My Arsenal team with Wenger’s “fighting spirit”

Arsene Wenger believes the South American football fighting spirit gives them an edge over other players. The statements below have been attributed to The Arsenal Manager.

‘Look across Europe and where are the strikers from? Many of them, at least 80 per cent, are from South America,’ Wenger said.

‘Maybe it’s because in Europe street football has gone. In street football when you’re 10-years-old, you want to play with 15-year-olds.

‘Then you have to prove you’re good, you have to fight and win impossible balls.

‘When it’s all a bit more formalised, it’s less about developing your individual skill and fighting attitude. We’ve lost that a bit.

‘Not every South American has that, but if you go back 30 or 40 years in England, life was tougher.

‘Society has changed. We’re much more protective than we were 20 or 30 years ago. We have all become a bit softer.’

The article goes on to state that Wenger insists the fighting instincts shared by Alexis Sanchez and Luis Suarez were honed on the streets of South America.

I think it also goes to explain the exploits of some other players too like Sol Campbell, Didier Drogba, George Weah, Yaya Toure, Tony Adams, Patrick Viera, Roy Keene, Dennis Bergkamp, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gilberto Silva, Marcos Evangelista de Morais (Cafu), Roberto Carlos, Emmanuel Petit. Robin Van Persie, Aaron Ramsey etc. Note that I have concentrated more on Arsenal players but you can almost feel in so many top performing players around the globe.

I think this list has fighters, known for their fighting spirit where they fought using the ball to express themselves in way that left people in wonderment. Their fighting often leaves the opponents in awe and creates high level confusion in the opposition defensive areas causing the opposition to mistakes that their team of they themselves exploit. It also forces an attacking opposition to fear facing such opponent in the defensive areas of their teams forcing an attacking player to lose their cool and loose a golden opportunity.

In other words it is not about a physical fight we Arsenal players know about when we talk of Mathiu Flamini for instance. Rather, it is that thing that a player manages to do within their self in order to transmit their physical spirit into the art of expression in playing football. With this form of player in the pitch you can never count out a game with so many goals and you have to keep worrying until the last whistle. Arsenal tested what one player can do with such a spirit to change the outcome of a game which would otherwise be unlikely with their February 2011 Matchup with Newcastle and Joey Burton. However Joey Burton, Mathiu Flamini and Jack Wilshere for instance have not managed to transform the physical fighting spirit fully into their football playing expression.

For Wilshere, sometimes the spirit can appear in his playing and that explains his inconsistent but sometimes top of the drawer performances. For Suarez, despite being often so able to interpret the spirit into his game, he also once in a while lets his physical attributes get the better of his games, especially when frustrated.

If I was Wenger, the Aaron Ramsey example where his horrific injury must have developed a piled up anger that translated in his game, would be something to follow up on. If Wenger is seeking to get his player to their best performance, his statements must betray an opportunity he may be overlooking.

1) First introducing the street football training regiment in his under 16 sides would help improve the future prospects for Arsenal. Can Arsenal lead the way in this front as because in the 20 years, the condition in South America and Africa will be very close to Europe and street football will have declined and therefore the next effect is that the fighter spirit will vanish into thin air and footballer’s quality of the South American Level will be extinct?

2) Acknowledging that almost all his players are at a high level of quality and the difference will be how you can be able to get your physical spirit to come out in your football.

3) If just talking with players can bring out the best in them, and we have seen the examples them Arsene Wenger must start fielding on the basis of how your fighting spirit gets to your football playing.

Immediately the fighters in Arsenal side include Szczesny, Koscielny, Chambers, Flamini, Gibbs, Ox Chamberlain, Walcott, Sanchez, Ramsey, Sanogo, Podolski…What side would these set of player put together?

Perhaps 4.4.2 as follows:-
————-Ox, Sanchez, Ramsey, Walcott
———-Gibbs, Koscielny, Chambers, Flamini

Would this side exude the fighter’s spirit that probably inspired The Invincibles (Notice the earlier list has so many of them) to incredible outcomes that very few teams can match around the globe? Let me hear your view. What’s your fighters team and how would they be set up?


