Is Wenger really blaming our Cup games for Arsenal’s failed League challenge?

As Arsene Wenger said, Arsenal will need a miracle to get back into the Top Four this season after missing out last season as well. But in the Cups we have a completely different story as we have won three FA cups in just four seasons, we got to the League Cup Final this season, and now our current major target this year is the Europa League Final.

But Wenger was not happy when he was asked if the Gunners were getting a reputation as a ‘Cup Team’. The Boss told the Standard: “Look, we made 75 points last year. We were one point short in the championship and it’s the first time in the history of the Premier League that you don’t qualify for the Champions League with 75 points.

“The year before we finished second in the Premier League. It’s true that this year we struggled but [due] to our away results, not our home results. I wouldn’t like to go too quickly to that kind of conclusion.

“We have done well, as well, in the cups. In the last five years we were in the cup final four times. That means that we have mental resources to turn up when it’s demanded.

“But it’s difficult. When you lose a cup final in the middle of the season it’s very difficult to recover from it no? There are many stats coming out at the moment, it would be interesting to see how well do teams do for the rest of the season when they play the League Cup Final.

“Southampton last year dropped dramatically and it cost [Claude] Puel his job. It happened many times. You had Birmingham when we lost in the final [in 2011].

“It is difficult after that to keep the focus of the players.

“I’m convinced that the team is strong and healthy. We recovered from that. Hopefully we can focus on something important now.

“The second thing I wanted to say is it’s difficult to do well in the championship and in the Europa League. There’s a statistic that has come out that shows that in all the championships the team who plays in the Europa League struggles. Everywhere in the big five leagues.”

Now this argument I am definitely going to take issue with! At the beginning of the season Wenger maintained that the Europa League was a low priority, just like the League Cup is in every season. In fact in the Europa, Wenger only played his second string side up until this recent tie against AC Milan, and in the League Cup he only played mostly first team members in the semis and the Final. He even put a reserve side out in our only FA Cup match when we lost to Nottingham Forest!

So there has been hardly any pressure on our first team except for in five Cup games all season, whereas ALL of our main rivals have had to contend with much harder opponents in the Champions League on a regular basis, as well as the FA and League Cups.

I think it’s very ingenuous of the Boss to try and blame the Cup matches for our awful season in the Premier League.

What do you think?



  1. Innit says:

    A load of rubbish.
    We are 6th place
    We are 8 points behind 5th place
    A top team with top players can handle playing 3 Cup tournaments and do well in the League.

    We are 6th place because we don’t have enough top quality players in our starting lineup. Also our players are inconsistent. Sometimes they are excellent like against Milan but often not good enough. Our defense is lacking.

    We now have Aubameyang, Lacazette, Mktharyan, Ozil which is excellent. But we need to get another top quality central midfielder who is good defensively, another top centre back and right back.

    A new Manager will hopefully get us what we need. Wenger won’t. Wenger has got us to this position

    1. Midkemma says:

      “A new Manager will hopefully get us what we need. Wenger won’t. Wenger has got us to this position”

      Care to change that to “hopefully Sven will get us what we need, regardless of Wenger”?

      It was Sven who wanted Auba and it was Gazidis who yet again tried to penny pinch, Wenger wasn’t in the scene for the latest transfer window.

      Wenger mocked the idea Mavrop would be good enough and how he already knew of all the talents, later to backtrack and say he was good enough to keep and not throw out on loan.

      Wenger wanted Martial as part of the Alexis deal, Sven wanted Mkhi.

      A new manager would bring tactics which would be nice but I am not going to delude myself into thinking it will all be fixed with a new manager, it takes more than a manager to run a top club and those other areas need to act like a top club.

      1. bran911 says:

        So you say things won’t be fixed with a new manager, so please explain how can they be fixed if wenger stays? He consecutively failed in the league and in Europe (remember big clubs are measured by winning EPLs and UCLs and not community shield, FA cup and Emirates cup

        You love Wenger so much mate

  2. Me says:

    Its a new excuse.
    He must have really trawled around to think of that.
    Always someone else’s fault
    Always something else to blame..

  3. Sue says:

    Every other team has managed it alright! Why haven’t we??? Ramsey admitted the other day that the team had let Arsene down on more than one occasion, so it’d be nice if Arsene held his hands up & admitted he got something wrong once in a while, like that shocking team he picked to play Forest!!!

    1. Midkemma says:

      UTD are currently one of EPL top teams.
      UTD fin 5th and got UEL, the following year they fin 6th and got UCL via winning UEL.

      Every other team managed it alright?

      I only had to look back at last couple concluded seasons to find a current top team that got a lower league fin while playing in UEL.

      1. Sue says:

        I thought the topic was based on this season!!!!!

        1. Sue says:

          Plus the fa & carabao…not just Europe!!!!!

          1. Ken 1945 says:

            yet again you make sense.
            We don’t agree on Wenger, but your views are always pertinent and to the point.

  4. Guns Blazing says:

    Wenger has got it wrong. Teams do not suffer in their respective leagues because of the Europa League. They are not any better than a upper mid-table team, that’s why they play in the Europa to begin with.

