Wenger reveals injury list that affected Bournemouth team selection

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Arsene Wenger says he had to make some last minute decisions regarding key players as they hadn’t quite recovered from knocks sustained in the Crystal Palace game.

The Gunners won 2-0 on Sunday before facing Bournemouth a little over 48 hours later. It took an injury time goal from Olivier Giroud to seal the comeback and a 3-3 draw, but the Arsenal manager believes his players didn’t have sufficient time to recover from the previous game.

“We had three or four players who we had to wait for the warm up to see if they could play,” he said.

“Bellerin had a knock, he was uncertain to play. That’s the problem when you have only 48 hours, you have to play some players who come out of a game like Crystal Palace.

“We had Koscielny, we had Gabriel that I didn’t start in the end because I was not in a position to, and then I did not start Oxlade-Chamberlain because I did not take a gamble with him.

“You cannot take the fresh player out, but then you cannot use the players who have played 48 hours before, you cannot take them out.”

“It complicates a lot, the job. But we have to shut up and cope with it.”

The Arsenal manager will have to wait and see regarding Koscielny who was taken off in the second half, as well as the seriousness of the hamstring injury suffered by Francis Coquelin which leaves him with just two fit central midfielders in Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka.

With an FA Cup tie this weekend against Preston, before a vital Premier League game with Swansea on January 14th, it leaves Wenger with some serious thinking to do about his team selection.

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Mr November
Mr November

He can’t moan about the fixtures and the effect it has on fitness and then say “we have to shut up and cope with it”. It felt like a bit of an excuse as to why we came out and played like complete shit for 70mins. The hard truth is that Bournemouth just looked like they wanted it more than we did for a large part of that game.

AGunner
AGunner

Why can’t he? He’s been pointing out that the schedule has been harsh for the past couple weeks and clearly feels it impacted his team selection.

Personally wasn’t happy about the team we put out, but after seeing his presser, we know why he had changed it up. But I completely agree with the fact that we didn’t turn up the first 70. I think Perez changed the game when he came on, added a bit more of a balance. Need to see him given a run of games now.

been_Hamman
been_Hamman

Honestly I didn’t expect koscielny to start ahead of Gabriel, Koscielny has played every game since he came back from Euros (excluding some cup ties), so Gabriel is fresher and why play Xhaka and Coquelin, I think it was too defensive. Finally, Lucas should have started

baloney
baloney

Because it’s a contradiction. He’s moaning whilst implying he’s not allowed to moan. ‘We have to shut up and cope with it’. But he’s not shutting up nor coping with it.

Mr November
Mr November

I just meant that he can’t moan and then say that we have to shut up and cope with it. If he’s saying we have to shut up and cope with it then we should do just that. Other teams have had tough schedules too, and it just seems it’s more excuses and hiding from that fact that we haven’t looked very good in quite a while now.

Mpls
Mpls

Sometimes people contradict themselves. The point needs to be made because the schedule is ludicrous and we and other clubs are losing players to injury because of it.

If anything I think he should have left off the ‘we have to shut up’ part of it, because we don’t. Somebody has got to speak for the side of the game that actually has to carry out the task. When key players get overplayed everybody loses when they’re out due to injury and when team performances suffer on a whole.

David C
David C

I think he has the right to moan about the schedule. If Arsenal were trying to squeeze in a CL game, or FA/EFL cup plus play a league game then sometimes the games come thick and fast. But this was 2 scheduled league games within 44 hours even though there were tons of days off between Christmas and New Year’s to play…

I’m more concerned about our really sad away form lately. We need to tighten up quickly.

Arsensarmy
Arsensarmy

Maybe wenger should have given a bit more thought before he sent gnarby and Campbell packing. Also I can’t understand why he allowed wilshire to be loaned out knowing all to well the injury history that haunts arsenal year after year after year.

gunnertron
gunnertron

I agree with you but I also take encouragement in the fact we did not. In the not too distant last this would have been a flat out loss. And the damage much deeper. The 48hrs thing is a factor it is ludicrous to dismiss that. Also we played shit and did not lose. That has happened a few times now and I choose to look at the glass as half full in all that. Also Without Ozil, Cazorla and Walcott is a huge loss. Have our other rivals had that many improtant players out around this period? So until we get onto a good run of form again this was a bad day but not a truly disastrous day. In the past with a 1-0 deficit we have struggle to break a team down. Let’s just see where the season ends up. Its in Arsene’s and the players hands to step up.

