How did Arsenal become so VINCIBLE?

Arsenal could hardly have played a worse game right before Sky Sports showed the recently released video celebrating the amazing achievements of our best team ever; ‘the invincibles’ side that won the 2003-04 season without a single defeat. I watched it again anyway to cheer myself up.

But in a way it was the perfect time because it highlighted a failing that the Gunners have had for some time now, our vincibility (and that is a word you can look it up). In some ways the current side are great and we can play brilliantly but every now and then, like last night against Monaco, we go missing and make it so easy for our opponents to beat us.

A few things said by some of our invincible players really struck home and highlighted what the current team is lacking and what they need if we are to get back to winning ways or at least being able to mount a decent title challenge.

The first was when Wenger and Keown were talking about the training sessions, when every player was so determined to win that the manager worried they might injure each other and the training games had the same intensity as big games. We just do not have that winning mentality, desire and determination any more.

Arsenal played poorly in games that season and were a bit lucky not to lose at least one, but we always found a way and the players always believed we would. Now I feel the players are more inclined to believe that another hiding is just around the corner.

Vieira was the captain and he was very demanding of the players around and had no qualms telling them. Now we seem leaderless at times and the players performing badly do not have their captain and team mates on their back.

We know that the invincibles achievement was fantastic and may never be repeated (ha ha ha Chelsea) but I think that Wenger and the players could take on how it was done and try to get some of those crucial factors back into the squad.

I will leave you with a positive. That team lost 3-0 at home to Inter in the Champions League but when we went to Italy we pasted them 5-1. And we only need a 3-0 at Monaco…

Tags Monaco Vieira Wenger


    1. @Ks…

      It’s not Wilshere’s fault this time that we have lost and that some players are under performing?? It’s always his fault that certain players play bad and it’s his fault that we lose matches.. lol. smh

      I am glad he did not play today, all the talk from you would have been, Wilshere is shet and is the reason we lost this game..


      1. Dude, i cant believe how stupid you make your self look like. For the sake of aprouching me with something, you adres me with this bs about Wilsher, not knowing that i am one of Wilshers bigest fan on this forum. fck off plz.

  1. I’ve been backing Mertsacker all season but I’ve finally changed my mind. Enough is enough.

    Get Hummels, Howedes, Ramos or ant Top Defender. Also Scneiderlin, Kondogbiaor some other top DM.

    We 100% need a Top striker like lacazette or Dybala

    But what Wenger will do in summer, God only knows.

    I’m SICK of 4th place.

    BTW Monaco isn’t even top in the French Ligue. They are 4th place as well. They still beat us in our own backyard

    1. I agree and it’s Hummels, Sneiderlin, and Dybala from your list for me… We need some serious presence in our team mainly in the midfield area because we’re either too small or weak minded and that’s unacceptable to the fans… Love Özil and what he can do but if we manage to acquire players of presence this summer that can no doubt cover him while he floats and he still goes missing then I’m afraid it will have been a very expensive mistake with him… I’m at a point now where I’m completely numb to us losing because I don’t expect us to win and that’s bad. Again something has to change sooner than later before further damage is done to our image… Sad we just got a new kit sponsorship in Puma with increased funds and it feels like we’ve regressed… Bring the real Arsenal back please, it’s starting to become unbearable as a fan… Gunner to the end though.

      1. so wenger will spend:

        40 mill on hummels
        35 on dybala
        30 on schneiderlin

        wenger is gonna spend over 100 million in one window?
        lucky if we get one

        im telling you if simeone had our team- we would be title contenders- with this exact same squad

        1. 10yrs of failure…good players have come and gone so had bad one….there haas been one constant figure who is responsible for this failure…professor arsene bean wenger…ur excellency sir

        2. Muff,

          The current lot of Arsenal primadonnas wouldn’t survive Simreones insatiable desire and expectation for perfection.

