Arsenal Debate – What the hell is ‘cohesion’ anyway?

Arsene’s favourite word…. by DN

If I had a pound for every time time Arsene Wenger or any of the Arsenal players said ‘cohesion’ since the end of last season I would be a very rich man, but what does it actually mean? It is definitely Arsene Wenger’s favourite word at the moment and it seems to be spreading through to the players as well.

Listen to what Mikel Arteta said today on the official Arsenal website: “This is the best group of players in terms of numbers and quality that we have had for many, many years,”

“The unity we have is really good as a group. The cohesion we have around the club and with the fans is probably the closest it has been because we had periods when we had difficult times and things weren’t breaking down between anyone.

“When you go through difficult moments together, that really helps to get where you want to get to afterwards.

“We haven’t broken in difficult moments and that is very important. I am really confident in this group – if we maintain it and start adding little things in the next few years then we have a very strong team and club.”

So it means a bit of unity around the club? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as: The action or fact of forming a united whole. And they give an example sentence as: They lacked cohesion and, for the most part, played as 11 individuals rather than a single unit.

Now you can see why Wenger is attracted to the word, but when Wenger uses it (which he has done since the beginning of the transfer window) it would appear to mean: We won’t bring in any new players in case they change the unity of the squad. Or in other words – We don’t need to spend any money!

In Arteta’s quote above he doesn’t seem totally convinced, and specifies if we maintain it and start adding little things in the next few years then we have a very strong team and club.. In the next few years? I thought we had the cohesion now according to Wenger….

Le Prof spent the summer telling us we would be challenging for the title if we maintained the cohesion, but the fact is it all fell apart in the first game of the season. Perhaps if we had maintained Ospina as our first-choice keeper. Perhaps if we had kept Walcott as our first choice right winger. Perhaps if we had kept our policy of buying a superstar every summer? Perhaps if we had kept our normal policy of selling our older players (like Arteta!) and Rosicky and Flamini, and replacing them with rising young stars, maybe we wouldn’t have so many players on the treatment table.

Perhaps cohesion isn’t such a good word after all…..


Tags Arteta ospina Wenger


    1. force action* damn auto correct 😛

      anyhoooo, my joke died as it is explained in the article.. Meh 🙁

      Cohesion in a team is all good, but we often struggle to put the ball in the net. When playing with Özil, Ramsey and Cazorla altogether, maybe they are too equal?

  1. I’m not going to pretend I know the perfect definition of cohesion, but I felt like we have had plenty of cohesion this 2015 and so I kinda agree with Arteta. The last game I remember us being outplayed and lacked it this year was the NLD. Besides that our players have mostly played cohesively even in our losses. From the top of my head, we outplayed both Monaco and Swansea yet had unfortunate results.

    Cech is new and is still needs to find cohesiveness with our backline, but that will develop overtime. I didn’t watch the entire West Ham game but felt we played pretty decently besides those two defensive mistakes. Then there’s the Palace game. Weak goal to give up, but the plays we witnessed against Palace with Ramsey/Cazorla/Ozil/Giroud/Sanchez? That’s cohesion. Just wish more of it would result in goals.

    1. Am I the only one who doesn’t see the Palace goal we conceded as problematic?
      That was an incredibly sweet strike from deep. He hit it perfectly, first time. A bit more organisation from our midfielder’s would’ve helped, but some goals you just have to tip your hat to. I thought that was one of them.

      1. yeah I see what you’re saying. Think the problem is we’ve conceded similar goals as such in the past.

  2. Cohesion = 4th place mentality, favourtism, blame game, over confident, lack of ambition,
    no tactics and no trophies.

    1. You are right moneytalks, you are right. This old fart has let so many good transfers and good er the years.
      This man that so many love only wants to win his own way, or no other way at all. His way is not enough, everyone is trying to strengthen their teams every year, how can a team that came in 4th buy only one single player?
      What is wrong with this guy?
      He has the fracking cushiest job in the world. He doesnt even have to win anything and he still keeps making 8m a year. How does that happen?
      tell me one other club with ambition where something like this could happen.
      All of us are stuck on this train going absolutely nowhere.

  3. Well, Cohesion is what gives Arsenal it’s power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.

    Oh wait…that’s the Force.

    Seriously, I think it’s when we play like a well oiled working machine. The keeper and defenders are on the same page, the DM communicates and works well with both defense and attack, Midfielders and forwards pass great to each other. Everyone on the team are mentally together and play as one highly effective unit.

