Do Arsenal need adversity to thrive?

It is no exaggeration to say that Arsenal were really under pressure to produce something at Aston Villa today, with a woeful display in Dortmund meaning that Arsene Wenger and a large number of his players coming in for some fierce criticism from us fans and the football media in general.

But it should be no surprise that the Gunners stepped up, because we have done the same thing so many times in recent years. In fact, some of the best Arsenal performances in the last few years have come on the back of similar situations.

Cast your mind back to a couple of seasons ago, when Arsenal had been knocked out of both domestic cups by lower league opposition and then waved goodbye to any hope of a title challenge and been taken to pieces at the Emirates by Bayern Munich. We all expected the worst when we travelled to Germany for the return leg, but Arsenal shocked the world by becoming the first team in ages to beat the Bundesliga juggernauts on their own turf.

What about last season, when an opening day loss tyo Aston Villa saw the home crowd as furious as I have ever seen them. Wenger and the players somehow reacted to that adversity with a brilliany run of games that saw us shoot to the top of the table, where we may well have stayed if not for all the injury problems.

There is definitely a pattern forming here, which is why I welcomed all the criticism being thrown at us in the last few weeks. Hopefully, that will see us go on another charge. What do you think, Gooners?

Tags Aston Villa Wenger


    1. Just from reading the title of this article I thought, “Wenger just needs to make the right player assignments and positions.” I then scrolled down to see these first comments – perfect. Many of us fans are clearly on the same page. Wenger sometimes seems to be the only one off-script of the obvious.

    2. A BIG NO!!!! We just gotta be consistent. Stay away from injury and reinforce with a bigger squad if you compete in ALL 4 FRONTS!!!

  1. All we need to do is play mesut özil through the middle he run the show today let giroud sanchez welbeck feed off he’s creativity an as seen today he also got on the score sheet! He will be a legend if played right.

    1. A combination of him playing in the right position AND him trying a bit harder.
      Think he’s had a World Cup hangover, but time to string some performances like today’s together.

      1. I’m not sure about him on the right as he’s more of an hold the ball pass run player not a super fast take it around left backs he needs he’s freedom to control the attack I might be wrong 🙂 lol

    1. Andrew I know you still crave Reus, but with the arrival of Welbeck, I can’t see us getting any more attacking players unless someone leaves – judging by how little play time they’re getting, I couldn’t blame Campbell or Podolski for wanting out, but I don’t want them to go. Plus that performance in Dortmund hardly put out a good advertisement for ourselves, why would Reus leave them for us?

      A DM will be all we get in January. I think it’s unlikely Wenger will buy another CB unless one of ours gets injured. I don’t mind not getting another CB, so long as the DM can play there as 4th choice.

      1. @ Mick The Gooner
        I am just thinking about the balance of the team. For me it would have to be a LW and a DM with pace and we are set to go.

        1. So long as we get a quality DM I’ll be happy. That’s the key area. I think Alexis plays well on the left, we’ll have Walcott on the right too. Could it be improved? Yes, Wenger wants Alexis to play as striker, so that opens up a spot on the left, but I don’t think it’s as important as signing a DM or at least a CB.

        2. @ Andrew

          Sanchez will play there in a few weeks and will make it his own did you forget we just bought one of the worlds brightest attacking talents. Cause it’s alright if you did sometimes I can’t believe Sanchez AND ozil are on arsenal

    2. @ Andrew

      Sanchez will play there in a few weeks and will make it his own did you forget we just bought one of the worlds brightest attacking talents. Cause it’s alright if you did sometimes I can’t believe Sanchez AND ozil are on arsenal

  2. The problem Wenger has got is we have got to many players that can play in the middle. Wenger please don’t buy any more CAM.

    1. Yes. We fans have been screaming about this for 2 seasons already. Wenger wants a team of all CAMs because he believed he could play them anywhere like interchangeable parts. It is now clear that is not entirely true. Hope Wenger finally recognizes that also.

  3. Wenger in the interview after the game said the plan was to play ozil behind the striker….is that not where he always plays best??

    1. Now if Wenger can just realize that Cazorla also often performs poorly on the wing, then maybe he will use Campbell, Poldi, Ox or Sanchez on the LW – then the Arsenal spark will really light the pitch on fire.

      The question is……… Why must the fans wait for Wenger to recognize what the entire world already knows about player assignments and positioning?

  4. Good to see ozil and welbeck score today, good for sanchez to get a rest and other players get game time. Schez and mert looked poor again today. Diame scored today for wh we should have bought him. Many positives and three points lets hope we push on and continue to improve now. Also hope Ramsey clicks soon he looks unhappy and like he’s playing under a cloud 🙁

  5. i just watched extended highlights of the game and i thought ramsey played very well, yes he miss placed some easy passes but overall he was involved in a lot of things he was popping up everywhere he found his space again which usually is not there when him and wilshire are together .

    1. Yeah, he was involved in all 3 goals in the build up…I think hell come good and start banging in goals again. He’s earned a bit of patience from us.