          The likes of Ozil, Walcott, Per and Wishere would never play a second under his watchful eye. He would create 10 more Coquellins and Arsenal would never be bullied again in the EPL or Champions League, but hey an FA Cup every other decade is the going rate.

        3. It would be lovely if we could get the afore mentioned players BUT as you say Wenger WILL NOT SPEND THAT MUCH, and the board would never sanction it at any rate they just manipulate his financial caution and that’s why he’s have a job there as manager until he dies, cos it suits the board to bbe a mediocre profit making club.

    2. Throwing hatfulls of players at the problems won’t solve things. Our tactics/approach above anything is the most damaging element of our team, Muff is spot on, someone like Klopp would elevate us more than any player.

      Even then your list is just daft. Our squad is terrific, but we need a top class DM and an alternative at ST who can challenge Giroud. Gonalons or Schneiderlin is an absolute priority, and we missed a massive trick with Bony but if Villa go down I would snap up Benteke in a heartbeat.

      Your lacazettes and dybalas are nice thoughts, but they’re small and technical of which we have plenty. Reason why Giroud is guaranteed to play when fit is because we have no alternative with the ability to hold up, knit together, and score.

      1. Blimey Charlie your happy with Mertisaker Gibbs in defence just add a DM and a striker and then we can compete. Rubbish

        1. Yea I am, because both of them are backups to Monreal and Gabriel who are much better. Whereas our DM is piss poor and we have 1 option at ST.

          Said all along our biggest issue is management. Only morons will sit and suggest a flurry of new players as the way to improve us.

        2. Ok let’s say, every body you are the manager. Would you drop,Ozil yes,Giroud yes Mertisaker yes Gibbs yes because we have replacements for those positions at this time.So who comes in Gabriel Monreal Rosicky Walcot. Oxy on bench Akpom,Rosicky Chambers new boy Bielki why not and then see if we are any better. Any bets count me in

  2. “And we only need a 3-0 at Monaco…”

    The Monaco I saw yesterday, would have no qualms beating us 4-0 in the return leg. The are well equipped to do so. They simply outclassed us. They might not have Sanchez or Ozil, but they’re a better team overall.

    1. Yep indeed, we looked unorganized yesterday. But there at least there’s a glimmer of hope with these second legs.

        1. everyone is still going ape over beating city at the etihad –

          didnt championship team middlesborough do the same -weeks later?
          we played well but it was not a man city at full steam.

          1 win against a big team in years- we are clutching at it for dear life.
          its depressing- we should have no need to use that as our ace

          1. Predictable tendency of butt-licking AKB cadre. They’ve perfected the art of concocting and latching on to the most outlandish of presumption. In the quest to unrepentantly advance the cause of their dominus. What a pathetic bunch!

        2. The City game means nothing. They had no Yaya, Nasri and Aguero had just come back, that was his first game in a long time..

          Middlesborough, Palace, Hull and Burnley all had given City a real game before we went there. It was the right time for us to play them..

        3. And we have to attack my friend, we can’t sit back like we did against City, it’s us who want those goals, not them. So if we bring our sit back mentality, they will be more than happy to keep the ball in their half for 90 minutes.

          They don’t have to win that game, we have..

        1. haha yes i’m gonna hold on to that very small glimmer…. though it’ll prob lead me to disappointment again

    2. To be honest it could’ve ended 5-4 to us we were that bad defensivley and offensively our finishing was horrendous.

    3. @Twig
      You know what made them the better team, they “showed up” on the night. We have beaten better teams nd that without Ozil or Sanchez.
      Our main problem is, we flip a coin on which matches to show up in…

  3. I think what frustrates us fans the most is that the Gunners have the capability to beat every team, yet we don’t. Even when we win we aren’t convincing unless it’s clucking Aston Villa.

    How many times have we squandered a lead this season? How many times have we needlessly ended in a draw? We just look so unmotivated and ill-planned in games it’s frustrating. I wouldn’t even mind a loss as long as we fight and play our hearts out till the final whistle, kinda like Man City did against Barca. But we rarely do this season. Until then we remain in the apocalypse of the Invincibles.

