Monaco openly expose Arsenal’s tactical weaknesses

It is one thing for Arsenal fans to think that Arsene Wenger’s team simply had a “bad day at the office”, but it is quite another when the opposition admit that they knew exactly how Arsenal would perform, and how easy it would be to counteract their game plan.

The Monaco striker Dimitar Berbatov, who had lavishly praised Wenger before the game, made it clear that the Gunners had played into their hands. He was asked in the Guardian if he had been surprised to have found so much space in the Gunners defence.

“To be honest, no,” Berbatov replied. “Because Arsenal have very quick players, when they go forward they leave a lot of space at the back. We knew that, we prepared well and we took advantage of it. We knew what their weaknesses were and we exploited them.”

Are Arsenal really so easy to beat by top teams that study Wenger’s one-dimensional tactics? The Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim, also revealed that he knew how Arsenal would be much weaker after half-time, so he sought to be “very organised in the first 45 minutes” and “take advantage of the space we were given in the second half on the counterattack”.

I guess that even the JustArsenal readers could have predicted that Wenger’s plan would be to go on all-out attack early on in the game and then struggle to maintain the pressure later on, as we have all seen this happen so many times this year. So how can we change our tactics to surprise our opponents once in a while?

Tags Berbatov Monaco Wenger


  1. this game was a replica of man utd game. we go down after a lucky goal, feel the pressure and go all out to get one back but leave just kos to protect the goal. berbatov was rooney and the other guy was scoring di maria

    it was all down to bad organisation at the back and poor leadership and decision making by per

    1. I think the performance in the Man U game was good, the challenge there was lapses in concentration. But the Monaco game, my gosh, we were just terrible all round.

      1. To right,just a thought though,does Arsen replace players with the same quality like Giroud – Bendtner. Ozil- Arshavin ,Mertisaker-Scqilarci ,Welbeck – Gervinho, just a thought.

      2. …and how many times has it happened now?
        United, Chelsea, City, Dortmund, Everton, Anderlecht, Monaco to name a few.
        Complete collapse and Wenger’s one dimensional football exposed for the sham it is.

  2. Monaco = top team now (4th in French league)?

    How can we change things?:

    – change the manager bringing in someone
    With tactical & motivational ability (and o don’t mean telling people they are the bees knees). Where everyone knows the drill and sticks to it otherwise they are OUT.

    – build a balanced team with a solid defensive unit with knowledgeable and skilled defenders. From this a balance of craft and protection for the back line in midfield and up too fast, prolific and talented goal scorers supported by Pacey and effective wingers (ala overmars).

    Will it happen? No. Why?
    We all know the answer to that one.

  3. What is wrong with our home support. No chants or support during the whole match but in the end we are the first to boo our own players and manager

    watched galatasaray vs bvb one day, gala are losing badly but their fans are still singing their hearts out

    you can never underestimate the boost you get when 60,000 people are shouting your name. Thats why there is a term HOME ADVANTAGE

    1. We not only lost the match on the pitch, the technical bench, but in the stands too.

      Our fans were completely outshined by the Monaco fans from dress cord, singing, organization, etc. The atmosphere at the Emirates sucks, I prefer watching our home games while playing music because its like a library out there.

      The fans privileged to visit our stadium should up there game too, along with the players and coach’s.

      Poor organization by the stadium managers too, UCL game and they couldn’t prepare something for the fans like small flags or the fans holding up something as the game started. The fans are the 12th man and can instill fear in the visiting team and also motivate our players!!!

      1. Yes there is the 12th Man. But how about giving the fans who keep the club going something to cheer about.

        And if a 6 figure salary a week (some on 60k+) with the chance to win the most prestigious honours in your field and adoration isn’t enough motivation then I don’t know what is!!!!

        Perhaps tummy rubs given by AW for each player before the game would do it?

  4. Wow. So Monaco knew that Giroud would miss three sitters that he would normally score in his sleep and that our most experienced defender –whose positional sense is the only thing keeping him in the squad — would run around like a headless chicken? Wow, they are eerily good. Look, we sucked, We all know that but let’s not read more into this then there is.

