through


They need games to get match fit and the only way to do that is to play games, like they did yesterday. Don’t see anything wrong with that. Giroud will probably start against PSG.


I think this slow start to the season is indicative that we will be really clicking in January and pushing past that March-April slump on our way to the title.

Really impressed with mustafi, honestly. He allows for greater distribution without having to fear a lack of pace on the counter – allowing freedom for both cbs to play their game.


Only Arsenals fans look at that average performance and conclude we’ll be pushing for the title come April, it all felt very familiar to me tonight. Let’s hope these guys grow into something better than the last few years because mostly we have been tedious, labored, and flaccid

Antispuds returns

Well this is Southampton. Remember what they put us through last season? We still came second. This this time we got 3 points out of them ha. Logic?


and only Arsenal ‘fans’ find a reason to moan after a win. It wasn’t pretty, we didn’t field our best side, we still created chances and had we been more clinical could have scored a couple more, the referee for ONCE was on our side, and we won! So please atleast till our next bad result, give it a rest will you?


When United, City or Chelsea win like this, it’s the “stuff of champions” and “fergie time is back”. When Arsenal win like this, “we are never going to win the title”

Dan Hunter

Shit performance. 3 points. Who gives a fuck?

Andy Mack

I wouldn’t say the ref was on our side at all.
Santi gets a yellow for disagreeing with the ref for 5 seconds (yes a strong disagreement) whereas Redmond clearly fouls Santi for a free kick and then spends 2 minutes whinging at the ref with no card shown.
The ref was poor but got a few calls correct in our favour.


Why the negative comments fellow Gooners? Give it time. We will find our rhythm. As long as we find a way to win up to that point i dont care and neither should you. If we find ourselves not n contention at the end of the season, then we can question the wisdom of the management. Lets just get behind them and spur them on..12th man always matters.

Dr Zebra

Hope we don’t “spur(s) them on!!!

Daft Aider

a crap performance that led to 3 points, as long as we take confidence from it I have no problem with that


Cech worked harder than Forster, far too typical of recent performances. Having said that, I’m prepared to give it time especially if we can start picking up points. Being too far off the pace too early would be a disappointment too far.

Most clean sheets last season, arguably the best midfield in the league and an improved strikeforce. Personally I’d like to see Giroud, Alexis, Perez but understand the need to relieve Giroud and provide him with competition

Little Mozart

Early days for the new signings, but starting with a win is always a positive. Lucas will come good, and Mustafi is almost there already.


Perez will need to find a way to get past physical defenders in the PL. They won’t give him as much space as in Spain where fouls are whistled more often, and he can’t always just run down the wings. Whether he can adapt his game or not will determine if he succeeds, or fails like so many Spanish strikers who have come from la Liga.

Andy Mack

Very true and a potential issue with most transfers from the continent, not just Spain.


Wasn’t expecting too much from either in their first outing as it is a big adjustment (even for Mustafi who hadn’t been in the PL for a long time) both in terms of the speed and type of play, but also a whole new set of teammates. I did like the movement and work rate of Perez, you could see the intent. I do think he will be a solid signing, definitely look more active an agile than Giroud, but of course doesn’t bring the physicality and post-up presence of Giroud. Mustafi did some nice things, but also had his… Read more »


Perez needs to get use to pace of the game. He probably isn’t use to how quickly he is closed down and how little time he has on the ball plus as mentioned before, he won’t have as much opportunity with us to play on the counter, mainly he will be learning how to sneak between the lines and work in tighter confines. That sort of nuance approach will be new to him and takes time to adjust (having just adjusted successfully from the wings to a central role) Mustafi’s introduction into the team is more straight off. He has… Read more »

Jung Beans

This was just their first match, so I’m not too worried (yet). And when you add two new players to the team, there is going to be problems with the overall cohesiveness of the group.

I’m really hoping that Lucas will be like Eduardo (pre-Birmingham, of course), who was unknown, and took a bit to get off the mark, but when he did, oh my. He had a knack for goal, that boy, and it was a joy to watch. Fingers crossed for Lucas.


I recall Eduardo looking pretty good from the start, scoring goals in preseason and getting increasingly impressive from there (until he was scythed down by a cretinous moron…)


Wrighty got it right on MOTD….
Perez should have been in the box more.
Apart from Giroud, Wenger keeps playing his ‘centre forwards’ on the wing….he’s done this for years and it frankly pisses me off.


That’s his game. People are forgetting he created 72 key chances for a team fighting relegation. He’ll thrive playing alongside alexis. His fluidity is what we’ve been crying out for.

nigerian rex

3 points welcomed! now let’s tear PSG a new one!


I know its just 60 minutes, but I thought Lucas Perez looked completely out of his depth. At times I kept thinking it was like playing with 10 men. He looks extremely short of confidence and I am amazed more people are not saying it. Yes we all wanted a new striker this summer, but its looks like to me that we ran out of time and then went out and signed this guy just to appease the fans and provided depth over actually improving the team. Joel Campbell is clearly better than Perez. Moving forward and till he finds… Read more »


A brand new signing at his first big club looked extremely short of confidence when thrown into the starting line up of a team already under immense pressure?

Better write him off.


