Arsenal v Everton game a masterstroke by Wenger!!

Arsenal fans owe Wenger a round of applause by Sam P

I saw the article on JUst Arsenal about Arsene Wenger and his decision to mkae only two changes to the Arsenal XI for the home game against Everton today and I must say that I agree in general with the point that it was a really risky move from the Prof.

But at the end of the day it worked in our favour and maybe that is why Wenger is the manager and has kept his job in the toughest league in the world for nearly 20 years. I think that a lot of the reason for Arsenal sticking with Wenger is his financial acumen and his all round work for the club, with the academy system and the loyalty he shows and engenders in the players also very important.

But his tactics and reading for football are often called into question and so it is only fair to give him his due when deserved. And the fact is that he pulled the club out of the fire again with the Everton win. And his decision to stick with Giroud, Ozil, Alexis, Cazorla and others after they were rightfully criticised this week is probably a massive boost for the players.

He could have made big changes and won the game but then the players dropped might take a real hit to their confidence. So come on Gooners, let’s give credit where it’s due and appreciate the Wenger played this one just right.

Tags Alexis Giroud Ozil


  1. A win is a win and I take the three points. But there’s no hiding to the fact that Everton played like crap as well. Like really crap. Ozil was poor, Alexis was poor and even Le Coq had a bad day. Let’s be happy with the points and move on. I see Gabriel coming good in few games, really liked the fact that Wenger is giving him game time.

      1. Anything notable except these two? He had a goal right there in his boot and he failed to take it. Second goal is a copy of the one against us by Monaco, keeper was on the ball but deflection took it there. Wonder how you’d be talking if these were not taken. You know what an assist is? The one for Giroud’s header. That’s an assist. These were simply lucky goals, especially the second one. I don’t really care, we got the three points but there’s nowhere to hide for the fact that we were still stung by the game against Monaco.
        The only breath of fresh air is as always this season Ox. And Gabriel but for a different reason.

        1. tend to agree Ozil is overated – not cut out for the EPL and CL….has no workrate – don’t see the passion from him as any other player…if you the one taking the corners, you bound to get an assist….I Prefer wenger starting TR to Ozil…he shows much more interest in doing well for the team. cant understand y AW refuses to sub Ozil….and TR CAN SCORE!!!!

        2. Come down Budd, that’s what Ozil known for (Assist) not work rate or anything else. I will take his assists all day to the ones that run like headless. Chicken without any notable product like your so called welbeck. The main duty of no. 10 for me is play making and chance creation. The rest are bonuses.

          1. Is not going to work with Sanchez in the field. A proof is the game against Monaco. Ozil + Sanchez = no love. They share almost the same patch in the game and it is difficult and frustrating for both of them to fight for the same space. Either you drop Ozil and put Cazorla in the middle or you play Ozil with Welbeck in, that headless chicken who at least tracks back and can start the counter. Cazorla deep is another invention from Wenger which sometimes works and sometime doesn’t. There’s no more 80’s football where there’s a no. 10 waiting the ball for a pass to the striker, all players in midfield today must be a 5 and a 10 at the same time. Dynamics is changed and unfortunately Ozil is not having speed. Sometimes he does have some bursts but he dies quick after. And to top it up, the whole EPL learned his game. They know exactly how to close him.

            1. Going to have to disagree with you Budd. Ozil had top assists in our squad last season, and top chances created by a mile. He may not work as hard as the other players (and I agree if he did he would be the best playmaker in the world) but the fact is we have the stats to show that his end product is there. He is creating chances and also scoring goals – and he does this consistently, unlike some other players in our squad. But I will agree with you that certain players compliment his style and other frustrate it. Wenger still needs to find the right balance, but I think until Ozil stops producing all these chances and assists, there is no need to criticize him so much. All he needs to do is work a bit harder on the pitch in terms of chasing and fighting for the ball – that is all.

      2. Don’t understand the criticism of Ozil – the sheer number of killer passes since he returned is exceptional. How many players in the team (or any team) would have been able to pick out Rosicky? As for the assist on the corner, just consider how many goals we have scored from Ozil corners vs prior 5 years. The only players I’ve seen with his vision the last 10 years are Inesta and Giggs and they both were playing for the “best” team with the best players.

    1. Why is it cause everton were crap? We were compact and organized and they couldn’t play between the lines. Le coq did a very good job of limiting the space that barkley usually exploits and we were easily the better side without our usual attacking flair.

      People can’t just seem to give credit where credit is due

      1. So what? Wouldn’t you take the trhee points? Credit for what? For the three points, of course I like them. Just be fair in your assessment because if Lukaku wasn’t sleeping in the 18th minute we’d have a very different conversation now.