Chris J
Chris J

Thanks for this reasonable comment. It restores my faith in this community a little bit after reading some of the other over-the-top negative comments. Taking of 7 of 9 points over the last week is nothing to be ashamed of considering how well Bournemouth played for the first hour and our temporary squad limitations. Always disappointing not to win, but far from the disaster that some are claiming.

Canador
Canador

It seems like he is the one who tells the boys to feel tired in the field of play. When you repeatedly say something all the time, it becomes believable and then impacts the team. He fails to understand that these boys are professionals on millions of pounds contracts. Wenger is beginning to irritate me. When the players were playing poorly, why couldn’t he get his buts up to shout and wake them up rather than seat like a lazy man.

janine
janine

so ur happy with the fact that we had to play sun then tuesay , u went to both games

Arsene's handkerchief
Arsene's handkerchief

We’ve known about the fixtures for ages. Yes it’s ridiculous and yes whoever arranged them should be sacked but we have to get on with it. Doesn’t mean you still defend like idiots. Really don’t understand why Iwobi was moved wide, he did so well against Palace in the middle. I think with his defensive woes he’s best suited to that role as it doesn’t hurt us when we don’t have the ball. Also a huge mistake to change the back four, would definitely started Gabriel off the back of 2 clean sheets. It was a great come back but one which we shouldn’t really have had to make in the first place. Frustrating season yet again…..

Tim
Tim

Interesting to see for the first goal they scored Iwobi was clearly playing in the number 10 spot with Ramsey playing out wide on the right. The closest player to the goalscorer Daniels is Ramsey.. I wonder if this happened naturally, or if Ramsey was instructed to play on the right.

Either way, it seemed as if Iwobi did play 10 for a significant portion of the game. Especially when chambo came on.

Arsensarmy
Arsensarmy

Ramsey cant help but drift to the middle even when he is deployed in a wide role, it is his natural tendency. The only place to play Ramsey is alongside xhaka or coqulen. At least their is cover for his inevitable jaunts forward and his illadvised mistimed runs. He can’t play as a number ten and if wenger plays him out wide your hanging bellerin out to dry.

Weedz
Weedz

You obviously didn’t bother to read the article. Wenger said that he was unable to start Gabriel because he wasn’t up for it.

It’s not the tight fixtures list that Wengers debating. It’s the obvious fact that some teams have a really heavy schedule and some a light schedule. Why should there be such a huge disparity in the scheduling?

As fans of any club, we should be complaining to the FA over the disparity in scheduling, because it effects the quality of the product, we pay to watch. All we, as fans, can ask for is a level playing field. And in
this holiday playing period the scheduling has not been level at all.

GunnerDareMACEDONIA
GunnerDareMACEDONIA

what happened to that promising young guy holding ? everytime he played he looked great, LC away Basel Away in the cups.

John C
John C

Boo-fucking-hoo.

Lets deal with the facts, he’s known about the fixture list for at least a month and he also knew Elneny would miss this game and go to the ACN, so why didn’t Elneny play the previous 2 matches to keep our other midfielders fresh? His responsibility is to Arsenal not Egypt

We’ve started with pretty much the same team every match over the Christmas period and for a club with such a supposedly deep squad Wenger does very little in the way of rotation.

Hamburg Gooner
Hamburg Gooner

Elneny DID play against CPFC

Goldencannon
Goldencannon

He started that game and then was subbed when more important, crucial players could have been rested.

John C
John C

Elneny should have played against Crystal Palace AND West Brom given that he knew he was going to miss the game vs Bournemouth, instead Xhaka played all 3 matches when it wasn’t necessary.

