Is Mertesacker right to blame Arsenal tactics for late leveller?

BFG blames Arsenal tactics by A.T.

Following the rather fortunate draw away at Liverpool, the Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker made rather interesting comments in his post-match interview. The German international, who is blamed by some for Arsenal conceding the late equaliser, expressed regret at the tactics deployed by Wenger during the latter stages of the game at Anfield.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Mertesacker said: “We didn’t find our own game. We realised we had to stick together and find space [and knew] if we got chances in the second half we could have scored. We did and then we tried to defend in the last minute, which we did but not as good as I thought [we could have]. Overall we have to take responsibility for our game, we want to dictate but we were on always on the back foot”.

Well, I have to say that we cannot go to any stadium in the Premier League and play the Arsenal way, or as BFG puts it, ‘find our own game’. The team will have to get used to away fixtures where they will have to soak up pressure and hit the opposition on the break. Just like the case against Liverpool yesterday, there will be matches in which we cannot have the lion’s share of the possession and we have to look toward alternative tactics.

Now although Arsenal weren’t very successful in trying to sit back and defend the lead last night, I have to say that in my opinion, the team was right in trying to do so. There are so many instances in the past where we took a lead only to concede late as we continued to play ‘the Arsenal way’. Now while that approach is very effective playing in front of a home crowd at the Emirates, it’s not so much so while playing away.

Personally, I disagree with what BFG had to say. There will be plenty more matches this season where we will not be able to ‘find our own game’. As we can observe by watching Manchester City and Chelsea, the key is to grind out results even on those off-days. The boys were definitely right in trying to hold onto the lead last night. But here’s hoping that the next time the need arises to hold onto a lead, and there will be a next time, the Gunners will be able to see the job through.

Tags BFG Wenger


  1. Not really but his contribution to the failures our defense had this season in not to be underestimated. Besides, I tend to agree with a lot of people here : Mertesacker is a good defender only when paired with Koscielny. Other than that I don’t see why Wenger won’t play Hayden a bit.

    1. On the one hand , people are underestimating how bad and average some of players are, on the other hand , it is wenger’s team.

      1. Yes, it is Wenger’s team & tactics.
        1. Why do we stick with zonal marking ? Can’t we try out a mix of man-marking + zonal if not comfortable with man-marking.
        2. We must hv had more than a 100 corners cleared at front post. We must have the poorest conversion rates from set-pieces in the league.
        3. We clearly don’t work on our game plan. We must change our approach when 2-0 or 3-0 up(Andrelecht.smh.). How hard can it be for full backs to tuck-in & b cautious.

        What do we do in training sessions?! I see our players smiling & having a laugh in training after a loss or a draw & it pisses me off.

        1. I never liked zonal marking because by doing so you basically absolve players for the mistakes they make. Zonal marking is OK when you have intelligent, world class players (like Barcelona had or Bayern is having today). We have to face the truth today, our team is not yet a team who can grind out results and players must be told who to mark. I understand Wenger does not like this approach but he has to understand that our game is dead easy to read and counter by anyone. We are a morale team, if we are bullied we cave in very easy and Wenger can’t pull the team out if that happens.
          However, I would like to point out the fact that from the game against Crystal Palace I have said our players do not turn up in games. I can’t remember a game we won in a categorical manner (maybe the game at Villa) and we looked to easily keep the result. Of course injuries do not help but our players are too easily satisfied. And you all have seen now Alexis is pretty much tired, Ox as well. That doesn’t help either. I will never understand why the hell Bellerin was not played yesterday but then again, I am not Wenger. There must have been some reason of some sort.

          1. Think again if you want Arsenal with their 5 ft players to man mark. Guys lets be real. Hope you are watching the Stoke-Chelsea match to tell me if its possible for us to man-mark!

            1. a team should have a variety of talents. having all players that are short and technical on the ball does not provide variety/diversity. i guess W wanted to be like barcelona (but on the cheap!) and didn’t succeed. now he should go out and get 2 taller (and mobile) big CDMs and CBs. but i bet in jan, what will happen is what has happened in other TWs: wenger will buy someone who’s just a bit below what we need, and wenger will save his money. the tiger cannot change his stripes. arsenal can flourish w/o wenger. board needs to grow balls.

