Arsenal still have a question mark over our weak mentality

Still Mentally Weak? Dan Smith

Unlike other away games against the so called top 6, we didn’t look scared in the North London Derby, which is something that could help us in the future. Yet again though Arsenal were cost by our weak mentality, something we have said too often about this group of players.

The line between good and great can be decided by small margins. If Auba scores his pen, we go a point behind Spurs, fail and we are no longer in the top 4. Of course, if VAR was used today, we would never have conceded a penalty. I can’t be a hypocrite though, having written about why I don’t want video technology. Saying Kane was offside before he was fouled should not be an excuse for Mustafi’s actions. If he doesn’t panic, he gives the official no decision to make.

Again, at the highest level, you need your defenders to keep their heads and show composure. You need your strikers to take limited chances when you’re on top, Lacca couldn’t do that early in second half, did the occasion get to him? This was another big game Iwobi did nothing and even though he was close to a famous win, Emery has still not justified why Ozil couldn’t do any better. Having done nothing wrong in midweek. would you rather Ozil or Iwobi in final third?

Most Gooners will wake up today though and find positives. There is something to build, play like that against United, we will go above them, while I’m not ruling out catching Spurs. For it to happen though we have show stronger mentality.

That’s the question mark that is still over us?

Dan Smith


  1. I thought the sides mentality was high from the start,typified by Sokritis who was immense the whole game.But there is no excuse for not getting over the line when the opportunity was there.Great teams get the 3 points.We are not there by a long long way.But you cannot criticise the effort and determination that the team showed.We proved we are more than equal with those media loving Spuds and the Manager needs to use this game to push hard to win EVERY remaining game,starting Sunday against the Mancs.
    What Emery must not do is even think about playing Mustafi at RB.The Mancs will be strong down the left flank and Mustafi will be exposed.Start AMN or even Jenks if he has to.
    Thursdays line-up will show Emery’s intention for Sunday by looking at who DOSENT play.Aubamayang will have to start in Rennes so Lacazette will start against the Mancs.I can see Ozil AND Ramsey starting both games as they are both fit and have missed so many games they ought to be fresh enough to handle two games in four days.Torrira starts Thursday as he misses out Sunday so both games will need Emery to be positive and use the players who are fit and fresh.

  2. Stupid article, was a great performance by the arsenal, the officials should be sacked after that display, sissoko stamps on koscielny already on floor, danny rose flies in to Leno full contact into chest only a yellow? torrera wins ball straight red? 5 players offside and yet a pen for spurs??? just a few incidents that shows the bias towards spurs that the officials had all game, arsenal were robbed by the ref, even in the penalty miss vertongen was half way in the box when auba shoots then low and behold ends up tackling for the rebound, cheating scum

    1. Very right.. Stupid article. How do you conclude we have a weak mentality after watching the rotten officiating in that game?

  3. Sorry, I have to not only disagree with this article, but I will also highlight the issues with it.

    Mentality has been a huge issue at Arsenal for years, but that was completely down to Wenger, who is no longer here. Who knows where we’ll finish, and if we’ll win anything, but if there’s only one thing I’ll take from this season, it’s a change in mentality. Slowly, but surely, we have got stronger and stronger in regards to our mentality, and it was on full show against Spurs. The way we battled, fought for each other, and the manager, was fantastic to see. Mentality wasn’t why we dropped points at the weekend, it was poor officiating, Mustafi (who always has a key error in him, because he’s rubbish), and an awful pen from Auba. Auba is a goal scoring machine, but even the best of them can miss a pen at crucial times.

    I am also angry with your little swipe at Iwobi, and then your strange comparison with Ozil? As if Emery is picking Iwobi over Ozil? Although Iwobi isn’t a winger, he’s the nearest thing we have to a winger (as we have ZERO natural wingers at the moment), hence he’s getting a lot of game time. Ozil isn’t a winger in the slightest, has consistently flopped in that position, and very rarely plays there. So I don’t get that comparison at all! It was Ramsey that kept Ozil out of the team, and Emery’s decision was justified with him scoring, working his socks off for team, and Ozil doing nothing at all when he came on. Great decision from Emery.