It should have been Elneny and Xhaka one match, Elneny and Coquelin the other in the knowledge that it would of had to be Xhaka and Coquelin verse Bournemouth, to even out the playing time.

Iwobi, Alexis and Giroud also played all 3 matches but Perez started one, why couldn’t Perez start 2 and one of the others start 2 to spread the load. Same with the central defenders. Kos and Gabriel one match, Mustafi and Gabriel another and Mustafi and Kos the third.

It’s not rocket science and seems a fairly obvious solution at this time of year when the fixtures are so congested.

John C
John C

Ramsey also only started one match

BromleyGooner
BromleyGooner

That’s one too many

Arsensarmy
Arsensarmy

Thank god for that

Rossi88
Rossi88

Quick question, if Chelsea beat spurs, then we lose to Preston….does AW’S position become untenable? Or do we just keep putting up with not winning anything.
Purely hypothetical as I think we will win, but when is enough enough?

I’m aware of other factors and the obvious well who else can we get. But honestly, how we can go from playing lovely football a few weeks back, to consistently dropping to middle of table standards is doing my head in. Why no shots on target in 70 mins? It’s not the first time this season, it’s happened plenty. It’s AW’s job to find the solution to our troubles.

John C
John C

I think he should have gone years ago, but i don’t think we’ll lose to Preston.

But you rather Chelsea win tonight and move 11 points clear or Spurs to win and go above us?

Naz
Naz

I very much agree with you on the use of Elneny actually. It’s basic stuff. Not just over the last couple of games, but in general. Then if he needs a rest with Egypt in their friendlies, he gets rested.

Interestingly Zaha played for Palace yesterday so why couldn’t we have done a similar deal with Egypt? Especially as ivory Coast actually play the day before Egypt and you know, we pay Elnenys wages. Oh, and Egypt don’t actually play a proper game until the 17th. Stupid tournament, or more that it’s played at a stupid time. Tie it in with the Copa America, if it rains in Africa in our summer, it rains, big deal.

AusDrexler
AusDrexler

Football isnt the sole domain of the european continent. I find it a bit rediculous that you dismiss the AFCON because in your opinion its a stupid competition and played at a stupid time.
For Africans, its a BIG tournament and played when the conditions are best suited for it.

Big Dave
Big Dave

How many times have we seen us play bad, go a goal or two down then play out of our skins for the last 20 minutes? Won’t win a title doing that.

Mpls
Mpls

In the past, too much. But this was the first match this season we’d been down at the half.

A statistic I was shocked to hear, to be honest.

RedArrow
RedArrow

“You cannot take the fresh player out but then you cannot use the players who have played 48 hours before, you cannot take them out”

Ermmmm…. Any idea what he’s talking about. I hope his match instructions are a bit clearer.

spinner
spinner

Match instructions? What are they?

IamsterdamGooner
IamsterdamGooner

Man, thank you! I thought i was the only one haha

spinner
spinner

Yet more excuses. Arsene you’re just making yourself look silly.
Stop moaning and work harder with the players to turn things around.

Realistically a good season from the current position would be:
Top 4 CL Qualification
St Totteringhams Day
FA Cup win

Wesleymcuk
Wesleymcuk

Both Arsenal and Crystal Palace have moaned about only having one days less rest than the teams they played yesterday, which they do have a point

When our game was moved to the 1st why could they have not moved the Swansea Vs Bournemouth (teams we both played next) game to the same day that way everyone has the same rest period

It’s so simple yet no one in the FA thought of it

janine
janine

Nearly all managers av moaned bout the fixture pile up i dont blame them , the only two managers in my book who shouldnt moan are spurs and chelsea .

Deano

Two days break is shocking and unacceptable. We have known about it all season though.
We went from playing against palace who didn’t want to go out of their own half to playing Bournemouth who had a right go at us. What worries me is that after twenty minutes against Everton they also decided to have a right go at us. On both these occasions we have really struggled we have wingers that struggle to track back and defensive midfielders all over the place.
We shouldn’t be shocked that Bournemouth at home should come out of the traps at us. Yet we were shell shocked and all over place.
Great comeback but aided by Bournemouth taking off the players that had caused us endless problems.
Oh well Preston next.