    1. Amen to that.
      I don’t mind a losing a game every now and then knowing our team put up a fight!
      Last night I saw 11 players along with our manager bottle it…..

  4. The team is tactically naive and clueless from manager to players. The top priority should be to be solid at the back and strong defensively. You will not lose if you don’t concede any goals.

    Arsenal seem to believe this priority is an afterthought. A clean sheet would be nice, but it is not our top priority. This is so naive especially in the Champions League. The team is so disorganized defensively that it is embarrassing. There are too many players in the squad that believe that they have no responsibility to defend and win the ball back.

    Against a physically strong athletic team that is well organized and disciplined, Arsenal look like schoolboys. Arsenal need a change in their overall philosophy and tactics to succeed at the highest level. I’m not sure Wenger is capable of changing!

    1. I agree with this about the defence, But I think Coquelin and Cazorla were having trouble in midfield no ebcause of physical power although Kongdogbia was excellent but becuase they were outnumbered 4 against 2 at times. Three of them were there midfielders and the fourth was Berbatov also who dropped in to help them put pressure on those two of our players epsecially. Ozil didn’t come back so the there three midfielders could easily focus on Cazorla and Coquelin.

  5. I think when Gibbs plays at LB our defence moves up higher automatically. He moves up to high, too early. Even for Chamberalins goal, Gibbs was inside the opposition box and the most advanced player at the time and that was from a corner. What would’ve happened if there was a turnover instead of Chmaberlains goal?

    The second goal we conceded was similar to the 1st we conceded vs Dortmund away this season when Gibbs again was out of position not knowing when to stay back. If he was back, he could’ve tracked Berbatov whilst Koscileny covered for Mertesacker staying with the other player.

    Then for the third goal, After the throw in, Gibbs clearly sees Ox in trouble yet doesn’t retreat instead staying in the same position. This is why I prefer Monreal, he knows when to attack and when to defend. I think both fullbacks put the CBs in pressure by bombing forward at the same time to many times, Mertesacker followed them in playing up high, but Only Koscielny had the discipline.

    I’m not going to mention what happened in the other end, because put basically we were wastefull. We could’ve had 4 goals ourself, and we won’t be seeing negative articles here.

    I can see us scoring 3 in the 2nd leg but it will have to go into extra time because I can see us also conceding 1. We had so many chances to score not 1 or 2 but 3, 4 or 5 goals.

  6. Yesterday could be classified as a day to forget. Lamenting over what went wrong is only useful if we can learn from it and go ready not to repeat the same mistakes and even demolish Monaco at home as we did to Inter and Bayern. We have a squad capable of beating Monaco even 5-0 but what we need is determination. The way Champions league goes if we went to Monaco and won 3-0 or 4-2 or 5-3 we would go through. Hence let all our players go determined not only to win but do so by a big margin. This is not a mission impossible if all our players go determined to do it. Let whoever calls himself a striker go ready to score at least two goals. Similarly let every player go ready to defend and not give Monaco any chance. Can’t we repeat what we did at Etihad once again? Self-pity will not help us. Let the manager be ruthless and remove whoever shows signs of being not up to the task. nobody should be spared. The major culprit yesterday was Mertesacker. He needs to redeem himself. Giroud’s case is different. He missed two goals true but where were the other strikers? Why didn’t they respond? How could Oxlade score when none of our well known strikers didn’t have even a shot on target? Where was Welbeck, Sanchez, Cazorla, Walcott and others? If Giroud had an off day which happens in football sometimes did it mean the others could not step up and do the job? Let us stop cheap gimmicks and blame all players equally. however we still have a chance to redeem ourselves and become heroes in Monaco. It is very possible. Let all our players go for it. We can do it.

    1. Generally agree with your comments but you ask “where was theo” well mostly he was on the bench so could not “step up”.