            2. I think the stoke chelsea game was great because it showed 2 good teams working hard, staying in position, but one had the talent in the final third. Our positioning sucks. We are constantly out of position and giving the ball away to easy. IMO Chambers needs some bench time. Everyone says he needed help on the right but how many f@cking players need to help him defend. Plus, I don’t know if Mert could’ve got that final ball and Chambers was scurrying around. Use Bellerin, Hayden. Why were Welbeck and Cambell on at the end. Neither have proven to hold the ball up top well. Tactics at the end were terrible. Wenger deserves some blame. I thought Coqyelin played well-nice to see him

  2. i have never seen a snaiL talk in my Life……. Snails ain’t supposed to be talking……. This is so weird and freaky!

  3. Arsene is the only one to blame, and there’s simple reasoning for it:
    1. he decides Arsenal should zonal mark (god knows why when you’re facing a side with Skrtel).
    2. he decides Chambers should mark Skrtel instead of the much more experienced Mertesacker.
    3. he took Giroud off while it’s a common happening that teams that are trailing aim for long balls and/or set pieces, so why not sub Cazorla (who had a great game btw) or Welbeck.

    Of course Per shouldn’t duck like that but other than that he had his man well covered, Chambers (and by that, his manager giving him the instructions) is primarily at fault in my opinion. Skrtel was marking Mertesacker at (nearly) all Arsenal set pieces.

    1. You contradict yourself in your attempt to throw some more $hit at Wenger. First you say Wenger tells them to do zonal but then you say he put Chambers on Skrtel. Taking off Giroud is debatable but at the time it made sense because Flamini was totally overrun.

      1. We allow this group of spineless w*nkers to get away with so much and just blame the manager, other than cazorla and szczney not 1 arsenal player turned up yesterday. After getting spanked 5-1 here last year you’d think they would be rearing to go with a point to prove but instead this group of cowards turn up and put in the worse arsenal performance in a decade, if we were playing the liverpool of last year it would have been 7-1 this time.
        Thats the kind of character we have in this team, so many of these c*nts need to get the f*ck out of our club, im tired of them disgracing our great club.

        1. And then you hear Wenger that these pampered precious glass balls came with psychological scars from the last visit at the Anfield. Boy, if you can’t put your head into the other ones boot what the hell are you doing on the pitch? Hear, hear, these pansies had scars. Wenger is fooling everyone taking the heat on himself because he’s having such a thick skin and very used with it. These players must be made aware and shaken a bit to wake the fu ck up because one good season is nothing (see Ramsey or Cazorla) if you don’t build up on what you achieved. Paid big bucks, Sanchez was right! These boys never had it hard and they didn’t had to worry for what they eat in the evening.

        2. Wenger keeps buying all these pussies! He dont know how too build a title winning squad anymore, you need people who are willing! Some actual leaders unlike mert who is the biggest coward going. Sanchez always gives it his all and has that winning mentality about him but thats about it

      2. I’m contradicting myself? So you say it’s not possible to do zonal marking but still have to check for a specific man to prevent hammering the ball in? How else would you explain Chambers to be 5 yards away from Skrtel then, if that’s man to man marking it’s horrible and zonal marking shouldn’t even apply to (by far) the biggest aerial threat of the opponnt’s team.

        My point is not about throwing ‘$hit’ at Wenger, but a manager is always solely responsible for the organisation at set pieces, and we look horrible by both attacking and defensive ones.
        If taking Giroud off is making sense iyo I’d suggest to rewatch the last part of the match because Welbeck was nowhere all game and is not of any use in arial defence when under pressure against a super offensive playing Liverpool.

        1. Oh, it is very possible but not when you highlight one as a weakness and other as the way to go. What is it then? Zonal or man to man?
          Let’s not hide after the facts here, Wenger never plays man to man, we know that. Everyone (you included) never seen Wenger on the edge yelling at any player to mark someone.
          BTW, now I am seeing the goal again and beside the fact that no one marked Skrtel I see the deadly mistake made by someone who saved us the FA Cup.
          Look at the goal and look what Gibbs is doing. It is totally the opposite of what he usually does. Brace the left post and stay there until the ball is cleared.
          I reckon that should he have been there we’d have 2 more points today.

          1. yeah, gibbs totally switched off. it’s true: the players are also lacking the totally killer mentality you need (esp for 9 min add on) to see the game out.

      3. By using zonal marking, we have given players for given areas at the set pieces gives the opposition the opportunity to exploit our weaknesses in defense, such as having Skrtel, the stronger header in Liverpool on Chambers, a 19 year old unexperienced, weak header/defender.

