Have Arsenal’s second-string been flattered by results?

Arsene Wenger states his happiness with his recent rotation of the squad, with last night’s result seeing us through to the knockout stages of the Europa League with two matches to spare.

We settled for a 0-0 draw at home to Red Star Belgrade yesterday, giving us a total of 10 points from our opening four outings, and we can no longer finish any lower than second in the group.

Wenger admits that he is happy that he is managing to keep on track despite making so many changes in different competitions thus far.

He said; ‘We made four games, 10 points. So overall it’s good if I can combine both (domestic and European football).

‘You could see tonight it was a very intense game, and with the number of games we play, we want to play in every single competition. I will continue (rotating) at the moment.

‘They started stronger than us; they played very well at the start. They played with a high pace, were dangerous on the breaks and defended very well.

‘In the second half we dominated possession much more but lacked a bit of quality in the final ball, vision to find the right space and overall it was a fair 0-0.

‘It’s frustrating when you don’t score, but overall you understand that with many young players in the team, that’s part of the learning process for them, playing these types of games.’

The Frenchman was then asked about Wilshere’s display, to which he responded: ‘He needs these kind of games to come back to his best level.

‘And he needs to be injury-free for a long period until the end of the season, and get games like that.

‘He’s not involved (with England) but if he keeps his fitness, maybe next time (he will be).’

Our results have flattered our side recently, leaving us little room to complain at present, but in reality, we were lucky not to have been eliminated by Norwich City in the League Cup, and Red Star Belgrade could easily have picked up more than one point from our two EL encounters.

Regardless of those displays, our second string has managed to come away with the desired results, and it has allowed us to try and concentrate on our domestic league campaign.

Have the results flattered our second string? How far could our current EL line-up go in the competition?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Wenger Wilsherre


  1. leo says:

    Walcot…a second string player…lol…has he ever being more…just shocked how he hasnt been one for so long nw

    1. Shortboygooner says:

      19 goals last season. More goals than giroud the striker this season. Please stop using the guy as a scapegoat. Probs one of top rm in england. Yet we play ox in the national team who also only has one goal to his name this season. Look at the stats. He is not amazing but far worse players out there. Good back up

      1. neil says:

        correct a good squad player but he needs to be first choice to play for england…. that means a move

    2. neil says:

      its not our second string.. irs a mix of youth and squad players…
      i think its does show though that coquelin giroud walcott are not first XI players… show no real appetite to force their way in either with great or even good performances!!

    3. l says:

      Give credit where it is due. These guys have played and won 5 consecutive cup games and just drew 1. Fans are bashing them left right and centre. Meanwhile our so-called 1st string have lost to clubs like Watford & Stoke City already. 4-0 bashing from Liverpool. Applaud them for what they have done so far. For those criticizing Walcott for recent off sides, remember the success of such runs depends largely on the timing of the pass. And it is a different issue playing with youths. We need to cheer these guys up to bring up their form and A games. Because when injury hits some of the 1st string players, they will become the corner stone.

      1. neil says:

        Walcott should be able to time his runs according to the person playing the ball !

        Also in Europa League and Carabao Cup the opposition is not as good so he should be able to give them a 5 yard head start and still beat them !!!

  2. Shortboygooner says:

    Arsenal are getting worse every season. Last season we would have beat both teams both teams away and 3 seasons ago we would have made mince meat out of them. I say we need the following things to get back to looking like a world class side and if 1 or 2 of them happen we may look like a half decent team.

    1. Change to a 4 at the back formation. -This has impeaded out attack and we are no better defensivley with 3 at the back

    2. CDM – we need a kante or gilberto silva yo protect the defence. This will nake a hige difference and give players going forward time to return

    3. A forward to knock on the door. – thomas lemar please. City liverpool chelsea all have players knocking on the 1st team door. Pepe has a great selection headache. Tottenham not so much as a few players carry the team.

    4. New manager – wenger is stale, joicim low I think.

    5. New board members – hahahaha the current group are there to collect a pay check in a legal manne. They know nothing of football and care about it even less.

    6. New owner – #kreonkeout. Simply put. If this one happens probably all the rest would too. The sad thing is kreonke could invest in the club get the fans on side and make double profit. 10 years ago chelsea was no where near arsenal and utd. 5 years ago they were on par. Now chelsea have gone clear. Soon tottenham will too.

