Sunday, July 14, 2024

Wenger on the game, performance, and responsibility

Arsene Wenger spoke to Sky after today’s 3-1 defeat to West Brom. This is what the manager had to say.

On the game and result

“It was a typical premier league game these days where there’s a team who has a lot of the ball and a team who plays on counter-attack and set-pieces.

“We knew the danger that could come, but we got caught again in the second half and unfortunately we could not score.”

Should the players take more responsibility

“We all take responsibility. It’s always a bit disappointing when we lose a game like that. We have to take responsibility and prepare for our next games.”

Was West Brom’s set-piece threat mentioned before the game

“Yes, of course. We work always on the same system for every single game. Their delivery is fantastic, but we were guilty especially on the second goal. Overall, I must say they can score against anybody on set pieces.”

He seemed upset at West Brom’s second goal

“No,I thought it was offside but the referee said it’s not offside.”

Was it a penalty on Mustafi

“Yes, I thought so but at the moment these kind of decisions don’t go our way.”

Injuries to Cech and Alexis

We lost Petr on a calf problem, Sanchez stayed on but he was not himself – his ankle doesn’t look good. When it doesn’t go well, it’s always the same.

Four defeats in five

“It’s very worrying, we’re not used to that and I think we have a hell of a task now to fight back. We have to regroup now because we have many big games coming up. Everybody goes away now, we have to recover and prepare well for the end of the season.”

What do you as manager do?

“Focus on analysing where we are not good at the moment, and correct what didn’t work today.”

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Sounds broken. This is shit.


Lets face it, we dont have the players to consistently execute the system/brand of football we are trying to play. Importantly, the system we try to exexute is not getting the best out of the players we have.

Igbo Amadi-Obi

I didnt realise we introduced a new system.


I see no evidence of a system.


Apocalypse Arséne?


I somehow don’t agree with this statement. What is our system exactly? And who are the players who execute it? For part of the season we have sanchez as our striker and then suddenly it’s giroud and then it’s welback and this all when sanchez is absolutely fit and is being played on the wings. We have ox on the wings some days and some days he is in the middle, and Ramsey is always there somewhere playing in his own area without any control whenever he is fit. What is this system, can someone explain me? WE HAVE GOOD… Read more »


This stuff is genuinely helping fuel depression. Hard work, being a football fan. Harder still being an Arsenal fan.

Goober Sam

Bit of a sad team to watch at the moment. Players, manager, board seem lost. Change needed but not sure if they are capable to do what is needed…

Holding Rob

The only change we get in this club is the new kit

Matt P

8th place is a real possibility. Everton are on fire


Just as long as we don’t get Europa league. It’s such a long tournament amd realistically speaking, even if we wanted to win it we probably won’t.

Get 7 or 8th place, give the new manager time to establish his philosophy and playing style, keep on a strong group of players you want as your spine and get rid of all the dead weight, especially players like Joel Campbell, Debuchy and amd Jack Wilshere. Either you’re an Arsenal player and 100% committed years to the cause or you fuck off. And that goes for all players, including Sanchez and Ozil

Igbo Amadi-Obi

Shall we give up the fa cup then?Because that gives us Europa as well.


as if we will beat man city on our current form


A bit hard on Joel Campbell. He has been on loan all season


Wilshere and Campbell are odd ones to single out. I think Joel’s always put in a shift for us and played with passion and spirit on the rare occasions AW has played him. I also believe Wilshere would have contributed a lot to the team this season and really hope he’s past his injury problems now and can claim his place back next season. Players like Ramsey & Debuacy I can’t argue with though.

joe baker

We should have got ready of Ramsey after 2016 Euro. Still Did anyone want him ?


