Can we question Arsenal’s mentality tonight?

Now Can I Say We Are Mentally Weak? by Dan Smith

Earlier this week many readers were angry that I suggested the perception of Arsenal remains being mentally weak. Some even asked admin to not post my articles (despite them not putting their opinion out there). My argument was based on our latest failed attempt to win at one of our top 5 rivals, something last done 5 years ago with a record of 7 points out of a possible 69 (again it’s crazy to suggest we are mentally weak?)

The counter view is we played well in the North London Derby and were victims of a bad referee performance. If it was a one off, I agree…. But you can’t be unlucky every time. On Thursday we again failed in a high-pressure game away on our travels. Again, some Gooners will make the excuse that we have been robbed by the officials due to making us play the second half with 10 men. In reality it’s the second match running our defence made individual mistakes.

To clarify, Rennes is the current 10th best team in France. So, while we should respect we had a man defecit, there was no reason to play like we were scared of them. I understand the reason to protect the away goal but that’s not a reason to show zero courage (again it’s crazy to question our mentality?). Emery chose to protect what we had, seeking switching to a 4-5-0, even though he’s had 8 months of knowing we can’t defend. How many of you are truthfully surprised we fell apart?

If we had strong mentality, a leader would tell his peers to keep chins up, 1-1, even 2-1 was no reason to feel sorry for ourselves. Yet our body language, our approach, invited Rennes to go for our throat. If Arsene Wenger had got that result, which follows on from a loss in Belarus, you would have crucified him.

So, in our decisive week, we have failed to win both away games. But we are mentally fine?

Dan Smith


  1. That’s right Dan. On Sunday the team that are on a high from winning last night, will make us feel like we’re the away team even though we’re playing at home.
    Then the team with the advantage from tonight will arrive, take on us who have failed to win the last three, and our season’s over. I know the mess can’t be cleaned up in one season but Unai surely knew what he was walking into?

    1. Typical Arsenal players’ behaviours

      Lacklustre and not motivated when playing against smaller teams, but passionate when facing big teams

      Emery’s plan seemed to be working when Iwobi scored at the beginning, but Sokratis’ crazy demeanor ruined everything

      1. I tell you this Emery will never make any difference. He has changed nothing since he came on board.Big teams win matches with ten men.We are not there . With Wenger, at least we played a nice entertaining football. With Emery it can’t even be described. Good coaches don’t need seasons and overhauls to make a difference. Am not saying we should win everything but to be sincere Emery has brought no minimal change. Rennes is a team he knows very well and the worst should have been a draw. Look at OGS, he has brought motivation and winning mentality to the same team that was shit under Mourinho. That’s how good Managers behave. They improve what is there before even making enhancements. There is no sign for that.Emery isn’t good enough.

  2. The mentality of this arsenal team will be very difficult to change. We generally have inconsistent and weak minded players, even the best of them. I’m struggling to find one player we can rely on in pressure games and moments, add on top of that the glaring deficiencies in many of these players, its a recipe for disaster. How will i be confident rennes won’t score in the secong leg or how i’m i sure that when we get a chance, we won’t miss. Honestly, we need an unusual performance to go through.

  3. It was a terrible night there’s no hiding from that but Europe is 2 legs, we’ll know if they’re mentally weak after Thursdays game… I’m still convinced we will go through that away goal could be crucial! Yes it’ll be tough but we’ve beaten better teams at the Emirates even this season! Bring our game plan that beat Chelsea and drew with Liverpool we’ll be fine. COYG

  4. I didn’t see the game tonight but I have to admit that I’m not surprised in the least!

    Some may say the Spuds were lucky last to get a penalty last weekend but the fact is we concede possession too easily and eventually make mistakes that cost us games!

    Our defensive errors are typical and constant. We put ourselves under pressure to defend ahve eventually we get found out. It’s not just a mental thing, it’s a failure of coaching and it’s been failing for years! I’m used to it more than ever now because this Arsenal squad has become predictable to play against and every team in the land knows how to beat us..