    2. No f@ckin chance. Can’t keep a clean sheet at home!

      Now we have to attack for our lives Monaco will do as they did for the 1st leg and sit and wait and then counter with pace and precision..&
      Au Revoir AFC!

      Believe me I hope we can do it but can you really see us scoring 3 without reply?

  7. wenger has had his time. The quote on the invincible programme summed it all up. “we were so good we didnt even need to assess our opponents” – I gaurantee we still dont hwich is why despite our tea we can never mount a challenge. No matter how good your players you need an individual plan for each game. We have never under Wengerapart from Man city which the players claim they went about setting about!

    WENGER OUT at the end of the year

  8. Players deserved to be shipped off:
    Diaby (no brainer)
    Flamini (no brainer)
    Mertesacker (no brainer)

    Players on borrowed time:
    Ozil (I tink I have criticised him enough)
    Wilshere (he needs to prove his fitness soon)
    Gibbs (when was his last good game, not to mention he’s injury prone)
    Walcott (needs to find his feet fast, also injury prone)

    Squad player at best:
    Welbeck (doesnt score enough, but at least works hard)
    Giroud (scores somewhat enough but misses too often for my liking)
    Ramsey (amazingly average without goals)
    Ospina and sczensny (wheres the consistency?)
    Arteta and rosicky (they dont have the legs)
    Coquelin and bellerin (some potential to move to first team, but needs time to prove themselves)

  9. There comes a point when you have to look at the root of the cause. The team is so unbalanced it is unbelievable. Two constantly injured b2b midfielder with Wilshere rubbish when he does play and Ramsey suffering a loss of form after one good season. Poorly planned midfield, Arteta and Flamini pointless and no driving force.

    Defence weak and still only one specialist striker.

    Wenger is the root cause. While I respect him, he is on a pointless mission to nowhere because he is not stupid but still won’t buy a DM or a second striker.

  10. Chelski just signed a £40 million a year shirt sponsorship deal. Now all this waiting for the fair play to make us competitive against the likes of City and Chelski.

    United, Cheski and City all have bigger sponsorship deal compared to us.

  11. Biggest problem we had against Monaco was belief.How are we supposed to get behind a team that doesnt believe that they are better than the opposition.That fault most definitely lies with the manager.Dont understand how a top level manager cannot motivate his players for a last 16 round of the CL

  12. @Ks-Gunner

    Thank you for your first comment and you are spot on the mark.

    Every time I say that Wenger is not so much rated in France, people always find normal to reply with insults (usually the deluded ones)… This is the only country who recognised Wenger as a “football brain”.
    As a matter of fact I was watching “Les Specialistes” last night (Canal +) and they had a full panel of ex managers and pro players (from France, Italy and Spain) and all of them were asking the same question: Why is he still Arsenal manager?

    I leave it there because in any other country or club he would have been fired long time ago.

    Why do you think Mourinho is calling him out?
    Because Mourinho finds it “strange” and “illogical” that the guy is still in position despite no major trophies won for “youngsss” years.

    A lot could be said, but let’s remembered that Monaco was a better team, better prepared, more discipline and better organised. A lesson of football was presented yesterday.

    Wenger said that players did not respect the tactics (if any was in place) and the informations. So why was he on his behind the all game when Leonardo Jardim (Monaco coach) was giving advises to his players even though they were clearly superior??

    He never seemed to be responsible…!! That is the attitude of a fake…!

    Anyway, I am not worry… We are still in course for the real objective of the season (Top four) and after a couple of wins, life will go on and fans will pass and forget the game (if we are eliminated).

    At the end, we will finish in the top four and next season encounter the same situations… This is the life of an Arsenal supporter… Frustration and failure are part of the day to day life of the club (for the price of the tickets that is becoming more insulting every season).

    By the way Leonardo Jardim wages are 615,000 euros/year…
    Wenger is the fourth highest paid manager in world football… You wonder why people are calling Arsenal, “mugs”…!!!