I’m not singling anyone out, and not saying it’s their fault that we’re underperforming, you misunderstood my point. What I’m saying is if you compare Conte’s season vs Guardiola you have to see the advantages of not having European football. You don’t need to rotate much so technically you can play the same squad every game, so one position cover is good enough for every position. Make a strong 11 that’s balanced and compliments each other. My point about Debuchy and Campbell is separate than wilshere’s. Think about it, if Arsenal sold wilshere this summer, don’t you think they’d sign… Read more »

DB's first touch

Good luck making ‘big signings’ having finished 8th (as you suggest would be acceptable) with no champions league on offer to tempt world class players to join the Arsenal. Ditto getting a respectable price for the deadwood you want to offload. If we finish 8th it’s most likely that the new manager will only have the ‘deadwood’ to build his squad from having seen our best players leave in the summer.


Campbell was one of the few players who looked like he gave a shit last season.


Omg you’re not understanding my point!

I thought Cambell was great, just like Lucas Perez was this season. Did he get the game time he deserved? No. So you have to come to the conclusion Wenger doesn’t 100% believe in his talent, and at his age, very unlikely that he’ll break in now.

So what’s the point of having him. Regardless to who stays and leaves, I’m saying allow the new manager to have the freedom to chose that.


The thing is they’re not playing for him anymore. That team is all over the shop. That can only end one way. If we lose to Man City, you’d think he might try and get in front of what’s about to happen. It’s getting impossible to see us finishing top four the way we’re going. Same for winning the cup. He needs to say he’s going before the situation gets taken out of his hands. The way we’re going, the run in is going to be a horror show. If/when he goes, we’re going to be a good three years… Read more »


If Arsenal are outside the top 4 for more than a couple of seasons the spending will drop big time, take out the £50M cl money for a couple of seasons and we are back to spending sweet f a.


Yup, that’s the rub, isn’t it? Who actually thinks we’re going to spend serious money outside the top 4?

Liverpoolesque purgatory awaits us.

Faisal Narrage

“We work always on the same system for every single game”

This is part of the problem isn’t it?

Mein Bergkampf

Yeah, that’s the bit that worries me too. Modern football demands a little more micro managing than Wenger’s philosophy. How can he go on with this laissez faire approach when it’s so clear that the players need more guidance? It goes right through belief, stubbornness, arrogance and into total delusion.


Just to say that I’m very much of the opinion that it’s time for change but…. I read “the same system” as how you approach each game from the point of view the opponent. As in they have a system for assessing opponents. What you are suggesting is that he’s saying they just do the same thing for every game which is clearly not true and either a bit disrespectful to a great (although admittedly now faded) football mind or a bit stupid. It’s thoughtless comments like this that are “part of the problem” in my view. The fan base… Read more »

Igbo Amadi-Obi

Wenger has addressed Arsenal post match conferences in English for 20 years. We have never needed someone to explain what he meant.


Well we DO do the same thing every game.

Shoot, we do the same thing WITHIN a game. Like leaving a particular threat unmarked for one goal and to repeat the process again within the game.

John C

That’s exactly the problem, Tony Pulis after the match said we defend zonally with 2 in front shielding and if you got past the 2 they’d have a running jump on our defenders. He said that they’d been training all week knowing that’s how we line up. We are so predictable in everything we do, every team can identify a weakness to exploit depending on their own strengths. For some it might be set pieces, others it might be exploiting the gaps left by our full backs bombing on, others it might be our midfield etc etc. Wenger said we’re… Read more »

Public Elneny Number One

“We work always on the same system for every single game” and there ladies and gentleman lies the problem

Faisal Narrage

Ha, spotted it too.

It’s quite amazing when you think about it. The same manager admits that we use the same system and tactics for every game, have the same results for 7 years or so, and as amazingly intelligent and lucid of an articulate man that he is, doesn’t ever consider that maybe the same system he never changes is possibly why we always have the same results.


The genius that was Einstein would have described that as insanity.

Godfrey Twatschloch

The geniuses who are Insane Clown Posse also said, “fuckin magnets, how do they work?”. How is that relevant? Because in ICP you get two geniuses, not just one like with Einstein and unlike the Einstein’s quote they actually said that.