    1. Thanks for your comment. However, if our over 50m strikers have been converting our chances, we shouldn’t be loosing matches. Instead, the fact that they are reliable will boost the confidence in the defense. Try and look at the countless wasted chances by our o called Wald class strikers. It is pathetic.

      1. It’s much deeper than that Kay. A good offence starts with a good defence. Always build from the back and DO NOT CONCEDE!!!!! Half the problem will be eliminated and the confidence in attack will improve…

        When you know you are leaking goals as a striker you always tend to feel “What’s the point”?

        The main issue is, Arsenal as a team are gutless and have very little heart for the club! Alot of heart for good money. Just not that winning mentality..

  5. Am fairly confident we can thrash Rennes, but am not so sure about getting anything against a top team, say Napoli or even AC Milan playing like this,
    It will NOT surprise me if beat up Man Utd on Sunday, Rennes on Thursday, then win against Newcastle then get battered by Everton and Southampton?

  6. As usual, no passion against weaker and poorer opponent. Lost my appetite after the red card

    Sokratis had a brain fart tonight and Arsenal is not a team that can play well with ten men since Wenger’s era

    But perhaps those spoilt players would be pumped up when facing Man United, because of the prestige. It was very obvious that most of them wanted to save their energy and wanted to avoid injury to be available for Man United

    1. Hello. Arsenal don’t play well with ten men since Wenger’s Era.
      That is not true. Wenger maintained our lead severally with ten men.
      Kindly check your fact

      1. For instance, we came from behind 3 seasons ago to draw Spurs 2 – 2 after Coquelin had been sent off in the first half. We even had a big chance to win it in the final minutes.

        With a Van Persie red cad at Barcelona’s Camp Nuo, we still nearly eliminated Barcelona but for a horrible Bendtner miss.

        Baring the final season, Wenger constantly dominated the opposition even with 10 men.

  7. What if just what if another manager delivers a performance like this????????????
    This manager keeps embarrassing us and we lie to our selves by blaming the players.
    Unai Emery’s substitution today were as confusing as his style of play. PLAYERS HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE. But also players need to play in a set system together and work at developing the managers vision. Not playing a set eleven will cause our team to play in spells. Almost every single game we change our front three along with the formation.
    The sooner Emery goes the better # Emery out

    1. As I predicted, Emery Out Brigade will come back strongly

      Keep it up buddy, you might get another chance to affront Emery after the Man United game

      The fans should remember that this is Emery’s first season and he has not got big transfer budget yet

      1. I say we give our players to Robert Pires for the remainder of the season and judge his performance. Quit wasting time! After eight months no one can say that they are impressed.

        1. And Robert Pires has coached where and won how many titles?
          If Robert Pires bought out Stan Kroenke he would do more good.

          1. What experience does OGS have at managing at the top level?
            Replaced Jose and improved UTD… No big experience or EU titles which Jose had…

            Do you like knocking ex Arsenal players for no good reason?

            1. Midkemma, when have I knocked ex Arsenal players? Example please?
              OGS has coached at Malmo; I am just asking why pick on Robert Pires to coach instead of Emery? Many on here wanted Arsenal great Thierry Henri as coach; however he went to Monaco and we know how that turned out.

      2. I know this is Emery first season and you need to wake up from your delusions and realise a good manager will make a difference in the first season.

        How many seasons did it take Conte to win the EPL?

        OGS is showing how players can play better with confidence of the manager.

        When Jose has lost the dressing room, look how bad Chavski was doing, new manager and boom, Conte wins the EPL. The players looked different for the managers, one caused them to look like bottlers and pathetic while the other made them winners.

        Emery doesn’t deserve a big transfer, he is a coach who is pretending to be a manager, what manager is losing to Rennes and needs a goal so brings off attacking players??? A loser of a manager, thats who. No wonder Ben Afta was laughing at Emery during the game.

        Also, it isn’t a ‘EmeryOut’ brigade, it is gooners who know that 1 season can be more than enough to know someone is a trash manager. I will point to how Rioch only had one season and he hit his targets, if we lacked ambition then we could have kept Rioch… Or David Dein could have ambition and look to improve the manager even though Rioch was hitting targets given.

        We ended up with WEenger and winning stuff.

