Brighton Review: Arsenal Produce Schlock Horror Show on South Coast

Brighton and Hove Albion 2 – 1 Arsenal

There is no happy ending to this tale, from the players who routinely fail to perform, through the manager who is increasingly bewildered and broken, to the stayaway board and majority shareholder who refuse to contemplate taking any action to right the ship.

Inexorably, we’re heading to the rocks; the rudder is already broken while the senior command are fighting the women and children to get into the first lifeboat.

Brighton deserved their win and it feels like any criticism of Arsenal diminishes their performance. That ought not to be the case. They were the better side, showing more determination, more…just more of everything a professional footballer needs. Two goals to the good inside thirty minutes, it should have been more yet the woodwork saved them from going into the interval level.

Even the football gods are against Arsène, it seems.

As per usual it was shambolic defending which did for us. Petr Cech was the architect to our downfall with two errors but the back four were significant contributors.

The first goal:

Zonal marking is the abdication of personal responsibility on the pitch. It’s for managers who don’t do defending and players who are incapable of man-marking; if you have both, it’s a combustible mix, ripe of self-destruction. The latest batch of Arsenal statues has been finished and plonked on the pitch.

The second was no better from Cech, a header he would stop nine times; yeah, this was the one. He apologised afterwards because he’s a nice bloke like that; did Koscielny apologise for the pass which created the opportunity or Mustafi for not bothering to mark Murray? I somehow doubt it.

Thursday night is going to be such fun.

I Can’t See Plan 1 Let Alone Plan 9

So where do we go from here? How can a lame duck manager, who is more desperate for a win than us, turn it around. “Am I still the right man? Yes, because I’ve done it before”, he defiantly declared yesterday although his demeanour underlined how dented his confidence and self-belief is.

While the manager is the focus, the performances being turned in by the players are nothing short of cowardly. Arsène was right that the manner of the two 3 – 0 defeats to City probably caused yesterday as much as anything else. We were beaten and then toyed with, a situation the players had quite forgotten about now we’re not in the Champions League. It will be some time before we return to those lofty heights.

The trouble is that this situation has been going on all season. Letting Alexis leave is looking a better decision each week, isn’t it? Would we be in any different situation? I’d feel a bit more confident in most matches if he were. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed a poacher’s goal yesterday, but for the most part is struggling to settle into a struggling side.

Everywhere you look, the club leadership is ineffective. The Kroenkes don’t want to take the necessary action. Arsène won’t walk away, he’s made that clear already and is hoping to get to the summer for a rest and then get busy in the transfer window. As if he should be let loose with any club funds.

In any case, this is a four-window mess to sort out. I can’t see Arsenal having enough money to invest in the squad to add depth as well as bringing in the players to improve this shambles. You only have to look at yesterday’s bench to realise how broken we are.

Grave Mistake

It isn’t just new signings, the players must re-learn the basics of football. It’s evident from the performance that they are bereft of belief, devoid of tactical nous and scared; their powers are diminishing and they don’t know how to resolve the situation

Reality is biting, to the point where Arsène realises the game is up. “It is very difficult, nearly impossible now [to finish in the top four]. We are too far behind. We need two teams to collapse not one.”

At least we’ll hear no more of the snake oil salesman on anything other than finishing as high as we can. Welcome to mediocrity.

The last word goes to Arsène. It’s a footballing equivalent of Spike Milligan’s “See, I told you I was ill”:

“I believe a quality of a manager is to try to shorten a crisis. I believe I can do that.”

Sadly, no-one else does.

’til Tomorrow


80 thoughts on “Brighton Review: Arsenal Produce Schlock Horror Show on South Coast

  1. Wenger has no personal advisers, no one who can remind him of the tragedies of his past. So he carries on, thinking only he can resolve his self created mess.

    Wenger must go, by any means; or else, we might not even qualify for the Europa league positions on the league table.

    I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but if Ostersunds could win at the Emirates, what’s stopping other premier league sides from taking the game to us at our home ?

  2. Morning YW and thanks for another fine post. I just hope that Arsene doesn’t get sacked on a Thursday, you deserve the pleasure of writing that one.

    Anway, we got it Arsene, you’re the man to save us from this crisis. Remind me again who it was who got us into it in the first place?