    Btw- there was a story in the Metro that Jeremy Corbyn tried to make a Law making Arsenal officially named “The best team in the World”
    Obviously, it didn’t work, so we need to do it the hard way and win lots of trophies


    1. agree with you fred, arsenal needs cohesion , good comunication between lines ,covering each other and working as a team not selfish act. wenger repeatedly use that word maybe he sick watching some player do selfish thing like shooting ball himself from long range than passing to other teammates that already in good position to score

      the other problem i often see is in our last 2 games, when someone create attack from wing/wide side and then passing the ball to mid he rarely watching other player position player before passing (like ox) so its just waste & only 1or 2 player who’s hard tryin to get the ball ,when arrived to mid like sanchez / giroud , the other i think are just watching and waiting ( if lucky) the ball come near him .that just make me so mad.

      IMO arsenal need to stop per / kos moving forward when we got corner kick too,they rarely got the ball and since our defends is not good solid enough. too dangerous when we got counter attacked

  4. Transfer window will end in 13 days. I have given up on Wenger signing top striker and DM.
    Which top team will sell their best striker at this stage in transfer window with not much replacement available ? Maybe Wenger will sign a cheap 10-15 DM from Iraq or France who nobody has ever heard of and maybe 16 year old new Maradona. Man City are way stronger than us and are the favourites for title. Man U have won 3 games on a row without even playing well.
    Liverpool also 2 wins. Chelsea are strugling but have a better team than us so, with the current squad the best we can get is 3rd or 4th. Maybe with full squad no injuries we can sneak to 2nd
    but we will never win the EPL without top striker. Wenger has no brain or tactics to win big trophies.

    1. Mmmmmm Wenger has no brain?? Only the most suscessful manager arsenal has ever had, and you come up with this mindless babel (didn’t he play for Liverpool). It would be nice to actually read a comment that us derogatory that actually had some substance, instead ppl with football and top athletic insight have to read beer monster rumblings, keep sitting on your fat arse and being judgmental, I take it, it is what your best at hahahhahahaha

      1. Let’s be honest here. AW is so far the best manager…ok. Does he still play the best football like he used to do week in week out (which he was known for)? Does he still have the winning mentality like before? I am afraid he inherited players with that mentality from Graham…Adams and company. He hasn’t convinced me that he deserves ‘best’ presently. He must work for it.

  5. Wenger believes bringing in more than 4 players in a season affects the cohesion of the team.
    He pointed this out when Spurs bought loads of players with the proceeds from Bale- they were a disaster ?
    He also said it last year re Utd when LVG started spending.
    It was interesting that 2 of Utd’s best performers last year were Mata and Feliani – who were bought the year before by Moyes and were regarded as flops.
    Anyway it’s not problem for us as, Wenger will make sure of that.

    1. I don’t think it’s necessarily just the volume of players. More what the intentions are for them.
      Chambers and Welbz were thrown into the fray a little too early. They performed admirably but I highly doubt Wenger sees them or saw them in his preferred first XI this season or last. Both players obviously have a potential upside and a lot of room to improve but I personally think they were a lot more for depth and the future.
      Then there’s Sanchez, Debuchy and Cech who were obviously brought in with the intention of integrating and strengthening the first XI asap. A huge difference in quality and experience. Though we’ve seen evidence of a few teething pains already for a player of Cech’s quality. Some players obviously bed in immediately, but attempting too many changes immediately can be problematic. I personally think the squad needs improvement. But even if, hypothetically we acquired Benzema and Krychowiak this week. Two new players in our spine against Liverpool may look great on paper, but the alteration for the players around them may not play out as well as it does in theory.

  6. Arsenal only have cohesion when they are 2/3 goals up.. if we are losing then its almost always a losing battle. its imperative that we score 2 quick n early goals against liverfool.

    1. thumbs down all u want but its true. i’m not blinded by my love for Arsenal, i actually see whats wrong with my team rather than fooling myself that we are perfect.

    2. I’m curious as to how Liverpool are going to approach playing us.
      Really hoping for another open game. Personally, I don’t think they have the quality to match us if they give us space to work.

  7. I totally agree that chemistry in a group is very important.
    I an all for one striker and one holding midfielder. …but not if it is someone problematic ….been there done that. Thx but no thx.
    I am almost sure thought that there are some dm as st that aren’t problematic

  8. Arsenal is becoming
    leaner and meaner.
    Wenger is preparing
    for a new era.
    Ryo Diarby Podolski gone. Campbell going.
    Arteta Flamini Rosicky last season.
    Szczesny Zelalem Akpom Hayden
    Niles Toral Gnabry Wellington
    are out the door and must win their way back.
    Gibbs Chambers Gabriel Debuchy Wilshere Ox
    Walcott Wellbeck Ospina have to fight for game time.
    Only the best will survive.

