Saturday, May 18, 2024

Arsene Wenger on the ‘modern problem’ of teams defending

Arsene Wenger says that teams that sit deep and defend create a ‘modern problem’ that teams like Arsenal need to find solutions for.

The Gunners have been relatively toothless in recent games, finding it hard to score against teams who have little ambition in attack, like Southampton, West Ham and Man Utd.

The Arsenal boss believe it’s up to his side to deal with this kind of set-up, but says it can leave you a precarious position late in games.

“Do the teams defend better?,” he asked. “You could say no, because we create more chances than anybody else.

“Are the chances of the same quality? I don’t know. There is no objective reason to have a verdict on that.

“Is it confidence? Is it the fact that the guys think we have absolutely to score? It’s difficult to know. But we have the chances, the quality of our game is there. But it’s true that at the moment, we cannot show it up with points.

“What is even worse you know if you have not scored in the last 10 minutes you will have to go through one moment, they will find one moment, one free kick or corner where you’ll be in trouble and that’s what could’ve happened at West Ham.

“That’s where you sit there you can lose the game where you’ve have 70 per cent of the ball.

“It is a modern problem. The defence gives you a new problem, you have to find a new solution.

“We are not far from it because you feel the quality of the game is there but we have to be more efficient to finish what we prepare.

“We have to create a situation that makes the game attractive. And we have to think that we play well enough, on our side, to make the game attractive.

“I love to think that is our responsibility.”

It might also be a case that teams defending is hardly a new development and the issue is that this current Arsenal side isn’t good enough to break them down.

The Frenchman also hinted that Alexandre Lacazette would be given the nod up front against Newcastle today because of his record at home.

“I feel if you look at his record, it’s quite good,” he said. “Especially at home. At home his scoring record is really good.

“Away from home, a bit less.”

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Time to up the tempo, but in a massive shift, cut out the mistakes and get the 3 points. Coyg


I think we can safely say the solution is a bit more complex than simply running around the pitch faster than normal.
What about tactics?
Playing players in the correct positions?
Motivating people?
Resolving players futures?
Investing in players?

Or perhaps its just about running faster…


Modern defending….didn’t we do that in the 90’s and celebrate the era with a song, “one nil to the Arsenal”?


Daily portion of complete nonsense: “We are not far from it because you feel the quality of the game is there”, yes we are far, no the quality is not there. Please stop.


It’s numbing isn’t it. So much bollocks now it makes me quite sad.


Please Arsene, look at Man City, and their tactics. We have players who can move as fast as them. Arsenal should NOT be in 7th position! Not with that kind of talent. And contrary to popular opinion, Citeh is not filled with world class players. But the entire team is a well-oiled and drilled machine. Their goals against Man Utd showed that these guys do not know how to quit. For me, the solution is to look inwards, and fix our problems (not just complain about teams which park the bus) and credit to Wenger, I think he’s looking at… Read more »


Season isn’t even over. Say 7th is silly

No one said they have world class talent at every position. Overall their X1 was more talented then ours. I agree as a team they are playing out of their minds and that makes it even more effective.

Besides Burnley playing above their talent the rest 2-7 are right where we all thought they would be. You can say the same thing for the success for other clubs is dependent on us and other clubs failing.


Being able to defend is quite useful.
Might want to try it some time.

Lord Bendnter

And yet year after year, certain teams are able to overcome these deep seated teams and march to the trophy through overcoming these challenges.

Lord Bendnter

Wenger’s excuses have started becoming staler game after game


ha, they have been stale for years

Stuck on repeat...