    First job for the new manager, scrap zonal marking. It should be a question on the job application, “do you prefer man to man or zonal marking in the penalty area?”. Get the wrong answer and they’re toast. Then some actual defensive coaching would be nice. In fact just do what a manager should do rather than shrug your shoulders and let everybody else work it out because you haven’t got a clue.

  3. ‘The last word goes to Arsène. It’s a footballing equivalent of Spike Milligan’s “See, I told you I was ill”:

    “I believe a quality of a manager is to try to shorten a crisis. I believe I can do that.”

    Sadly, no-one else does.’

    Yes he does, YW. He has to resign. Crisis solved.

  4. Where do we go from here? Is it down to the lake I fear?

    If we are to do anything in the EL Wenger needs to allow Bould or AN Other work with the defence like Keown did in 2006. They need to be disciplined, organised and defend deeper. The full-backs need to stop bombing forward and a defensive midfielder needs to play and sit in position. Then we might have a chance…

    and pigs might fly…

  5. Well, if he goes on a Thursday Andy, you get a two-for-one Friday. Me and Isaac, I’m sure, will have plenty to say about it!

  6. YW,

    Whenever it is I’d put money on a record breaking number of posts that day. And more than a few beers will be consumed too. Fuck it, I’ll probably take the day off and get pushed home in a wheelbarrow.

  7. Morning all,

    There is no way that Wenger resigns. He should, but he won’t. So it’s down to the Board to do it. I just can’t see that happening mid-season. If we are lucky and the rumours are true, they have just about steeled themselves to let him go and bring in a new manager in the summer. There’s no way they have the balls to do it now and hand over to an interim manager during the season. Wenger gets to ride this out to the bitter end, which on current form could see us dropping out of the European spots completely. I think that would pretty much seal his fate.

  8. I love my club, but I can’t help wishing we get trounced on Thursday to ensure the final nail is in the coffin for Mr Wenger and his back room staff.

    Sadly I wish the same could be said of the majority share holder and the board. They will only lead us to more mediocrity and mid table.

    We may never see another night of European football at the Emirates ever again.

  9. If we make Europa league next season I’ll be utterly amazed. We are totally bereft of ideas on and off the pitch. The players can barely make eye contact with each other. You can see Wenger’s DNA engrained in the players attitude. Bemoaning decisions, not playing the whistle, always looking for excuses. Total petulance.

  10. Anyone else feel like maybe the players have decided that enough is enough? We almost can’t fail to get into Europe next season somehow, so why not lose every game until he’s got to be canned?

    Telling the playing staff you’re all playing for your Arsenal career after getting spanked by the best team in the land is a completely hollow threat if he’s not even going to be there in the summer. Players can and have made that decision about managers many times before and will do again.

    The fans need to get as vocal as they can now. If Josh is back any time soon, be good to get up close and loud with him especially.

  11. Everton apparently want Wenger to replace Allardyce, who, quite frankly, is a far better manager at this point in time.

    Can we assist Wenger with packing his bags?

    Assist him with his CV?

    Arrange transport?

    If he’s a little reluctant can we just bag him, throw him in a box, and post him to them?

  12. Damon,

    It does feel like that, its almost as if the players can feel the shift in the club and know that Arsene is out of ideas especially when you look at some of the managers these players have played for.

  13. Good stuff Yogi the man.

    The other thing about thr performance that is so annoying is the fact that going into matches now, its almost as if its expected that we concede a goal or two early, Cech will look shit and we will struggle to get the ball from our defensive end and in midfield to our attackers.

  14. I don’t think that the players are actively trying to shaft Wenger.

    Based on the apparently leaked comment when it was claimed someone stated that “we need more help from the coaches”, to which there was a response “not gonna happen”, I suspect that its a case of the players not believing that doing whatever Wenger is instructing or training them to do is going to bring a positive result at this stage, hence a kind of “going through the motions” display.

    Actually, the request and response could also raise a number of other questions, depending on the context.

    Were the players expressing concern at Wenger’s methods and wanting input from the coaches to change things?

    Was it a case of them feeling that they need more personalised assistance with individual technique, or positioning, or tactics?

    There are a number of possibilities, so quite interesting to ponder.

    None of them seem to shine a particularly positive light on the situation though.

  15. MikeSA,

    I can’t speak for Damon, but the feeling is that the players have had enough and when you look at the managers that some of the players have played for, you can see why they are looking for direction and realizing they aren’t going to get it.