Tim
Tim

Are you actually shocked?

Having a game after 48hrs during the winter period happens almost every year.

baloney
baloney

Exactly and lots of other teams had the same rest periods. Its not like we were the only ones.

eduardo
eduardo

yeah and the only team to win out of all those teams that had a day less rest time than their opponents was WBA over Hull, after Hull had outplayed them in the first half, and only had a 1-0 lead. Pulis said that the lack of rest had been West broms problem and that they were lucky Hull were not out of sight by half time.

Klopp has been complaining (if it was Wenger, it would be called whinging) about the fact liverpool had two games in 48 hours and sunderland had an extra day, from all the way back in october. He blamed fatigue for their inability to win despite leading twice in the game.

Fat Sam also blamed the 48hrs v 72hrs for CP loss to swansea. Said that as much as the players were willing, they just could not get up to the speed of the fresher team, till swansea tired a bit and came down to their level. And then once palace drew level, swansea had the extra levels of rest that allowed them to up their game again and get the winner.

Wenger also said the main problem is not the 48 hours, its that its 48hrs v 72hrs.

Belfast Gooner
Belfast Gooner

Yeah it does. However, the issue is that Bournemouth had 72 hours between games while we only had 48. Chelsea had 4 days between their matches.
Sure, we have known about it from the TV fixtures were released in October, but it is hardly a level playing field.
Agreed the performance was bad with awful defending but we should have had 72 hours to prepare like Bournemouth.

Tim
Tim

Where is the acknowledgement that we didn’t play well for 70 minutes? Where is the honesty about how we’re bottling our title chances and there’s 18 games to play?

Don’t like this tactic. Blaming the referee or the fixture list is beneath us if we really are aiming as the club says to be on par with Bayern and the European elite.

Besides, fixture congestion is not surprising or new. So here’s a crazy thought AW, how about preparing? Maybe don’t let Jack walk out of the door cause we knew that Santi’s achilles would be problematic and that both Coquelin and Ramsey have a history of injuries.

Same old.

eduardo
eduardo

well if you bothered to look you will see that Wenger said our players should have coped better, that they made too many poor passes, took too many wrong decisions,(in both defense and attack) and did not keep a clear head, he even used the corner ox took straight to boruc as example of not keeping a clear head, AW said that Ox needed to keep a cool head, and if he had he would have played an out swinging corner and not an in swinger. That being tired can mean lack of speed, power and strength, but that the players still should be able to keep their heads clear and make the right decisions.

Automatism
Automatism

I think the manager is doing the players a disservice sometimes by bad rotation schemes and by playing some players out of their real positions. That’s why every season we got those matches where the squad have a colective dead legs, unnecessary injury, playing below par, etc etc.

This squad have talent and heart, I don’t doubt that even for a second. But they need help from the manager so the team full potential can be unleash.

No time for doom and gloom tho. A lot of things can happen in the second half of this season. On to the next game!

Mani
Mani

Bunch of moaners. Grow up and support the team, every time something goes wrong your looking for someone to blame. Anyone pick up on the all mighty God Klopp talk about rest time? I have said this before, our fan base is the biggest joke in football. We dropped 2 points, yes, I am bitterly disappointed but coming back fighting showed me enough. Liverpool lost 4-3 without the disadvantage of playing in two days yet our manager is terrible and got everything wrong. Crybabies!

John C
John C

Why don’t you hold the manager to the same standards? He’s the one who’s always got an excuse.

Mpls
Mpls

Difference is, he was asked a direct question and answered it truthfully.

Is he supposed to lie and say “I’m a terrible manager and my players suck”? Or maybe do like Pep did, get rude and sarcastic and then have all the journos form (more of) a vendetta and start saying he’s cracked and unsettle the players.

Come off it. These are interview excerpts without the questions, so without clear context.

John C
John C

Wenger regularly gets rude.

