Arsenal threw away 1st-leg UCL games through Wenger’s Gung-Ho tactics? (Analysis)


Following on from the article regarding the “numerous humiliations” allegations, it was further alleged by the same fellow Gooner that, quote, “I lost count of the times Wenger threw away the away ties in the first leg with his ridiculous gung-ho tactics” … now that’s a very clear statement wouldn’t one say?

It was also said in another reply that I “made sure to prop up his (Wenger) stats by including his far more pre-Emirates “high days.” despite it not being about AW but the statement “numerous humiliations.”

However, I took that on board and by going from the 2007/08 season only, I hope that is sufficient to allay those thoughts/interpretations…after all, it is fair to say that it was that season when far cleverer fans than me say they wanted AW out because he was already struggling.

Once again and from my point of view, this is not about AW, but more about a claim that, as you can see from the “gung-ho” statement, is stating quite clearly something that a fan believed happened…so I used my trusty official handbook of 2018/19 to check this out, as I was unsure if this was factual.

2007/08 – we played 6 away games and lost NONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2008/09 – we played 7 away games and lost ONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2009/10 – we played 6 away games and lost ONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2010/11 – we played 4 away games and lost NONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2011/12 – we played 5 away games and lost ONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2012/13 – we played 4 away games and lost NONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2013/14 – we played 5 away games and lost NONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2014/15 – we played 5 away games and lost ONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2015/16 – we played 4 away games and lost ONE of them when the away tie was played first.

2016/17 – we played 4 away games and lost ONE of them when the away tie was played first.

So, in a total of ten seasons, we actually lost SIX games, while playing “gung-ho” football and we have a fan who, while having no trouble counting the NINE seasons we went without a trophy, lost count of these SIX games, because there were so many!!!

Finally, I will wait to see if anyone tries to dismiss this article with the accusation that I am supporting a manager – what I am doing is trying to point out the errors in clear statements that are being made about our history as a club.

As promised the FA cup and PL breakdown will follow – from 2007/08 season – regarding “numerous humiliations”.


Tags Champions League Wenger


  1. 14 years straight failing in the league. 9 years straight without a trophy. Last 7 years in CL, couldn’t get past the last 16. Wenger’s final year in Europe was two embarrassing legs against Atletico, who even gave us a man extra for almost the entirety of the first leg.

    Put whatever spin you want on each individual season, but the overall hard facts don’t lie. Extremely long periods of failure.

    Of course for some, these years in the competitive wilderness were amazingly considered a success! And of course, Wenger was not accountable at all! Must have been Kroenke or Gazidis picking the teams, creating the tactics, taking training, etc.

    1. “I lost count of the times Wenger threw away the away ties in the first leg with his ridiculous gung-ho tactics” …

      The article is addressing this statement with facts to prove it is nothing but a big fat lie. You are the one who made that statement so you should be a man enough to defend it against the facts provided in the article or admit you were wrong.

      Diverting the subject of the article won’t cut it this time.

      1. HH, for your personal information:
        Season 08/09 the defeat was the semi final 1-0 loss to Man Utd.
        09/10 was the k/o first leg loss to Porto 1-2
        11/12 was the 4-0 defeat to AC Milan in the k/o stages.
        14/15 was the 2-0 group stage loss to Borussia Dortmund.
        15/16 was a 2-1 group stfe defeat by Dinamo Zagreb.
        16/17 was the real humiliation by Bayern Munich 5-1

        We progressed through both of the group stages but4lkst to united and Bayern.

    2. fans and media always like to use overall stats

      but failed to see and analyze the individual games and the causes

      losing of players, ref, and etc

      Mr Wenger should have left the club in 2004 and let the club manage by the fans

  2. With the media so accessible nowadays and site like JA read from all parts of the globe it is very easy to spread fake news and fake facts perpetuated by some people (and by some people I mean TMJW) who have personal agenda against the great Arsene Wenger.

    This is very bad because it misinform many fans who either are young or have no interest in checking the true facts and thus will have a wrong image of Wenger’s achievements and records.

    Thank god that we have people like Ken who go out of their way to provide actual facts and in a way set the record straight and provide something for gunners who are being fed fake news, fake facts and lies to think about.

    Arsene Wenger’s European record is not good no one can dispute that. If one want to attack him based on that there are a lot of facts they can use but to make things up consciously is very sad.

    1. No I just tell the truth about Wenger. I personally think he’s a legend, but it wasn’t all great. As I have just pointed with facts, very long periods of sustained failure.

      I just find it utterly baffling how all of what I have said can be considered a positive/success?

      1. Wenger was not an angel and even those who love him admit to his weaknesses. You want to paint him in a bad picture there are a lot of real facts you can use. Probably six years worth of facts.