Completely agree with the ‘perez looked poor’ aspect of your post, however I would prefer to give him more time than to write him off….

This time last season petr cech looked like almunia, so hopefully perez can prove the doubters wrong too


I hope you will eat your words…shit them…and eat the shitty words again!!
You negativity deserves this!


Name one player out of the front 4 who had a good first half.. or who even had a good game at all..
But fine, let’s pick on the new guy who is just playing his first game in a new club and a new league and against a team who had 10men in their own box at all times..
Having to reply you alone makes me feel stupid, I wonder how you feel


Bullshit. He was average, but his movement was top notch. He had some nice touches as well. It’s his first game and is lacking sharpness. He’s not world class, but no way in the world is campbell better.


Hmmm, Campbell is a better striker than Perez? Are you sure you don’t want to clarify or rephrase that? Are you sure Ox and Theo gave him the service? Are you sure the opponents left space behind for the fabled Arsenal lightening quick counter attack to exploit? Did you see any incisive Özil passes that he failed to read? I suspect you formed your opinion before the game was played but I would be very pleased for you to illustrate why my observations are wrong. In most situations it takes a while for the balance to return when new players… Read more »

Mesut O'neill

The ghost of Francis Jeffers is alive and well ?


No need to get worked up over this performance. Coming off the international break Wenger gave some players a rest and gambled we could pull it off. Which we did! Alexis clearly made a HUGE difference when he came on and he looks hungry for it this season. We will be fine


You guys have almost forgotten that

John Terry is a cnut.. and Mourinho is a pygmy


Early last season: Arsenal 3-0 up over Manure at home … the football is scintillating. Where has it gone? Lucky today. But thank the football gods and Bobby Madleelovesthearse … we deserve at least one dodgy penalty per season.

Granit(e) hard!

All this negativity i don’t get…for fucks sake, we won!

Shouldn’t we as fans just enjoy the moment, support the lads and if you need to “bare your fangs”, then do it when we ACTUALLY lose?….jeez!

Why not

That might actually mean enjoying it?

Some people refrain from such things.

Ash Burton

Southamption defended very deep all game, and were well organised with ‘2 banks of 4’. Making it tough for any striker who likes to run the channels with pace. Especially on your first game in a new league.

Thought Mustafi looked calm and assured though.

Great signings, bring on the season! COYG!

Andy Mack

Actually they had 5 across Midfield (just 2 up front) but you’re absolutely correct in everything else.

Andy Mack

Should say;
“Actually they had 5 across Midfield (just 1 up front) but you’re absolutely correct in everything else.”


Unbiased view:
Lucas Perez will shine come the Autumn (November session)
But first he needs to bulk up a tad ( but Fonte and Virgil are Giants )
I thought he played within himself a little , but considering it was his first game at a very Big club , he did alright , plus he had his first assist

Mustafi and Kos are ideal for each other. He lost his way on a few headers v Saints and was too keen to go forward ( first outing) , but he’ll shine too

Winterburn 87

Wenger should have partnered perez with Giroud then from the start


Everybody talk about how bad Perez was on his very first game in the PL and after some time without playing at all, BUT nobody mentions how awful Ox was and has been for a while. If he was Spanish we’d be slaughtering him


Agree with this totally. Ox couldn’t even make simple passes multiple times ffs


Some farcical comments as per usual. I mean, you have to play games to get match fit. And you don’t expect someone to click in and get in sync with the rest of the team immediately. Koscielny to close to an entire season FFS. Through that he made numerous errors and took several red cards and OGs less we forget. But that was a less complete team Wenger had and this is a far more developed team with pieces in place he is now working with. So Mustafi is already settling in much quicker. He made a couple of stray… Read more »


Comments of fans on Ox also serve to illustrate lack of objectivity. I call it amplified criticism. When the pack mentality considers (lazily) a player to be ‘poor’, they tend to only pick faults in that players game without seeing his positives, in an attempt to justify their original perception. Case in point developing is on the Ox. Sure he is struggling a bit to find the final product but he was by and large very decent on the ball and had plenty of touches on it, giving us dynamism on the LW as he was able to get by… Read more »


Giroud came on and was effective if not in full stride. Again all those simpletons who like to simply put down OG should remember he scores goals and plenty of assists for us. So he isn’t Henry prolific but he is so important acting as a node for this team. The issue as I always said is NOT GIroud (That is a media fueled agenda) rather both Walcott (least touches in game per minutes played) and Welbeck unavailable) have not weighed in sufficiently as alternatives. Perez will take time. Henry took at least 8 matches to get going. Giroud AND… Read more »

mrs vahide barnes

l really dont like constant passing ball in the middle. l know that its the way arsenal plays, but when that happens the opposing team players have time to pull back and have a solid defense. this is one of the reasons- the other on is the forwards somehow slow down instead of rushing and taking shots.

Andy Mack

The aim is to move the ball quickly forward when they can but when the opposition have regained their defensive places then we pass the ball around to drag the opposition out of their positions.
We haven’t got the ‘moving the ball quickly whilst the opposition are still returning to their positions’ correct in recent times which is why the manager always says we aren’t quick enough in transition.
But we will hopefully get better at that.