Wenger: We’re fantastic…but have problems to correct

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Arsene Wenger still believes his current Arsenal side are a ‘fantastic football team’ but he admits there are ‘deeper problems’ that still need resolving.

Last night’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea saw an important point snatched at the death, courtesy of Hector Bellerin’s strike, however, the result still sees the Gunners stuck behind fifth-placed Sp*rs who also have a game in hand.

While trying to stay positive about the performance on the night, the boss underlined that his squad are hurting after just two wins in their last eight games.

“I felt we had a very good performance [as a team],” Wenger told Arsenal.com.

“I knew that the last 20 minutes could be difficult because we played three games in six days. The schedule was not to our advantage and also, once again, we were a bit unlucky with the decisions.

“We are a fantastic football team. I think we have seen fantastic football but there are some deeper problems and some on our side that we have to correct. At the moment, the club is really hurt hard and for me, it’s difficult to take.”

In his press conference, he touched on the regrets he has about the club’s current position in the league.

“That is very frustrating, I agree with you. We have to look at ourselves as well, but still, I think it was a great football game and when you look recently our performances have been top quality.

“The regret we have is that we have not the results that we could have had. Certainly, that is part of our problem, but as well on the other side, you have to say that we have not been gifted this luck.”

More positively, Wenger had warm words for ever-improving youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles and the resolve of Hector Bellerin, each of whom operated as wing-backs against Chelsea.

“He [Maitland-Niles] had a big performance today,” the manager told Arsenal Player.

“What he has to learn is to keep that focus, urgency and concentration for 95 minutes because on the second goal he was a bit caught. Overall, though, I thought he was remarkable.”

On Bellerin, he added: “Well, what you get at the moment, no matter who you are, is criticism. That’s for free on the market. It flies around in a very severe way and that, I think every player gets that. The only response they can give is on the football pitch and he is a remarkable fighter.”

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Rich

The problem is Chelsea on another day should have scored another 3-5 goals on top on the 2 they actually scored.
Chambers+Holding simply aren’t good enough and our central midfield doesn’t function.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Wenger wake up and smell the coffee. This is not a fantastic football team by any stretch of the imagination. For a start fantastic teams do not have ‘deep problems’. Fantastic teams do not win 2 in just 8. Fantastic teams do not get ripped to shreds on a regular basis. Fantastic teams challenge for the league (Wenger hasn’t done that in a over a decade, lets not even talk about getting beyond 2nd round of UCL). If those problems are fixed then Arsenal could become a fantastic team again. Is the Wenger the man to do it? No. He… Read more »

The Loon Ranger

If you could fix the zip on your coat so it would do up easily and I wouldn’t have to listen to squeaky voiced twats on Sky going on about it I’d take that as a vast improvement. Just saying #yagunnersya

Arun

WENGER: WE’RE FANTASTIC…BUT HAVE PROBLEMS TO CORRECT Precisely, Arsene is the problem! Half the season, and here we are challenging for fuck-all when we don’t even have the Champions League distraction. Puts to rest the theory that Leicester and Chelsea were helped with their non-european exploits when they walked the league. We should atleast be in visible distance to Man City, but here we are staying closer to Burnley. We have kept Ozil, Sanchez and Wilshere and added Lacazette but we still manage to become poorer than last season. Someone has got to be accountable and that should stop with… Read more »

Too Drunk To Be Offside

What do you mean tell the board?

Wenger has a free hand with transfers. No one else has a say in who is brought in and who is sold. Wenger has brought in who ever he wanted ($400 mil in the past 5 seasons), and he has somehow made the team worse after all the spending.

Crash Fistfight

It is the board’s fault (and by board, I mean including Stan Kroenke, seeing as how it seems like the decision to renew Arsene’s contract was mainly his rather than the other board members). Just because the allow the manager freedom to get on with the football side of things doesn’t mean they are doing a good job. In fact, it probably means the opposite! Progress should be led by the board. They’re the ones that set the targets and the mechanisms to allow those targets to be met. With no downward pressure from above, there is nothing forcing the… Read more »

kas

I thought it was old man Whinger who awarded himself a new contract. It really was time for Sir Chips & his merry men of Eton to do there jobs, but they failed miserably. Now 6th is the new 4th. We’re a laughing stock!