    1. Applause! I doff my hat for you sir, symbolising respect. Your summation is spot on; kudos for the sincerity and the vivid manner with which you have addressed the message.

  13. “Arsène Wenger lets rip at suicidal Arsenal after dismal Monaco defeat” (The Guardian).


    I mean, what the f*ck is wrong with that guy??

    1. AFC giving AW a new contract.. Now that was criminal. As for Kroenke becoming the major shareholder at AFC…that was unforgivable.

  14. Post of the day Galen,

    From top to bottom, Arsenal current reality is a comedians wet dream.

    American owner who has no passion, nor appreciation for the magnitude English/European football. A successful business model that prints moneys but robs the fans and delivers little else

    An unbalanced squad that is littered with technically proficient, yet physically repugnant players. When was the last time Arsenal pressed for the majority of a fixture, worked tirelessly as a team to continuously win back possession? Man City maybe, Dortmund? Sadly I cant recall that many. Whether the responsibility lies with Le Prof, or the disinterest of the players to compete consistently @ the necessary level it has become infuriating as a fan to watch Arsenal seemingly go through the motions. Oh yeah the collective talent of the team is average at best.

    The Emirates may be the most beautiful abomination of a football stadium in all of Europe. Its Corporate America demographic, funeral atmosphere, and astronomical prices make it a perfect reflection of the New Arsenal Brand that Kroenke and Company have been peddling to the masses over the past 5 years. What I would give for a return to Highbury.

  15. So wenger must go as he has not performed for a loooooooooong time (yes 10 zeros for each year).

    A no. Of the invincibles (specifically defenders) have said how defense was never Wenger’s thing. Luckily he adopted the furious 5 who then coached on and off the field their eventual successors as well as installing the AFC spirit to the French new boys.

    Ray parlour stated he was gobsmacked to return to the colney to see the same training & fitness methods used 10 years ago. He was gobsmacked as he like ‘nearly’ everyone else knows how the game has moved on.

    Other players have clearly stated how Wenger smothered the fighting spirit, banter and shouting for motivation in the dressing room by key elder elders (Adams et al) as it was not the way he wanted things done.

    Wenger has made serious errors from a taxtical standpoint on many occasions most notably his inability to change things when they are obviously not working.

    Wenger has played numerous players out of their natural positions, created favorites (not always based on form) and continuously failed to buy suffecient cover of quality in key positions. What’s more the leaders and warriors we so obviously are missing have not been purchased…why not??? Because he moved away from the physical game (a conscious move inspired by guardiola’s Barcelona tiki taka team) for a team of technical pygmies aside from BFG. So all balance was lost and we got bullied in the PL and UCL.

    Thanks AW but time and tide wait for no man.

  16. @Robin Vanpayslip

    You are spot on, but ask the fans who were at the FA Cup parade…
    They will tell you “he still knows best”…lol

    We are going through the same sh*t every season.
    This club cannot, will not, win a major trophy as long as the “politic” or “policies” implemented at the club at this moment are changed.
    From the manager, the medical staff, the “entourage” and the hierarchy, there is no aim and desire to win.
    This club has “lost” his winning mentality and no means are put in place to achieve greatness.

    Since 2009/2010 the further we have been in the CL is pass the group stage…!!
    For a club that “pretend” to be a “top club” (I think they associate having a 60,000 seats stadium has been a top club!!) it is really poor.

    Arsenal is a massive club (especially financially), but not a top club… Because a top club wins trophies on a regular basis.

    But hey, if we win the Fa cup and finish in the top four, the fans will again run behind the parade bus and scream “we are champions” (well, in their dreams) and we will back to the same sh*t next season.

    I wonder if Cazorla, Ozil (Bayern M want him, but we have Wilshere, the next great thing in football… NOT! not even near) and even Sanchez (PSG are interested as Ibrahimovic might leave) will stay .