    I mean, you look at the three matches this week and really since Spuds and the tactics alone are puzzling and haven’t changed and it leads to Aubameyang isloated and not getting service because our midfield pivots are STRUGGLING to get the ball to our attackers and then when they do, its Ozil and Mhkitaryan dropping deep to get it and not having any support for Aubameyang. Then you look at our defense and GK and while I go into matches optimistic, there is that sense that we will find a way to be down a goal or two within the first 10 mins.

  16. Was I the only one who was not impressed by the reports from the dressing room?

    Senior players in tears because of their kids? Seems a bit weak to me. Where is the anger, the determination, the leadership that a situation like this demands.

    Seems to have been all about them and their emotions.

    Tone could take ‘em all on, all at the same time. Little luvs.

  17. Thanks for the post yogi.

    In the past I have always believed Arsene could find a way to put together a good run. Last season he almost brought us back from the brink and we came within 1 point of sneaking into the top 4, and winning the last years FA cup was a huge surprise. This year has been even worse then last season and the top 4 is truly out of reach even if we somehow win the last 9 league games but Europa League could still rescue the season and get us back into the CL. However even with my strongest pair of rose colored glasses I can’t see much likelihood that we can someone win the Europa League. To say that everything has gone into the crapper would be an overly optimistic characterization of the current state of affairs. Wenger out!!!

  18. C,
    theres no one single area of the pitch thats at fault
    ozil, miki and auba are as shit as everyone else

    the whole squad is devoid of ideas and confidence…they are crying out for a voice to give them direction and normally a manager would tell them to go back to basics, keep it tight and simple and win 1-0 from a set piece to get the ball rolling.

    wengers not changing a thing, hes just waiting for us to play a team who’ve been playing as shit as we have so we can get lucky and trounce them to get the confidence back.

    thats a shit plan – but thats all hes got.

    the players need a slap as well – 11 grown men cant decide for themselves what they are going to do – but thats where your captain and his mates get everyone in the locker room and say fuck this shit from this idiot – we’re going to do it this way this week and anyone who doesnt tow in line gets their heads kicked in.

    but we dont have any of them either…and you can see it when we play.
    whenever we make a mistake theres nobody arguing with eachother…theres nobody saying to bellerin if you let your man get passed you again im kicking the shit out of you.

    its a general team acceptance that they cant do anything about it and you dont steer the ship away from the rocks with players as brittle as that.

    but thats the managers fault as well. he has to fall on his sword.

  19. MikeSA,

    Oh for the days when we had a Vieria who would say in the tunnel to the players basically, and I paraphrase “bollocks to what the boss said we re going to play like this” . Still look at the character of players we had then. Sigh….

  20. I thought Cech would still be an adequate to decent GK but credit to C and several others who thought it was time for a change. Cech is not that old for a GK but he has certainly been suboptimal and just like when Wojo was faultering in 14/15 it’s probably time to move on to Ospina or even give Macey a shot for the rest of this season. The Almunia and Wojo years demonstrated just how damaging it can be to have a GK who is inconsistent and Cech has not been good this year. It would have been a huge risk to give Wojo another long term high dollar contract. We suffered when we did that the first time we de that. I don’t think Ospina is the long term answer and a top quality proven GK has to be very high on next years shopping list.

  21. beat me to it on the leadership, bob

    remember the incident at the xmas party after the blackburn game all those years ago where big tone and keown and romford had the likes of vieira and petit up against the wall telling them to protect the back line or else?

    that pretty much sorted that out and the rest is history.

    where are those players in this team?

    wheres that voice on the pitch? telling the players to sort it out or hes kicking the shit out of everyone.

    if i were captain they’d be some serious toilet flushing going on.

  22. I agree with Jon Jon. The manager has to fall on his sword and take the majority of the blame and I am certainly not going to try and make excuses for Arsene. He does that well enough by himself. However this group of players deserves plenty of criticism also. These are the exact same tactics and the exact same management style as we have seen from Arsene for this entire decade. Arsene has never given players any more instruction or direction then he is now but for some reason it’s never translated into such poor performances on the pitch before now.

  23. JonJon,

    I hope my post didn’t seem like I was blaming one part of the pitch because, like you said they all need to take blame.