George

They really piss me off.

I’d like to flog them all with an oversized zip – they’d probably enjoy it though.

Various_Hits

What are people thumbing this post down for. Every word is 100% true.

Pete

Because Arseblog is where most of the militant Wenger fans go. They would rather Arsenal were relegated than Wenger leave.

dawn

I’d rather Arsenal were relegated if it meant the plastics left

Ausdrexler

A little bit of context in relation to your $400m comment.

http://www.transferleague.co.uk/premier-league-last-five-seasons/transfer-league-tables/premier-league-table-last-five-seasons

This table shows of the current top 6, Arsenal has spent the least in the last 5 seasons. Infact, the top 6 right now is sorted in exactly same order as money spent on transfers in over the last 5 seasons. So, its fair to suggest spending 6th most $$$ is exactly why Arsenal sit 6th.

santori

Wenger is constantly selling himself (and us) short. Its not an issue that he doesn’t buy well…he generally does…Kolasinac, Lacazette. BUT he doesn’t seem to have the gumption to buy enough quality. The rest of the league has caught up technically since they shed their allergy to foreign talent and have had the benefit of TV money. Add the top end squeezing the market with their unlimited coffers, we have to step our game up too. That means adding more technical players which more often than not can only be got with premium price. There are players available and surplus… Read more »

Runzac

Well Courtois? had some brilliant saves didn´t he? Like DeGea on the night.

IamaGoober

I would love to see us line up the way Chelsea did. The moment I saw the team sheet I knew that they would cause us lots of problems with 3 across their midfield. Jack and Granit were out numbered all night. We need to get rid of this 343 it just isn’t working at all. We desperately need the extra man in midfield. The irony is, we are so bad defensively even though we are playing a more defensively astute formation we aren’t solving any of our frailties, its just making us toothless up front. So we are conceding… Read more »

Arun

And that is primarily because time and again, the 3 central defenders are being asked to stop 3 attackers running at them in a counter when our midfield vanishes. That is down to mistakes with our first touch and passing (looking at the clown Xhaka, he is a freaking liability when we play 2 in midfield with a box to box man alongside) and definitely our tactics from the man Arsene himself asking our midfield to bomb forward and control the tempo. He needs to realise that we don’t have the personnel to do that. The midfield 2 should have… Read more »

santori

Errr…we were effectively playing a 3-5-2. Alexis and Lacazette were up top. We had 3 in midfield which pretty much dominated them. Our problems were concentration errors and vulnerability to ball over the top. Of course it did not help we were playing 2 relatively inexperience Cbacks in the struggling Chambers and Holding. Perhaps a better option would have been to had played the slow but experience Metersecker but I suspect the flip side of that was Wenger would be worried about Morata. Then again, Morata was a problem for Calum and Holding too. But as far as us competing… Read more »

IamaGoober

We didn’t line up in a definitive 352. It was a 343, but Ozil does love to come across to that left hand side to play with Alexis.

caligunner

Lol we weren’t running them ragged with our attack? AGainst a team that managed and coached by a defensive guy in the first place?

ronaldo

and no creativity, we need a top play maker, someone to help out jack

Jean Ralphio

This is only his second straight start in well over a year so give the guy a break. He’ll come good and had we taken our chances earlier the script would have been very different.

Twisted cuntloks

Wenger has been saying the same thing over and over for the past 10 years but adjusting his vocabulary each time. I must have heard the manager and the players say they will learn from their mistakes 100’s of times and many variables of.
I really hope the board don’t provide Wenger with a ton of cash to waste again because that isn’t the solution to our problems.

santori

We do need another creative force though.

Even with Alexis, Ozil and Jack, we will benefit from a Mahrez from right side to help Bellerin and balance out the attack better.

Seeing Walcott or Welbeck as options just doesn’t cut it for a team which is suppose to have ‘fantastic’ qualitie however latent.

