If only the Arsenal team could be ‘focused’ every week

Arsene Wenger was impressed with the way the Gunners quickly took control over Crystal Palace, and he was pleased to see the Arsenal team focused on the game, instead of the transfer window, for a change. As he said after the game, once the transfer of Alexis was finished it was easier for the team to concentrate.

He actually said on Arsenal.com: “Look, what is very difficult is that for the first time in January, we were losing one of our big players. It is the first time so it is a bit more destabilising than usual. The period of uncertainty was difficult. Once things are clear, the team responds and focuses on its job. That’s why for us, it’s not only to lose a world class player, it is as well that this period of uncertainty creates a strange feeling in the dressing room. That’s why this transfer period is difficult in the middle of the season.”

But now, hopefully things are clear, but as for the performance in the second half he also admitted that it was normal for the team to relax a little when the game is already dead and buried before half time. “I think we started well, we played well and played the kind of football we want to play and we know we can play when everybody is focused and in a good shape. Overall, we had a very convincing first half. The second half was of good quality and it’s always a bit human that you have not exactly the same drive in the second half. It was a convincing win.

Crystal Palace responded well in the second half. They gave us less room, they were aggressive and we had a bit less legs, a little bit less movement and we were less creative.”

But, as was obvious, the game was as good as over, so it was only polite to put the handbrake on, conserve your energy and don’t embarrass your opponents. As Wenger said, that is human.

Shouldn’t we all just be happy that we have won and the team is focused again? It would be nice if they were focused every week!

Sam P


  1. JJPawn says:

    Happy? Sure.

    However, no one can compete with City all the way. Liverpool can win, but their style leaves them unable to carve up sides that will park the bus in front. So City will win the league next year unless United can compete.

    Where does that leave us? Behind the Spurs.

    We need to get a transfer kitty… so a rich uncle, or owner able to dump 500M into this team. Or, we just need to be happy that other top sides are laughing at us, as at least that means they do know we can hurt them on occasion.

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      so we need to become a City now…

      500m every season….

      if one billionaire not enough get 2 or 3 more…

      Fifa 18 world in reality?

      1. JJPawn says:

        Or, we just need to be happy that other top sides are laughing at us, as at least that means they do know we can hurt them on occasion.

        1. John Ibrahim says:

          no sides are laughing at us….do you even have $10k ?

          1. JJPawn says:

            Not even 10 cents, just 2.

            So, I say we are approximately at the level we should be, but there is some hope with Pep leaving in 2019 for PSG, and City having issues with pay jealousies from this season, and Chelski fracturing even as we watch.

            If we can get Aubameyang, extend the contracts of those needed the chase this season for top four might get interesting.

    2. neil says:

      We don’t play Palace every week !
      People gushing about Ozil again but he only plays like this against the lower teams… would be great of he was like this against every team
      Lets see if we get Mhiki and Auba if it is because we have people running well why Ozil cant perform against top 6 or just him !

  2. Lola says:

    Arsenal played with 4 .2.3.1 formation with xhaka and elneny in midfield.
    This formation is prone to counter attacks. yesterday palace team was playing bad. If it were salah mane firmino then we would concede atleast 4. You see? It was the same problem before.only if players like kante and matuidi partners up in our midfield, we would have the balance to win league.
    This formation will get hammered in pool or city away matches.
    You see? 5.2.3 formation concedes less but can not score. formation will score more also concede more. If arsenal can get auba and mkhi, they should bring in players like matuidi.

    1. JJPawn says:

      It is not the formation, rather the personnel.

      If you watched the game, you will see Elneny playing behind Xhaka. (Ramsay forged ahead of Xhaka.)

      Elneny broke up several counter-attacks, while feeding the ball through the gaps to upfield on both directions, enabling Koz & Co. to sit back and prevent the wings from being surrendered.

      Palace is a decent team and has given many sides in the EPL problems. Including Arsenal in the previous game. Elneny as DFM made the difference.

      What is also important to note is that with the possession and passing lanes it meant Palace were defending most of the time. That is what the formation is supposed to do, attack and force the other side to defend most of the time.

      Elneny is under appreciated. Kind of like Salah, who? If Elneny can be given a long run in the game, he will stiffen the defense and with that the attack will work better.

    2. chris says:

      We will always be prone to counter attacks while Wenger is in complete control.

      1. JJPawn says:

        Every team that attacks is prone to counterattacks!

        Unless you park the bus, and the wonder why your team cannot score, as is happening at United.

  3. Innit says:

    It all comes down to the manager innit.
    It comes down to wrong formations, wrong player positioning and player choices and this creates lack of confidence in players.

    Sometimes Wenger gets it right like yesterday. But this season he has played 3 at the back when 4 was more suitable, relied to heavily on Xhaka, played Monreal as CB (he did admirably though), Adelaide at LWB, Nelson at RWB, started Welbeck over both Lacazette and Giroud against Liverpool WTF? And we lost 4-0. Started Coquelin at CB and played Iwobi over Lacazette in our 3-1 loss to City, etc

    Even if Wenger did get more top players he doesn’t know how to use them more effectively

    1. JJPawn says:

      You maybe right on occasion.

      The norm though is trying to cover for people with injuries. You are not told everything, only getting to read tabloid speculation.

    2. chris says:


      1. chris says:

        Agree with Innit I mean. Strongly agree.

  4. Sue says:

    Well I hope we’re focused on Wednesday…. would love to win that one!!!!

    @innit totally agree with your comment!

Comments are closed