    But I am starting to get fed up with this constant attack on Iwobi from some fans, and this urge to have Ozil playing, especially in the big games, based on zero evidence whatsoever that he’ll even perform. Ozil is the better player (albeit in slightly different positions), but he’s hardly done anything this season, and yet again in a big game…did nothing! That’s now 5 appearances in big games for Ozil this season, and ZERO top performances! Another fact is that Iwobi has improved a lot this season, and has done more than Ozil in big games this season. Iwobi is also more suited to how Emery plays than Ozil. Did you see the intensity shown from us against Spurs? The work-rate, and defensive responsibility? Emery would have got none of that Ozil.

    So please stop attacking one of our better players this season. Iwobi has really put in a lot of effort, and fighting hard for the team. Yes, he may not be WC, but he’s doing a lot more for Arsenal than so called “WC” Ozil, and Ozil earns about 5x what Iwobi does!

      1. @Crispen

        From the all different sources I have looked at, it seems Ozil is on around 350k p/w, and Iwobi is on around 70k p/w. 70 x 5 = 350.

        Of course I am not stupid enough to think that Ozil’s performances should be 5x better than Iwobi’s, because he earns 5x more than him, but I expect something for such a huge investment.

        The hard facts are:

        Iwobi has contributed more to Arsenal this season than Ozil
        Iwobi has performed better than Ozil in big games
        Iwobi isn’t costing the club 350k p/w.

        Like I keep saying, I have no idea why people keep comparing these two, but I have given those statistics for those who do.

        1. Please forward a list of where Iwobi has “contributed more to the team this year than Ozil”.
          You say YOUR fed up of Ozil
          Lots more are fed up of IWOBI I can tell you.
          When compiling your seats start with saturdays game.This I can’t wait to see.
          And as for Ozil constantly flopping as a winger-yes he did because as you rightly say he is not a winger.Ridiculous from Wenger to even think of playing him there.
          But Iwobi-you seriously believe he improves the team because of workrate?
          What we cried out for at Wembley was someone who WASNT just running around.Dont you think Ozil COULD have been the difference by YRYING to make things happen.
          Great team performance on Saturday.Plenty of effort and commitment.But a touch of class is sometimes the difference and is something Two Bob Iwobi will NEVER HAVE

          1. I have no list, just watch the games.

            Iwobi I expect to make mistakes because he is young, and this is only his first season ever where’s he’s been a regular starter, and he has improved because of that, and because of Emery. He’s also on one of the lesser wages at the club.

            I do give Ozil a lot of flak, but it’s fair game. Ozil is eating up a huge amount of our financial resources, and for what in return? Let’s not forget, that’s he’s not only our top earner by some distance, but he’s one of the top earners in the English game. I keep getting told he’s WC, so why does he never show up in big games, and where is the consistency? Do you honestly think Arsenal would have performed as well as they did against Spurs as a collective, if Ozil had started?

            Of course we need better than Iwobi to really go to the next level (unless he continues to improve), but as things stand, he’s become an important player for us, and fits into what Emery wants. Ozil clearly doesn’t fit into Emery’s philosophy, so there’s only two options. Either we get rid of Ozil, or Emery has to change his philosophy to suit Ozil. Now the whole point of sacking Wenger, was because we wanted a new approach. But if you want Emery to change his philosophy for Ozil, then what was the point of changing managers then? A new manager has to be given the freedom to do his way. All the other players are doing what Emery is asking of them, why can’t Ozil? I’d rather see what Emery can do with HIS type of players, rather than making concessions to accommodate certain players. Wenger played to Ozil’s strengths, and we saw a better Ozil for Arsenal, but even then, he went missing a lot in big games.

            1. What a rubbish reply.Why does anyone seriously believe Ozil is not able to adapt to Emery’s style of play?Unless you want him running around like a headless chicken of course.And your right there are no stats to back up Iwobi.Covers a lot of ground.Produces F**k All.There was a time we had wide players who were judged on what they did offensively.Now we have Iwobi being lauded because he runs up and down.And that’s it.Very very few goals.Pratically zero creativity.
              And you prefer to stick it to Ozil because he is a playmaker on an exhorbitant wage.This time last year after losing Sánchez I cannot recall too many wishing Ozil gone.