Gooner1987

We’re really not… defensively we’re shocking, Chambers looks like a deer in the headlights

ronaldo

apart from jack we are shocking from back to front

Granit(e) hard!

Lol, read your comment and just bust out laughing….the visual image of chambers frozen like a deer caught in a headlight was just too much for me….so you get my vote …..don’t personally agree with your assessment of Chambers though, i think he is a developing talent that will only get better with more playing time, but then no sweat, everybody have a right to their own opinion.

Pete

Chambers will be 23 soon. Hasn’t developed at all and never will under Wenger. Defenders very rarely develop under him, they just get worse.

Bosscielny

Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Toure might disagree with you. And these are just off the top of my head.

Alex

Bellerin has got worse.

Mpls

Bellerin has got exhausted and no help or backup. He’s done quite well under the circumstances.

Faisal Narrage

Bellerin got worse.
Monreal was an already established player and came here at the age of 27.
Kos is probably imo the last true great Wenger buys of the last few years. TBH, we’ve done him a disservice. Under a better defensive team, Kos would be regarded as one of the best in the world. We sold him down the river by making things hard for him and asking him to hold it together.

Toure? The fact you have to go all the way back to Toure says it all.

Lingards\' Milly Rock

You guys are quite harsh (and wrong). Bellerin was a right midfielder, and wasn’t even rated highly or expected to reach the first team like Toral. He is 22, and has been our undisputed number 1, expected to play every game. He is still learning and finding his way out of a tough spell and an even tougher formation. Monreal was viewed as lightweight and behind Gibbs in the pecking order for over a season. Ultimately became so consistent, Gibbs is now at WBA. He received his first Spain cap with us, and has successfully transitioned to CB. The defenders… Read more »

santori

Koscielny had a disastrous start in his first year with us. Plenty of reds, penalties conceded and own goals. Monreal only developed over last couple of years. It takes time to craft a solid defender. Bellerin is going through a rough patch but he showed improvement against Chelsea. He will need more support going forward on his side so he doesn’t have to shoulder everything and leave the rear end exposed. Chambers and Holding have had their fair share of mistakes this season but both seem confident enough to shake them off. Hopefully they learn on the job quickly and… Read more »

santori

Exactly. I won’t make too much of a meal about chambers. BOTH him and HOlding are liable to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them like Koscielny first season. BUT the problem is often this learning process is at detriment to us. To Chamber’s credit, he had a weak showing but both HOlding and him seem to keep going and asking for the ball despite what would ordinarily knock the confidence out of lesser players. Jury is still out. We will have a better idea if they can step up at end of season or if we… Read more »

baz00r

Troll level: Expert

Runzac

The games against Manu, Mugmashers and Chel$ki have been fantastic to watch. Great football games, even the freaking pundits have had to admit. But the results dont lie. 2 points from those three matches are bad. Some fans like watching great football – others focus on results and even like watching boring games only to get the three points. But it can be done. I´ve watched plenty of the football that ManCity has to offer and they score plenty and concede few. It can be done. Maybe when you splash 150m on defensive players…

Sean

For what it’s worth I enjoyed last night a hell of a lot more than the Liverpool game. It was an entertaining and evenly fought match, with a high quality performance from us (with the exception of a back line which was always going to be ropey). The 3-3 was just us shitting the bed against Klopp’s Liverpool again, but being allowed to score 3 because they have a shit defence and we exploited it for a 5-10 minute period. There’s much more reason to feel positive after last night’s game I feel.

ronaldo

what about midfield and forwards, and 150 mil ha ha ha

Andy Mack

Regrettably results do lie, because the results depend on important decisions by the officials and they make mistakes. Unfortunately they seem to be having another season where we’re getting the worse of the important decisions.

Adam

Andy, Mate please wake up. Even if all decisions would go our way we would still not challenge for the league title nor play exciting, high quality football apart from 3-4 games this season.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Runzac, the problem is we’re not getting great football or results. Yes, those three games we were spectacular to watch offensively but let’s not kid ourselves that is the norm. We are more often than not a boring side to watch these days, particularly away from home. We’ve played 11 away from home in the league – let’s ignore the terrible results for now – can you name more than 3 games where we were good to watch ?