    I agree with you about the manager being the one who gives directions during times like this, you know to help get shit straight whether its winning a 1-0 like you speak of, or changing things up and defending with 6 and putting your 4 best attackers on the pitch and tell them to attack at will and the 6 behind you will defend.

    Either way, there is a severe lack of confidence and maybe its just me but I have always been taught even the most talented players need directions and tactics to get them to be apart of the team. Their talent allows them to make things happen that others can’t but direction is still needed. Its why when I hear people say that Pep always goes to the biggest clubs with deep pockets I start tuning them out because its those players that get structured and have the most pressure to win shit and perform match in and match out.

    We do need leaders to say fuck this and fuck Arsene lets play like we know how; I think this situation calls for Mert to start matches, he might just be that one player that doesn’t take shit (since he has been here is seems to be the only one who doesn’t give a shit what Arsene says and challenges him publicly to which Arsene always seems to try and shut him down) but Arsene doesn’t want to play Mert and for all of his qualities (that are diminishing quickly), Kos isn’t even the organizer of the back 4 let alone the leader of men.

    Shame is that this group of players could be so much better with even just a bit of coaching, I mean again Brighton it was astonishing to me that Nketiah came on and provided more of an impact than Iwobi has in quite some time and yet I keep hearing talk of Iwobi potentially being one of the young breakout stars at the World Cup.

    Brighton was a new low

  24. Even the bloody awful Emirates ‘Arsenalisation’ has a picture of Keown that relates a story about when a player in the team did not seem to be taking his job seriously enough. Keown took him on one side and reminded him his repsonibility to the shirt that he wore.

    I doubt in the current marketing meta would allow the printing of the words actually used by him.

  25. For Heaven’s sake, stop all these hysterics over the bad season we are having at Arsenal FC. “Bad” as it means to us, compared to the vast majority of the clubs in the EPL.
    First of all, it’s a game not a war.
    We are still in the Europa Cup, with a good chance of qualifying for next season’s CL.
    As for the governance at the Ems, nothing will change until at least the season’s end, so calm down everybody and at least support all those who wear the shirt.
    Those who spout doom and gloom about the Manager seem unable to accept that once a game starts, he has little control over what happens on the field of play.
    Arsenal have no divine right to success.
    It’s worth remembering that despite our past successes, Arsenal have never retained a championship in any post-war season.
    We have peaks and valleys in our history and it’s about time this is accepted.
    Look forward to the rest of the season. And the Summer Window!! 😉

  26. If the early invisible performances are any indication I think the new Ozil contract is going to look like one of the bigger mistakes of the end of the Wengerian reign. Its been 2 years of mostly invisiblilty and limited production and the idea that it will get better as he hits his age 30 years seems like a huge stretch. We are told that the club can’t go toe to toe financially with the Manchester clubs which means we have to make intelligent decisions on how to allocate those resources to be able to compete. The amount of money we are going to pay for each goal and assist over the next 3 years will probably be the highest in the history of world football.

  27. Good afternoon All. Always amazed by You YW how you continue to scribe such wonderful prose.

    Firstly Wenger is not going to resign. Very rarely does a Manager resign. They are sacked, contracts terminated.

    I think the absence of any Board Mberd hier at Brighton highlights AW is on his own. There is a clear demarcation between Himself and the newly assembled Back Room staff .

    My belief is that they are deliberately watching, waiting until the end of the season. They don’t want to be sullied by the current malaise.

    At any other football club the majority would be of the opinion that He has lost the dressing room.

  28. Again I am not making excuses for Arsene and sacking the manager is the first thing that has to happen in order to stop the rot from getting worse. However, the players are getting the same level of instruction and tactics that they have been getting for this entire decade. We don’t the talent to compete with Man city or even Liverpool but we they still have enough talent to compete with teams like Brighton and Ostersund and Swansea but for some reason these players have stopped executing.

  29. I know it sounds great to have a leader on the pitch who can direct players around, but it’s a bit much to expect one or more players to achieve on the pitch what Wenger is being paid a small fortune to do all week.

    I suspect that we used to have players who had been very well coached and were able to work it out for themselves.

    Those sorts of players are very strong willed and determined, just the sort of personalities Wenger (and some of his blinkered devotees – see above), doesn’t like and made a mission to get rid of.