        We shown ambition.

        It isn’t EmeryOut brigade, your just happy with Arsenal failing constantly as you are not a gooner, you are a Iwobi fan first and that is it. Iwobi was making Emery plan work… PMSL! What, run around like a headless chicken? He got a good goal which was a cross to the far post… So even what he did well, he messed up what he was intended to do. Iwobi wasn’t making Emery plan work and Sokratis didn’t undermine Emery plan, that implies that Emery had a plan when he didn’t.

    2. Sorry, but I want to disagree with you on this. This was how we complained about Wenger but truth be told, you blame the manager. He has tried. Only a few players, maybe like 3 will make Man city, man u, Spurd or Liverpool line up. They maybe skillful but weak minded. See how wasteful PEA has been, and you want him to be kept on the field, or is it Laca. I wish we can sit reasonably to analyze our games and not put all the blame on Emery. Thanks

      1. It’s his work to motivate and get the best out of these players. Simple and clear. As far as am concerned, we got better players than Chelsea and Manutd but the problem is that the coach can’t motivate them, he can’t get the best from them, he has no formulation that maximize their performance in the field

        1. Lol…you are a dreamer!

          Quit the dumb talk. Our squad is miles behind chelshit and United. Be realistic mate. Our squad has been bang average for the last decade. Only good management has got us going.

          1. I have been saying all season that we have the squad capable of finishing third, we should be competing with the top 2 if it was purely on players.

            Don’t you rate our players?
            Maybe you are not a true supporter.

            We have Auba and Laca who are proven goal scorers, we get a manager who can get the best out of those two and we have 60-70 goals a season. Auba got 40 goals in 46 games in his last full season with BvB. Laca got 37 in 45 for his last season prior to joining us. That is 77 goals between two players.

            We have two fantastic AM in Ozil and Mkhi, both of them can be dubbed ‘King of assists’ for different periods, get them playing well behind Laca and Auba and you will have difficulty counting the goals.

            Can Emery do it?
            He is not a top manager, he is a top coach, they are different. Emery is stupid when it comes to tactics. I’d prefer to walk down the street, find the first kid that plays FM and hire them over Emery.

            Wenger was moaned about but the thing about him, he hurt our team by not defending or training that side… We have Emery who can do that and has been… Yet we have more def players and a worse def record.

            Wenger could have a better def record than Emery.

            Good management… Yeah right. You mean the CEO hiring people to support him and make him do a better job and then runs away when a mate asks him to oversee the sale of another club? Leaving Arsenal with a power struggle (Raul and Sven), leaving us with finances that need to be fixed quickly or suffer long term effects…

            If that is good then how disastrous does it need to be to be considered bad?

    3. For you the manager is to blame for some player’s carelessness. Sokratis should have used is brain there, which is what no manager will instil in you. For goodness sake we are one man down, players should be covering more grounds for the team but we had two players upfront who were still strolling. The more we keep blaming Emery for every lose, the more we fail to realize that most of our players will never come good. I’m beginning to get tired of PEA, if he is not scoring he contributes nothing to the team. While the likes of Ozil, Iwobi, Xhaka and Mustafi are constantly criticise he escapes because he is our highest goal scorer. But stats has shown that he is as responsible as any other player for our dropped points with his reckless misses.

    4. Jah son, Here you go yet again with your childish anti- Emery rants. Are you still in junior school or even old enough for school at all? You are a joke with your constant unthinking nonsense posts. Frankly I have come to believe you are most probably a Spud troll!

  8. not sure of the mentality of these lot as a unit but what i do know is as a group they better make a marked improvement because manU are about to arrive and kick our arses and i mean take the piss at the emirates. If there’s a team with a tendency to expose our shortcomings its them. which one among this bunch gives you confidence against the north-west giants, there’s not a thing in our locker that we can count on to put a stop to the poor form we’re likely to see continued.

    With UE we had hoped to see a much more resilient arsenal but tonight we witnessed hari kari instead, i could see PEA in the dugout and his face said it all really. This arsenal side is full of snowflakes on the road – we do shine at home but the reality is we’ll need a lot more guts than was shown tonight if we want to claim 4th spot.