  5. ThirdManJW says:

    It should be the opposite. EL should have helped us in the league, because he was only using the reserves up until the Milan games. It was the same for the majority of our domestic cup fixtures as well. So in fact, Wenger has been even more exposed for the fraud he is, given how much rest our first team has actually had!

  6. Phil says:

    Let’s just say we WON the Carabao Cup and were comfortably inside the Top 4.Would Wenger have played what was the best 11 playets abaliable against AC Milan on Thursday evening?We would have had a trophy and set for Champions League through the Top 4 placing.In my mind you go for every trophy available.You never know with Wenger but he is desperate now for the Europa Cup as he thinks winning that will keep holding in a job.Prior to Thursday it was fringe and youth players in the cup games.

  7. Sean Williams says:

    Wenger does win one award every year…..the Premier League’s biggest conman award. Mind you he trains very hard for it conning the press, the supporters and players. He is so deluded that he signs more panic buys and freebies than any manager in the history of the game. His greatest signing was the ‘Messi’ tribute player Sanogo. Possible the worst signing in the history of football. That conned the supporters like nothing else. Is there a ‘Wenger Knows Best’ left in the world. I doubt it.

  8. muffdiver says:

    wish he didnt say this
    he played his reserves the whole europa league campaign until we face milan
    so all our ‘stars’ were rested
    he will never change

    excuse after excuse we wait for him to leave

  9. qone says:

    wenger is very wise. he comes out with new excuses. very intelligent but not in management. he used to be when he inherited a good team, with a solid defence when he arrived. but now his ideas are those of twenty two or so years. it seems that when we think he is a dead man, the team gets some good results. but hope that the wins against Milan will not change the words wenger out. gooner = forever

  10. Counsel says:

    Wenger is right

    1. Muff diver says:

      Even when he’s wrong

  11. AndersS says:

    One is very much avoided/overlooked.
    Under Wenger we always struggle in the “internal league” against the other teams in the PL. We don’t have the guts or the tactical knowledge to do well here. This is a disaster, as we loose ground directly against them and overall we also get less points from these games.
    That is one the reasons, why we can’t compete in the PL. In the cups we avoid most other top teams until the very final stages and never have to play several of them. So we have a much better chance in the cups than in the PL, because Wenger lacks a winners mentality and his tactics are useless.

  12. Counsel says:

    Since 2006 until we won the FA cup we rediculed as top4 team that can’t wip even a cup trophy now we start wenning fa cup almost back to back we miss top4 and fans are now crying for but,no one gave Wenger credit for it for two decades. Last season fans and pundits put pressure on the manager regarding his contract situation players were affected we missed top4 by a point. you notice the same team turned up and beat champions at Wembley so quality to well was there but negativity could it let them express themselves. Now this season it was the same about our two big players the negative criticism as extended to Wenger’s contract with that we deserve to be where we are as many are obsessed with moaning!

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      No matter how much you present FACTS to people, if they want to ignore them they will.
      The goalposts were moved once the team started winning the FA cup and the fact that last season we not only beat the champions Chelsea in the final, but Man. City (underPep) in the semi final has of course been conveniently fogotten.
      I think the mistake Wenger is making is trying to explain his views to an audience that either doesn’t want to listen, or twist his words to suit their agenda. He should have cited the Man. Utd. situation from last season. Finished below us in the league, won the Europa cup and got into the champions league. Both Maurinho and Poch have said many times how difficult it is playing in this cup, but were their views dismissed by their fans and the media? No, their fans supported their respective clubs and the media showed empathy.
      Enter Wenger with the same observationsand we get a post like this trying to crucify the man again.
      We have had more success in the last five years than either of these clubs, but don’t let the facts enter the discussion, just a tirade of non stop abuse.
      Be ready for more of the same.

      1. jon fox says:

        Ken , please do me the honour of explaing why you think Wenger is right and also why you think the majority of fans who once adored him have turned against him? Do you think we are stupid, evil, nasty or perhaps staunch fans who can say our beloved club sinking season after season in Wengers hands and want our club to be modernised with modern methods used by the man in charge?I ask again in a spirit of curiosity and though I realise you regard me as scum, my comments are in line with the vast majority of fans. Please explain WHY you think we post as we do and where we are wrong, in your opinion! Finally, do you expect fans to be less than passionate in print and to behave like vicars at a parish meeting?