Tags Sanchez Suarez Wenger


  1. KickAssFan says:

    Oh boy!

  2. davidnz says:

    Germany won the World cup.
    Remind me again how many
    South American players
    they had in their team.

    1. Disturbance says:

      Remind me, how many STRIKERs did Germany have ? One Klose aged 36.

    2. Jogon says:

      I dont think world cup is meant to be won by south Americans only

  3. KickAssFan says:

    Guys, can we just take a minute to laff at Liverpool? Please…

    So, Brandan and Slipper Gerrard claimed it would be a step backward for Suarez to join Arsenal, eh? Yet Suarez wanted to join us. What does that say of them (Liverpool)? At the end, he still left them for Barcelona.

    Then they felt they could compete with us for Alexis’ signature, but guess who he chose. Yeah, that’s right— you got it. Now see what Alex is doing for us. See where we are today.

    Brendan claiming he would bounce back against Real Madrid after losing to Newcastle, I say good luck with that. Go get your a*s spanked!!!


    1. Ks-Gunner says:

      We should think of our selfs as lucky, as the roles would easily be in reverse if Sanches somehow would have choosen Liverpool instead of us.

      1. KickAssFan says:

        @Ks, exactly.

    2. Big Gun says:

      You speak as if we are 20 points ahead of Liverpool. You should know well by now that anything can happen in this league. Yes I agree Liverpool are absolute sh*te without Suarez, but it’s still too early in the season to discount any of the top 10 teams. Man United were a point ahead of us 2 weeks ago, now we are 4 ahead of them. 2 bad games can change that. The same applies to Liverpool. On top of that, you are one of the fans who are calling for Wenger’s head, yet ironically Wenger is the one who pursued and signed Sanchez. GO FIGURE

  4. Kip says:

    jesus f christ…yaya toure? petit? van persie? am sorry i can’t deal with this writer…it’s mortifying to post this article on an Arsenal blog.

  5. Ks-Gunner says:

    In places like South America you have to be the best to survive at times. Sanchez knows where he comes from and what he had to do to come to be where he is today. Other players are simple spoiled. Take an example in Luke Shaw, a talent he is, he is earning way to much money at young age, kinda dump when you could find someone with the same talent with half of that price.

  6. Ks-Gunner says:

    Wenger has no spirit. If you keep insisting and forcing a loser mentality into the players, the players will then no care in the end. If you keep playing underperformer week and week out, players will get spoiled and not care. If players are being froozen out, they will not care but instead they will wait for them to leave the club.

    If you come up and say something like i would rather end up in the second place for the next 20 coming years rather then losing once the chance to play in the cl it means that he is inflicting a loser mentalit in the team.

    Van persie said that at Arsenal we wanted to win, at Manure you have to. Thats the diff. Wenger is like this.

    ”Hello, my beloved players, do your best, but you if you fail, i still lov you guys, just continue and we might somehow win something.”

    We as fans feel shame when we get humulated to 6 goals or 8, but to Wenger its nothing. Think now.

    1. GOONSTER says:

      @Ks… Name names of the underperforming players.. lol

  7. Jogon says:

    We just need to replace all our 4 defensive midfielders with 2 quality midfielders ie Flamini, Arteta, Diaby, Coclin

    1. Usmanov says:

      “I think Arsene Wenger has a
      very good team at Arsenal but I do think they need one player in midfield in the mould of Patrick Vieira,” he told Sky Sports.
      “They need a tall player, a strong player because in England you need players who are physical. That position is very important and I think that is the only missing piece .” – Robert Pires.

      “people say that we lack a physical presence in midfield, one profile at a Vieira or Petit, it’s true that this is what we need .”
      – Arsene Wenger.

      Rabiot (good potential) has been a target for some time + he will be available on a free next summer. The second should be top, top class world-class.