              1. Don’t forget though he’s the top nutmegger in the league this season Phil ,thought you might need reminding incase you forgot .

                1. Apologies Dan -how could I forget.All those nutmegs.
                  Can anyone actually recall one.I can’t.But then look who pointed it out to us.He was obviously dreaming of Iwobi and something between his own legs.Got himself excited.(messy).Next thing we know Iwobi is the king of nutmegs.
                  Not worth a box of Kleenex but there you go.

              2. Hahaha! You always use that headless chicken analogy for anyone that works hard.

                If headless chickens are players that work hard, tackle, track back, aggressively press, mark, compete, sprint, and essentially do what the manager asks of them, then bring on all the headless chickens in the world!

                Ozil is a brilliant creator, but offers almost nothing else, so when he isn’t creative, it’s like we’re a man down because he doesn’t do any of what I have mentioned. Those 3 games before the Spurs game, he did a little bit of the dirty work, so clearly he can do it, he just chooses not to most of the time.

                I am not going to debate with you anymore because you clearly have an agenda when it comes to Iwobi, because apparently he NEVER does anything! Which is a lie! If you honestly thought he was rubbish against Spurs, then clearly you do not know what constitutes a good performance.

                In fact you’re so far off the mark on this one, that I want you to write an article to admin, about having a vote on Iwobi’s performance against Spurs, and his overall impact this season. Let’s see what masses on here think.

                1. TMJW-it was an opinion.Dont call it a lie.But I just prefer FOOTBALLERS in my team.Not clodhoppers like Iwobi. And it sounds very much like your preference is lacteam whonplays like Wimbledon in the eighties.Loads Of blokes giving 100% effort with not a single one of them able to play the game hoecthe vast majority expect.Wenger introduced standards to this Club.You seen happy to go back to the dark old days of the 60/70/80/90’’s so long as players sweat their nuts off.Telk that to Pires.Freddie.Dennis.etc.I bet Ozil covers as much ground as any of these players did.

                  1. So let’s actually look at what Ieobi did in the game on Saturday.Tell me how many times he actually took Trippier on and went by him?Not once I believe.Andthis is probably the worst full back in the league.How many times did he actually have an attempt on goal.One if I recall.And what a tame pathetic attempt that was.It required just a bit is skill and belief to bend that into the far post.Isobi has none of this and it ended up being an easy save from probably the worst GK in the league.How many times did he get the ball and really drive at that defence(again probably the worst in the league)?Did he ever threaten them?No.
                    Defensively he tracked back.And what else?
                    Let’s have your thoughts on Iwobis performance as an attacking threat.You can trumpet gob as much as you like about his effort but what did he actually do that matters in s game when your supposed to be an offensively minded player.

              3. @ Phil . Do you think Demarai Gray is better player than Alex Iwobi.
                Don’t laugh just answer truthfully .

    1. On the “mentality” comments you make, I could not agree more. The overriding weakness for many past Wenger years was the ease with which we were bullied. That is TOTALLY changed , for the better. How Dan can rationally argue otherwise is very strange , to put it mildly. I also see no direct comparison between Iwobi and Ozil , who play different roles. You might as well compare Laca to Leno, frankly. It would be no MORE ridiculous. I much like that IWOBI works his socks off every game and I much DON’T like that Ozil doesn’t, even though on natural ability Ozil is streets ahead. I find words like talent, ability, etc to be misused , BECAUSE ALL THAT ACTUALLY MATTERS IS OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS. To be truly effective you need BOTH huge talent and huge desire. One without the other is not enough and never can be either.

    2. TMJW, I have to ask you this in reply to you bringing in (yet again) AW.

      Are you now suggesting, along with everything else you plant at his feet, he controlled the mental wellbeing (or otherwise) of professional footballers?

      The more I read about the power that this man supposedly has, the more I think we may have witnessed the second coming and going of The Trinity himself!!!

      What mentality does it take to finish in the top four twenty years out of twenty two?
      What mentality does it take to qualify for the C.L twenty years out of twenty two?
      What mentality does it take to win the fa cup three times in four seasons?
      What mentality does it take to know that at any given moment, any of your four main rivals can/will/have offer more money than you can ever compete with?
      What mentality does it take to produce the above FACTS while working under kronkie and gazidis?

