Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Lichtsteiner: Arsenal lacking experience & Emery struggled with top players

Stephan Lichtsteiner thinks Arsenal’s current squad lacks the experienced heads to help the club’s Academy talent flourish in high-pressure situations.

Lichtsteiner was recruited last summer for free after seven title-laden years at Juventus joining a squad that included the likes of Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey. This summer, all six left the club. While his impact may have been less high-profile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan also departed on loan.

The Switzerland international, who left Arsenal when his contract ended in the summer and has since joined Bundesliga side Augsburg, thinks the club have suffered as a result.

Speaking to Will Magee of the i newspaper, the veteran full-back said: “The quality of the young players that Arsenal have is amazing, but you need to have players around that can help them.

“Sometimes, an older player can manage the pressure and the criticism from the fans in another way from a young player.

“Last year, [despite] all the criticism I took, I was used, because I played for Juve and it was not different, I played for Lazio and it was not different.

“Now, I don’t see the players who can show the younger players how to manage being in a big club and having the pressure to win every weekend.

“Maybe that is something that Arsenal are missing.”

Lichtsteiner thinks that his compatriot Granit Xhaka has also suffered as a result. Elected captain by the players having been Unai Emery’s first choice for the role, the 27-year-old has since been stripped of the armband following his public falling out with the Emirates crowd during October’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

Lichtsteiner noted: “It is a problem for Arsenal: who can help a young player to become a leader, you know? For Granit, at 24 he came to Arsenal and [the idea that] he should be a leader directly, it’s quite difficult.

“At Juventus, we had [Giorgio] Chiellini, me, [Claudio] Marchisio. We grew up next to [Andrea] Pirlo, next to [Gianluigi] Buffon, next to [Alessandro] Del Piero. To get into a position like this, you need to have players around you and [to see] how they manage the pressure, how they do everything.”

Speaking a couple of days before Emery was sacked by Arsenal, Lichtsteiner, who was reticent to say a bad word about his former coach, did hint that the Spaniard suffered due to his inability to get the most out of his best players.

“I’d say [he is] a good trainer, a good coach, but maybe he struggled with the top players,” he said.

“With the big players, he hasn’t maybe the relationship to bring more out [of them] and get the top performances. Maybe that point I can say [something] negative, but the rest was almost everything positive.”


It’s definitely worth reading the full interview, which you can find here.

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Ex-Priest Tobin

By top players I suppose he isn’t referring to himself, as he was completely hopeless during his time here.

Maul Person

But he isn’t hopeless now, is he?


Uncalled for remark IMO. Lichtsteiner didn’t sign himself did he…or pick himself to play. He was a serial winner and to be frank even though he didn’t offer much on the pitch he’s right about the total lack of leadership now being displayed in the team and how that impacts on the youngsters coming through.


Forget what he was like as a player for us but read what he said which was true and to the point. He’s had a great career playing at some of the top clubs and seems to understand exactly the source of the problems we have.

A Different George

I think it’s pretty obvious he was referring primarily to Ozil and possibly to Aubameyang, the only ‘top’ players we have (in the way that Pirlo, Buffon, etc. were top players).

Gutbukkit Deffrolla


Cygans parting

So he got on just fine with Stephan and most of the squad then?


Leno, Luiz, Mustafi, Chambers, Kola, Xhaka, Mesut, Auba and Laca started against Norwich. All of them very experienced players. The balance in the team due to bad investments is way off and will only be solved with another holding midfielder alongside Torreira and 2 CB’s. Top class of course. This has been the opinion of many fans and pundits for years now.


There is a difference between being a leader and being experienced. It’s just a shame we only have a couple of player that know what it means to play for Arsenal.

Dave M

Yeah and one of them (knows what it means to play for arsenal) is a 20 year old… ?


Runzac you’re right. An example is how well Soyuncu worked out at Leicester


But he’s come into a functioning team with a complementary partner. 3x prem 1x CL winner Jonny Evans. We’ve had no CB partnerships since per and kos.

Hiiiii guys

Torreira is not the most Mobile/strong player. I think we need somebody else alongside Gendouzi. I think we should take a leaf out of the liverpool midfield. They are far from the most talented players but they work very well together.