  30. Bill,

    That is where I disagree with you, we have the talent to compete, the difference is in level of management. I mean Aubameyang, Lacazette and Ozil are as talented if not more talented than a front 3 of Salah, Mane and Firmino; the difference is style of play, coaching and having a plan in place. At Arsenal there is no style of play, no coaching and damn sure there isn’t a plan.

  31. Well the players have made it clear that they don’t get the coaching they need from Wenger which begs the question what exactly does he do for £10m a year? For a man that supposed to eat, drink, and breath football I find it difficult (if not impossible) to understand exactly what his input is. He may spend hours watching games and keeping up the latest developments in the game but what use is that if he doesn’t use the information to improve his own performance?

    Seriously, does anyone know what Wenger actually does as manager bar pull eleven names out of a hat before a match day?

  32. andy1886,

    There was some feedback from the German squad whilst on international duty that basically intimated that no one actually had a clue what he does all day.

  33. and then theres nicky

    i suppose there has to be one.

    would you not accept nicky, that when we have valleys in our history, weve allowed the same manager to walk us even deeper into said valley or weve sacked the shit out of him and tried to get upto a peak?

    becuase if my memory serves me correctly weve always sacked the shit out of him.

  34. We know AW won’t be sacked mid-season, we also know he won’t resign. Yet despite my lack of faith in the Kroenke’s, with all the new happenings behind the scene I cannot see how they will allow him to continue next season. So what’s the way forward? How do Arsenal, the club, the business, manage this?

    It’s not up to me, but I would offer this suggestion:

    Sun 29th April – on current form we lose away at Manure.
    Monday 30th – AW called in to meet IG and Kroenke Jnr on Monday to thrash out a severance agreement.
    Tuesday 1st May – public announcement
    Sat 5th May – Farewell home match at the Ems v Burnley
    Sun 13th May – Final match away at Huddersfield.

    Here’s hoping.

  35. C

    I agree that the manager needs to go. On paper we have a squad with a few big names and big reputations but games are not played on paper and some of those big name players are no longer as good as their reputation suggests. We have spent a lot of money on this squad but its unbalanced and as Dukey points out its very poorly constructed. The 2 things that win games are scoring and preventing the other team from scoring. We have a squad filled with players who have technical and passing skill which is a valuable but those same players don’t score goals and don’t defend very well so it all falls apart.

  36. Wow, currently injured Brighton player Steve Sidwell, yup that Steve Sidwell said the following:

    ‘Before the game I saw them in the tunnel and their body language wasn’t that of a team that was ready to roll their sleeves up and give it a go.

    ‘We knew from the off, if we had a good start and played on the front foot and got after them, we would have a chance.

    ‘Back in the day, you knew you were going to be in for a tough game. You knew they could play free-flowing football but you would also physically be in for a tough game. Now that toughness is gone.

    ‘All it seems they have got is their flair and technical ability – and that has even gone now. Their confidence is shot to pieces.’

  37. C

    On paper Ozil, PEA and Lacazette look good . However, the evidence suggests that Lacazette and perhaps PEA will struggle to score unless someone creates the opportunities they need. Ozil who is supposed to be the one creating those opportunities but has not been nearly as effective for at least a couple of years so it has not been working. That is what I mean by on paper they look good but reputation on paper does not necessarily equal effectiveness on the pitch.

  38. He should be reminded that he once said he wanted to leave the club in a better situation than he found it.
    From a revenue/stadium point of view, he may be right (though the atmosphere at Highbury made my hair stand on end, the Emirates leaves me cold), but for the rest,no way.
    He could carry on till 2119 and we’d still be a few players short and making schoolboy errors.
    He should leave, but he won’t because he has no life outside football.

  39. Rafa Honigstein said the same after one of the 5-1 beatings from B Munich. From his sources (German players?) he wondered what exactly Wenger did all day long, as spent a lot of time in his office and had very little input in training.


    There was some feedback from the German squad whilst on international duty that basically intimated that no one actually had a clue what he does all day.

  40. Bill,

    You said we don’t have as much talent as Liverpool and I would say that its more down to coaching than anything. You talk about scoring goals, well we have Aubameyang and Lacazette who banged in goals for fun before they arrived and yet we have seen when we create chances they can score but Arsene has a style in place that isloates them plus he plays players like Iwobi and Welbeck who don’t score goals and asks his wingers to constantly track back and defend. You talk about Liverpool’s and even Citeh’s style of play and if you watch, their attackers tend to press high and their defenders actually defend so they can counter quickly. The other problem, we can’t defend for shit and our GK isn’t helping out at all. All the best teams have technical skill, but all the best teams also have managers that know how to put their players in the best positions through tactics, style of play, balancing the team and FFS making adjustments in order to do that.