That’s the problem with idealism. Although some would argue it’s worth it when the team pulls it off. It’s not come good the past two seasons, which have been hard to watch for me, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ride on the back of that philosophy. Hope to see some gorgeous wengerball during our next winning run that sees us top Spurs In both comps!

cazorla's smile

Hey sorry to burst your bubble.. confidence is shit.. defence is shit.. I’ve crticised Wenger a lot this season, something that I hate doing and have never done before and am stopping now.. but the players are not playing.. we won’t finish above spurs period. mark my words. I will eat the internet if we do.

Andrew Rutherford

He was talking about the zonal marking system from corners. 2 + 2 doesn’t equal 15 mate.


You meant the same system that has always had us as up there as one of the teams to concede the most from set pieces (this season we are the highest, and usually are around up there over the past decade) regardless of the fact we’ve changed personnel so many times over those years yet still display the same set piece issues?

That system? That system he hasn’t changed? How could that possibly be a problem?


I think what Wenger meant by ‘system’ was studying opponents threat and how they would play against us. Tho Wenger is not known for his revolutional tactic on the pitch, i dont think he would use same tactic and strategies every week

Sir Henry Norris's Brown Envelope

Wenger doesn’t “study” opponents or adjust tactics to suit. He has said so himself, “we will play our own game” he says
Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes regularly make Wenger look stupid in spite of having inferior materials to work with.
I think Sam Allardyce would do better with the talented squad that we have


Just the thought of that makes my eyes burn. But sadly I suspect you’re right based on recent form.

One thing’s for sure, our players would follow their marks and play their fucking positions.


So upsetting

Die hard gooner

Alexis sanchez- 2 copa ,americas, 2 league titles with barcelona, a copa del rey, fa cup Mesut ozil- world cup winner, laliga title and copa del rey with real madrid, 2 fa cups shkodran Mustafi- world cup winner laurent koscielny- european championship finalist, two fa cups santi cazorla – double time winner of european championships, two time fa cup winner petr cech- arghhhh, champions league, europa league and pretty much every thing in domestic football. danny welbeck- winner of the premier league title wnners on the current squad Robin vanpersie- premier league title cesc fabregas- world cup winner, 2 time… Read more »


Couldn’t agree more. We have the best players in the Premierleague at nearly every position. But we’re shit. Who trains them? Who talks to them?


Wenger does

cazorla's smile

You mean nacho, you mean mustafi (who one Spanish pundit said was mediocre and didn’t understand why Arsenal wanted him back in July), you mean a past-it Cech, you mean Coq, you mean Rambo, Ox, Walcott, Giroud.. which position do we have the best players in again.?? I’m an Arsenal fan too. But don’t kid yourself. And don’t let the happiness of going on a winning streak convince you we are the best either.


We have the bemst squad in the division. Far better than Tottenham, for example. And yet the whole is far less than the sum of the parts. It’s not the players. It’s the manager.

Va va voom

How can you add wins by former players at another club. Samir Nasri’s two premier league titles is being attributed to us?


Enjoyed watching Na$ri lose it and get sent off against Leicester the other night.
Much more entertaining than watching Arsenal lately 🙁

Igbo Amadi-Obi

Given that he was trying to illustrate how good our players are, mentioning what they won post-Arsenal doesnt weaken the argument, does it?

Sir Henry Norris's Brown Envelope

You didn’t get the point. All of those players won titles and trophies….not with Wenger, that is why they left. To get away from Wenger’s suicide tactics


Same defensive errors every game. So damn predictable.


What does Steve Bould do never says anything just sits there doing nothing


He shouldn’t have been appointed. The defence became worse since he came on board.


Do you think, maybe, that he isn’t allowed to add input?
When Wenger was banned it is interesting that it was Banfield, not Bould, who had the earpiece to listen to Wenger. The whole setup us frankly bizarre.