    1. You have hit the nail on the head here, Its long been a fact in my mind that its not entirely AW’s fault but that the mindset comes from above and the board foster and nurture Arsene Wengers financial caution as it suits their long term purpose. I mean we are talking about a brace of people who are lords and ladies and members of the royal set as well as ex merchant bankers, all headed up by the man himself, silent stan.
      If anything the only thing you can really blame Wenger for is labouring under the heavy weight of the still current financial restrictions, while they will tell you its different the board are REALLY NOT willing to spend to make a real difference

  17. Let’s not forget if wenger doesn’t make top 4 he will step down as a manager, he’s too arrogant to stay.

    We need to get hummels/cavani/schneiderlin this summer, we need to sell podolski, wilshere and welbeck plus releasing diaby/rosicky.

    This is VERY doable and if we don’t this is a clear sign of more of the same next season.

  18. So much to say about this:
    1)The attitude: Are we the only top team to celebrate wins like an FA cup tie or a MANC team that had 2-3 players part of there XI not fit or not even available…we are AFC and as such should be coming into almost every match with a winning mentality and anything but a win seen as a bad result!Let’s stop taking selfies and dressing room pictures as if we’ve just won a major trophy!!!Winning a big game should be just that and we move on!!
    2)No leaders across the pitch: Özil for all the money is no leader but a technically gifted player who can split a defense with an exquisite vision and pass, Sanchez for all the dribbles as the potential but is not there yet, Cazorla will never be in the conversation, Mertesacker is not fit to be one anymore, Coquelin for all the good he has done is too tender and inexperience, Giroud no WC player to assume the role…the only one who can seriously be a leader is Wilshere but unfortunately until he becomes consistent and set the tone with his talent and passion…
    3)Mertesacker is a shell of himself and it would be an embarrassment to see him continue to play in his current form, get Gabriel out just for the sake of showing anybody in this team that there’s no place for under performers: we paid good money to get him so play him! Giroud was horrible; he’s a good, decent striker but no WC never will be he got to understand that.
    4)We need players this summer as simple as that and across the pitch, ready made WC caliber player: CB,DM,ST we can’t continue that way and it showed (Coquelin has done fantastic but as I said a few times on other articles a few good games is not enough and this is he’s 1st mediocre game-inexperience)
    5)Misfiring: chances we get but we fail to convert and put ourselves in a commanding position and that has happen so many times it seems we never learn: Welbeck and Giroud should’ve done better can’t expect Özil, Cazorla and Sanchez even thought he can score to do it (Aguero or Suarez would’ve put that game to bed with all the chances in the 1st half)

  19. All the ideas expressed are correct to some extent. However I will comment on a few. Tubby who analysed our players and dismissed all of them is definitely unrealistic. The players do not lack quality or footballing brain. What they lack is that other ingredient, the unseen known as spirit or psychological factor. This psychological factor is in everything we do, be it theory or practical issues. I have always argued that winning and losing begins in the mind. The moment you are psychologically unprepared you can’t do much. This is where Koscielny, Coquelin, Ramsey, Sanchez, Flamini, Rosicky and Oxlade have an edge over the rest. They do not readily accept defeat. They will do all in their means to fight even if they may not always achieve their objectives. By the way this is not saying they are the best players in the squad. However they play with spirit. If all our players were like these we would not be losing cheaply. There is another category of players like Mertesacker, Ozil, Walcott, Cazorla, who are good players but are not fighters. When the game gets tough they just look on helplessly and throw their arms in the air. Gibbs, Monreal, Bellerin, Giroud and Welbeck are in between the two extremes although lately Monreal is tending towards the first category. What is the way forward then? When the going gets tough we should immediately sub the second category of players because they can never stand up to be counted. Thus I would recommend that for the second leg in Monaco Gabriel should replace Mertesacker, Monreal replaces Gibbs, Walcott replaces Welbeck because of his pace and the fact that he can easily score goals, Oxlade replaces Ozil and Rosicky remains on standby to replace Cazorla at the earliest opportunity should Cazorla show no fight. Giroud should retain his position because he is the best striker we have.

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