  41. Glad to see Yogi and i agree that it was a mistake to let Sanchez or words to that effect.he and ozil were telepathic and without them working together we wouldn’t have got to fifth last season.

    When we all or nearly all start laughing at our own team that we support,one knows it isn’t actually a joke

    What was all this about .(another seagulls and trawlers)This is surely the weirdest one yet.

    “When you have just the trousers on it’s easy to take them trousers off as well,” said Wenger at his postmatch news conference.

    “When you’re completely naked you have to find a shirt and try to put it on again and then you’re dressed normally again.”

    . So Arsenal just need a good pair of trousers to salvage their season?

    If anybody out there has the slightest clue what Wenger is getting at, please feel free to clue me in.

  42. Bill,

    The same thing could be said about a lot of clubs, for instance, look at Chelsea who won the PL last season and this season are struggling for 4th with almost the same team and same manager. Then take a look at Citeh and Liverpool who both finished 15 and 17 points respectively off of Chelsea this season yet with a few tweaks and change of tactics the players are performing brilliantly; why is that, purely down to being coached up and those managers putting players in not just positions but with a style of play that maximizes their ability both individually and collectively.

    You can’t tell me players who have scored and either finished 1st or 2nd in goals scored in their leagues can all of a sudden forget how to score or need tap-ins. I know you only watch the PL but Lacazette and Aubameyang don’t always need somebody to create for them but they also need support and NO STRIKER OR GOAL SCORER can be isolated the way Arsene has isolated them and expect them to score goals 1 v 4 or when Ozil pushes up 2 v 4 on a consistent basis.

  43. Pete the Thirst,

    The problem I have with all of this is that if Wenger sits in his office and ponders his navel, who is actually taking training?

    If the coaches are taking the training then surely they should be sorting the sit out?

    At this point we have so much “information” we simply don’t know what to believe anymore?

    One thing is clear though, Wenger has been the constant over several complete personnel changes, and the results seem to be constant, so whatever the dynamics or mechanics, it’s still down to him.

  44. If Wenger really does spend all this time , amongst other things – watching a lot of footage – why the hell hasn’t he changed the appalling zonal marking , it’s been a disaster for years.

  45. Phil,

    Depends what sort of ‘footage’ he’s watching.

    All this stuff about putting your clothes on does make you wonder.

  46. The malaise is simple Bill.
    Wenger gives instructions that are built on passing the ball to the star of the team in midfield, get forward so you can attack in numbers, pass until you have a high probability of scoring from the 6 yard box, keep possession at all costs, and other intelligent musings.

    The problem is this, the instructions are not enough, the team is often short of required personnel, the manager does not individually lecture a player on what he did wrong, how to play better, and if he is improving or performing . If Cazorla were fit and healthy, Wenger’s gamble this season would have paid off.

    The problem began when instead of coaching better defense, positional awareness, intelligent use of the ball, and combative pressing + aggression, Wenger chose to change the formation to a 3-4-3.
    He removed a key goal scorer in Theo Walcott and he placed Ozil on the right. Fast forward to this season, Walcott was frozen out of the team. Oxlade was sold, Alexis was sold, Giroud was sold and we rely on Iwobi,Welbeck ,Mhki and Ozil to provide wing play or width on the flanks.
    The thing is these guys are not specialists in running games as wingers, they may have an occasional good game, but they are square pegs in round holes, so they cannot perform at the optimum.
    A lot has happened this season and with the undercurrent of Sanchez’s situation and his departure, the players are now waking up to see that Sanchez was right to challenge the manager, the thing is they can’t speak up and they are content to pick the paycheck until the end of the season.

    It’s the reason why Coquelin left, because he did not see how he could survive in such a messed up setting.

  47. Nicky…. receive some sense. Read the comments made by Steve Sidwell, an excerpt is pasted somewhere above as a comment.