And anyway Mani doesn’t talk about what Wenger said but complained about the fan’s moaning and looking for someone to blame however when Wenger moans and blames the fixture list he doesn’t hold him to the same standards, the irony isn’t lost on me.

Mark
Mark

I love Wenger in many ways, but the one trait that really drives me crazy is his making excuses for the players too often. I would love to see him call them out sometime and actually show some anger towards their performances like this. Everyone deals with the fixture congestion this time of year and we are a big club with far more depth than the clubs like Palace and Bournemouth that we played these last two matches, but you don’t see them complaining about it or making excuses. We are fortunate we didn’t have any top teams on the schedule this week as many of the top clubs had to play each other and we had two minnows where we should have taken advantage, but in the end it keeps coming back to the lack of intensity we seem to show too often which lies directly on Wenger.

eduardo
eduardo

Fat Sam had loads of complaints about Crystal Palace having to play 2 games in 48 hrs, and also that Swansea(just like AFCB with us), had an extra days rest. Why would AFCB complain, they had an extra day off, but hey don’t let the actual facts get in the way of a good old whinge.

NorthernGooner
NorthernGooner

I suppose all this talk about the TV schedule, will distract people from talking about the real issues that run through this club.

I am sure that, of the top 15 european clubs, we are by far the one with the most injured players, short and long term. This happens year in year out yet nothing is done about it. We keep having players coming back from injury only to have a recurrence after 2 or 3 games. Does anyone know if anything like this happens in another european club, on a regular basis like it happens to us, not as a one off.

Another thing is our mentality. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen Arsenal play like they in a training session, no urgency at all. This happens almost every time we are on the verge of achieving something, we keep choking, every year. We only seem to play to our capacity when all hope is lost, when all pressure is gone and nothing is expected of us. We’ve done it against Bayern, Barcelona Monaco, we’ve beaten all 3 of them, but only when it didnt matter anymore. We have also done the reverse, we’ve lost against the worst and most beateable Manchester United (last season) and Manchester City, we will ever encounter.

All this keeps happening year after year and the common denominator is Arsene Wenger. I’m not a “Wenger out” guy, far from it, I love Wenger and I hope he stays at the club for a very long time, as a coach or “upstairs” in the board. However, he needs to address this issues or find someone who can, until then, it will be groundhog day for us every year.

Diarra
Diarra

I was really pissed yesterday too but as others, didn’t know that Ox and Gabriel were carrying knocks. That explains the selection as he didn’t really have any alternatives apart from maybe playing Holding at CB instead of Mustafi.

not a dick(advocaat)
not a dick(advocaat)

Enter Kim Källstrom

King Kolo
King Kolo

Arsene had to use his squad better than this… Elneny was always going to the AFCON, why wasn’t he used more against Everton, Man City and West Brom, giving others more of a rest? Why didn’t Gibbs play last night? Could Rob Holding have played against Crystal Palace?

He’s got himself in a pickle with Sanchez as well. How does he go back to Alexis upfront and Giroud on the bench. While Giroud scores important goals they’re often important because we’re chasing a win or a draw… with Alexis upfront we seemed more fluid and more of a goal threat. I know it’s odd and Giroud can’t do more than he is doing but he is not at the same level as Alexis upfront and we need to face up to it. Wenger needs to buy a top class left sided attacker so that there is no temptation to put Sanchez out there – and he can actually be rested for games when you want to play Giroud upfront.

Either Alexis is a striker or he isn’t. Arsene is doing a Walcott on him…

Diarra
Diarra

A lot of hindsight there. I think he tried to play the best available team against Everton and City. Should probably have rotated more then though but it is easy to say now

Diarra
Diarra

Though I think our biggest problem is that Xhaka-Coq pairing who can’t deal with press in away matches. The same has happened in the Everton and City matches too. Coq gets exposed when he isn’t playing with Cazorla and is asked to play box-to-box which he definitely isn’t suited to.