    1. All this clean-up should have happened earlier. Why are Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky still in the team? ANd where are the quality replacements for all these players that are gone.

      Our main problem is a club wide lack of ambition. Only Sanchez is truly ambitious in this whole organization. Any player that really wants to win trophies, real trophies will leave the club. I know we dont have to sell anymore, but lets see if Sanchez will want to stay if he plays his heart out all season and we come in 4th

      1. The last 20mins of the Palace game! That’s why Arteta’s in the team.
        Seriously.. 4 tackles!! One of which, they were through on goal! Just because he doesn’t crunch people his defensive input is no less important.
        Flamini, i’ll agree with. But the other two, how can you not see their role as important?
        Look at the United model which was so successful for years! Ferguson had an extremely solid first XI, but a big reason they were so successful late in games was the experience and professionalism he had at hand late off the bench. It wasn’t some young hot-shot he’d go to in tight games, it’d be someone like Giggsy or Scholes or Hernandez, someone to play a role.

      2. Ambition means a lot more than ….. Arsenal does not exist…

        (ADMIN COMMENT – Can’t you make a statement without insulting someone? Cease forthwith…..)

        1. Can you tell me who has been insulted. If truly you were censoring insulting comments I bet you would having zero comments here.

  9. Cohesion – just a nice word suggesting the players are all getting along with each other well.

    Is this really something that needs clarification? Seems quite simple and obvious to those of us who speak English. Next we will be discussing the meaning of words like “motivated” or “energetic.” Seriously?? This is a football topic??

  10. ‘Perhaps if we had kept our normal policy of selling our older players (like Arteta!) and Rosicky and Flamini, and replacing them with rising young stars, maybe we wouldn’t have so many players on the treatment table.’
    Well, no. We have Rosicky, Welbeck and Wilshere currently on the table. And Arteta?? He did exactly what he’s in the squad to do on the weekend. Came in when we were absorbing pressure, laid four tackles, one of which the opponent was about 6 yards from goal when we were protecting a narrow lead. Seriously… It’s not a glamorous role, but still, an important one and a good option to have off the bench.
    Fans seem to picture these younger players who play week in/week out for a lesser team maintaining that form despite only having a squad role? Well no… There’s a good chance they wouldn’t. New team, new players, new surroundings, limited first-team opportunities. It’s highly unlikely they would replicate that level of performance.
    Having older, experienced heads like Arteta and Rosicky in the team is a good thing. That ability to not play for weeks but come in and play a specific, important role is an asset.
    I really struggle to see how fans continually undervalue Arteta. Against counter-attacking teams who break in numbers, sure, I wouldn’t want him to be the one starting in front of our CB’s. But protecting a narrow lead as an additional man in midfield? Definitely.

  11. The team simply have a togetherness factor going on, although i fear we are not comfortable at the back at the moment, a couple games of clean sheets should fix that though.

    We definitely need to freshen up the squad before this season first transfer window closes, we do not really have any long term injury except for rosicky, a couple addition would ensure certain players are kept on their toes and would give the team an additional feel good factor

    1. Agreed. We let in an awful lot of crosses versus Palace. Got pretty lucky when they hit the post at 1-1. A few other dangerous balls didn’t have much in them. Need to work on our pressure on the flanks which I thought we showed huge improvement in the seasons prior.
      Having Sanchez and Ramsey who track back at every opportunity obviously helps

  12. I enjoyed this article, it is pretty much what I have been thinking lately: that the majority of the squad (not just Oli) are confidence players and that Wenger is cautious to disrupt the balance in the squad, that’s why he has been going on about cohesion so much.
    However I don’t agree that we should sell our experienced heads like Arteta and Rosicky! There presence can make a big difference to the team. Flamini won’t be missed if he is replaced with a better, new player though.

  13. There have been a few comments on here comparing starting and backup DM’s of other teams and I feel that maybe that is a good indication of Wenger’s plans this window?! Although we all want a new player in just incase Le Coq gets long term injury or gets his inevitable suspension(s) but knowing AW and his philosophies he may opt to gamble on Art & Flame and possibly Bielik? To come in and do the job? Wether this will work or not remains to be seen. I’m still hoping for a shiney new player to come in like a knight on a horse to sweep us adoring fans off of our feet… Over to you Le Prof

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