True. So much so that we now have excuses given before the game 🙁


Teams have been able to defend for decades, this is not a new problem. The problem is that our players can’t find the deciding pass. Or pass just behind their intended target…


Wish it really was the only problem of this team and Club

Best Coast Gunner

I actually like this from Wenger. Obviously it isn’t a new thing that teams defend, but say for example in the Soton game watching 11 men defending inside their 18 yard box during the run of play really was rather incredible. I’m not a Wenger apologist, nor do I really think he has it left in him to to do the job at this point, but these quotes do resonate with me as a fan. Tempo and tactical attacking direction is what’s been lacking in our side lately (or for years) but at least he’s acknowledging it. Saying explicitly it’s… Read more »


Its nothing to do with teams defending – since when has that become a new thing? Its about having seventy per cent of the possession and doing nothing with it – passing it to the side or backwards. You can bet your bottom dollar we will dominate possession today as we always do but will not create much or will squander what we do create. The manager has forgotten or cast aside the very things that made his previous teams successful. Powerful and creative central midfielders, effective and skillful wingers, a world class striker and a shadow striker playing just… Read more »


great comment you are spot on.


Sounds like a pretty expensive club or a club that makes no mistakes in the transfer market.


“Do the teams defend better?” “You could say no, because we create more chances than anybody else.

That statement right there is so flawed, no wonder our players don’t seem to learn from mistakes. He seems to suggest if we concede 2 goals on 2 shots over 90 mins, we have had a better defensive performance than the opposition who have conceded no goals on 30 shots over 90 mins!


god this bloke comes out with some idiotic comments, its only us in the top half who ( thanks to you ) have problems defending


Man City don’t seem to have any problem.


Sure but they are not our direct competiton, the current benchmark is to where we belong spots 3-6 in the premier league and thursday evenings. Thats the true measure of the collapse of our Club in the last 10 years.


Seriously alots changed over the 10 years financially.

Stuck on repeat...

“Are the chances of the same quality? I don’t know. There is no objective reason to have a verdict on that” – Um…but we’re not taking those chances & as a result not winning, which is surely the objective? My verdict is that we’ve been by in large useless infront of goal.


Lacazette struggles to score away from home because we, as a team, struggle away from home. Solve the creative supply issue away from home and he’ll start to score.


Seems like just another excuse. You look at the team and the players before they came to Arsenal to play under the current manager. There does not seem to be any players at the club who have actually improved since they joined Arsenal. Most worrying are the contract issues with eight first squad players potentially leaving due to contract expiry etc. And no one asks the question – just what the hell in the man who is paid millions of pounds to manage the club actually doing? Or the board of directors who supposedly have the interests of the club… Read more »


Curse those killjoys. playing teams with huge resources and not opting to go toe to toe and leave themselves wide open

Who would of thought tactics and personnel might be an answer. Be proactive when you see slow sideways passing


Is it really a modern problem? Mournihio has been doing that for 10+ years.


Yeah in a way. He’s been doing it the last 10 years with perfection but with an rich clubs. Now other clubs are doing it regardless.


And we are going to keep listening to all this ballocks for at least another season, omg…….


Teams have a plan against us . Sit deep , frustrate and counter-attack. We are an attack minded team. And prone to errors during counter-attacks ( against manure & soton and nearly at West Ham ). Soton were so good against us but were hammered by Leicester. Are Leicester a better team than us ? No. Against other teams they think they can play their game and give chances to opposition. But against us they sit deep . They know if they come out we’ll punish them. I’m worried because the mid table teams will now use this to score… Read more »


They have been using this tactic for a long time. Clubs are now getting better at it though.


I seem to remember George Graham setting up a team defensively 25 odd years ago?

Laughing Stock

He does love talking does our manager doesn’t he? He usually stops short of the doing though unfortunately.


Lame excuses as always. Just leave man

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

We lack motivation. The manager sucks at it, the stadium is comparatively silent, the players are largely indifferent as long as “the quality is there”.

We need a fresh start, starting by the manager. I will always be grateful to him for making me smile so much, but he’s clearly not good enough anymore. Statue and Directors Box please.


It’s all good if we have 70% of the possession but if half the time we’re just passing the ball around and not attacking with it, all of the sudden both teams are attacking the same amount of time

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x