Wolfgang

Schoolboy or Sunday school defending.
Has happened too often in big games.
Until this is rectified forget about finishing 4th.
Wenger will have to pay the price.

santori

Schoolboy defending but you have to say Chelsea also conceded two against us…are they school boys as well or is there something so brilliant to our attack?

If you ask the Chelski fans they would probably say the same about their team on the day.

To be fair, our problem is we are constant repeat offenders.

Consistency has been our problem.

ronaldo

ha, wenger gets more and more deluded by the day, we were fantastic, ha ha ha, talk about seeing the world through rose tinted glasses

Arun

more shit-spewed spectacles.

Deano

He can start solving some of them problems by getting certain players to sign new contracts.

Don

Scored fewer than the top 5, conceded more than the top 5, goal difference way behind top 5 all whilst our first team rests in Europe. Fantastic!

Declan M

Pfft. Give me a 1-0 to The Arsenal under George any day rather than late-era AW.

Pete

“WENGER: WE’RE FANTASTIC…BUT HAVE PROBLEMS TO CORRECT”

Resign then.

Yagunnersya

Deeper problems that need mentioning: 1) Cech, Monreal and Koscielny are our best defensive performers, but I’ll give them 1 season more tops and then we need new players in those positions. 2) we sold Gabriel and Gibbs in the summer and Merte + Debuchy are pretty much history aka. 4 defensive players in 1 year. 3) With the Kolasinac being the only replacement so far we’ll be 3 def players short next season… and there’s a possibility we’ll lose further three def players very soon in Cech, Koscielny and Monreal. This leaves us with 6 def players short within… Read more »

ItSanogo-al

Should also mention the rebuilding is to be done by the departing manager (as far as we know). Would you be surprised if he signed another extension? Scary to imagine that scenario.

Faisal Narrage

Then on top the likes of Ramsey will have 1 year left on his contract. Welbeck too, but I’m not that fussed about the later tbh.

sambo

Carzola and a few others are going to be on 1 year contracts very soon too.

Matt+P

Totally agree.
And if we don’t get top 4 – quite likely – our ability to attract top players will be limited.
I really fear for our club over the next few years.
It’s all down to a pathetic lack of forward planning.

santori

Which is why it would be wise for Wenger to spend a bit this January and get in a quality player now.

A Mahrez regardless of whether Alexis or Ozil leaves.

Someone who can show our intent to compete and add nuance to our attack so we aren’t so predictable particularly against teams entrenched.

But also someone who can speed up our counters and make them more incisive.

And crucially someone already blooded/proven in league who is at 26yrs only just coming into his best years.

It seems a no brainer but then again…

caligunner

Yes its called transfer season this coming summer and the next.

Within 5 years we’ll have no one because they will all be out of contract. What will we do???

ronaldo

we are light years away from the top five

santori

Not really…top five we are only 2 to 3 points off.

Top 4 we are 5 points off.

Not light years surely.

pajanee

Cech…musta kozzer nacho….hector niles wilshire kolas….sanchez lakaz ozil

Faisal Narrage

The truth is he’s right, we do have deeper issues. The real cause for concern is that these deeper issues aren’t new, but have existed since Cesc left. He’s been papering over the cracks by having the team survive on individual brillianct (Van P, then Ozil and Sanchez), yet the underlying task of rebuilding a new team in a new image and style for modern football is beyond him. Worse yet, he seems to on one hand refuse to sort out some clear problems, such as a DM (I like Xhaka, but it’s clear he was bought for his offensive… Read more »

Adenuga Ademolu

Time to shove Xhaka to the Bench. Seems he’s getting tired.

santori

Rectifying our defensive woes isn’t as easy. There’s something wrong with the way the team is being coached and the concentration levels are appaling. OTOH Wenger has always flattered to deceive bc he generally buys very well in market. But he is his own worse enemy, penny pinching when he should frankly be adding a bit more quality to get us over the line. Currently we face the imminent departure of two of our best players (for free) Rather then wait for the inevitable to happen, Wenger should be realistic and buy to replace now regardless of when these departures… Read more »