    1. Mobella says:

      I strongly believe fans like you watch our matches so that you can have things to complain about. Tell me would Wenger have played those kids two to three seasons ago. Arsenal didn’t win yesterday day but the match outcome was still very much ok considering the team we fielded yesterday. We are in next round of the competition with two matches to go. I can’t understand what we want from the team. We don’t want them to win, draw or loss, as we complain when the team win, draw or loss. I don’t know any other outcome of a football match that we will be satisfied with.

  3. gotanidea says:

    None of the fringe players that played against the Red Star would be good enough to play against Manchester City on Sunday, if they performed like that. If they cannot be creative and do not have enough skills, they might as well rely on set-pieces and penalties to make Manchester City nervous.

    1. SuperClaes says:

      Believe any of Debuchy, Elneny(DM), Holding, Nelson, Giroud could go in do a job!

      So much negativity around….

      Great above players get minutes along with players like Nketiah, Willock, Maitland Niles, etc

  4. Franko says:

    In the past at least we used to play tiki taka attractive football but not any more. Fine, people where saying we were soft back then but Wenger could have brought in physically strong players who can still play the tiki taka attractive football like the new look Man City side are doing at the moment. Wenger is a deadbeat manager now and he is still hanging on in his drowning while taking the club along with him. People, just brace yourself up for the annihilation by Man City.

    1. Tony says:

      we dont play tiki taka we never did. u was watching barca, spain or germany in 2014.wake up mate.
      we play wenger ball its basically a bad form of tiki taka but not tiki taka

      1. gotanidea says:

        That’s right, Arsenal have never played with tiki-taka under Wenger’s reign. Wenger’s system is similar to the current France national football team or French teams in general, but Arsenal do not have many skillful players like them.

        If you want to watch tiki-taka football, watch Guardiola’s Manchester City, Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli, Barcelona and Spain. A lot of short passes and many touches on the ball when a player possesses it.

        Wenger has to realize the limitations of his management and coaching skills, and the limitations of his players’ skills as well. If they cannot play with high skills and low tempo, it is better if they play more pragmatically, like Mourinho’s style, chasing set-piece and penalty goals.

  5. Break-on-through says:

    I hope it’s due to us looking more so at our next fixtures. That would be acceptable for me if we’ve been working on how to face City and who’s job is what and stuff. It’s actually what we were all asking for before the season started, to take PL more serious than these early EL games.

  6. khitb77 says:

    Considering the amount on young players in our side last night and a lack of “leader” on the pitch, I think we should be pleased with the fact we’ve qualified and we’ve done so without using many (if any) of our first XI.

    The playing time the youngsters – Macey, Willock, Maitland-Niles, Nelson and Nketiah have got will hopefully prove to be valuable experience in their development at the club.

    Even the more experienced players like Debuchy, Elneny and especially Wilshere can benefit from getting playing time. Debuchy and Elneny were playing out of position as well, so by them getting some added experience in different positions it may help, if we suffer injuries to our first choice defenders at some point this season.

  7. SuperClaes says:

    Great to see Macey – excellent yesterday!

    Nketiah got some odd 20 minutes as well and Nelson, Holding, Maitland Niles played full 90 minutes.

    This is great for our club!

  8. Turbo says:

    They’ve done well. Where else are the younger players and the likes of Giroud and Walcott going to get serious minutes other than maybe Carabao cup? To use them and get the results is great. And we get to see things like Eddie running riot and saving a win when everyone else is basically spent.

    p.s.-Not dissing Giroud, great player for minutes 75-90. Really have lost being a fan of Walcott. So much speed and promise and such middling results over so many years. If a striker doesn’t have that consistent poise and killer instinct it just doesn’t cut it for Premier League regular starts.

  9. Ignasi says:


    How red star didn’t put those chances away is beyond me.

    We should have lost 5-2

  10. Gunner22 says:

    How times have changed, tots bashing real, we drawing blank with RSB at home, no offences to them, just give me 10k a week I’ll do a better job than TW

    1. jon fox says:

      Totally off topic and so please forgive me, but seeing the K “10K” reminded me of Kilmarnock Football Club, the only team in Britains major leagues which begins with a K, and I have always wondere4d why they don’t do better, what with all those thousands of KFC chicken shops to fund them! And as for Walcott, my granny, too is far better than Walcott and will wear his shirt for 6 cups of tea and a packet of fags daily.

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