If he isn’t allowed input he should grow some balls and get out. He gets a fat salary for being a yes man, pulling faces and chewing gum, it’s a disgrace. Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta dragged us through the last couple of seasons and see what’s happened now they’re not around.


Our defense had become quite fine and formidable to be honest. It all changed again in the last one year though.


Conte would’ve been killed Bould after that 3rd goal, one of the worst set-piece defense.


When your two centre backs are 5’11 what do you expect?
when the same type of bloody spineless short players fill the team?
Invincibles were mostly guys of stature, but this pathetic arrogant man changed the team to one filled with guys of 5’9 and 5’10 mostly?!!!
Wallcott/Monreal/Ox/Carzola/Sanchez/Bellerin/Ramsey/Coq/ only Giroud and BFG are tall FFS…………look at Monaco? they look like we used to look in 2004!……..quick tall mobile/strong guys, can defend set pieces easily!!!
Sir Alex = SAF
Wenger = SIF!

Matt P

Our final 4 games are really difficult.
the next 3 games are against comparatively weak teams.
At worst, we need 2 wins and one draw from the next 3, and obviously preferably 3 wins.


we play man city next, since when was man city comparatively weak, and then it is two london derbies.


The way we are playing at present, I would say all our future games are going to be a fucking nightmare!


The only thing he needs to analyse is go now or go at the end of season but for godsake don’t sign that two year deal.


Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted after the game that the had been made aware exactly what to expect from wba, counter attacks and set piece plays, and that Dawson was marked out as the big danger on set plays, but that the players just did not do what had to be done, that they did not block the runs, and did not challenge for the headers. so its clear that the manager/coaches had prepared the team for what wba could throw at them, but that the players just did not do their jobs. So who is to blame, I now most on here… Read more »

Faisal Narrage

No offence but if the same players keep f*cking up, how about dropping them?
Ramsey’s been shit for aaaaaaages, so f*cking give Elneny a shot. If you’re not gonna play Sánchez up top and neither Welbeck or Giroud are doing it, how about you give Perez a bloody chance?
Heck maybe bring Debauchy back rather than ruin Bellz.

Just try something different FFS.


there is a difference in being off form, but at least trying to do what they are told to do, than doing what ox implies and other have implied several times this season, that they are not doing what they are told. And so many of them are not doing it, can we drop them all.
how would fans react if we fielded a team of reserves or youths, look at the shit storm when alexis was left out for one game, actually one half of a game.


Elneny is average. He doesn’t bring much to the equation particularly going forward. Alexis I thought should be tried in the hole in absence of Ozil for whatever reason the German is facing. I would have stuck Giroud on up top for Welbeck who wasn’t cutting it. All these favorites like Elneny and Welbeck (like Jenko), not any better if sometimes worse. Same can be said of Lucas, he is not necessarily the answer to everything. That said, Walcott gives you something on occassion but more often than not goes missing and lacks guile. Lucas if anything I’d try because… Read more »


Walcott was utterly invisible yesterday. As indeed he is for so many games. In effect we were playing with 10 men yet again.
But I don’t blame him. I blame the manager who will not give up on the 11 year project if trying to turn an athlete into a footballer.


I like Elneny.


This season is not in isolation.

If so many players aren’t doing what they’ve been told, that’s been an ongoing problem for almost a decade now. Different personnel in that time, yet so many not doing what they’re told.

At that point, you have to accept it’s something systemic for such inaction to constantly repeat itself with multiple and different players.


Look. I love arsene, the football and some footballers hes manufactured have been excellent. And lets not be silly, we have never been a BIG club globally. So he hasnt had the pick of the talent, and he has crafted some exeptional players from basically nowhere. Now we are trying to step it up, but some of the players are not up for it. These are players that were bought in young, they havent all worked out, the ones that did left for money and raped wengers ass hole, meaning he has no choice but to keep the mediocre. So… Read more »

Yankee Gooner

Great point. We’ve been especially terrible at defending corners after we switched to zonal marking–someone is always running free at the goal; today, 2-3 attackers were running free.