Guendouzi is part of the issue with his lack of positional and defensive discipline. The combined shortcomings between Guendouzi and Torreira is exactly why Xhaka is a starter.

If Xhaka goes, which seems inevitable, we need a top drawer replacement that improves on what he does and has more mobility. Mobility, positional responsibility, some physical presence, defensive contributions, and passing range. Wouldn’t hurt, of course, to throw in some better skills on the ball and the ability to turn out of trouble.


Absolutely spot on.Do not see this fascination with Guendouzi.Yes he gives 100% but you need more than that a this level.So many goals I have seen conceded where Matteo fails to track his man.Now I am not saying it’s completely down to him but unfortunately this is the state of our midfield at the moment.As you say our midfield sadly lacking in the attributes you mention in your post.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

The whole point is that Guendouzi would benefit immensely by having a real leader behind him at DM. Xhaka has been a Captain for most of his clubs but he’s still only 24. He could probably do with a real leader to help him as well. I mean that, I’m not being sarcastic. Note: Us lovely Gooners don’t mind getting right in the face of any player on the team even if he is a 24 year old national team captain still learning his craft as like Xhaka is. I doubt he’s ever been booed by his own crowd anywhere… Read more »


Absolutely agree.The team has so many shortcomings and this is one of them.We desperately need a right back.Hector forever injured AMN and chambers not of the required standard.Santi cazorla replaced by Granit Xhaka LOL.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

We’re writing off AMN because he’s not a great right back now are we? It’s not like he actually is a right back is it? Nor is Chambers for that matter.

Why don’t we just sack all the players who aren’t perfect at playing out of their normal position. That’ll teach them.


I know I would rather have a 16 year old Fabregas on the pitch against anyone in our current midfield. We have experienced players making basic mistakes and not really settling a good example to our up and coming players.


Even though that interview took place before Emery was sacked, I hear Lichtsteiner still hasn’t got back to his car.


Lichtsteiner runs like I run in anxiety dreams.


You are so stupid that I don’t suppose you even read what he said which is an excellent summing up of our present position

Vince O’Carroll

The first question any new Arsenal manager should be asked is “ Do you paint houses”……hopefully he will let them know he does his own carpentry….?


Wonder if De Niro fancies a change of career

Ya gooner

Helder – uncalled for but pretty funny


A delicate hint Emery had issues with Ramsey and Ozil, visible and questioned by other players.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Emery has had problems with big players everywhere he’s coached. Its not like it wasn’t a recognised fact about him before he talked Raul into giving him the job. He’s not a big enough personality to be coaching a top team with big players. PSG worked that out pretty damned quick.

I really don’t trust anybody at Arsenal to do a decent job of researching our next managerial appointment. Its chicken farmers trying to find the best stud horse.

Tony Kanja

Completely disagree Wenger once had a very young team and all pundits said we lacked the spine to win tittles. They were right but the football we displayed was miles apart from what we’ve seen under Unai. Fabrigas, Nasri, Walcott and Rosicky would tear teams apart.

Our problem is poor leadership both from Unai and club management. We need a top personality that can fix that.


It certainly helped that 3 of those 4 could dribble the damn ball and make a decent pass. The other could get on the end and finish fairly well.


What a pussy Ronaldo is.. didn’t even turn up for the balon d or event.. disgrace that guy is


The Ballon D’Or is a joke of an event anyway and shouldn’t be taken seriously at all.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Agreed. Michael Owen has one but Thierry Henry doesn’t. Nuff said.

What has messi done in the past 12 months really?

Salah won the cl and got his country to a World Cup since an age.

Kane Wc top scorer, got spur to the cl final.

Sterling won a league title, was scoring for fun whilst battling racism.

And those are just 3 from the pl.
Haaland? Mbappe? Mandzukic?

Steven Morrow’s Arm Cast

Battling racism? Some morons called him some names so he deserves the Ballon d’or?


What has Messi done really? !!!
Won Spanish League with 36 goals in 34 games – Golden Shoe winner for Europe (3rd time in a row!) also Top scorer Champions league 12 in 10 games.
Total Season 46 goals and 17 assists. Decent

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

What? No walking on water?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You think the people deciding who wins these things even looks at the Premier League? They wish the PL was more like the top league in Azerbaijan. Small and a damn sight bloody quieter.