      I suggest a winning, professional, dedicated, hard working mentality fits the bill for starters, along with your obvious, if not realised, love and respect for Le Prof.

      Ozil ( along with numerous other Arsenal players) has been accused of being mentally frail, dross and weedy…YET…the club (medical staff, trainers, manager) have NEVER said that.

      It’s so called “fans” who think they know better than these professionals, that give out these labels and then proceed to pontificate about over and over again (as if they are qualified to do so), that have introduced this ridiculous argument of mental health/fraility/wellbeing into a football discussion.

      David Rusa, I think it was, said that if one repeats a lie enough times it becomes the truth…well, if one is stupid enough to believe the “mentally weak” BS in the first place, that might just be what happens.

      Thank goodness UE is proving that the “mentally weak/frail” tags actually belong to those who choose to label others with them in the first place.

  4. Dan, I need evidence of weak mentality or else I will totally disagree with you. There is an old English saying that a lie told over time becomes the truth. Once someone coined the weak mentality tag it has now been taken as gospel truth. Where was the weak mentality? There was no capitulation by our players if you accept that the penalty was awarded erroneously. The argument against Mustafi would therefore hold no water. Once one was offside that should have halted the proceedings but since the officials chose otherwise a penalty was awarded. There is very little that we can do about that. On the issue of Aubameyang missing a penalty and Lacazette failing to score from a relatively good range, I still don’t see any weak mentality there. I have seen some of the best players miss open opportunities including a muddled up penalty between Thierry Henry and Robert Pires in 2006 (if II remember well). Let us take heart and stop common rhetoric that doesn’t help the team.

      1. Good for you Admin.Another happy to tag onto others comments with nothing ever to say for himself.

      2. It was not laziness BUT it was a lack of deep thought, allied to a clear penchant to write articles no matter how poor the theme might be. I like many of Dans articles . THIS ONE WAS CLEARLY ERRONEOUS . I note no one agrees with him. They are right and he is wrong.

  5. This Dan smith must not be allowed to post any article here again…
    His talks are always out of sense…
    Just imagine this rubbish he posted here….

    He knows nothing about the Game…

    The Chief Admins should watch this…

    1. iffybright, may I suggest then,that you take over Dan’s responsibilities and produce, just for one week, an average of ONE article?

      Then you can sit back and be prepared to let others bisect your hard work and thoughts?

      It would be really interesting to hear what one of our younger, brighter fans can produce for us older fools to ponder over while we see out our days in hazy recollections of where The Arsenal came from and how we, personally, lost out way.

  6. How i wish this Rubbish Article can be brought down…
    its just totally opposite of what really happened…

    His obsession about Ozil has totally made his brain not to function properly…

    @Dan Smith posts and comments , has always been like this ever since have known this site…

    Most of this Ozil fanboys are just like him….

    They know themselves…

    The real Admins please you guys should not just approve any Articles here again until you go through it very well
    and please Dan Smith Articles must not be accepted again,

    He should keep all his Rubbish articles in his Archives…

    I don’t have any agenda against any of our players
    I say and analyze the Realities…

    Some people cannot just take it seeing Iwobi starting ahead of their Boss or God Ozil….

    Is saddening seeing many of this Uk Ozil Fanboys who are well over 50yrs of age behaving like this….

    1. Iffy. Your rant was sounding reasonable until you made it clear you are an “Iwobi fanboy”.
      Why are you right and he is rubbish. Look at what you said….

      1. Admin-IFFYTHICK is another like the previous one you pulled up earlier.Crispy wasn’t it?
        Where are all these snowflakes coming from?Never anything to say from themselves but all to quick to jump on Dan for his Headline.
        Dan-Not your best by a long way mate but I get what you were trying to say.If we get turned over on Sunday then you could write the same article and have everyone agree with you.
        Never stop your articles Dan (and everyone else who writes them).

