Arsenal had ‘great mental strength’ but were unlucky and needed more rest…

It was great to see Arsenal stage a spirited comeback from three goals down at Bournemouth, and although Arsene Wenger was pleased that his team didn’t give up, he thinks it was very unfair that his team had to play again after just two days after our win against Crystal Palace, while the Cherries had an extra day to recover from their win over Swansea.

“Yes, it was a physical test and a mental test for us.” Wenger said. “A physical test because we had problems to start to cope with the pace of Bournemouth. Defensively we had some problems and I think you have to acknowledge the quality of Bournemouth – congratulations to them. But as well, it’s too uneven to have only two days to play against a team with over three days rest. It took us a while to get back into the game.

“On top of that, we were a bit unlucky as well – to concede a penalty and after the third goal, for us, with 70 minutes played we were 3-0 down. So it was a mental test, but we succeeded because we have a great resilience in the team and great mental strength and that came out. In the end you are even frustrated not to win the game. We missed some opportunities in the end. A corner into the hands of the goalkeeper, instead of taking an in-swinger we should’ve taken an out-swinger, these are the details that you have to keep composure and play until the last minute. That’s down to keeping your head cool.”

Le Prof reiterated the unfairness of playing against a team that had had more time to recover, and certainly doesn’t think it was ‘fair’. “Look, I am ready to play tomorrow again as long as we play against an opponent who has played today as well.” he continued. “That is what I call fair. All the rest, we have to play when we are told to play but we want to play against a team with the same time of rest and preparation that we have.”

I can certainly see his point, but I can’t help but point out again that the reason we have such a large and talented squad is that we can rotate to keep fresh legs on the field. Wenger only made three changes from the side that beat Crystal Palace, but considering the players that we had on the sidelines for both games it was very surprising….



  1. synthiagoCazorla..HUMVN,Machine says:

    Last night’s result.. I can understand the disappointment. I can see clearly the reason why there is so much negative vibe seeing as as we performed horribly the first half of the game.

    However, aren’t folks throwing the baby with the bath water here? Just saying though.

    Knocks, kicks and sticks where it is deserved. But also credit to whom it is due.

    Giroud has been brilliant (exceptional even) the past 3 games. He’s rescued us with his goal 3 crucial goals. He can indulge in his celebrations. He deserves that atleast.

    The team did well to recover from their slumber and to show a fighting spirit. This will prove very useful as this season’s EPL marathon race continues for the next 5 months.

    Xhaka conceded a stupid penalty alright. But he made up for his mistake in the second half by being heavily involved in our attacking play in the second half -including that sublime assist for the third goal to bring us level. Now people are saying he is a waste of 35 millions. Some have gone as far as to rubbish the goals he’s scored so far. LOL! I hope this doesn’t get to him, because if it does, we will have ourselves to blame.

    Xhaka is a gem of a player who has settled nicely even in his first 4 months in the EPL. It will be a shame if we destroy his confidence this early.

    1. Wilshegz says:

      u see the problem is not with the players, it’s with Wenger n his selection.
      that game is clearly a game Giroud shouldn’t start, we needed pace n urgency in the first 60mins n that is why the game was dead on arrival.
      Ramsey shouldn’t start a game for Arsenal in his current form much less on the wings when Lucas n Ox are available.

      selection what was ruined that game for Arsenal n has nothing to do with fatigue or fixture… even if Arsenal are given 1week break before the Bournemouth game with such selection as Ramsey on RW n Giroud starting upfront we ll still beg for a draw, n if Bournemouth had a manageable defence they would have beat us easy.

      1. bran99 says:

        very true mate.. OG could have been substituted in the 70th minute to come assist 2 goals and score 1.. but for the 0 – 70 minutes he was waste of counter attacks member or fast flowing football that could cause havoc to the opposition.. Ramsey will never play as a keeper, but if he could, his father would have already put him there and make him play the whole season without injuries.. he is really loved for a very average lad

  2. Break-on-through says:

    Wenger has no excuses, useless in saying we’ve had only 48 hours rest. We had two home games before this where we could have managed players rest better, we have a bigger squad than Bour, so this doesn’t wash with me.