  48. C @ 4:27

    Sorry I took so long to reply. The bump runs were really getting icy but we got some fresh snow last night

    I don’t think Lacazette has forgotten how to score, but I think that the slow tempo of our attack means the defense is always set up and its much hard for him to find time and space in dangerous areas which makes it much more difficult to finish. Even Man City can struggle if they give the defense time to set up. I can’t prove it but if Lacazette played with a team that moves at a higher tempo and was better at creating open space then he would probably be scoring a lot more goals and if Salah or Firmino played for us they probably would be scoring a lot less. The big question is why these incredibly talented creative players we have don’t do anything to create a faster tempo when we win the ball back and why do we almost immediately fall into our tippy tappy habit? I am 100% certain that Arsene is not telling them to play with mythical handbrake on.

    Do you really think the reason Chelsea is not playing nearly as well this season is because Conte who has won lots of big trophies decided to take stupid pills last summer and change the tactics that worked last season. One difference this year is Conte has gotten very little from his CF position this season and they are struggling to score. Perhaps a bigger problem is his players are not closing down the opponents as aggressively or playing with the same tempo as last year. In short they are not executing as well as last year.

  49. Lari03 @ 7:30.

    I agree with a some of that. IMO the most important part of your comment is that when we playing creative players like Ozil and Mkhitaryan who have a skill set much better suited for central midfield or Welbeck or Iwobe who are not really effective players as our wide forwards we are going to struggle. We have gotten almost no goals from our wide forwards this season other then Sanchez we he with Alexis or Ox gone we don’t have a single player on the squad who can provide a goal threat or make something happen from a wide position when our attack inevitably ends up turning into tippy tappy.

  50. C

    “NO STRIKER OR GOAL SCORER can be isolated the way Arsene has isolated them and expect them to score goals 1 v 4 or when Ozil pushes up 2 v 4 on a consistent basis.”

    Arsene is not tactically isolating the CF. PEA was certainly not isolated yesterday. Our whole team was keeping him company in the attacking half of the pitch while we endlessly passed the ball without creating much real threat. That is the way the games almost always play out whenever we struggle against mid and lower table teams. The reason PEA looked isolated against Man City was because none of our creative midfielders were not good enough to find a way to move the ball into the attacking half on a consistent basis. They were being badly outplayed by more committed and more talented players

  51. I don’t think there is tactical secret sauce to combat a team that is aggressively pressing against you. You either move the ball forward into the attacking end quickly before the other team has a chance to press or you pass the ball and move quickly so the opposition does not have a chance to close your player down. Its not rocket science. The players know that as well as anyone but they have to be able to execute to make it work.

  52. As the darkness thickens around us, at sea in the increasingly leaky SS Wenger, I peer at the horizon and – is that a flicker of light? If we stay our current course and fall out of the Europa places, whoever steps in to the wheelhouse as Arsene is carried kicking and screaming below decks will have an uncluttered, foreign-travel-free season to start putting a decent Arsenal team together. Worked for Chelsea.

    I’m in favour of the club taking its medicine next season, strip away all the tiresome delusions of grandeur, burn all the cotton wool everyone at the Emirates seems wrapped in and build up from the low base our football has actually reached.

    In fact why wait till next season? The sooner the better – Thursday would indeed be perfect.

  53. Nicky,

    ” A good chance of winning the Europa Cup”. You are fucking hilarious mate.

    JonJon for manager. How soon can you get there?

  54. We can’t even beat and bully the skinny little weak kids now…even they have worked out that if they punch back we will run home crying.

  55. Bill,

    I’ve said before that it isn’t a tactics thing, but there is some basic coaching on what to do in various situations on the pitch which is not being imparted to the players as a group. Individuals can’t do it on their own, no matter how talented they are.

    You said that we have been playing the same way for a decade and that this group of players, in particular, is unable to execute. What has changed on the pitch is that more teams are willing to press the ball. We used to get plenty of time in our own half to move the ball through to the midfield where we could look at moving the ball up the pitch, but we don’t get that time now.

    For many years there has been a belief that Wenger’s teams were weak and could be roughed up. We didn’t like it up us. Teams like Stoke would routinely put us to the sword and there was always the odd defeat to a team who we should be beating. When we started to come up against Barcelona regularly in the CL I said that one of the things they did really well which didn’t need great technical ability was to press the ball and regain possession high up the field. We are now seeing that the high press is used much more frequently in games and we clearly still don’t like it up us.

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