Arsenal must fix this problem or give up on Top Four completely

All Arsenal fans are ecstatic that we beat our upstart neighbours Tottenham very easily yesterday at the Emirates, and with a performances that looked like we really could compete with the best when we play at the peak of our powers.

We are now sitting in 6th, but just 4 points below Man United in 2nd place, which is quite amazing considering how badly we have played at times this season. But this sublime win will not get us up into the Top Four until we have fixed our disastrous away form. It is the elephant in the rom at the moment, and yesterday Arsene Wenger tried to justify it by blaming ‘other factors’ for the defeats.

Wenger said: “I feel we had a very good game at Manchester City and I analysed it very well, it was a very tight game. We had a few away games where our performances were good but, when you lose, people always go to definite conclusions without going further into any analysis and we were not as bad as people said, we have 22 points today. We are a few points short, but if you can analyse the games I can show you why.”

Wenger says we have 22 points, but what he doesn’t say is that 18 of those points have come by winning every single home game, but we have only gained FOUR away from the Emirates! One of those was an excellent draw at Stamford Bridge, and we got 3 points in the destruction of a dire Everton side, who immediately dropped into the relegation zone and sacked Ronald Koeman after the game. Every other game has been a defeat, at Stoke, Liverpool, Watford, and Man City. We may look like world-beaters at home, but unless we can stop our inferiority complex when we go out of our comfort zone we seriously have no chance of finishing in the Top Four at all.

This problem must be addressed before next weekend in fact, as we are away at little Burnley. This game would normally be considered to be a pushover, but don’t be fooled. Burnley are only below us in the table on Goal Difference right now. They beat the Champions Chelsea in the first game of the season, their loss at home to West Brom the following week is still their only defeat at Turf Moor in this campaign, and their only other defeat was at Man City! In fact in their 5 home games after the West Brom loss they have only conceded one solitary goal. Do not think we are being back to being Top Four contenders after a home win, let’s wait and see if we actually perform away from home before we get carried away.

Darren N


  1. McLovin says:

    Off topic, but out of these free agents next summer, which 2 would you pick to play for Arsenal?

    JM Gimenez, Atletico Madrid, CB
    Stefan de Vrij, Lazio, CB
    Leon Goretzka, Schalke, CM
    Ander Herrera, Man United, CM
    Juan Mata, United, CAM
    Ross Barkley, Everton, CAM
    Emre Can, Liverpool, CDM
    Daley Blind, Man United, LB
    Faouzi Ghoulam, Napoli, LB
    Luke Shaw, Man United, LB
    Arjen Robben, Bayern, RW
    Franck Ribery, Bayern, LW
    Lionel Messi, Barca, RW (LOL)

    I think Goretzka and JM Gimenez / De Vrij are the ones we should be after. In anyways, that’s a lot of quality players for FREE. Even that Spanish goalkeeper we were linked with, Kepa, is free next summer.

    1. McLovin says:

      Another off topic. Everybody was talking about how Özil and Sanchez will leave for free, but no one has mentioned that Shaw, Fellaini, Blind, Mata and Herrera – total of £145 millions paid in tranfer fees, are good as gone (for FREE) next summer!

      1. gotanidea says:

        I think:

        – Shaw: Cannot win the internal left wingback competition in MU.

        – Fellaini: A very tall and physical midfielder with ordinary skills, a typical Mourinho’s player that Mourinho likes to use to score from set pieces. We have got similar tall and physical player in Xhaka, which I think more talented than Fellaini. Unless Wenger wants to be mad like Van Gaal and Mourinho, using Fellaini as a target man.

        – Blind: A hardworking defensive midfielder that could be a good squad rotation player or a good competitor for Coquelin.

        – Mata: Creative and technically gifted central midfielder like Cazorla, but in my opinion Arsenal need someone younger like Lemar in Sanchez’s and Ozil’s positions.

        – Herrera: Another hardworking central midfielder with good technique, work rate, aggressiveness and anticipation. He is not young, but he could be a bargain because he could compete with Xhaka and Ramsey.

      2. Kenny Rolfe says:

        McLovin you can’t expect Sky Sports to high-lite problems at their beloved Manchester United, I’ve been waiting for twenty years

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          Especially when they’ve Arsenal to dig out

    2. gotanidea says:

      Interesting observation and I agree with you, I would like Arsenal to catch Goretzka and Gimenez. About Messi, unless he wants to pull off a Maradona move (Maradona moved to Napoli and proved he could carry a small team as a true legend there), he would not move anywhere.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Wenger still has not fixed the players’ bad first touches and misplaced passes problems. Arsenal would not win against other big clubs in away matches, if they cannot handle heavy pressures.

    The draw against Chelsea was nice, but it was still in London. In Manchester, the players created many bad first touches and misplaced passes which lead to missed opportunities and got robbed easily. This happened because of their mentality in away matches.

    If Wenger can imitate Guardiola’s training system and communications, Arsenal could have better chance in the Premier League this season.

    1. Ray says:

      Yeah, the “bad first touches and misplaced passes problem”!. Surely these players of their quality should be able to string some good passes together? If not, they simply are not as good as he says they are or, they are lacking the confidence to do it?