/this isn’t an excuse for our poor form, but it seems like today’s poor form was concentrated in set piece defense (and ospina’s reluctance to use his hands, sigh)


Last game is a wake up call that our defense is so poor, it had been exposed against Bayern but we keep telling ourselves it’s because Bayern is a good team level above us. It’s time to change the training methods, clearly our players need some drills how to defend. Our forward is good but it’s not enough to win something big, still need another world-class striker. Our midfield is mediocre at best, it’s funny because we have so many midfield player but lack of creativity, i mean what’s the point playing with the ball if all they did just… Read more »


We need a manager in charge, not half the teams favourite uncle. If there were consequences for not doing as they are told then players would soon change their ways or be out of the door. Players can be awful, misplace passes, give the ball away, ignore defensive duties, do whatever they like because there are no consequences. Uncles favourites will play while better teammates won’t get a look in. Uncles new toys will be played until they are broken, and players like Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla will have their careers ruined by being asked to do a job… Read more »


The toilet needs flushing.


Having seen the two set piece goals West Brom’s tactics were quite clever. For the first Koscielny and Xhaka are zone marking the area Dawson will run into. Mustafi is man marking McAuley who is initially on the far post. However before it comes in, first Rondon runs past Xhaka to the near post. Then McAuley also runs past him to the near post but while doing so he intentionally bundles into Xhaka making him stumble. At the point Xhaka is out of position leaving a nice gap for Dawson to run into. Ramsey should also run with Dawson to… Read more »


Yes, I saw that, the coordinated distraction runs to create space

GG would be proud

Donald's Trumps

It’s not that clever. They are meant to be zonal marking so why are they getting distracted by runners.

My Sunday league team wouldn’t fall for that.


I think people want easy answers. Fire Wenger. The board are to blame. Kroenke is evil. The squad are rubbish. It all reflects simplistic thinking. There’s a bit of responsibilities on everyone’s part IMO. There’s no easy fix EVEN with a new manager for the sake of it. In fact we could go backwards further (United) Right now priority is to finish the season strong, get sufficient form to beat City and get a shot at the FA cup. We are a long way off from competitive at the moment. Some people have their heads in the clouds with these… Read more »


Stop being so sensible! Thank you. 🙂


“There’s no easy answers”
“It all reflects simple thinking”

/Proceeds into simple thinking by finding easy answers in blaming the fans.


Saying there are no easy answers is an easy cop out and sounds like an excuse to keep things as they are and not change anything. If they got rid of Wenger, went with a new manager, appointed other key decision makers, made money available to him and failed, then yes, I would accept that argument. But saying that right now where nothing has changed, I just don’t buy that.


I can’t even bring myself to read the comments anymore. Sorry all, it’s over for me; nothing more to add, nothing more to say. Goodbye…


See you tomorrow mate 🙂


We have become a boring predictable team to watch. Teams that are having a bad patch must love playing us.


A simple question.
Back in the days of Vermaelen and Koscielny, the defense was frequently exposed in aerial situations. It was considered a big weakness. When Per came in we finally got some height in there and Giroud was also a presence on set pieces.
Wasn’t it obvious that replacing Per with Mustafi would make the team vulnerable in the air again?
Arsenal have been woeful at defending aerial balls this season.


Another example of Wenger constantly repeating the same mistakes. It’s been painfully clear that he has this weird desire to pair to similar, shorter but faster/slimmer CBs that both like to attack the ball, maybe because it allows us to play in a high line. But every time he does this, it gets constantly exposed. Gallas and Toure didn’t work Gallas Vermalen didn’t work Kos Vermalen didn’t work. Only Per and Kos had the typical CB partnership that works for most clubs and worked for us in the past. You’d think the idea would be to get at least a… Read more »

Donald's Trumps

I don’t think that’s it. Giroud does help defensively but even thought Per is 6ft Giraffe inches hes pretty poor in the air.