    It’s not all on Wenger either because allot of stupidity went into that game, from some our players. I know Giroud done well in the end but Alexis was wasted out on that wing in the first half, trying to reach Girouds head with the ball, Alexis is a much better weapon than this. I don’t see the sense in having Alexis on the wing unless it’s a game where possession can be hard to come by, and you want a target, or an alternative way of playing. Bournemouth is a team you can find space with so long as you don’t go gifting them a couple goals.

    I’m not one of these Ramsey can do no right people, but he’s been out of the team for a while, Oxlade is having his best season, Perez is fit and has games under his belt, also we seen Oxlade raring to go in previous game. Also Mustafi is only back, we kept two clean sheets and were getting our rhythm back, if Kos can play so could Gab who was on the bench resting all season next to another quality CB (Holding). I know injuries make some of that seem inconsequential. If this attitude had been shown over the Eve and City games well then I could take this on the chin and put a happier spin on things. But because of Che next four or five fixtures, and our ones, I walk around cursing football sometimes, literally.

  3. Ramterta says:

    how long did united city and liverpool rest?
    Yet they played better than us.
    Where are all those fans mocking pogba or ibra?Those two would walk straight into our team.
    where are all those saying xhaxa is the new alonso.Let me tell you that even at his age xhaxa will never reach those heights at his prime.
    Infact xhaxa isnt even as good as henderson or alli.
    I remember saying that bellerin is not the best rb in the epl and not barca quality because sergi roberto is miles ahead of him.

    Mustafi is overrated tbf.Even cahill is better than him

  4. legend Henry says:

    Wenger always blames match fixtures,time , referees,weather,media, fans,pitch and even luck.
    But he never blames himself.
    He is a complete tool of failure.
    Failures moan that successful people get their breaks not through their own efforts but through some vague notion of dumb “luck”
    When we were humiliated 6-0 by Chelsea,they played during the weekdays but we didn’t.But they still humiliated us.

    Equally expects in all sought failures will still like Wenger to manage Arsenal for the years ahead for this more nonsense.
    Pathetic and Delusional.

    1. Ramterta says:

      that is why someone intelligent,someone rational and someone bold regarded him as a specialist in failure.
      But not even words can describe his speciality.

  5. Ramterta says:

    I mean alonso at his very old age is much better than xhaxa ever will be at his prime

  6. Twig says:

    Joke of the day. Arsenal to exchange Alexis for Pjanic, Lol

  7. braaf says:

    The problem is indeed Wenger’s style of play. It’s predictable and there is no plan B. Full credit to Howe for the way he set up his team. The thing that peeves me is that we never play to Giroud’s strength. Ox should have started as he is a better crosser of the ball than Ramsey. Ox and Iwobi should be providing Oli with crosses when teams like Bournemouth play a tight and compact defense. We scored 2 goals from crosses into the box last night.

    On another note i think last night was a great interview for Howe to take over from Wenger. I love his style of play and his philosophies. I can only imagine what he would do with the quality of Arsenal players at his disposal as well as a budget to buy 1 or 2 worldies to suit his style of play.

  8. Jansen says:

    Mental strength????? Is it not time to redefine what mental strength is? To me mental strength is showing up for a must win game in the hope of keeping pace with the other top 6 teams.

    Mental strength is NOT waiting to fall 3-0 behind and managing a draw against 10 men.

    Sure the draw saved us 1 point, but is that enough when you are 9 points behind run away leaders Chelsea and when the teams behind you are picking up pace (Man U and Spurs).

    For me, mental strength is to have the killer mentality, not falling behind and only playing part of the 90 minutes. That is having a mental issue not metal strength.

    1. bran99 says:

      true.. and i hear Man U fans want Spurs to beat Chelsea so that we stay above them (Man U), then the race begins between us and them, the race which they are sure of winning, I don’t doubt that

  9. Jansen says:

    We lack a winners mentality and this has to start with the manager. Sure the fixtures and the way they were scheduled were unfair. But when you are a winner you don’t always make excuses for your team in public. The fact we showed urgency for the last part of the game shows the loss has nothing to do with fatigue.

    The lack of winners mentality was most noticable when Giroud equalized and started to celebrate like he had scored a WC winner. He wasted a lot of time in the process. Instead of quickly picking the ball out of the net he wasted valuable time. It also signaled that in his mind a draw was a great result.

    Contrast this with Sanchez who was visibly pissed of at the end of the game that we did not win.