    2. I think Ramsey is better when he plays deeper, ie. alongside Arteta (or whoever is in Arteta’s position). He still gets involved in goals and build-up play, but we’re less exposed defensively as he gets back more – if you look at his stats, he makes a lot of tackles too. It’s a sign of how good he’s become that we now consider a performance like today as poor by his standards.

    3. Yeah, I looked at ramsey’s stats and they looked pretty impressive to me. 2.8 tackles, and his passing is slightly down from 89% to 86% this season. A bit more time and I’m sure he will be firing on all cylinders.

  6. Off topic: After seeing Kranjcar’s goal for QPR, it struck me that we don’t have a really good free kick taker since Van Pursestring left.

    1. Cazorla and Podolski can hit one. Arteta scored one beauty against City some years ago. We don’t seem to get those freekicks in promising positions anymore.

      1. Özil scored quite a few in his time at Madrid, though the ones he’s taken at Arsenal have zero power behind them – never going to beat a goalkeeper with one of those. Alexis also scored some good ones at Barca.

        We’re not short of free kick takers – we normally just decide to cross the ball into the box instead for some reason..

  7. i cant wait for the cup game midweek will be a chance too see some of the squad players in action like diaby diaby diaby and campball also chance to see how cocqalin does in the dm role as i feel arteta struggled again there today . want to see rosisky play also podalski, we should have a decent team out

    1. if this was his sh*t game then theres not much to worry about. Still involved in all 3 goals, and his all-around defensive contribution was spot on. Just has to stop the strange giveaways really. and he’s gone what, two premier league matches without a goal? Anyways, give him a rest or something for league cup match. Really couldnt care less bout that trophy, and we have a bunch of players who have barley plyed a minute all season.

        1. every single game he does something stupid. Its the Szczesny mistake of the match. They happen every game, but never lead to goals… I fear one day it will, and it will be during a final or something

      1. When’s the last time Yaya Touré scored a goal? Or even had a good game? Form affects everyone (some more than others). Wouldn’t mind seeing Wilshere take Ramsey’s place against Spurs – his spot is open to competition just as much as everybody else’s!

        I’d assume we won’t put out our first choice midfield against Southampton in the league cup: Flamini, Diaby and Rosicky, something like that.

    2. Let’s face it. Ramsey was a mixed bag today. Brilliant play sometimes – shocking sloppiness at other times. We saw the good and the bad today. But is was not all bad for sure.

    1. From the wing, true. But the important part is that he played from the middle and was allowed to roam as the game circumstances dictated. That is what is important and what allowed him to shine.

  8. In years gone by this would be
    an Arsenal League cup line up.
    Bellerin Ajayi Hayden Coquelin
    Zelalem Kamara
    Campbell Olsson Ryo
    Akpom .
    Subs Macey Toral Kamara Maitland-Niles Crowley Willock etc.
    But today we have such a strong squad
    Diaby Rosicky Chamberlain
    Podolski Sanogo (if fit) Martinez Flamini
    are all desperate for game time.
    So several young ones are now out on loan
    even Jenko and Wellington.
    So with Southampton 2nd in the table and
    with a keen desire to win silverware
    look for a strong team made up of senior players
    with a few young ones on the bench.

    1. Southampton will play a strong side, your right we’ll probably play our makeshift 2nd team

      dont know if Sanogo is fit actually, if not I’m 100% okay with Akpom starting over him. The kid deserves a chance to shine. I’m pretty lax about this competition though honestly, so wont be mad if things dont go our way, as long as a good performance is put in. Southampton aren’t pushovers.

  9. 4-4-2

    _______Welbeck Walcott
    Sanchez Ozil Carvalho Cazorla
    Gibbs Koscielny Mertesack Debuchy

    Awesome 😉

      1. I didn’t “drop” him. The formation is 442 and Rambo can’t play as a DM and he’s not as good as Sanchez and Cazorla on the flanks. The only other option is to interchange him and Ozil for the No 10 role.

        Welbeck, Walcott
        Sanchez, New DM, Cazorla, Ozil/Ramsey/Wilshere
        Gibbs Kos Per Debuchy

      2. I think some fans fear Ramsey will return to the form of 2012 when he played great at times and was shockingly sloppy at other times. Also Wilshere is returning to form which means he should also get some playing time also.

        That said, most fans would certainly put Ramsey on the team sheet for each game. I know Ramsey would be my 1st choice starter and I would rotate in Wilshere periodically.

  10. Just had a random thought that poses a bit of a conundrum – seeing as every man and their dog (and most on here are thinking) we are gonna get our arses handed to us by Chelsea in a few weeks – notwithstanding I want 6 points, if you only had a choice between 2 points or 3 points in our next two PL games which would you take?

    1. Three. Points are points. And as great as Chelsea are playing now, they will hit some rough patches also.

      Everyone has harped on Arsenal’s performance against the big teams last season. But Chelsea dropped point against some of the bottom-table teams last season? Would that be better? Not really.

      1. You are right – my head and logic tells me 3 points. But my heart wants to keep the PL unbeaten run going longer and to come away from Stamford Bridge without losing.

  11. I was watching Newcastle vs Hull highlights, and noticed that they both had a type of player Arsenal need, a powerfull CMF/DMF. Newcastle had Sissoko and Hull had Diame.

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