Arsensarmy
Arsensarmy

Wengers biggest problem is not being able to find a player for player replacement for santi. He is the character that drives this team and arsenal will never reach their full potential if they don’t replace him or find a way to keep him healthy.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Same old Arsenal fans, same old comments, same old lack of faith, same old sense of entitlement, same old failure to enjoy the sport, same old ‘fantasy football manager’ mentality, same old shameful lack of support of their team and manager, same old infighting, same old inability to put a performance and a result in perspective, same old fury and vitriol that should be reserved for rivals which is instead directed at our own team, same old … same old.

Arsensarmy
Arsensarmy

I agree, with everything going on in the world we should just sit back enjoy the sport for what is, a sport. But with that said being an arsenal supporter is infuriating. I guess we all need to step back take a deep breathe and get ready for a long roller coaster of a ride for the rest of the season. COYG

baz00r
baz00r

Lack of faith? Completely. Previously Wenger had the excuse of lack of funds for his inability to mount a title challenge. That was all well and good, we sold our best players to pay off a stadium. In the last 3 years we haven’t sold any of our best players, Wenger has invested roughly £220 million on incoming transfers and still the team looks no more capable of winning a title then it has in the last 10 years.

Let’s not forget Arsenal fans pay the highest ticket prices in the Europe, I think that gives them a slight bit of entitlement don’t you?

Futsboller
Futsboller

No, I really don’t think it does: you pay to see your team play, and hopefully win, but paying for a seat doesn’t guarantee anyone a victory. It entitles one to some serious entertainment, and Arsenal deliver on that better than most teams in Europe. We score the most beautiful goals in the league, on a near-weekly basis, and we provide a great deal of entertainment for those who can enjoy it. We’ve scored 68 goals across the competitions this year. Our record thus far is nearly identical to Liverpool’s and we’re but 1 point behind the almighty PepCity and 2 points ahead of the all-powerful MoUnited. We could be 11 points behind Chelsea at the end of the day, or a point behind Spurs, but we can’t control the permutations of the table. The lads have their work cut out for them, no question, but I see no reason we can’t go on a big run of our own, and I see no reason to give up hope that this squad can still win something significant this season. And, anyways, if they don’t, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of watching them have a go at it along the way.

Momozemio
Momozemio

Hell yeah… Amen…. just like what you wrote ! Thanks

Titsan Arse
Titsan Arse

I thought it was the fixtures not the injuries that caused our shitstain of a performance? Which one was it? I really hope that he is telling us this in order to shield the players from the media and then fucking really giving it to the little pricks who played the first 70 minutes. Love or hate Wenger whatever. And I get that he sets the plays up, picks the team etc. However, some of the individual performances out there were just plain shit. Bournemouth went for us. Why haven’t we got an Adams, or a Keown, or a Vieira who won’t allow teams to get the better of us like that? Where’s our passion, our fucking pride? It’s great we came back to make it 3-3. How the fuck did we go 3-0 down in the first place? I think it’s tragic that I’m actually watching Arsenal nowadays and getting used to the fact that we give possession away so easily. The fact that we struggle to break teams down like the other big teams in the country. I hate being jealous of the way Chelsea, City, United, Liverpool and even that lot down the road, can pass the ball around and break down teams down where we really seem to struggle. I thought we were about to start something this year. Are we bollocks.

eduardo
eduardo

I seen teams with adams, keown and vieira let teams get the better of them, many times, I seen Charlton beat us 4-2 at Highbury, Coventry with the mighty Mickey Quinn hammer us at Highbury, I seen us as reigning champions go 2-0 up away to bolton and end up a draw. .

as for being jealous of how chelsea, city, utd and liverpool and spurs can all break teams down better than us, funny how only liverpool have scored more goals, 4 more by the way, city have 3 less than us, spurs 7 less and utd have 13 less, so how is it that they are breaking teams down better than us.

John C
John C

You also saw teams with Adams, Keown and Vieira win the league on multiple occasions, and thats the difference!

santori
santori

I mentioned that one issue we may face is scarcity of choice in deep central midfield.

Coquelin to me looked a bit leggy already against City. I don’t think he was fully fit and the strain from the tight schedule is affecting him (and the midfield). He’s now out with a hamstring further limiting choices.