        1. Ken 1945 says:

          Jon Fox,
          First of all and of the utmost importance is that I do not think you are scum, why should I?
          That is your choice of a word that I have never used against anybody in my life and ask you to provide PROOF of that.
          I would hate to think that you have introduced this obnoxious word to turn others against me.
          “Stupid, evil or nasty?” No and again I ask you to provide PROOF of this.
          As you know Jon, you have, on numerous occasions sunk to the level of name calling that you are accusing me and others who do not have the same views as you. I CAN provide you with that PROOF if you do not recall these posts.
          My personal views are just that, and I do not claim to represent anyone else, certainly not ficticious percentages being banded about.
          Everyone who posts on here has to be a staunch and passionate fan and Jon, between us we represent over 100 YEARS of doing just that!
          The majority view on “goonernews” is anti-wenger and I accept that without prejudice or rancour. However Jon, if you don’t want discussion and debate, why bother?
          I believe Gooners should be able to debate with one another without fear of abuse or ridicule whether in print or verbally…I am sure you have heard the phrase “words are mightier than the sword” with reference to your tea party observation?
          So many times I have said that Wenger is not always right that I despair of having to defend myself again.
          SO please digest and accept my following views:
          This has been the worst year under Wengers management.
          I believe the time has come for him to resign with the dignity his tenure deserves.
          I do not only blame him for the position we find ourselves in. The owner, board and players (in particular) share this situation.
          I will defend him when I feel he is being wrongly accused of every single thing wrong with the club.
          I will also give him credit for all of his successes.
          The appointment of Raul, Sven and Huss is a welcome and progressive (modernising) step forward and I look forward to their successful tenure.
          So Jon, please do ME the honour of apologising for the use of the words scum, evil, stupid and nasty, that never ever happened as you well know!
          Everyone on this site should be able to debate without use of any offensive language and I hope you will agree with that.

          1. jon fox says:

            A clever and deceitful post of yours saying that I sai you called me scum. I said I know you REGARD me as scum, NOT that you called me that name. There is a fundamental difference between what we think and what we publicly say. True or not true? Same with the other words I used but those are my opinion and in a free country I am perfectly entitled to say them. You play word games but I DON’T BUY THIS HURT FEELINGS NONSENSE. WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO OFFEND BUT NOT TO BE PERSONALLY ABUSIVE. You act as if you have never , at football matches, ever heard the words I used. Any person of our generation knows a fair bit about life and how humans are passionate people when writing about their passion, whatever that passion may be. To act hurt is frankly, rather pathetic and weedy. ON ANOTHER TACK, YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR POSTS OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS FROM SUPPORTING WENGER TO REMAIN MANAGER to now saying you think we would be better if he went. So a mere month or so has changed your view, to fundamentally be closer to the one I have held for a decade(on whether or not he should be sacked/ resign). It seems to me that all the rightful anger by thousands of Gooners – around 88% in fan polls who want him out – has swayed even your mind and I regard that as a success and some sense finally dawning on you. I still believe you do not like me and I assure you the feeling is mutual. THOUGH PLEASE NOTE I DO NOT CALL YOU OR THINK YOU ARE S..M. YOU ALSO ASK ME TO PROVE MY OWN OPINIONS. HOW PRAY DO YOU SUGGEST I PROVE AN OPINION, ABOUT OTHER WORDS I CHOSE TO USE! I have little time for people who have (til lately in your case) refused to face facts. Facts which are so clear to virtually the whole media (and ex-Arsenal and other teams player media world), as well as the Arsenal fan 88 %. But I repeat , for the record that I know you never called me scum , merely that I believe you think I am , WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I WROTE IN MY ORIGINAL POST. END OF DISCUSSION, at least my end and I have nothing more I wish to say to you.

    2. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

      Council you are right in that many of us, like the Arsenal players, have heard it all before from Arsene Wenger. Unfortunately we have stopped listening to the various excuses, many of which as stated by others, contradict the facts.

  13. jon fox says:

    What do I think, you ask? If I said in public what I truly think about Wenger and his utterings, I would be behind bars. Anyone who actually EVER expects the truth from this “manager” is either five years old, senile or belongs in an asylum!

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      Jon Fox,
      Couldn’t have done it better myself.
      So “five years old, senile or belongs in an asylum” shows the respect that you demand from others does it?
      Still awaiting your response to your accusations, meanwhile hell freezes over!

  14. Durand says:

    I don’t really pay attention to his comments anymore, especially pre and post game.

    Says same thing regarding refs, schedules, fans, media, etc….

    Press reset button already.

  15. Midkemma says:

    Wenger has blame for lack of tactics and for coaching staff failing our players in development, that can not be overlooked.

    UTD in 2015/16 season fin 5th with 66 points and had UEL football the next season, the next season they fin 6th(69 points) with UEL football.

    While I am not saying Wenger is right, for all those who try to claim other top teams can do it, UTD are currently one of the EPL top team and they dropped a place in the table when having UEL.

    If we fin 6th and win the UEL then IMO we would have equalled what UTD did and we should take hope from that.

    I am ignoring Wenger in that viewpoint, The Arsenal manager has had his worst season with us and it isn’t as bad as what UTD went through and they are competing now. With better income from sponsors and someone with contacts and capable in transfers to get players in oh and not forgetting Sven to pick the players…

    We are on the way up.

    Wenger has his blame and IMO we should look for a new manager for the sake of our players, Wenger is dropping, not developing players like he used to be able. He isn’t the only factor and that shouldn’t be overlooked in my opinion.

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      Agree with your views, they make complete sense to me.
      One thing to point out though, we do have a dedicated coach in the goalkeeping, defensive areas, plus management at our youth development academy.

Comments are closed