          1. It was Ospina who cleared that ball, not Gabriel. He actually left the ball touching the ground.

          2. i have to agree with goonsquad8 everton were not crap infact the punditry keept saying how they were playing well fighting for a goal but we did our job soaked up the pressure battled then went out and grabbed a couple of goals to win the game
            thats it fact we just played them out of the game 3 pts ye muda fooking ha

        1. It goes both ways in my opinion, Arsenal were compact, we generally didn’t have much to do of note but Everton’s execution in the final third was very poor. They take too long during build up and not once did anyone think to play the ball into any of the channels he was running into, decent response from us, 3 points in the bag on to the next

    2. Coq has been one of our most consistent players since the new year. And during the game he had his shirt ripped, two episodes of epistaxis from both nares, and fractured his nose in the process. So I guess you can call that a bad day. But when it came to his form, no not at all.

  2. Congrats Wenger for the win…

    but its still time to go…

    time for a change

    Wenger Out!!!

  3. I picked the exact squad prior to the game.
    I have been saying for some time now
    that Arsenals run in schedule is the best
    of the top 6 teams and 3rd is assured at least.
    So no surprise to me at all.

    1. Southampton also have an easy remaining schedule especially when you consider they only have league games to worry about. But they are slowly becoming less of a factor in the top 4 race.

  4. We won because Everton were really poor. Nothing to do with a Wenger masterstroke.

    Considering the funds and talent at his disposal it is criminal that he went into yesterdays game 12 points of the top. If anything, this is just another season of failure for Wenger.

  5. Good win but for some reason I’m not that thrilled about it. This team is jekyll and hyde. It’s either convincing wins or convincing losses. Let’s hope in the next couple matches we can gain momentum. The Liverpool and Monaco matches in a few weeks might be a turning point.

    1. I feel “unconvincing wins” is becoming more prevalent recently. The three points is great, but the warning signs are a bit troubling. I would like to see more fighting spirit and consistency within the squad.

    2. It is not unusual that some of us fans might not be thrilled with the win for 2 reasons.

      1. We are used to Arsenal wining ALL of their games with scores like 4-2 using a full on attack-minded style. Now that Wenger is adjusting as needed to get wins with a more defensive posture it seems unnatural to us fans.

      2. Nearly every commentator and pundit are constantly telling the fans that the team with the most possession or the best passing stats has “dominated” the game and thus deserves to win. I hear this from analysts in nearly EVERY match. Yet it is not necessarily true.

      In the Everton game the TV announcers AND the analysts all claimed that Everton deserved to be in the lead at half time. But why? Only because of possession stats – nothing more. In fact Everton never got the ball near the back of the net which is the only thing that counts.

      I have checked the rule book many times. You get no points for statistics. And you certainly get no points for “good” set-up play. You only win by scoring MORE than the other team. It is the only stat that matters for winning. And yesterday Arsenal dominated where it counted.

  6. Clearly Wenger neglected the defense in the summer transfer market. But as this season progresses Wenger has been much more willing than in the past to make needed adjustments – and I salute him for that.

    This kind of change is not easy for Wenger but he has started to swallow his pride and do the right things. He deserves credit for that.

    1. @ mohawk
      I agree. But i would like bould to work more or continue working more with the defense.
      And i think when gabriel is able to speak english and communicate with the other defenders we will be better too because he came from a very very organized villareal side and i bet he has useful insight and will organize players on the pitch

    2. agreed. The fact that he dropped Woj and then Per whom he made vice captain is something we prob wouldn’t have seen last season. He deserves credit for that. But I still think he can do more tactically on our offensive side.

  7. The word masterstroke is utter hyperbole. Completely undeserving.

    I’m happy with the result, but out ethos is unrecognizable. Everton are a good side, and I’m a big Martinez fan, but no way should we be yielding to their possession game at the Emirates. It’s a far cry from a decade ago where we imposed ourselves on whomever.

    I get pragmatism is necessary at times, but tactics like yday say to me our manager is scared of NOT outwitting his opponent and instead will just close shop and counter (A tactic of many inferior teams). Glad for the points, but really underwhelmed by our approach.

    1. And what good did all there passing do? How did all that possession help them again? Thats right they had TWO chances thats it

      1. Oh so we should take solace in the fact their inferior players look after the ball much better than ours, but can’t apply the finishing touches? Good to know.

        Small minded nonsense from you again. Not one of their players would get in our 11 and you’re trying to justify us being dominated territorially because they didn’t make chances!? Some special analysis there. Some fans have standards for a team with our resources and history. Yielding a game to a 7/8th place Everton and squeezing by them is not good enough. Bottom line.

        You’re the same guy who would argue “we bossed the game” if the shoe was on the other foot and we got beat despite dictating play. Seems like the delusional Arsenal fans are regaining some composure after being flat out of excuses midweek.

        1. Seriously I cannot understand why are you are harping on about this. Football today is not just about playing attractively and hoping the rest will follow. Just because we dominated with our style of play at the turn of the century, doesn’t necessarily mean that it was for that reason we won most of our games. It could also mean the most of the other team in the league were incompetent and far below the standard. Today, the league has evolved in such a way that no team is incapable of winning.

