Arsenal tactics slated but did Wenger have much choice?

I was of course fuming and gutted that Arsenal lost to Chelsea yesterday as I was holding on to the hope of a win that would have kept our hopes of the Premier League title alive, however unlikely they might have been really. So I did not have much patience or good will towards the manager or many of the players for that matter.

When I saw all the stick that the prof was getting, though, and read a Sky Sports report absolutely slating him for his tactics I have to stick up for him a bit. The thing for me is that, even though our attacking tactics did end up playing into the hands of Chelsea, I think the boss had little choice but to go for it.

Wenger also knew this was our last chance after the disappointment of defeat by Watford and he did have the encouragement of our win over the Blues in September. Unfortunately it did not go our way but I do not blame the boss completely for that.

The players who under performed have to shoulder a lot of that. It was not the system’s fault that Theo Walcott failed to track Alonso back and another ref may well have ruled the goal out for a foul. That is why I think Wenger was so cheesed off about the4 foul because if Arsenal had got the opener, and we did create a fair few chances, things may have been very different.

The other problem Wenger had ahead of this game was his lack of central midfield options, so he did not have the players to shut up shop even if he wanted to. I am sure he would have played Xhaka or Elneny instead of the Ox or Iwobi if he could.

So was his hand forced by the situation and our missing players or are we just going to hammer his tactics and blame the boss for everything?



  1. Raoh says:

    -Yes you might be right about our central midfield options. But the Xhaka problem has been well documented that it is the job of the coaching staff to find a way to help a player channel it’s aggressiveness and still be effective in his position just look at Costa. Not the same position but that’s a proper use of being aggressive.
    -Injury to Cazorla & Ramsey clearly limited Wenger’s options. But than again injuries is something we seem to suffer a lot for quite a few seasons now and we haven’t curved the problem completely. Out of the top 6 teams we suffered the most key injuries over the past seasons.
    -Tactics & subs. Ultimately Wenger picks and decides how to set up, who starts and who subs in/out. The problem is that he rarely changes and the subs come too late.

    He tried to gamble against Watford to have key players fresh for Chelsea such as Bellerin it backfired and instead of taking 3/6 points we have 0/6. At the end it is his team he promotes from the youth to the senior but also picks personally the transfer targets. It isn’t like this team is one he inherited, this is 100% his team. The players are too blame as well from lack of hunger, discipline, focus, mental fortitude and leadership but too much of the same problems are recurring just listen to most of his interviews after losses to big teams.
    Worse part is it could get worse and our top 4 finish isn’t guaranteed. With 14 games to go we play 5 of those against: Spurs, Man city, Man U, Liverpool & Everton. Teams we have failed to beat so far this season.

  2. Luko Bratzi says:

    How dare you put Awobi and Oxy as the problem. Koshelny so called captain was awful as Mustafa and the worst Ozil. Gabriel as sub was Sh:: in going forward not one cross,and to blame Walcott it was Koshelny who allowed the cross for the goal. Chelsea closed down our wing play that’s why the only cross from Monreal gave our goal. I agree Wenger had problems with player selection but he had Niles to bring on for the disgracefull Ozil. Arsenal as a club need to spend 40 to 50 mil on players of quality not 20 on a player who takes a season to show if they are good. You need players to go straight in like Lucas should be given the nod NOW. CB

  3. Godswill says:

    Overhaul is needed even from managerial staff and the Board.
    We can continue like this for ages.
    We should force a change.

    1. Godswill says:

      Am sorry. I mean to say “we can’t continue like this for ages.”

  4. bran99 says:

    So Wenger wasn’t at fault.. who benched their good players for the next match that even primary school kids know Arsenal will lose? We could have gotten 3 points against watford and this loss wouldn’t feel so painful at all.. I have seen this so many times, Wenger resting players for a hard match that follows like for example against the Bayerns and Barcas only to lose both the easy match and the hard one.. he is the most experienced manager in the league for God’s sake and still doesn’t know what it takes to win winnable games?

    We are a laughing stock in this world, Bob haven’t you seen the memes of how Wenger like no.4? There is a meme that shows he’s not happy with 3-0 after fabregas goal, but laughing after the game ended 3-1 because 3+1=4. We just can’t hide our faces when it comes to Arsenal, but somebody gets paid 8m a year to to do what he does best (be sure to end up as 4th) under no pressure at all

  5. Kos-tafi says:

    I just can’t think far about the game. When u take off coq and bring on a striker and Iwobi and ox seem further from the central midfield area. Wat do u expect the defenders to do. Ozil should have been subbed. Am of the opinion dat one one of dez days wenger should set the team up with comments from this site. There are better tacticians here. Wengerout

  6. Patrico says:

    The pointer is clear here singling out the manager as the one letting us down. We are indeed a laughing stalk out here: Poor fielding of players, improper substations and use of the system which is not yielding results. It has to be highlighted here that it’s not only the coach who is humiliated but all of us including our families. Please sir improves for our sake.

  7. AndersS says:

    Sad, you can’t see it is a system/managerial fault. The criticism on Sky is absolutely spot on.
    Wenger has never been able to make all our players track back and to attack our opponents fast and strong. Yesterday was just another clear example. Apart from our back four, Couquelin and Sanchez, they just leisurely stroll up to opponents and only some of the time, whereas all 10 of Chelseas player are right on our heels or toes, when we receive the ball, and they are quick to get back behind the ball. It is really all a matter of tactics and what the manager requires and has very little to do with the actual personnel.
    And the argument, that we had to go for it, is pure nonsens. Our biggest problem is we let in too many goals, and if we first of all can’t prevent Chelsea from scoring 2-3 goals, we have as good as no chance of winning.

  8. Big G says:

    There is always a choice, no manager has to stick with the same players game after game or the same tactics. A good manager should look at the opponents likeliest line up and must surely pick players who can get something from the game or a least stop the opposition from scoring in games against the top teams like Chelsea.

    Wenger has been guilty of not changing tactics when needed, leaving under-performing players on the pitch to long when they clearly should be removed from the game. In short, Wenger is guilty of not doing his job properly within that department and should be relieved of his position though its impossible to say weather a new manager would be any better.

  9. kamn288 says:

    I just hope Arsenal don’t get humiliated now and end of season. Arsenal don’t have a recognised striker who can score 30 goals a season. If Arsenal had Aguero or lacazette we would be 10 better off this season.

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