        The issue is making up facts to make his weaknesses a mountain of a molehill they actually are.

        1. HH, with respect to AW and you, it was a mountain for Emery to climb, considering the utter rubbish mediocre players he signed (Auba being the exception in his latter years), the players he played out of position, the tippy tappy football with the ball recycled in the center of the park, the loser mentality and mediocrity steeped deep into their brains, smiley faces on the training grounds. All this Emery had to change and nearly did but succumbed to the rotten player ego. The end result was 21 years of failure in the UCL (except the one and only finals appearance)

          Back to the topic, another fine stat based article by Ken, appreciate the efforts, but the end result remains a failure in the UCL for Wenger/Arsenal, just like it was for Max Allegri/Juve or Pooch/Tots. Lets accept that we were a failed team in the UCL under Wenger and no amount of articles will change that.We may score a point over our fellow gooners, but the stats of UCL under Wenger will remain a blot on our clubs records.

          1. LC, apart from the final and two semi finals, we were, simply, underachievers.
            Put it another way, a regular last 16 club – nothing more and nothing less.
            But let’s at least look at the factual results and not make up situations that are patently false.

          2. Loose Cannon it is a fact that Wenger did not have an impressive champions league record no one deny that. As a matter of fact I and many others think he should have won it during the invincibles era because our team was one of the strongest in Europe at that time.

            If one want to point out Wenger’s weaknesses there are a lot of real facts to prove that.

            What this article and the previous one is addressing is some using made up facts to paint Wenger’s bad times as horrible than they truly are.

            For example we know our record against Man utd was not good especially after moving to the new stadium. I will use that fact to make two statements.

            1. I have lost count of how many times we lost by 8 goals to Man utd.

            2. I have lost count of how many times we lost to Man utd.

            Some are saying the second statement but using the first statement wording to make it horrible than it is.

          1. You’ve been exposed “numerous” times TMJW :
            MA being in teams humiliated under AW.
            Numerous humiliations in the CL, PL and FA cup.
            Gung ho tactics leading to so many defeats in the CL, you couldn’t count them.
            Ozil had done nothing to earn a new contract.

            I get the fact that you believe AW was a failure in his second decade… that’s an jnxjvidual based opinion that can be discussed – but making up instances that have never occurred to bolster your opinion is completely wrong… especially if you support the club.
            Why would you want to do such things and make yourself look a tad silly, by basically saying you can’t count up to six?

          2. So I made up the Stoke games? Bayern? Chelsea? Utd? Birmingham league cup final? Bottle jobs last 16 CL 7 years straight?

            Clearly you don’t know your Arsenal results Ken. I would suggest you stop lying about me to everyone, because I keep easily exposing your ridiculous pro Wenger agenda.

          3. TMJW, i’m not lying about YOU, simply because i don’t know you – all i am interested in, is following up fans who make statements that prove to be unfounded…as you have done,
            The fact that you are now trying to spin it away from your statement to cover other areas, doesn’r change the original reason for this article – we did not lose so many first leg away ties that it was impossible to keep count….nothing to do with Stoke, Birmingham or whoever else you try to drag into the debate.

          4. 2012

            losing 3 key players glichey, nazri and fab

            goals scoring and creativity gone

            how many clubs can still maintain top 4 without their 3 key players?

            rvp scored 30 goals that season….of nazri and fab had stayed…he would have scored more and we would have won the league


            top goal scorer Rvp gone

            carzola, giroud and ozil signed

            if rvp had stayed we would have won

            Rvp single handly won Utd the title despite them leaking heaps of goals

            2014 to 2017

            centreback issues due to injuries

            we were lacking of a good striker …..if the club had backed and signed lacazette….he would have guranteed 15 goals minimum….thats 5 wins minimum

            we would have won titles


            sanchez and ozil unstability costs us goals and creativity….lacking of experience and leadership to guide the players sums up the issue

  3. Arteta uses the same 4-2-3-1 formation, but his version is smarter than Wenger’s. Both gaffers use Xhaka as the last man in deep midfield area, to do the dirty works and to cover their attacking LBs, but Wenger never asked his RB to cut inside as an additional DM for extra protection

    Wenger’s 4-2-3-1 was highly vulnerable to counter-attacks, whereas Arteta’s is less prone to those sudden attacks. Lastly, Arteta’s tends to use his CAM as an additional winger in half spaces like how Guardiola uses De Bruyne, but Wenger’s CAM preferred to stay in the middle

    1. GOT- if Arteta uses the same system as Wenger, but in a smarter way, as you suggest, would you explain to me what exactly we are doing in NINTH position in the Premier League.