        1. Back to IFFYTHICKHEAD
          Why are you having a go at the over 50’s Ozil “Fanboys”?
          We are no different from you and the other under 12’s Iwobi lovers are we?
          What an absolutely pathetic thing to write.What has she got to do with it?So I’m older than you.Thats obvious.Im also far more educated than you.Thats also obvious.With age comes experience PAL.When you grow up and can go to school in long trousers you will maybe grasp the fact that sometimes it’s better to listen than speak.In your case it would be better to read than write.
          Another good thing about being older and wiser is I get to do more with my life.So while your sat in school and doing homework I will be with 7 others driving to France this evening.Playing Golf Tuesday and Wednesday.Arsenal in Rennes on Thursday.Back Saturday.Emirates on Sunday.
          And your found what exactly this week ????????

      2. Clearly you are one of Iwobi haters…

        So because I said some guys like phil Xxnos, Dan smith Sue can’t take it seeing Iwobi starting ahead of their master has now made me a fan of Iwobi….

        Admin Iwobi gives more hope going forward in this present team than anyone else…..

        Take it anywhere to the football experts like Ian Wright, Keown Alan shearer and other pundits
        They will tell you the same thing i just said…

        Milkitaryn is also worth been mentioned alongside Kolsainac and the injured Bellerin

    2. Wont happen mate
      Too many peeps read my articles and comment on them
      I’m not going to be personal based on someone having an opinion different to mine
      I will point out the irony of my ‘ lazy writing ‘ when your argument on Ozil has to be me being an ‘Ozil Fan Boy’ .
      Thanks for commenting

  7. I stoped questioning UE selections a long time ago, i think Dan should follow suit, he even explain y he left ozil an Auba on the bench, that for me doesnt count for your week mentality claim.
    I dont know how we can call our performance a reflection of ‘weak mentality’. Yea, we are all disapointed at the result but, eh, its a draw we got 4point from the ‘media favourite’ spur, only city got 6points from us this season, we arent doing badly, hoping for a better result

  8. Dan, while your comments may have been relevant in the past, to apply the terms “weak mentality” to Arsenal’s efforts at Wembley against Spurs on Saturday is totally disrespectful. They played for each other, the badge and the Club. If a similar commitment is shown for the rest of the season the results will come and I will be a proud gunner.

    1. OG-I’m with you on the commitment Saturday but have to question why it hadn’t been there for a lot of games this season (again).We have been right up for it some games Chavs home AND away (despite the result) Mancs away (where we should have won) 5pur5 home Scousers at home.
      Hopefully we can show that for the rest of the season.Its in our hands to get Top4. All the others chasing third and fourth place will drop points.We need a winning run starting on Sunday to set this off.

      1. ozziegunner, agree with you completely (hope you have recovered from the op!)

        Phil, I believe it’s because the rift between UE and Ozil was creating a ot of problems behind the scenes.
        It’s no coincidence that since they have both seemed to have met somewhere in the middle, everything has changed for the better.
        I am more convinced than ever that we will have both men at the club next season and it will benefit both of them for it to be so.

        1. Phil, ken1945, my personal opinion is that it has been due to Emery not having a stable squad to select from. Apart from beginning the season with two long term injuries to Koscielny and Mavropanaos, loosing three players Bellerin, Holding and Welbeck to season ending injuries, there has been a constant revolving door between the pitch and treatment room. Ozil is a other case in point, where injuries (“back spasms”) and illness have disrupted his season, impacting on his reliability for selection by Emery. I don’t believe this rift thing; Emery on many occasions has wanted to select Ozil, but he has not been available to play. From what I understand Emery “the coach” has made it clear to Ozil “the player” what he expects from him. Ozil can’t be selected if unfit to play.
          Also Mhikataryan has been affected by injury, with recent matches showing what an asset he can be when fit.

  9. I don’t think we should continue to knock our players Ozil or Iwobi. There are many elements that have to come together for a team to play and compete at the highest level. The whole team fall short of the required investment. Iwobi or Ozil alone can not turn us into a big team. Each of this players have their own qualities and down to the manger to make best use of what we have. I still believe Ozil is a far better player in the area he play best and I also believe Iwobi will become better in the areas he likes to play. Emery is doing an average job so far and that might be due to several factors as well. Due to the number of attendance at the emirate stadium our fans are not enjoying our football, they don’t trust Emery to produce a good performance everytime and are not sure we can do a lot better. So I blame the board, and am sure they will bare the majority if the fall out. I don’t have a season ticket so I usually buy from ticket master, in the days of Wenger I sometimes spend up to 150 pounds for the specific seat I want now I usually can get it for less than 50£. The seats are getting more and more available.

