Are Arsenal players right to question Wenger’s decisions?

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that his players showed their frustrations with his current system after the loss to Manchester United.

The Gunners succumbed to a 3-1 loss to the Red Devils last weekend, despite dominating much of the 90 minutes, but thanks to two early goals, the result was just out of reach.

The manager opted to switch his system as his side chased the game, reverting to a back-four during the match as he hoped to overturn their two-goal deficit, and the performance with just the two centre-backs was impressive.

Wenger has now revealed that his formation has been questioned by his players, before adding that whilst he listens to criticism, it is his decision which is final.

‘Everybody has a little bit his own analysis but mine counts!’ said Wenger.

‘We analysed it in a very objective way. We had a very strong creative performance and a poor defensive performance.

‘When you have a defeat like that, a disappointment like that, you try to analyse it straight away with the players to get it out of the system and focus on what is in front of you.

‘Is it out of their system? I feel in our job there is always in the next game you can show that you have digested and focused on what is in front of you.’

The system certainly played a big part in our FA Cup success last season, but I don’t see why it would be negative to use more than one formation as the season goes by. We’ve enjoyed plenty of success previously with four at the back,

Should Wenger look at changing the system? Are we limiting our attack too much by committing to a theoretical back five?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Wenger


  1. Muff diver says:


    Wenger is right

    You are wrong

    1. McLovin says:

      Anyone who questions Wenger, will get the sack.

      1. Eat Pie says:

        Word, Wenger is GOD!!!!

  2. Eat Pie says:

    That is the £10 million question.

    Is anyone on here earning £10 million per annum that can answer the question?

  3. Me says:

    Of course its right for people to question him.
    Its a football club not a dictatorship after all.
    And we have heard all this “self reflection” codswallop before.
    You need to learn from your mistakes, not keep repeating them…

  4. Sue says:

    Well I’m surprised it’s taken this long!!

  5. gotanidea says:

    The back four formation is good for attacking and creativity, because Arsenal have an extra midfielder, but it is very vulnerable from counter-attacks. We all have seen it often left only two defenders when the opponent were hitting Arsenal back.

    The back five formation is good for defending and counter-attacks, because Arsenal have an extra defender, but it sacrifices the midfield domination.

    Maybe Wenger plans to use 4-2-3-1 again, just for the future home matches, so they can use the extra midfielder to dominate the midfield. And maybe he would stick to the 3-4-2-1 formation in the upcoming away matches, so they can have more defenders and to launch quick counter-attacks.

  6. Gabo says:

    We were failed by defensive errors – nothing to do with formations. That was down to focus..Robust discussions are good but intense focus from start of the match to the final whistle is compulsory.
    I think we suffer from not having a top notch Defensive midfielder.

  7. jack says:

    Why not.Arsenal have been repeatedly beaten by counter attacks especially by mu.pool.chelsea.
    Imho he shd have left after the heavy losses some years back.

  8. Nothing changed says:

    I don’t think Wenger really understands the back 3 in the same way other teams do. We have shipped a lot of goals, 19 to be precise. I don’t think that is a big improvement over last season when we started with 4 at the back, if at all.

    Our players still run around as if they don’t know where to be on the pitch when the opponent has the ball and we are still defensively undisciplined.

    The formation is only half the issue, coaching is the other half. Yes, Wenger should make the final decision but he is also the one responsible for making sure his players don’t run around lost, sometimes 5 players chasing the ball leaving opponents wide open. That is a coaching issue not a talent issue.

    1. Nothing changed says:

      In fact, it took us 17 games last season to concede 19 goals, this season it took us only 15 games to concede 19 goals. The 3 at the back has not been a defensive improvement if you ask me. So our problem is not formation but coaching IMO.

    2. So you actually think Arsenal coached that 5 players should chase the ball and leave a man unmarked? This was a defensive error on the part of the players clearly. There may be merit to coaching players to be more cautious when playing out of the back, but to claim they are actually instructed to leave men unmarked and have half the team chasing the ball is ridiculous!

    3. AndersS says:

      You are so right. . Our problem is letting in too many goals. this year, last year and many seasons bore as well. Back 3 , back 4 and even back 5 – result is the same. Why? Because Wenger can’t organize the team as a whole to defend and because he can’t coach the individual players (especially our midfielders and attackers) how to work, when we loose the ball.

  9. Aussie Jack says:

    Arsenal supporters have been crying out for a defensive midfielder for the past six seasons to my knowledge.

  10. John Ibrahim says:

    Its called providing feedback and questions…

    most fans have not got a job hence its unusual to them

    This is not Fifa 18 where players do not talk

  11. John Ibrahim says:

    The Media is pretty silent on Chelsea’s loss

    if its us….it will be 24/7 slaughtering

    1. Alkali says:

      Chelsea were champions last season so they get a pass.

    2. Sue says:

      Yes I agree John… although we play west ham on Wednesday!

  12. Mitch Connor says:

    I wish the board would have questioned Wenger’s transfer signings. Not tell him how to run the team but say a few years ago “why not get a top defensive midfielder and a top striker” or “it’s been 13 years. Don’t you think we should have replaced Viera by now?” or “Shouldn’t you get another central midfielder like Cazorla” or “Is Xhaka really worth £35 million? WTF?”

    But Kroenke loves Wenger the way he is

    1. Diaby, Xhaka, Coquelin were all brought in to add defensive steel to the midfield. Xhaka was one of the very top prospects in his league, Coquelin was highly effective especially when paired with Cazorla, so… you are overlooking a few things.

    2. Alkali says:

      Gilberto is the person we didn’t replace, he was so good but never gets the recognition he deserves. Vieira was tough but he is a box to box midfielder.

  13. Of course players and everybody will have their own opinion, but an opinion on formation is meaningless as the result is purely hypothetical.

    On the other hand, Arsenal didn’t lose because the formation or team selection wasn’t working, if you get 15 shots on target, you should put a few more in the back of the net. If you give the ball away stupidly to a team like Man U, you should expect to be punished for it.

    The players know the level that is expected and cannot blame the manager if they make ghastly amateurish errors. Wenger played his strongest side and changed formation when he needed his side to be more attacking and overcome the deficit. They put on a dominant performance and at the end everyone was stunned at the scoreline–it seemed impossibly unrepresentative of the actual match. It didn’t help Arsenal that the referees failed to award 2 clear cut penalties, but this is a game in which nobody would have been surprised in the least if the scoreline were reversed.

    If players here are trying to shift the blame away from themselves (and there’s no evidence that’s even true from these supposed rumors) that would be poor form on their part. They need to own their mistakes, stop making stupid errors, and be efficient in front of goal. Do that, and they would have won 5-0. Would Wenger get any credit then?

  14. mogunna says:

    Keep saying we have a teamp picking issue, players out of position or spirit. Like we guessing the players in picking them and always keep some in team as Ramsey or a Sanchez half way cincerned and fully focused on not getting injured to go play for Real and with a big bonus to sign and go fight for his dream, win champion league and have a great life in Madrid as a bunch of players at his level and up.

    Ni one can blame him to leave this confused depressing experimenting lost team and manager.

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