Arsenal Tactics – How Wenger could improve….

What is the one ‘not-so-impressive’ attribute of Wenger, as a manager? by SE

An Overview
Arsene Wenger wouldn’t have endured this much of longevity as Arsenal manager had he not been consistent and, magnificent, in his own way. He has instilled an eccentric brand of football, both at Highbury and the Emirates, and is one of the reasons why Arsenal remains a highly attractive team to watch. The Frenchman does get slated from time-to-time for his timid, insipid tactics in those marquee games, which – in recent seasons – have found Arsenal wanting. However, it shouldn’t be held as an indictment against the Frenchman’s amiable personality and a prolific Footballing philosophy.

But, if I had one thing to suggest to Wenger – regarding the one ‘not-so-impressive’ attribute of his – what would it be?

Managerial styles
Every manager has his own dogmatic style of affecting a game. Be it with the way he sets his team up before kickoff; or mid-way through the game, once they have assimilated their opponents’ intentions and tactical nous.
The world cup game in Brazil could be a perfect example to illustrate my point, here: In the match between Spain and Netherlands, Van Gaal had setup his Dutch side in the 3-4-1-2 system, and relied solely on counter-attacking against a Spain side known to favor tiki-taka, over any other Footballing philosophy. In the aftermath of the game, which was won by the Netherlands, the Dutchman did proclaim that it was a tactical shift he ‘had’ to make, to keep Holland in the game against their superior opponents. And, had it not been for Van Persie, the former Arsenal striker, who scored the equalizer on the stroke of Half-Time, Van Gaal said that he would have reverted back to his favored 4-3-3 system.

So every manager has a way of affecting the game; sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t, but Wenger needs to be a lot more proactive than what he has demonstrated in recent times.

Wenger’s reluctance to make ‘substitutions’
The other day against Leicester, Arsenal didn’t look menacing, despite spending more time with the ball. Ozil wasn’t at his incisive best and, clearly, wasn’t relishing the role he was given on the evening. Drifted in time and time again, which made it easy for Leicester’s defence to maintain shape and deal with the odd menacing ball, here and there.

At that moment, I’d have wanted to see someone with blistering pace running at a relatively slow Konchesky, playing at Left-Back for the Foxes. Ozil did play the entirety of 90 minutes but, it was only after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s introduction into the game that Arsenal posed a bigger threat to Leicester’s goal, as they went in search of a last gasp winner. The Englishman was introduced only in the 77th minute of the game – played as the Right-Winger – and had very little time to conjure up a winning goal for the North Londoners.

Bottom Line is that Wenger, if he anticipates the game drifting away from Arsenal’s grasp, has to make ‘substitutions’, to affect it positively. He is generally reluctant to make substitutions, which, in a desperate situation, doesn’t endear Arsenal anything enviable.

Final Thought
It is Wenger’s reluctance to make ‘substitutions’ – even when Arsenal aren’t at their most effective of times – that doesn’t quite appeal to me.


Tags Chamberlain Wenger


  1. Wenger must also focus on how our opponents will line up,this thing of saying he only focuses on how Arsenal should play not other teams affects us in the big games,sometimes a 1-0 or a Draw is a good result,if you can’t win don’t lose!

    1. @Dee@ease
      I agree with him. If you play your way, and do it right, then you stand a better chance at winning. That means everybody on the same page, workin at the same rate, attackin as well as defending. Whistle2whistle and box2box.

      The problem I have with him is his loyalty to certain players and the effect it has on team selection when facing certain teams ie the “top 4/5”

      1. Our record against Man City,Chelsea,Liverpool,Man U is awful it clearly shows playing our own game is not working for us,we are getting smashed in these games that’s no coincidence it’s his tactics which are poor he must learn to be pragmatic!

        1. @Dee@ease
          Like I wrote”IF we play our way and do it right”
          Players not tracking back, gettin easily knocked off the ball, not pressin off the ball,layin down on the pitch waiting for the ref to call foul, while the opposition runs through us, no that is not AW’s tactics gone wrong. Thats players unable to dig the f**k in and fight…
          Know the difference…

          1. I know exactly what you meant,the problem is that when we play our way we NEVER DO IT RIGHT against the top sides which is why game after game we getting smashed Away from home because of Wenger’s naïve tactics!

            1. @Dee@ease
              So right.
              Because if you look at Chelsea during the 6-0 dust over, they rolled as a “unit” while we were all over the place. Same with Everton and Liverpool. Man C I still feel was the luck of the draw and we could have done em…

  2. Could have played joel campbell in the leicester city game! Im sure with his introduction we could have stolen 3 priceless points! Coyg!