Blitz Bailey

Looking at Stan Kroenke’s other sport teams and looking at his interview where he made it clear he did not care about trophies but purely saw Arsenal as another business investment I am not overly positive about the future of this club. Yes we need change and a breath of fresh air and a new manager will give us that, but i am not very confident that anything will really change aslong as Stan Kroenke owns the club. Kroenke sets the agenda for the club and aslong as he is incharge the main operating goal of this club is pretty… Read more »


The Arsenal hairdresser should be promoted to manager.

The team are turned out beautifully coiffed week after week.

Surely no one missed the slight adjustment made to Giroud’s hair in the past couple of weeks? Same lovely quiff flopped over the top, but the sides trimmed a bit higher and shorter. Beard impeccable as always.
But Bellerin’s little bun for me was the winner! Casually untidy, just a bit of “je ne sais quoi”

Gooners stylist 3 – West Brom nil

Ozilicious !

hectors is a bit like Bales (but obviously ten times claasier) when he was on the move to Spain

John C

With the tattoo artist as assistant!

Malaysian gunner

According to the Metro,Arsene has agreed to be boss for another year only. I doubt its true. Even if its for 3/6 months he has shown that he has run out of ideas. Tactically he has been brutally exposed by the 8-2massacre,big losses to Chelsea,MC, Pool and the 5-1 walloping twice by BM No top manager,if he is considered one, has such a poo r record against the big teams. A handful of big losses is acceptable but at regular intervals,its criminal. He shd let Bould manage the games until the end. Arsenal have nothing to lose by getting a… Read more »


Yes let’s Steve Bould manage in the interim and he could also be the editor of Metro at the same time…


Haven’t you noticed we perform poorly when Wenger serves a touchline ban? Add you want to Wenger sacked? I’m just glad you aren’t running the club

Wenger has the players on his side. Not many fans but definitely the players.

Ozilicious !

Just made myself watch the highlights…….. starting to wonder if Bould has any input at all into anything!!!! When will we learn to defend corners?!?! Our semi zonal defending at set pieces is bad. People pass responsibility far to easy and someone running and jumping can jump a hell of a lot higher than someone jumping from a standing position!!!! It’s basics!!!!


Team meeting
We need to go on a streak
Players: Done boss. We understand.

Losing streak begins. We are losing enough games for all the clubs in London


Don’t think I’ve wanted a season to just end this badly since 2010/11 when we went from 1pt behind manure in Feb to free-falling to 4th with just one league win in March and April and looking totally lost, crushed and bereft of ideas for the rest of the season after the champs league exit to Barca and the league cup defeat to Birmingham.


So management set the team up with clear instruction on WBA strengths. But no accountability from the players? Why is Cech, one of the most decorated and experienced players in the team not barking orders at his defence on set pieces. In years gone by do you think Jens, David or even Wojciech would have allowed such spaces to present themselves in front of goal for set pieces? Koscielny, when he’s great, he’s great, but as captain he should be marshalling his back four and indeed being the mouthpiece on the pitch. Mustafi, supposedly a super solid defender, have said… Read more »


Ramsey was one of our main problem yesterday. He wanted to be everywhere and ended being unproductive. Him wanting to come back so deep to dictate the play was an obvious reason of our undoing. He slows down the play and forced Ox to go higher up ad he looked wasted and lost. Now I love Ramsey and I think when he stays higher up the pitch is when we looked the more dangerous.


Oh yeah and the fuck is Perez?




Hamstring or ankle injury yesterday along with Ozil. Can’t remember which had which.


Thumbs up blogs for this wonderful site, I reckon that the Arsenal players are addicted to it too.

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