Elneny of course is away on International duty (which is the problem recruiting African players) and Santi still out.

So we will need someone next to Granit.

The go to player will be Ramsey who held the team together well with Flamini last season when we were shorn of some of our better assets in the team.

But to me, he is better attacking the final third as an option to Ozil.

Personally feel the solution may be the hardworking and stronger Iwobi who also couples those attributes with ability to carry the ball from deep with his close control.

That should give us a midfield of Iwobi-Granit with Ramsey as an option.

As far as Rambo is concern, he can hold if he is slightly less ambitious going forward. He didn’t do too badly yesterday and put in some good tackles/was competitive. BUt there is always that element of risk that he may join further forward and we end up hit on the counter. Granit isn’t particularly quick and as we can see has to curb his testosterone urges closer to box.

It can be done but it will have to be somewhat akin to how Rambo played in tandem with FLamini. When we dried up up front and Rambo started pushing up to add the difference, that was when we started leaking goals over two matches.

Its a delicate mix that has to be gotten right in the engine room.

santori
santori

Efficient rotation is key. Its a bit of hindsight on our part but oTOH, it seems obvious to add the pace of the Ox from the start particularly if the right side was going to struggle with a less than 100% Bellerin. The other option would have been Lucas who seems responsible coming back to help.

I think Coquelin has looked in and out of full fitness. He didn’t look his usual against City.

Also we saw Kosicelny taken off presumably with fatigue.

Maybe Gabriel should have been used at the start if he was fitter before the game.

Whatever it was, we cannot hide behind an excuse of scheduling. We simply had to find a way to win it.

If it meant sitting slightly and hitting on the counter with say Alexis starting up top, then we should have done that.

In any case Giroud was a good pick given current form and he contributed with 2 assists and a goal. BUt when you play the big man, to compensate for ‘pace’ issues, it is necessary to have Alexis paired up with another pacy player on the other flank like the Ox.

As I’ve said, the gaffer is brilliant building the team and developing players but he can be suspect with tactics/intervention/rotation. Whether he can improve on this will dictate if we can enjoy an edge to garner another 45 points minimum from 19 games to stay in the hunt (I’m assuming we have leeway to drop 12 points more max).

George
George

“It complicates a lot, the job. But we have to shut up and cope with it.”

Paralipsis much?

Seriously, though, I don’t care. We have to win that game, we didn’t. And for the most part, we didn’t because the players were not mentally there.

Canador
Canador

This man should stop all these silly excuses all the time. He is talking like the problem we saw last night suddenly happened. Such performance last night has become something that is identified with Arsenal alone. He should go and find a solution instead of wasting people’s time.

Naija Fan
Naija Fan

The team don’t have the mark of a champion and the earlier we accept this the better for us. I don’t see that steel, passion and urgency in our play. We loose the ball too easily to opponent and never fight to retain or gain back possession. We are only in control when our opponent decides to sit back but not when they are ready to fight for every ball. There is something definitely wrong with players mentality and the only way to explain it is AW.

AusDrexler
AusDrexler

I was reading this article the other day:
http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/blog/2017/01/03/are-arsenal-destined-fourth-or-meme-myth

It talks about the correlation between league position and wage bills of the EPL clubs and how averaged over a 10 year period there is a 90% chance the teams average wage bill compared to the other clubs matches thier average league position.

No surprises to see Arsenal have had the 4th highest wage bill over that 10 yr period.

Whilst I think wages isnt enough to justify, its an interesting read and puts into context a bit the story of Arsenal and the inability to win a title.

janine
janine

Chelsea played on the sat then on the wed,arsenal play on the sun and then the tues ,how are arsenal ment to sort out any injuries out in a day,i know wenger aint perfect but it wasnt him that put the fixtures together blame the fa.Ur happy with the fact that we had to play sunday then tuesday come on .

Higihaga
Higihaga

Specialist in making excuses…I bet he would be praising the players mental strength and calling them top top quality if we had won.