  3. Try to learn from his mistakes, and not play a high line against man city, chelsea, and liverpool ever again!

    1. Well said. We have great possession and move the ball well but too slow. So many games lately, teams are compact and defending and exploiting our defence on the counter. I do not want to see Monreal and Debuchy delivering all the balls in, because that means we have an open back line and strong teams have players who can hold the ball and burn past us for example Sterling, Hazard, Di Maria, Lukaku-Chambers I forgive you for that dive:)

  4. I believe Wenger can beat the likes of Mourinho and SAF. But I also believe he will lose to them 8 times out of 10. Mourinho and SAF have an aggressive and proactive style of management. They don’t cut their players any slack at all. They’re okay to question the age of a non-performing striker or to throw a shoe at a player in a fit of rage. For them, results come first, then personal relationship comes next. I was surprised the other day when Mourinho said he had never sat down to explain to a player why he was dropped. I don’t know what obtains at Arsenal, but I know fans had been calling for the likes of Denilson, Arshavin, Vermalaen and co to be dropped for ages before the manager responded. I don’t think Wenger can/will change. I believe Mourinho and SAF would have more trophies to point to at the end of the day. That’s the sad fact my friends.

    1. Than by your own theory Alex Ferguson should have had a nice record against Mourinho, right?
      SAF faced Mourinho 11 times.
      So going by it.
      It should have been 11draws or 5 wins for each with one draw game.
      But in reality SAF won only once against Mourinho- that’s the sad fact friend.

    2. And in all honesty, both the examples you cited were vindictive in nature.
      Mourinho blaming his failure on strikers even though the OLD MAN did a pretty good job for him. That’s a sign of cowardice bro.
      And what should have Becks done? Divorced his wife just cause SAF said that he played badly due to his Hollywood nature and Stylish wife.

  5. I like the Arsenal free flowing football but it doesn’t work against big teams. We go and try and keep the ball, which is fine, but if we lose the ball we are done. We are essentially a second rate Barcelona now. We find it tough to win matches with possession football and even Barcelona are beginning to fail. Teams know how to defend tika taka football now. Football has moved on. We can keep the some tika taka characteristics ( fast passing and movement) but I think we need to move to a counter attacking style. Our back four is strong enough to suck up pressure and our players are good enough to counter quickly. I think that’s why we haven’t seen the best of Özil. Özil needs space to operate and during a counter attack there is a lot more. Our wingers are so fast and have great quality so would fit counter attacks. Welbeck is fast enough to keep up and be there to finish it all off. Possession, tika taka football looks great when it works, but it’s becoming a less potent form of attack. Start using a counter attack style, and I think you’d see all our players flourish.

  6. I’m going to be simple with the tactic conversation if you are man for Man superior to your opposition you can deploy the same tactics every game the reason we have failed is we don’t posses the best 11 and Wenger persists on not altering our tactics to any team we play.
    I also hate it when we field a slow side in games we tend go get murdered against the top sides with slow personnel.

  7. wenger is a very stuborn manager and his actions as always caused us games, i will continue to say this when arsenal plays with pace they do well i remember when playing ramsey on the wing he was awful same as diaby also when we had denilson and fabregas in midfield van persie would come into the middle to assist play but since we have good midfieders now i expect wenger to use proper wingers such as ox,campbell,sanchez,serge,theo e.t.c. putting midfieders on the wing loses pact and we’r easily caged. look at pool they’v lightening fast wingers and they cant be caged but in our case wenger continues doing otherwise during the glory days wehad henry,pires,wiltod,overmars,lugberg e.t.c.these players had pace and willgo on any defence at anytime.wenger should realise this and tweak his recent tactics.COYG….

  8. Wenger handicaps the team earlier on (short in CB and no DM) and he is not giving himself the tools to succeed.
    He knows that if he had all the indispensable players they would be no excuses for failures (so far a perfect record for the deluded one…). Finishing top four is in our spectrum with what we have and with the manager we “deserve”.

    If we had all the “tools”, Wenger could not win the league and excuses would be in the order of another delusional episode.

  9. Wenger lack quality players, he develop player n d team surfer, if he has best 11 on d field he ll be anybody, now sanogo n some layers r not suppose b 1st eleven

  10. Wenger is undoubtedly a top coach. But I agree with many of the comments… He could bring on his substitutions earlier. the moment he is maximising an energetic attack in the last 15 minutes while the other team is tired…. but other coaches by bringing on the substitutions earlier are maximising their total energy spent over 90 minutes.

    Additionally although it is good to play your own game…. its pretty obvious that you gain an advantage by capitalising on opponents weakness. These are obvious areas he could improve on.

  11. Another fault of his is that he gives developing /improving/recovering players too much premier league playing time. Other coaches have an already proven and in form first team. .. Wenger’s first team is still developing. In this way Wenger lives in future seasons, instead of being hungry to win the current season.

  12. Why is the word ‘substitutions’ wrapped in apostrophes in this article?
    Some bizarre interpretations of grammar by posters on this site.

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