Proof that Arsenal’s ‘soft centre’ is a MYTH?

Even though the current Premier League season, so far anyway, is throwing up signs that Arsene Wenger and the squad are in a batter position to push for the title than usual, we still keep hearing pundits in the football media talking about the same old things when it comes to Arsenal.

Very few of them seem to have changed their minds much, as we keep hearing such doubts like, ‘have Arsenal got the leaders we need to get through the tough times’ and ‘can the Gunners keep it up over the course of the season rather than just a few patches of good performances’?

The most common stick used to beat Arsenal though, is the accusation that we have what is known as a soft centre. So the theory is that, although people accept that our football can be brilliant at times and that we can be a match for just about anyone on our day, Arsenal cannot stand up to adversity or do it when the going gets tough.

Well already this season has shown that we can fight until the end of games, as the late goals against PSG, Southampton and Burnley highlighted. We have also now seen out two games with 10 men without conceding, against PSG and Swansea.

What might surprise you is that this is nothing new. In fact a Metro report reveals that Arsenal have won 30 and lost just 26 games when we have had a man sent off and that makes us the only Premier League club to have a better record of wins than losses with 10 men.

So is it time that the tag of having a soft centre is dropped once and for all?



  1. We haven’t even played 10 league games as yet,it’s hard to make a judgement of how good this squad is,November statistically is our worse month and this season we have Spurs and United in that month let’s try and manage our expectations as fans!

  2. It is a simple fact, that for many years we have been very easy to create chances against. The reason being our manager has failed to make our team defend as a team, especially the some midfielders and wingers have not been required to do enough. This is not a myth. It is a fact, and it has shown in the results year after year,
    However, the are some very encouraging signs this year, that maybe Wenger has finally seen the writing on the wall. But it is early days yet, and we will have to wait and see, whether it truly is the neccessary change, or if it is just a temporary improvement brought on by the players.
    But so far so good – let’s hope it continues.

    1. Just say his name ..Iwobi. It’s no coincidence that Monreals worst form in quite a while coincides with Iwobi’s emergence. Maybe it’s something that all wingers and fullbacks need to do, adjust to one another. Monreal is a highly senior player, he should be barking orders at Iwobi, and at times Iwobi shouldn’t have to be told. A winger who is faster than the fullback he is facing will more often than not find joy against that player unless there is proper cover. Without cover it moves Koscielny closer to that line than he wants to be, then Mustafi has to move up because there needs to be little space between them, then Bellerin. It’s causing us all sorts of problems, one simple little thing. Walcott was one of the worst I’d seen at this but thankfully he has cotton on. Iwobi is fast, he’s strong, and clever so I believe he will eventually get a handle on this, he’ll be one heck of an all round player when this happens. I hope it’s soon.

  3. Do you realize that this season we start at our soft centre? Most people cannot notice that because even our soft centre is HARD. My point is all the teams we have used so far have not performed to their full capacity. And how may top talents in our squad we have not yet called upon? Welbeck, Guriod, Lucas, Ramsey, help me with more, please.
    So better the pundits see it soft now than never!! We the fans must also not show any soft centre; we must always be behind our players and the manager, at least till the end of the season. COYG

  4. No not any more we don’t. Remember it was a stupid decision by our DM that put doubts in our players heads and allowed swa into the game. Our players are for the most part very big deals for their country so they were all involved in the recent Int break. I don’t think you could use the swa game to say same old AFC. Most people see Mustafi for what he is, an excellent player. We have depth in our CM. So as long as tactics are right and every player does their duty in defending I think we are strong. Alexis looks like a leader lately, he’s not vocal but he acts like a leader in his play. He will point out how he wants the ball or what they’ve done wrong though. I think we have more players now who wont go hiding when our game is not up to speed. Also what I like about this team is. We are an extremely good looking team at playing ball, very attractive. But you can see if we set up like an overly defensive side aka Atletico or Chelsea of old, I think we’d be really really good at it.

  5. If by soft center we mean the spine of our team, ATM with Sanchez as striker, Xahaka/Coq as DM and Mustafi and Kos as CD, our spine is not soft.

    If by soft center we mean a team not good in dealing with adversity, we have not yet reached the part of the season where adversity might strike.

    Let’s wait and see. In the mean time let’s hope Emirates will be a lively place with lots of support for the players.

    November will be the second test of this season IMO with games against Spurs, Man U and PSG.

    (The first test was getting off to a good start which Wenger said was so important – this didn’t really happen)

  6. We didn’t have a strong “spine” before Coquelin, Mustafi and Sanchez emerged. Thanks to Wenger and his staffs, now we have better “spine” in the squad. Hopefully Coquelin gets well soon, because I think he is the only DM we have that is able to read the threats, anticipate and intercept very quickly. Other DMs need to learn from him. He has small stature, but he can read the game from defense area.

    We haven’t faced many big teams yet, whereas our competitors, Liverpool and Man City, have met most of the big teams. The real test comes when Arsenal has to face other big teams in their turfs and when we play against strong target men like Andy Carroll, Lukaku and Ibrahimovic. If Sanchez is not injured and keep his performance, I’m sure we can be champion again, and who knows, maybe we will get Champions League this time!

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