  9. What could Emery have done about the sending off?? It was always going to be a huge task after that!
    We’re always crap on the road (& especially in that green kit) so going down to 10 men was the final nail in the coffin!
    Started off alright.. not sure Iwobi meant for that to go in, but hey I’ll take it all day long! It said that was our quickest goal since Podolski (luscious Lukas ?) against Galatasaray…. as usual we’ve made it really hard for ourselves… if we do make it next week I’ll be buzzing… but if I’m honest right now, I don’t think we will… at 2-1 quite possibly… but 3-1 ?

    1. It will make it all the sweeter if we knock them out Sue, remember Roma were 4-1 down against Barcelona last season and they did it ? and this is Rennes not Barcelona.. we will beat them well I’m really confident!

        1. Haha I don’t think freshness won it for them the red card did.. Sue we actually should have been 2 or 3 up before the red card so think what we’ll do to them at home ? they won’t have a ref giving them every single decision the crowd and even the manager were influencing that referee

          1. And Monreal did ☹ that’s the story of our lives John “We should have been 2 or 3 up” jeez I really am on a downer tonight ?

            1. Monreal should be put out to pasture now Sue too slow, too injury prone! I’m annoyed too we’re going through so need to be on a downer ? I had to close about 15 windows on my phone ?

                1. Happens to the best of us ? you’ll be buzzing when we beat man utd ? you’ll be hoping lichsteiner is fit ?

                  1. Hahaha Lichtsteiner?!! ? no comment!!
                    I’m not sure I want to watch on Sunday.. it’d mean watching through my fingers or from behind the sofa (I’m expecting it to be that bad!)

                    1. You’ll watch it if Mustafis playing the German Van Dijk ? god, a fat referee as well ? utd will probably be without martial matic and lingard ?

                    2. Arsenal affect my mood John… want a happy weekend… don’t fancy another meltdown ??
                      And the Chilean pianist… ?
                      Well let’s hope Moss can keep up! Although it’s doubtful ?

                    3. Well it’s on a Sunday Sue so if we lose the weekend is over soon after ? haha yeah our old players have a habit of coming back to haunt us ? haha well we deserve some luck especially against United so maybe it’s our time ? right, I’ll let you get some sleep Sue, don’t stress about Sunday Unai will have a trick up his sleeve ? lol goodnight Sue ?

    2. Loser mentality! Ole with a few kids overcame a deficit at PSG away and we are not sure of beating Rennes at home!!!Emery out and take that cute little German kid with you.Enough is enough!

  10. In a game that I am one man short why did I call Gwendozi and not a more senior player like say Elneny.
    Could we have seen even say Maitland Niles for one of the front three at 45 to slot in at right back.

  11. In any job you as a manger have to trust your workforce. I feel our performances have let us down this season. I think the players know they have talent, that they have ability that most of their opponents don’t have…even dream of having.

    But we lack the ability to work collectively and believe in the teamwork. We Have previously believed in talent only, and at times I still see that in performances.

    At 1-0 we were comfortable yet didn’t threaten. Allowed them to come onto us and not be afraid to do so. That momentum we were never able to beat today.

    They worked like a team, We didn’t. That mentality I am sure unai will change in time. We can’t keep being let down by this type of ‘focus’

    Talent is nothing without execution.

  12. Jah son, for once I agree with you in that Unai Emery’s substitutions were poor; Mhikataryan to RB instead of AMN or Jenkinson, taking off Iwobi and leaving Aubameyang. Also the game management was poor in pushing for an equalizer with only minutes to go with one man down, rather than sitting on and protecting a 2:1 defeat (bearing in mind the importance of the away goal).
    Again there was a total lack of on field discipline to shore up the game after going down to 10 men.
    One would have thought that Aubameyang would have had a point to prove after the missed penalty against Spurs. He was the worst Arsenal player on the field, anonymous on the whole. How a player as fast as Aubameyang can’t play well onside from the last player and use his pace to get clear, ends up offside time after time is beyond me? Dan Smith’s comments on mental fragility certainly apply to Aubameyang.
    Ozil like a lot of his team mates was absent. Iwobi played well as did Koscielny.
    Arsenal need to get back on track quickly, as there is no margin for error.