  8. MDOwn says:

    I think its more important to have a tough core, or spine of the team. If we look at the invincibles, or the players most used; we had Lehmann (Tough/A little bit mental), Campbell (Tough as old boots), Viera (Tough) and Bergkamp (Top quality), but around these players we had the likes of Ljunberg, pires and henry who were all silky, skillfull, fast and direct players. I do think we are close to this, especially when Koscielny is fit, but we lack the Viera figure. We need one or two quality signings in either CDM or CB (to free up chambers to play in CDM), but this has to be a quality signing.

    1. Drew says:

      i agree bud, the spine is the team requires a top GK, CB, a fcukin DM, AM, ST !!!

      i don’t agree that south america and africa will be on the same level as europe so street football will become extinct lol…

      in south america you have favela’s, in south africa where i live we have kasi’s which is the same as a favela aka a township. these are shack dwellings. europe and north america might have ”hoods” but the people here live in low cost houses/flats and stuff, not on top of each other in favela’s/kasi’s.

      favela’s/kasi’s see 0% development which cities right next door like Johannesburg or Rio receive investment.

      so basically street football aint going nowhere!

  9. GOONSTER says:

    We have to many lazy and weak players in the team… The only players that are not lazy are Sanchez, Ramsey, Walcott, Kossy, Rosicky, Arteta. Giroud is a big guy but he tries his best, the rest need to step up..

    1. ethangooner says:

      Gibbs, Debuchy who run up and down whole game are lazy.
      How many bursting run Chamberlain made last match?
      Mertesacker does not run a lot but how many cleared headers he made, how many interceptions he made.

      Football is not just about running, some players are blessed with better stamina like Sanchez, Ramsey so they can do more running than others who have to dsitribute their energy smartly and rely on other strong points of them

      1. Big Gun says:

        I disagree because this is what professional football players do all day everyday – they train and stay fit and are paid good money to do so. Therefore there is NO excuse as to why all of them (unless coming back from injury) cannot put in a decent 90min shift of hard work. With the level of fitness these guys have, hard work and endurance is not a blessing, it is a mindset that some players have either adopted to better themselves, and which some have chosen to neglect and disregard because they are lazy or just couldn’t be arsed. Andre Arshavin was a prime example. Nippy little player with all the talent in the world, but lazy as a sack of sh*t, and this was ultimately his undoing. Mesut Ozil is another example, and I really think he is an amazing player but let’s be honest, if Mesut put in a shift like that Ramsey or Sanchez, he would be the best playmaker in the world without a doubt. Again, it is a mindset. You either get out of bed everyday and think to yourself just another sh*tty day, or you can get up and grab it by the balls and seize every moment like it is your last. The latter is exactly how Sanchez approaches and plays each game, and just look at the results – 10 goals already this season! I’m really hoping he rubs off on our other players.

        1. jibber says:

          thanks for the sensible argument.

          the kind of attitude we’re lacking is exactly the fighting spirit.

          Wilshere is one of those who has a fight, but hasn’t got the focus to put his frustration into the game.
          I hope he can learn a thing or 2 from Alexis, and he will be that great player we all hoped to be.

  10. Usmanov says:



    Next season:



  11. Usmanov says:


    Next season:


  12. 007 says:

    OT: Hello mates, didn’t catch the last game due to a bereavement.

    Though I wanted to find out do we or have we made a song for Sanchez yet? Our talisman needs to feel the love and his name sang in the Emirates loudly!!!

  13. Big Gun says:

    Sanchez work rate is an extension of his character and personality. Life in South America, especially in the poorest of countries develops working class people, the type of people that are all too happy to sweat blood and get their hands dirty if it means a plate of food on the table. Part of the article is absolutely correct in saying that Sanchez and a lot of the phenomenal talent we see today (C.Ronaldo, Suarez) etc all come from extremely poor homes from third world countries and I believe this is one of the reasons why English talent is dwindling because kids would rather sit indoors and play on the xbox than go outside and do the real thing.

  14. ruelando says:

    I do not think it has to do with country , it has to do with individuals personality and the luck of the draw, basically you can fine people like Sanchez all over the world coming from the same situation, who gives 150 % in each game, but do not reap the rewards of getting sign by a big club base on opportunities and luck.

    right now you could find several players in he 8th division that are better and those in the EPL, but base on clb fame or luck of the draw they made it

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