    1. Pat-this issue with empty seats only started last season with the total collapse we had during Wengers final season.Bournemouth last week went on general sale which does not happen often and very rarely up till last season.The atmosphere inside the ground has been surprisingly good as the toxic abuse is not there as it was last season so at least that is encouraging.But I feel the support for Emery is there and the fanbase generally see he is trying to get the best from the players he has.New and better players WILL come next season so I expect most games to be played in a full house.
      All away games continue to sell out no matter who we play so it’s the home games that need the fans to attend.

      1. Phi I disagree a little bit. The stadium became fuller at the beginning of the season, the atmosphere was good, full of energy and I was always looking forward to seeing us play even when I was not attending. The attendance started dwindling because of the kind of football Emery was playing, we also have lost the flare football (though better now) I am not writing Emery off and I do not write any player off. I think Emery will have a better understanding of premier league next season, he will be able to buy one or two, three more players. Then we will see where we can get to. But right now (as most post here will suggest) I think the fans are split and that cannot be a good thing for stadium atmosphere.

        1. Arsenal home game statistic, won 12, draw 2 , lost 1. So why is the stadium still having empty seats, what type of football are we playing at emirate that created this situation, l disagree with you it has nothing to do with our pattern of play.

          1. dotash, you are wasting your time presenting facts to people, who don’t want to hear.
            Ryan Giggs added his name to the pundits, who respect Unai Emery as “a very good coach” on the weekend. Arsenal are lucky to have him and hopefully with the support of the owner (what a joke), the board, the players and supporters, Arsenal can retain his services. People in power at other clubs are well aware of what he has achieved thus far.

  10. Oh so you COULD have been a footballer if you wanted to.Well if my Aunty had a pair of bollocks she would have been my uncle.
    What a pathetic reply from someone with nothing to say.
    And you say Ozil doesn’t know me.Well I have met him 7 times since he had been at Arsenal.Sat next to him a Charity Function.Actuslly have his Agents mobile number which he gave to me.Ive never used it and never will.
    By the way -a mobile is a hand held portable telephone that allows you to call/text/email/google plus lots of other uses. Just saying

    1. This reply of mine looks a bit lost but it was a reply to someone.And a pretty good one too if I’m honest

  11. I don’t think the team has a weak mentality, not anymore anyway. All teams go through a rough patch during the season and we also went through ours. It’s also the Manager’s first season here and I feel like the players are finally starting to understand his methods and their roles in this new system. What impressed me most is you could actually see that there’s been a lot of work done defensively behind the scenes, I was still a little nervous every time the ball was in our half but the boys were dealing with the pressure beautifully. It’s like they were saying “okay you have the ball, let’s see what you can do with it then?”
    I’ve also been watching Iwobi closely and I think he’s been putting in a lot of work into his final ball and his shooting, I don’t remember even cringing once on Saturday when he was in the final third. He’s improving at a dramatic rate and I think people are so negative towards him that they don’t even realize his progression. Lb’s are starting to dread (pun intended 😉 ) facing him as well cause he embarrasses them with his dribbling and they can’t just kick him down either cause he’s also such a big and physical lad. I hope he keeps working hard and improving

  12. I accept im in the minority but it’s opinions peeps
    I would suggest are record in the big games away from home don’t suggest a strong mentality
    The point I was making in to many key moments , our heads go
    Mustafi’s actions were a lack of composoure but it’s not a one off.
    Our game management at Old Trafford saw us concede the second we went 2-1 up
    We conceded seconds after going 1-0 up at Anfield
    We conceded within seconds at City , then on the stroke of half time
    Been going on for years and till Uni wins at one of those grounds, he hasn’t changed mentality of this group scared to take that next step
    Look at that , made a argument without being rude to people

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