  13. Mezut Ozil is Arsenal’s most credentialled and talented footballer. When he is through on the goalkeeper, one would expect that he would pick his spot, put his foot through the ball and score, not hit the ball straight at the goalkeeper. This was a real “cometh the hour, cometh the man” moment for Ozil and he didn’t take the chance.
    Later in the game with minutes to go and Arsenal down 1:2, Monreal Arsenal’s LB takes a throw in metres from the Rennes goal. The ball is lost with Monreal wel out of position, Guendouzi, who has just come on jogs after the ball (no urgency) and is passed by Ramsey trying to close down the counter attack. What were the players thinking?
    1-2 is retrievable at the Emirates; not so sure about 1-3.
    A good thing Cech was on his game, otherwise the deficit could have been more.

    1. And what if players refused to be motivated, at least they have worked under two different managers with different approaches what have we seen.

    2. Ramsey showed experience and passion there. He knew how important it was for Rubbed not to score again. But Guendozi who was better placed to tackle Sarr was strolling.

    1. I think we should ship out PEA and Laca (as they have some value before we get nothing) and go for Pepe as he is younger and hungrier for success, retain Danny. Ship out Ozil, get Mata for a season or two on a free, retain Iwobi, Mihki and Xhakai,Add a winger.Ship out Ospina, Elneny, Monreal, Jenks (as he does not play often), Chambers, Lich (thank you and good bye) Kos, and Mustafi.
      We should add one quality winger, CB and CF, get rid of 11 average players, free up the wage bill and generate some funds to the proposed 50 million available.
      Use the reserves for league cup games, UEFA/CL games as we have no determination to win it with the American, target the FA and EPL only. Trust Emery to deliver silverware next year.

  14. OT:to all the people who said rennes were a push over,it is with sadness that I say to you”I TOLD YOU SO)some of you admitted many times that you don,t watch arsenal games only highlights,on top of that you know nothing about la ligue 1 and rennes in particularly rennes,next time before making uninformed comments, you homework but before that start watching your so called home team and watching match of the day doesn,t count!bande d’idiots!!

  15. This abject performance merely confirms the need for a significant clear out at the end of the season.The Monreal own goal just summed up our season as far as giving away soft goals is concerned.Individually and collectively we are a shambles defensivelyThis is undoubtedly impacting on the confidence of players in midfield and up front who must be sick of the calamities from the sub standard defenders behind them.Not that players like Auba should be immune from criticism.He has been poor for some time and apart from scoring, usually from tap ins, he contributed little to the team cause as did Xhaka who was fortunate not to be sent off.On the matter of Socratis being sent off.He is a serial committer of fouls because he lacks the ability to win the ball within the laws of the game.He was a stop gap signing who is not what we need to resolve our defensive problems.

  16. New manager.
    Our def is arguably equally bad under Emery as it was under Wenger.
    Emery has been given multiple def players to make the def better and failed.

    I would rather see Arteta given a chance then see how Emery will do next season… OMG! That is how disappointing Emery has been.

    Not #EmeryOut’ bandwagon. This is being an Arsenal supporter and knowing we are better than what Emery has gotten us to perform.

    I have said that if we started to play attractive football regularly then I’ll be eating my hat.
    Guess my hat is safe. The tinkering tvvat hinders our team, it does nothing to build a player up when the manager refuses to have any consistency himself.

    How can we demand the players to show consistency when the manager has zero consistency???

  17. Yeah we sure lack mentality at the moment. Against Man Utd anyway… I predict they are going to thrash us, 0-3 or 1-3. This match comes at the worst possible time. I really hate Man Utd but they have built up a perfect momentum and are still yet to lose in England. They are the favourites for the 4th place with Chelsea. As I said after the January transfer window, our season is now doomed. We clearly luck the squad depth and quality required nowadays to be among the best clubs. It is really getting embarassing with the time…The only positive is that all other teams are still right on track in Europe, so we may have a chance finishing 4th in the EPL…

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