      1. Because of the five red cards, some bad decisions from the players and some weird starting line-ups. If we can minimize the silly mistakes, I don’t think Solskjaer and Emery would win against Arteta in EL

        1. Ok- so it’s nothing to do with tactics or players. It’s basically down to sending offs and bad mistakes from the players.
          I think you find Wenger had red cards in his teams and many more player cock ups as well.
          Absolutely no merit or sense to your reasoning on this

          1. Phil the red cards under AW were notorious, mainly from Vieira and that team were Invincible – so trying to make red cards as part of an excuse for being ninth in the table, is as comical as Wenger always saying he never saw
            the incident!!!

          2. Wenger’s time was different. We usually conceded because of our inability to withstand the opposition’s quick counter-attacks

  4. &between the two who achieved better results,better position on the league table&more points per game?…your various assessments about tactics&so on are just so annoying&it depresses me to read all the nonsense that comes from you

    1. Nice point, why complicate a formation? It’s clearly about trying to show the world how smart you are.

      One of Wenger’s strengths was also one of his weaknesses. For example, he gave his players plenty of freedom to play and trusted in their talent and creativity, unfortunately at the end of games many times a more pragmatic approach to finish the game was needed.

      (I’m going purely from memory and recall, so Ken your research may prove me wrong when I said “many times”)

      Compared to now with the added complexities
      in Arteta’s tactics; midfielders playing as FB’s for example.

  5. Arsene Wenger had many flaws but is and always will be the the manager with the most entertaining football in premier league football.

  6. For Ken
    Aa I have said earlier in one of your articles: Arsene was a great manager till 2013.
    1996 – 2004: Ahead of the game and achieved. Maybe could have achieved more.
    2005 – 2013: Greatest achievement: Others had caught up like Man Utd, Chelsea & Man City and had more money, but still achieved CL qualification.
    After that the decline had set in despite winning 3 FA cups.
    He should have left in 2014 after FA cup win against Hull and would have maintained his legacy.
    But still the best manager we had since 1979 when I started supporting AFC.

  7. I’m a little confused. Are these all knock out games? I think it would make more sense to go through the ties we eventually lost and assess whether it was the first leg performance that saw us lose the tie?
    I’ve never heard or even thought of this criticism before, just wondering about the analysis.

    1. Davi, perhaps you should ask TMJW this question….as I also couldn’t understand the reason for using this analysis to describe AW’s many faults.
      All I have done, is check out his claim and proved it incorrect.

  8. rinse and repeat revisionist history…just another needless attempt to debunk a rather frivolous claim…after reading the title of this article I did a deep dive into this site’s archives and realized this term “gung-ho” was primarily utilized as a catchier, albeit less frequently used, way to describe the all-too-common naivety displayed by our former manager, especially following our move to the Emirates…Ken, why don’t you provide some stats regarding how many times fans expressed their justifiable concerns over Wenger’s perceived naivety once he was left to his own devices…now there’s a lengthy and meaningful discussion, although I doubt you would want to venture down that road as that will undoubtedly not end well for you or your BMF(best manager for life)

    1. Tell you what TRV, why don’t you do it?
      It seems that you are very quick to belittle those who don’t agree with you, so let’s see your views written down for discussion.

      One thing I will be sure of, you will do your homework on it, rather than leave yourself open to a ten minute check on whatever it is you are claiing happened…at least I hope you would.

      As for the frivolous claim regarding “gung ho”…why make it in the first place?
      It wasn’t true?
      It isn’t relevant?
      What was the point?

      Opinions are for everyone to have and discuss, but to make up untrue statements is not beneficial to anyone who follows the club?

      If you want to let fans say things that are not true, then fine – but I’m sure that if David Dein was being misrepresented, you would be on here challenging them…I certainly would.
      It doesn’t matter who it is, owner, player, fellow fan, or any manager/coach/, regarding our club I would do exactly the same thing and why you seem not to understand that I don’t understand.

      So get over the view that you think I see no wrong in Wenger and THINK about what fans are saying that are not true.

      Can I now look forward to two comprehensive and well reasoned articles from you?
      It’s hardly worth me doing it, as you will have already made your mind up that will be pro Wenger…whereas yours would be what not?LOL