    1. He missed one sitter in the game the one he put over the bar. Headers unless right in front of goal are based on timing unless it all goes right, pace of the ball, tilt of the head and most cases someone right in your chest to throw off the balance.
      I would look for someone else to blame for the lack of goals. Where are our other forwards? Welbeck and Sanchez should contribute goals each game as well. We really need Theo to step up. If he does everything in our attack goes smooth.

      1. hey don’t mention walcott he doesnt deserve to b in d team cos he can’t wen one of our best scorers is put on d bench cos he can’t defend and a supposed striker (welbeck) is being praised for his defensive work, I wonder hw we can be a worldclass team. bring in messi and wenger will put in on d bench cos he cant track bak into d 18 yards box everytime. for christ sake let’s get defenders who can do their work instead of forcing our attackers to do it for them

  5. Like to know what does Steve Bould do apart from sitting next to Wenger, no disrespect to the man, looking like a wax dummy? He hardly talks to Wenger or gets up to bark instructions to the defense…all very perplexing to say the least!

    1. It’s never been the same since Rice left, he got up and gave them Shite Bould was a bench player you need a Keown,s way of defending he would never turn away from a facing shot like Mertisaker. Every time he walks out as captain I cringe has to be the worst Arsenal player to play let alone wear the arm band.

  6. Looks like 4th sub rule might be a reality. Wenger be like “$hit, now i have to make a sub after 90 min too ? “

  7. Apart from one very good performance away to man city we have been predictably poor against quality opposition. Wenger says we learn from our mistakes but it looks to me like he doesn’t even know what our mistakes are otherwise he wouldn’t keep repeating them.
    The lack of passion in that performance was unforgiveable we had a real chance to qualify and we looked like we were playing a friendly. At the very least you would expect the manager to be able to motivate the players in a game like that but alas we can nolonger even expect that.

  8. All I know is that we got FA Cup very soon.
    Our only chance of silverware

    Wenger needs to sort the team out.
    Maybe bench some top players against Everton simply as a motivational tool.

    I read an article a few days ago where Glen Gisele said When Wenger was at Monaco, he used to shout and swear at the players all the time. He then stopped doing that when Wenger came to Arsenal. Maybe our players need some yelling at like Sir Alex used to do.

    We should rest Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud, Welbeck, Mertsacker, Ospina and Coquelin as punishment and to let them know that their places are not 100% secure.

    I think for Everton keep Sanchez, Oxlade, Walcott, Koscielny.
    Play: Rosicky, Flamini, Gabriel, Szczesny, Monreal and chambers


    I know it’s very risky but we MUST shake our top players into playing better by threatening them with their places.

  9. Super article – agree on all points. Everyone know what we are going to do and how easy it is to be patient and catch us on the counter especially as the game progresses and we throw everyone forward in an effort to score.

  10. I’m sorry but you have 2 types of mistake in football – an unforced or forced error. In that game it wasn’t forced errors that were our problem. It wasn’t great pressure or great formation. It was unforced errors by players who were just woeful. Simple passes behind people. Players making runs into bizarre areas. Individual decisions to leave your position for NO reason. Choosing to look up when controlling the ball and letting it hit the wrong part of your boot. Shanking it over the bar from 6 yards. Striking the ball at your own player from 6 yards when the goal is gaping.

    They had a set-up to play against us, sure, but any time we strung a few decent passes together we cut through them like hot butter. The problem came in individual bad games which flooded into the rest of the team with worry, stress and inevitably, bad positioning to cover others. Gibbs, Per, Giroud, Ozil, Welbeck and possibly even Bellerin were all completely not at the races. When you’re talking 50% or over of your outfield players are just having total mares, it makes it nigh impossible for other players to perform. Tactically we flopped but 1 thing you can’t account for is sitting there knowing you need to make 5 or 6 subs. All you can do is try to press players into doing better.

    I’m just still in shock we were that bad. I’ve never seen an Arsenal team pass that badly against such a mediocre opposition. It was galling to watch.

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