      If it is the later, they have no chance under Wenger because he is just about zapping most of the confidence out of them either not playing the best starting eleven (Lacazette) or, he plays them out of position and changes formations too much! I think Wenger’s logic is probably the most bizarre and diverse logic in the universe sometimes. It wouldn’t give me that much trust in what he does or how he does it tbh!

      1. jon fox says:

        Before my “like” of your pertinent comment , there were four other likes and three who disliked. So, including my own like there are 37.5% of idiots who read this site. This about mirrors the percentage times that the team tries it’s utmost; and that is being very generous indeed!

  3. Godswil says:

    In the away matches there has been this selection problem. So the Manager has to change his attitude first.
    Remember HB of all playing LB against Liverpool (of all teams) just to accommodate Ox? Half of those on the bench in that match were starters on Saturday.
    Check out other away matches and you will see that it has to state with Wenger.

  4. TH14-TW14 says:

    Wenger is somehow right and I personally pointed this out earlier. We have played 6 away games and lost 4. I will comment on the 4 games to show our display away hasn’t been as bad as it has been made to look in the media (also compared to our competitors bar City. Is anyone really competing with City this season)?

    1. Liverpool (4 – 0) – Disastrous performance. We were bad from start to finish and never looked like scoring

    2. Stoke (1 -0) – We dominated the game, created chances but were wasteful. Punished by a defensive lapse on a counter-attack. This was a game Arsenal recorded 77.3% of the possession, the highest possession Arsenal have had in a Premier League game since 2003/2004 (considering the very possession football we play – and the fact that the team with the likes of Fabregas, Hleb, Rosicky, Nasir, etc. couln’t achieve this – this should be some kind of domination). Lacazette had a goal ruled out that would have at least secured us a point. To dominate a game that way and lose is unfortunate and it’s quite illogical to say such a performance was bad. Yes, we just didn’t get a few things right which cost us.

    3. Watford (2-1) – At Watford we were the better side. Could have ended the game when Ozil missed a clear chance. Welbeck was denied a penalty, a situation from which he got injured and was substituted. The Penalty that led to Watford’s equalizer was never a penalty. It was a very physical game but we lost more because of the officiating than the performance.

    4. Manchester City (3 -1) – City dominated and despite the poor calls against us City, probably, would still have won. Were we poor? In the first half, yes, but we improved in the second half and challenged them well. Given City’s performance against Liverpool and Chelsea, we are the only ones in the top 6 that have given them any sort of challenge this season. Don’t forget how City completely outplayed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

    Given the Above, we performed well enough to win against Stoke and Watford. We performed poorly to lose against Liverpool and City. With a better finishing and a bit of fortune in the officiating we would have won both Stoke and Watford. With the extra 6 points we would have been second, 6 points behind City.

    If you leave out the emotions and the media fanned hysteria that lacks perspective, you would see that our away performance has not been as bad as it has been made to look.

    Do we need to improve? Absolutely? Where?
    (a)On our finishing to minimize the impact of bad officiating calls.
    (b) Midfield cohesion so that we don’t lose possession as a result of careless passes and to absolve pressure in the last 15 minutes of the game when leading with a slim margin.
    (c) General marking and pressing (we saw the impact of this on the Spurs game where we did both very well).

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Brilliantly summed up, you definitely know what you’re talking about, I played at reasonable level, you sound to like you did as well or at least done some coaching

    2. jon fox says:

      So then , as you yourself admit, IF we did not have all those weaknesses you list, we would be a very effective team. IF ONLY! if, if, if, if, if I were a rich man etc…..! BUT THAT IS OK , ISN’T IT, BECAUSE ACCORDING TO YOU WE WERE JUST UNLUCKY! Baloney!

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Sorry, but this has nothing to do with Wenger, apart from “If you leave out the emotions and the media fanned hysteria”, he never used the if word once and everything he said were facts . We did outplay Stoke and Watford and should have got something from both games and although you may not want to admit it, did get some clearly disgraceful decisions. Ok we got one fortunate call against Tottenham so what’s next “what goes around comes around” or “it all evens it self out at the end of the season” I’ve hear that rubbish time and time again but I’m yet to see it.

        1. Rkw says:

          We probably deserved a draw against both stoke and watford .. But we ddnt dominate in either just had more lateral possession …what was clear from both games is that wenger had failed to create a midfield that could control the game through the right mixture of power pressing and passing … And as long as we have xhaka Ramsey elneny and coquellin as the choice set for midfield that will remain the problem …even Saturday it was the one area where spurs looked better than us and that was with sasoko for god sake … And this can only be laid at wenger’s door

  5. Grandad says:

    With regard to the article it is not a question of having an inferiority complex away from home but rather a lack of quality in defensive mid and centre back .We need players in these areas who are mobile tough and battle hardened to overcome the physical bombardments Arsenal are subjected to at the likes of Stoke, West Brom and Watford.Until players of this calibre are recruited we will always be regarded as “a soft touch” Of the players mentioned Giminez of Athletico Madrid would be my first pick.

  6. Kenny Rolfe says:

    I agree with you ‘ I’ve wanted Wenger to quit for the last five or six years and take Ramsey, Xhaka, most of the midfield with him. t’s the weakest part of our side and should have been addressed years ago

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