        Taking of Giroud is debatable because Welbeck is the worst player out there and he’s doing nothing. Giroud would atleast given us better defending on set pieces. Welbeck or Cazorla should have been subbed instead. There is noone else to blame in Arsenal than the french suited frog we call “boss”. A pity he’s still in charge.

    2. Man utd loss was all wenger but he cant be blamed for the pile of sh*t we saw yesterday.
      We allow this group of spineless wank*rs to get away with so much and just blame the manager, other than cazorla and szczney not 1 arsenal player turned up yesterday. After getting spanked 5-1 here last year you’d think they would be rearing to go with a point to prove but instead this group of cowards turn up and put in the worse arsenal performance in a decade, if we were playing the liverpool of last year it would have been 7-1 this time.
      Thats the kind of character we have in this team, so many of these c*nts need to get the f*ck out of our club, im tired of them disgracing our great club.

  4. Per, I guess it was tactics that made u not to jump for the header when the corner kick was taken instead u hid like a baby, smh

    1. Per, flam and arteta have significantly declined compared to last year; shocking what a difference 1 year makes. W shouldn’t have extended arteta’s contract (why not get a proper CDM in summer? thats squarely wenger’s fault). i dont believer players arent available: they just are not available at the below-market bids wenger prefers. we seem not to buy enough quality: i believe we can if we pay enough money so i assume wenger is either cheap or does not see the need (delusional). either cheap or delusional (or maybe both).

  5. No one in this team wants to take responsibility for the dreadful performance against Liverpool.Why don’t they come out and say ‘we were not good enough.’ The manager and the captain do not take the responsibility and the manager does not make the players accountable for their failure.What he always say after a match is irritating for the fans.How can you say, it was a fair result after that kind of performance against Liverpool.

  6. When Mertsacker is teamed with Koscielny, they are a fantastic pair. But Mertsacker has been horrible without Koscielny

  7. Even if we win we can’t win the league, top 4 is wenger’s trophy. We fans self gradually becoming specialist in fai****e just like our manager

  8. Anyone remembers Terry putting his head in harms way to prevent a goal? Now that’s what you want from your defender. Especially if he also doubles up as captain.

  9. says the guy that ducked out of the way, I’m sure everyone has seen the picture on twitter with BFG AND monreal ducking out of the way looking like there was a 500 pound truck (skretel) behind them, smh. Just go to France and find the two biggest/tallest/most athletic guys you and play them, i’m sure anything is better than BFG/MONREAL right now

  10. Please Kamil Glik and Moussa Sissoko will solve many of Arsenals problems at the back. No I’m not saying Glik becuase he scored 2 goals at the weekend, he is a top quality defender that is not being linked with many clubs at the moment.

    He should get Glik now whilst we can get him for cheap, and spend £15m on Sissoko. Then you will see us Physically bulked up to deal with teams like Stoke and Chelsea who try to bully us everytime. Both are legible fo CL as well.

  11. There is a top quality defender that plays right in front of Scszesny in Poland, why doesn’t he tell Wenger to get him? That defender is Kamil Glik.

  12. If we had got Cahil he would hv solved 50% of our defensive problem today he got Moreal instead. To be at the top n win trophies, wenger out.

  13. Andy Carroll will give merts a good spanking in a couple of games time so please merts get your head out of your arse do what you are paid to do.because lately it’s been very little.


    One of the worse defender in the league right now talking about tactics…!!
    That German “twat, tall for nothing c*nt and coward” cannot even defend to save his own life.
    Always away from the “fight”, clumsy and slow.
    No surprise for the football acute as we all know now Koscielny was the one in charge and making that f*cker look good…!!
    And he is Arsenal captain at the moment… It just shows how low and less than average this team and club has become.

    The all system needs an overall change as it gets shocking by the seasons.

    BFG, yeah right… BIG F*cking JOKE !!!

  15. We got that German joke for £10millions (almost £11millions) when we could have had Cahill for £9millions… Another of Wenger “clever” transfer move.
    I now understand why the pundits are pointing to Wenger responsibilities over Koscielny health management (Koscielny is the defender who played the most games in Europe: 2890mins… And Giroud is the striker who played the most minutes last season 3200mins).

    Koscielny is our defence and that is about it.

    A new manager, someone who knows football, modern football, will rectify that “circus” management and make it right for the fans.

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