    Wenger has failed to install a winner’s mentality in the is squad, years of top 4 finishes has made some of these guys believe that this enough.

    (on a different note, we are not going to win too many games in which we start both Giroud and Ramsey, they slow us down too much and we become too easy to defend against again because we are too predictable with these guys in there together.)

  10. bran99 says:

    “A corner into the hands of the goalkeeper, instead of taking an in-swinger we should’ve taken an out-swinger, these are the details that you have to keep composure and play until the last minute. That’s down to keeping your head cool.” he knows this? how? did someone tell him? Coz i never saw him doing anything in situations like that, he’s always playing with his coat or hiding his hands from cold. he have no tactics, no sense of anything, only complaining about fixtures and Chelsea players on loan

  11. marty53 says:

    I wish Wenger would stop saying ‘ we had great mental strength’…if we had great mental strength we wouldn’t have been 3-0 down, or if Xhaka had great mental strength he wouldn’t have given away a stupid penalty. It was a great comeback but maybe Bournemouth tired a bit and after getting 1 goal back we had the momentum and the sending off helped against a tiring team.
    I think this season so far has shown that we maybe have 2 world class players and the rest are just good premiership players and as a whole we aren’t as good as we sometimes think we are.

    1. Jansen says:

      I understand what you are saying but I honestly don’t think it is a talent thing. Our problem is a mental thing and managerial thing.

      Our players are not capable of putting in a shift for 90 minutes every game. That is a mental problem or attitude problem.

      Our players are not always on the same page. How many times is Sanchez the only player pressing up high? As Keown mentioned, either Sanchez is not on the same page of the rest of the team or the rest of the team are not following the plan. This is again a mental thing it is about preparation.

      Most of the best games we played where with Sanchez in the middle supported by speed, hitting our opponent with pace. Bournemouth are not Stoke, they will let you play. Yet we started without pace. Giroud has no pace and Ramsey slows things down as well. This is team selection.

      Was anyone surprised Perez scored a goal? Where has been??

      None of these above issues have to do with a lack of talent. Look Leicester were less talented than we were but they played as a team for 90 minutes. IMO Liverpool are less talented than we are but they play for 90 minutes.

      I can not express properly how frustrated I am that we can not show up for 90 minutes. It is unacceptable IMO!!! Are we, the fans, the only ones who realize we can not afford to drop any more points??? Why can’t they all be like Sanchez who looks like he is willing to die for a victory? If you want to be PL champion you better be willing to make life hell for your opponent every game.

      We simply don’t have a winners mentality. I can not come up with another reason why we don’t play for 90 minutes.

      And to think that some on here thought we could win 6 games in a row. We need an attitude adjustment for that and after last season that should not be necessary.

      1. marty53 says:

        I agree with you about it being a mental thing but who is it that has to instill these qualities and prepare the team to play for 90 minutes…Wenger, and at the moment he can’t do it.
        Also, although Giroud has scored some vital goals recently I think we looked a far better team with Sanchez up front through the middle.

        1. Maverick12 says:

          Well you shouldnt really blame Giroud when he has scored in the last three matches and one thing you guys miss is that Giroud for all his limitations is one of the few players on the team who is always giving it all. I am not a big fan of Giroud and I agree with you that he slows the team down but since we have a team full of passengers, I will take Giroud anytime.

          Look at players like Iwobi and Ramsey, one is a 20 year old getting regular match time in one of the biggest clubs in the world and you will see him jog around when he doesnt have the ball. Another is a player who is yet to cement a regular place in the team after so many years and still he seems to be on a different wavelength from the rest of the team.

          Problem is that Wenger doesnt have that winning mentality, I dont see him angry at any of these results because it just seems he has seen it all. Did you see Arsenal come back like they wanted to make a point against Man city after a loss against Everton? No.

          Was it any different after half time at Bournemouth? He just doesnt instill that passion for winning in the team. It almost looks like he thinks he has done the job in training and he is just a spectator during matches. Even his substitutions look planned way in advance, if you are trailing after 70 minutes just send all the attackers you have on the bench and let them decide where to fit in the system. If you are leading just send your defenders on and it is assumed that the game is closed. Ridiculous

  12. Aussie Jack says:

    Sorry to be negative but the moment I saw Ramsey`s name on the line up my hopes sank. What is it about Arron that depresses me?

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