      1. Once again you fail to understand my point…as you should know by now, I love to debate just as much as the next guy, but when you engage in this type of obvious wag the dog-like tactics through the propagation of cherry-picked statistical data for the sole purposes of trying to conduct some post-Wenger damage control, in my estimation, it doesn’t rise to the level of debate worthiness…more often than not, whenever posters used this “gung-ho” terminology they were simply trying to find a “catchy” phrase that might properly encapsulate the oft-times confounding naivety displayed by our once-inventive and glorious manager…no more, no less

        if you really want to get to the heart of the matter, debate why you REALLY think our club didn’t pursue a different course of action much sooner than it did, considering every pundit and their brother, not to mention a large contingent of the fanbase and a plethora of former players, had been calling for his dismissal for such a long period of time that by the time he actually left the building most had grown so bored of the matter that it barely registered as a legitimate topic of conversation

        ask yourself, what other club of any significance would conduct themselves in such an irresponsible and short-sighted fashion…furthermore, what manager, especially one who claimed to put the interests of the club ahead of his supposed own best interests, which was thrown in our faces every time he cheekily declared that he had declined numerous offers from every other big club in the footballing world, would selfishly create such a divisive situation unless he didn’t care or he was so self-absorbed that he couldn’t even read the room anymore

        now you can say that your true intentions behind your past two articles aren’t part of some sort of larger Wengeresque restoration project until your blue in the face, but deep down we both know, at best, that’s a dubious notion, while, at worst, it’s a delusional claim with no basis in reality

        1. Can you actually make a simple point, without trying to prove you have a knowledge of the English language, even if your grammatical usage is questionable to say the least.

          I see another claim in amongst the tirade, so please can you name the “plethora of players and are you alluding to the” vast majority” so often used by those who don’t actually have the gumption to argue their own corner?
          I suggest you take time out and read the words of David Dein when he was asked about Wenger’s departure from the club… but of course I realise that I have fallen into the trap of not keeping to the reason of the article – disproving complete bunkum for what it is.

          1. Answer this…why do you think even those without an axe to grind and/or a horse in the race exhausted considerable energy discussing the Wenger dilemma as far back as 2012, yet this very issue was never, and I mean never publicly discussed by anyone within the organization until the winter of his final season and even then a false narrative was created to cover-up the obvious truth…don’t you think this is a more interesting topic of conversation? remember though you can’t use the whole anomaly analogy as Fergie retired in late spring 2013, with a succession plan in place, so the learning curve wasn’t so steep

          2. So the plethora of players is not forthcoming then?
            Could I ask how you know it was discussed as far back as 2012, unless you mean by fans who cannot count up to six before getting confused.
            Why was AW offered a new contract by the club, if they were secretly planning to oust him and had been planning to do so for ages before?
            Why would they need to prepare a false narrative when all they had to do, was not offer him a new contract?

    2. TRVL
      Every post you do buddy is pretty much ,As wide as an ocean but has the depth of a puddle .
      Half of your crap does not even make sense ,bit of advice try and take that edgy sh1t and stick to Twitter and mums basement forums ,because your being doing us all a favour not having to skim through the bollocks you posts .

      1. He’s a bully boy Ken don’t waste your time mate .
        He was obviously bullied at school and probably as mummy issues,now apparently grown up he’s found a whole new world so as to dump his sh1t over the rest of us on here which I do feel sorry for him .
        Hes been posting on here for probably 2 months tops but as had ago at absolutely everyone on here ,now his girly claws seem to have been sharpened for Gotanidea,
        Nothing more than a little boy with big thoughts .

        1. Dan, perhaps his promised article will be more accurate than the claims that TMJW makes?
          I’m more disappointed than with Jon Fox to be honest.
          All this talk about truth, realism and honesty and yet he hasn’t called out TMJW for making this ridiculous claim.
          What our younger fans must think of an older fan like Jon refusing to condemn such blatant mistruths, I have no idea.

          1. Don’t worry Ken, I will pen an article, containing the truth, and no spin. And I’ll be asking the question, what is failure? If 14 years straight of not competing for the league, and 9 years straight without even a trophy, ISN’T considered failure, and then I, and everyone else, would love to know what is?

          2. Looking forward to it TMJW, if it doesn’t have any false claims and no spins in it, we can have a healthy and friendly debate.. and we’ll probably agree on a lot of your opibiins/findings.
            Unfortunately it seems Jon Fox won’t be participating in it, because he isn’t bothered about the past.

        2. Couldn’t get past your second paragraph sweetheart.
          So i cannot even reply Buddy
          Ocean wide but pudddle deep mate .

  9. THE DISTANT PAST, SO WHO CARES!!! AS A REALIST, I am concerned about now and the future . I leave the distant past to historians and anoraks!

    IF YOU PREFER LOOKING BACK THEN GO AHEAD; THERE IS NO LAW AGAINST IT! But I prefer what matters; the now and the near future.

    1. Jon, as a REALIST, are you not worried as to how our history is represented…you have told the younger fan on here who important it is to know the facts about our club…so for you more than ANYONE else on JA, I would have thought that correcting untrue statements would be of paramount issue?

      Perhaps I have misunderstood your idea of truth and realism, no matter whether it was Sir Henry Norris, Herbert Chapman or even Mikel Arteta…surely you REALLY DO CARE?!?!
      Otherwise, my wise old friend, we might as well all say a load of complete BS about our club and forget about realism and truth.

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