          The same argument can be applied to ‘who is the best footballer of all time?’ Messi or Pele? The answer is simple. Pele was brilliant in his day, but the circumstances and environment were completely different back then. The ball was heavier and therefore slower and easier to control. There was also a massive gap in caliber between the types of players around in those days. Today, the football is lighter and more difficult to control. In the last 50-60 years we have also had a massive increase in the amount of talent all over the world, meeting head to head on a weekly basis. The competition is intense, yet Messi time and time again proves he is the worlds greatest.

          Life is all about change, and football is no different. Wenger is starting to realize that playing possession based football all the time is not necessarily the way to beat each and every opponent. I like that he has started changing tactics and using intelligence to beat opponents, and not just staying to the old mouldy strategy that every one and their aunty knows how to beat. In other words if it gets us three points, we should be happy. The league is fierce these days and a lot more competitive than it was 15 years ago…this is why it is a GOOD thing were evolving accordingly.

          1. You clearly just like talking because I never said we should simply be playing a possession game and hoping for a win.

            I said a team with our resources should be imposing our game on the 7/8th placed side in the league AT HOME. I’ve called for pragmatism when we were only gung-ho, but the notion that we have to yield to Everton at home is ridiculous. You’re just another fan who is swayed by the odd result, Wenger hasn’t been outsmarting anybody this season or the last few so where you get that notion is pure fantasy.

            We’re doomed as a club until a new manager comes in, Wenger has too much emotional clout to be judged and held to the top standards. He will always have hoards of people apologising and backing his plight even when instances like this occur.

            A poor Everton came to our ground and dictated play. If they had better players we would have been brushed aside. We have exceptional players, but play with an inferiority complex. I can’t wait for change, it is so far overdue.

    2. How many times have we gained possession and still made a mess of it like the Man United game? Of course I rather us dominate, but possession isn’t everything. Capitalizing on given opportunities is what the scoreboard displays at the end.

    3. If I hear anymore of the nonsense that “possession” equals dominance I think I will scream.

      I remember many games/seasons when Arsenal dominated possession and lost. And nobody wanted to hand Arsenal a trophy for all the possession of the ball.

    1. LOL Hafiz has been trolling for almost two years now. I think he deserves an award. There was a time when he was completely against a new manager and change. Somehow this trolling never gets old though…keep em coming Hafiz but some of us know you actually stand completely against what you say on this forum!

  8. I don’t know why some of the fans here are so myopic, insinuating that possession equals dominance, or on the other end of the spectrum that we were deep and compact and were in the end more clinical.

    Deserved 3 points? Absolutely and I’ll gladly accept them but I won’t get carried away with the result because I objectively watched the match. Apart from an individual error early on and one move from Lukaku we had very little to do. Everton were really poor in the final 3rd, their build up play was labored and it was a lot of meaningless possession. They didn’t try to get the ball into Lukaku’s feet at all despite his general good movement but it’s 3 points.

    I won’t say that’s all that matters as again there are some troubling signs but all things considered, ok result

  9. Forget about the squad, what were the tactics exactly? Give the ball control to Everton and hit them on the counter with the slowest striker in Europe?

    Why make first change after 75 minutes, when your team played less than 3 days before?

    Again, this is what is shocking about our fans (or Wenger fans); we win, masterstroke from Wenger, we lose, it is the players.

    2 reasons we won yesterday; Everton is beyond bad, and the quality of our players preventing goals (Ospina and defenders).

  10. Fellas,the real balance is and will it be getting that resolute DM needed for all these years.well crafted and known DM will cost us but it is the missing link.why on earth we cannot buy it? LIKE IT OR NOT MANY OF YOU ,I ALWAYS INSISNTED ON YANN M’VILLA OR CAPOUE also i would consider playing Sissoko from Newcastle in that role “he’s monster” look like Vieira…we have conceded possession to every team because there’s no trust from the others up front to do what aresnal was well know and was the best on this after barca.

    scare of leaving spaces,nobody strong and tall enough to destroy the opposition as patrik used do do so we lost fluency and grit “remember invinceibles”.

    My point is BUY THAT ELUSIVE DM not unproven ones or playing players out of position then we can talk about challenging major honours..until then , 4th is the most we can forsee.respect others views

  11. masterstroke by wenger . in his lifetime wenger has made only two masterstrokes !. firstly he signed himself a new lucrative contract when he should have been thrown out of the emirates ass first !!. secondly , and as if to rub it inot us fans , he went and signed the best number ten in the world for a whopping great fee . well , at the time he was the best number ten in the world , until wenger got his greasy little paws on ozil and overnight turned him into an ordinary player . yep , masterstroke wenger , the professor of also ran !.

  12. Ozil is a good player, and people (rightly so) are talking about his assists, but I just expect more from him when we have the ball, the way he looses possession sometimes drives me mad, without the assists he can be a passenger, I think if we could sell him to Munich we should, and try to get lewandoski,
    Don’t think coquelin is good enough either,

    I’d take Alex song over him any day of the week, can’t believe wenger missed him.
    On a positive Gabriel looks like a slaughter house.

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