Is the Arsenal’s manager or players to blame for Man United display?

Arsenal came away from today’s trip to Manchester United relieved to have picked up a point after a disappointing display, but was it the player’s or the manager who should pick up the slack for our downfall today?

The French boss had some tough decisions to make today, and some of those could come under question, including choosing to leave out Alex Iwobi, Olivier Giroud and Granit Xhaka.

Arsenal had their fair share of the first half, although failing to muster a shot on target, and I cant help but think that Alexis Sanchez failure to stay in an advanced position made life difficult for our other attacking players. Think I have to blame this on the Chilean himself, unless we believe that he was told to drop back and play as a sixth midfielder?

Mesut Ozil is a player who has come under criticism for his failure to have an impact on the game today, but I feel like he was limited to little time on the ball, and as above, the movement out of position by Alexis will have made life difficult for the German.

Granit Xhaka was a slight surprise to find himself on the bench, and it could be argued that he may well have helped to break up the Man United dominance in the second half, but no such complaints could be made before the interval, and some tactic changes from the Red Devils may have been to blame for our early failings after the break.

Arsene Wenger can be blamed for his reluctance to make a change before minute 73, when he brought on Giroud for the Egyptian midfielder, despite watching our side struggle for to stay in the game from the restart.

We will certainly feel happy with the point considering our failings within the 90 minutes, but with the form of our side compared to that of United’s, we should have been going into the match hoping for more.

Do you think the players failed to keep to the script, or simply didn’t play there best? Or do you think that we were set-up wrong from the off, and Arsene’s tactics were off?

Pat J

Tags alexis sanchez Arsenal Wenger


  1. Maverick12 says:

    It is definitely Arsene Wenger. What was he thinking? playing Coquelin and Elneny together in the midfield and Ramsey on the wing. If he wanted to play Ramsey then he should have played in the middle and Ox or Iwobi on the wing.

    I guess we cant even blame him for holding the substitutions for so late because that is what he always does. Its almost like you cant question him on that, every single time our team goes through the motions we just have to sit back till the 70th minute for the substitutions. What is he afraid of? any substitution couldnt have had a negative effect on our play.

    You would think we have backup for Cazorla now with Xhaka and maybe even Ramsey if he plays well but you get Elneny and Coquelin playing the sideways passes all day long.

    Wenger talked about players having a mental block at Old trafford but its actually him who has that problem against Mourinho. Not sure about his managerial skills but Wenger definitely has lost that passion to win at all costs, he is too subdued whenever it matters.

    We are currently on a great run if you look at the stats but how many performances have we already seen that would indicate we are going to finish like any of the last 4 seasons. Think about it, we have great backup at each position and perhaps the best squad overall. The goal at the end didnt ruin the weekend completely but it was a painful match to watch after waking up at 7 am on a saturday.

  2. AsburtonGrove says:

    Wenger is to blame for his blind-faith in Ramsey! The boy can only pass sideways and backward. Sell him asap! #wengerout. I can see this stubborn fool extending another season unless us fans keep on piling the pressure. Play Granit, Play Iwobi, sub Ozil when he doesn’t turn up to the big games. Wenger is so bloody stale it’s painful! Coyg!!

  3. Ronny331 says:

    Personally I would have liked to see iwobi for Ramsey or Ramsey at the back next to elneny or coquelin. Bellerin will always be sorely missed as he offers such a pacey attacking overlap and helps push sides backwards. We were flat today and missed the likes of cazorla and dare I say the one touch creativity of Wilshire on a good day

  4. Bobbyraz says:

    sometimes I feel like wenger sets the team up to fail, u already have an old and not really fast monreal u then decide to put a slower ramsey as a winger in front oh him against blistering Valencia, I still believe he is one of arsenals biggest problem this man should let another manager come in pls

  5. Bobbyraz says:

    I really like ozil and he is an amazing player, but his body language is so so frustrating, it always seems like he doesn’t want to be here, I personally wuldnt mind selling him of and get someone like isco to play his role

    1. Maverick12 says:

      so you will sell a player who is performing better than anybody else in the league because you dont like his body language? wow

  6. TJ says:

    The team setup was quite surprising. I would have thought Ramsey either played next to Coq in the B2B role (drop El Neney and Iwobi plays on the left) or on the right side of the midfield and move Theo to the left (who can interchange with Alexis on the left).
    When you have a Valencia on the wing surely you know Ramsey won’t be quick enough to track him and support Nacho when they break…Walcott has more of a chance of making a spoil.

    Wenger could have sprung a surprise on Mou by starting with OG12…they would have defended deep anyway, (as long as you have the dual threat of Walcott and Alexis, they wouldn’t have taken a high line). It appears that he started off convinced he needed to play with 2 defensive minded mids in front of the back four and he wanted to fit Ramsey in.

  7. Aussie Jack says:

    Just Arsenal website is too unstable to make comment. Problem….in a word…Wenger.

  8. TR7 says:

    AW team selection seems to demoralize most of our players coz every time Ramsey starts we have a bad game no matter what the result at the end is…ramsey keeps the ball with himself distracting the quick forward movement of ozil,alexis and theo.

  9. Jansen says:

    Chicken and egg. A squad starts to mirror its manager in mentality. Liverpool and Atletico and Man U under SAF play like their fired up and passionate managers as did the early Mourinho teams. Wenger is not a passionate man but an intellectual. His squad plays without passion and always seem to be in their head coping with blocks, fears etc. This too often results in slow deliberate, predictable passing and play.

    Having said that players can bring their own passion, look at Alexis. The only thing is that passion will burn out if he remains the only one fighting from beginning to end. This is why I think he will leave. His personality is not suited for not going for it every game.

    Playing Ramsey on the left wing is probably the result of some convoluted intellectual exercise only understandable to Wenger. Don’t think Ramsey has played on the left wing yet this season?

    I think the passionate fans would have liked an attack minded player to play on the left wing so we didn’t become one-dimensional. Iwobi has shown what he can do and Ox is always ready to speed forward. If Wenger was worried about Iwobi’s defending he should have relied on one of his two DM to provide cover for Monreal. Ramsey on the left wing was a disaster and means our only real threat for a fast break would come from Theo and that’s a lot easier to defend. It also takes away Ozil’s options.

    We looked like a team that played from their head, slow and deliberate.

    To me the tone was set by Wenger years ago and the players start to mimic the manager.

  10. Onochie says:

    If Sanchez wasn’t coming into that midfield,we would have lost that game in the first half. We didn’t have wingers or even real attack minded midfielders in that game

  11. Wilshegz says:

    We know Elneny’s abilities, we know Ramsey is not in form, struggles on the wing n was far from convincing against Ludogorets so why would I blame them?
    Wenger is to blame 100%.. why would u bench Xhaka n Iwobi.

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