Don’t think Ronaldo didn’t turn up because he thinks the competition is a joke. That’s all he thinks about. He probably sleeps with his Ballon’dor. He gets his manager, players and agent to tap up everyone to get him votes. To say he doesn’t care! He’s just a sore loser.


The reason why players like Rosicky should of been given a new contract at the club really. He was amazing every time he put on the shirt even in the last couple of years. But apparently that experience against wage cost means nothing at our club.


Because he was used to win week in week out. And he has this inside ambition too. Playing for Sparta Prague meant to win each much no matter what. That is, how it was earlier in Czech. I think, I should know something about it. Still, the problem of the team is tactical from the point of defensive work and also the willingness to do the dirty defensive work. We can discuss about how we approach a game and if we press enough and if we even repress enought. Lets say, it is a higher football education. We must start… Read more »


It goes back much earlier than that for me. The Graham era players were instilled with a real sense of identity of what it means to play for the Arsenal and the weight of that responsibility. Then Wenger era players inherited that steel and sense of identity and added their silk to it. Then within a year or two of the invincible virtually all of that 2 decades of Arsenal dressing room culture was culled from the club. Big fucking mistake not to have done more to keep those people involved in some capacity or the other. When people talk… Read more »


Fair play to you goonero, you’ve done an excellent job at summing up some really important issues.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Spot on. I get grief when I say a clear out is needed. We need a few ex Arsenal legends around the place to remind players about who they represent. If I had the big job (I know, dream on) I’d be having a huge clear out. I’d keep the forwards if possible (Martinelli, Pepe, Laca and Auba) and the keeper. Perhaps one or two if the younger players. The rest can whistle. Their casual attitudes ended up costing Wenger his job (although he should’ve put a stop to it anyway). Some of them seemingly refused to play for Emery… Read more »


Very well said! Although I’d be a little bit (not too much) concessive with the Wenger years because I think the stadium and it’s financial consequenses did have played a big role indead. I mean / I think Wenger buit his later teams around the youngsters mainly: because he had to. And based on my memories about his interviews – that necessities of playing with 20/21 years old players, also required a mentality where Wenger much more had to encourage them rather than put pressure on them. I think he just couldn’t handle them the same way as he handled… Read more »


Spot on


Also add this shift in attitude mentality is linked with KSE ownership – transmitted from top down for last 10 years

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

K.S.E. were far from massive supporters of Wenger in anything but… HaHa, I was going to say “words” but he didn’t even get that from Silent Stan. I think Wenger’s plans that started with the new stadium were essentially screwed over by the rise of billionaire football owners, and we just got sucked into it by one that seemed legit (i.e American, not a dodgy Russian, or Middle Eastern Country trying to buy their way to respectability). Turns out we weren’t any better at researching potential owners than we are now about researching potential coaches. Give it a few more… Read more »

Ya gooner

Santi is another one. Should have kept him on even after the injury. Fan favourite and dressing room favourite. He also would still be our best mf.


Alexander the Great was King at 20, conquered almost all of the known world by the age of 30 and was dead at 32. He was undefeated.

Maybe it’s more about attitude and application of skill than experience.

Toure Motors

Alex Hleb, Rip


Probably why “the great” is part of his name. Find other ways to make your point cos that’s just a silly example


Sounds like he peaked too soon tbh

The Peter Simpsons

Tony Adams was made club captain aged 21 and did so for 14 years.


#wilshere in


Ironically we were braver and more forward thinking back then!


It’s certainly worth listening to someone as experienced as Lichtsteinier if he believes we lack experience and nous within the dressing room and on he pitch, something worth thinking about, and could possibly explain the signing of Luiz, a player past his best, but clearly hugely influential in the dressing room. I just think our biggest problems are a very poor set of players, an overinflated wage bill, poor scouting, poor recruiting, and a very unbalanced squad that lacks athleticism at the back, and in the middle of the park We’ very much a team that lacks dynamism and quality,… Read more »

le caiman

emery was struggling with the stars at psg. neymar zlatan dimaria. it was a mess in the dressing room. strong with the weak and weak with the strong. fanny

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

All known before we signed him. How can we trust the idiots this time around.

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