The Fight is Right so why are Arsenal struggling?

I am not going to hit the panic button yet Arsenal fans, but I must admit that my fingers were twitching at half time against Man City today. The Emirates stadium crowd were also a bit stunned after we managed to go into the break trailing to a breakaway goal while having failed to capitalise on some really good build up play.

BUT, and I am with Sir Mixalot on this one and he really likes big butts, the fact that the Gunners were able to dig in even when the crowd went flat and a very strong and capable Man City side tried to choke the life out of the game, was very good news for us. And that has been the story of the season so far.

That soft centre that Arsenal have been accused of for years is just not there this time. Every single game since we blew Man City away at Wembley has been a battle and the Gunners have stood firm. Crystal Palace, Everton, Besiktas, Leicester and now Man City have all asked big questions of the players’ attitudes, both individually and collectively and we have not been found wanting.

So it looks like Arsenal have solved one of the major problems, so why are we not at the top of the league? Because the things we were doing so well last year, the creativity side of things, is not quite there yet. But I think that is down to a World Cup hangover which is just about gone, combined with the new players settling in.

It is still early and I am confident that Arsenal will soon get the good parts of our game going again. Add that to the new ability to fight and this could still be our year. What do you think?

Tags Everton Man City


    1. Wenger insists on playing him out of position – Ozil should be benched if Wenger will not play him in the middle. Put him in the middle and he will begin to shine again.

      1. Ozil played the entire World Cup for Germany on the left wing and played well. Has nothing to do with positioning. He’s just doesn’t have any confidence and looks like a weak link at the moment.

      2. the Defence is weak, and has been poor,
        also the lack of physicality
        the lack of a better CDM
        going foward we’re doing good
        defending is the problem

    2. Özil shouldn’t be played anywhere but the middle, but he needs some time on the bench in my opinion. He just won the World Cup, his confidence can’t be low. What was low today was his desire and work rate. Maybe it’s because he has just won the World Cup, he’s a little distracted by it perhaps – benching him will get him hungry again.

      At the moment a lot of people, I think Wenger too are afraid of dropping our big £42.5m ‘world class’, World Cup winning star. But I think it’s for the best – being picked ahead of Özil – what a boost in confidence that would be for someone like Santi, or even our very own Jack. It could spur them on to become even better as well.

      But as for the example of Mata at Chelsea you used, I don’t think that’s quite right.. Mata was widely regarded as Chelsea’s best player just a year or so ago. Mourinho just came in and decided to drop him for some reason. He hasn’t quite found his feet at United yet, but it doesn’t seem like any of the Old Trafford lot can. He’s a great player though.

  1. It gonna get better as d season progresses; I think d boiz r getting fitter and also adapting to d managers style of play

    OT I think dis is da best heading to an article we’ve had on

  2. Our defense is still a suspect of not holding firm under pressure! Our zonal marking against man city was disappointing!

    1. Strange. Last year our defence was rock solid for the most part last season, apart from the big away games of course. Mertesacker and Koscielny were an unbeaten partnership until the City game in December, Szczesny kept the most clean sheets in the league. We conceded the fewest set pieces in the league and had the best away form last season.. Sagna is the only first-choice that has left our defence, I don’t see why it’s such a problem area all of a sudden (not talking depth wise, just starting quality).

      Maybe, hopefully, they just need a little time to get back in the swing of things. I thought Mertesacker wasn’t at his best today.. But Koscielny was fantastic, absolute rock, no one could get past him all game.

  3. Mesut ozil looked “out of sorts” today! Even the commentators were saying “he is playing like a man lacking confidence”!

    1. He will continue to look out of sorts until Wenger plays him in the middle where he excels. Wenger has a way of destroying some good players. Look at Arshavin, Gervinho, even Chamack. Arrived playing great football. Departed as dead wood. Ozil will soon follow if Wenger does not WAKE THE F#CK UP.

    1. i know wenger really badly wants to play wilshire until wilshire gains form, and thats great and all, but why should we just not rotate wilshire and ozil at cam?
      ozil probably better suited to dortmund anyway.
      + taking a spot away from campbell or ox or pod.

      the only problem would be that that would make cazorla 3rd choice for a cam,
      or we’d have to play him on LW.

  4. Once all of Arsenals attacking players fully know one another I see them being destructive. Today Man City spend a lot of there day defending and squeezing the space for Arsenal to work in. Signs are good because we are strong in this area.
    My concern is against Everton, Leicester Arsenal were attacked in the same manor…from the Man City exploited it well and got there goal. This is an area Arsenal need to learn to work out how to defend.
    Hazard, Di Maria, Navas, Sterling… They will exploit Arsenal.

  5. If we win A Villa next weekend and City overcomes Chelsea then we’re just 4 points behind them which would not be that bad.

  6. Ozil need to start the next games on the bench so he will understand he is not indispensable, the guy just loses the ball with no conviction he would walk like he doesn’t care.

  7. Very good topic. We definitely have better fight than previous years. We will deliver good and exciting football. The problem is…
    1) CDM. We still need a CDM who will drive the team … a workaholic like Matic, Toure etc
    2) Tactically Wenger is not Flexible. Must we always play 433. He needs to adjust according to the opposition
    3) IT WILL TAKE A LOT FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND WHY WENGER REJECTED FABREGAS (I know I am going back to an old issue). I think this is one of the most foolish decisions ever made by a top manager in the last few years. EVEN WHEN HE PLAYS POORLY HE WILL CREATE CHANCES CONSISTENTLY and score goals!. Dont compare Ramsey and even Ozil
    4) For a £42m man Ozil is not showing value for money. I dont buy all talk of silence performance. HE RARELY SCORES AND DOES NOT MAKE DEFENDERS WORK
    5) Consistently poor or non existent transfer policy. That the players convinced Wenger to get Wellbeck tells it all. HOW CAN A SANE PERSON RELY ON SANOGO AND GIROUD TO WIN TITLES. Our Manager feels it is not a problem.
    6) Wenger too slow to make changes during games. NOT DECISIVE ENOUGH
    7)No finisher.(Wenger indecisive – look at Costa) Well beck will however do better than Sanogo and Giroud

    Overall the team is a massive improvement ala Sanchez and even wellbeck, the team will be better but I am unsure of our title winning credentials

  8. it simple we struggling because of the manager
    1- he plays players out of position
    2- he is poor in tactic
    3- he refuse to use his substitute 80min plus

    4-he fail to address the weakness of the team by adding one cb and solid dm
    5- he didnt sign world class striker

    1. When he signed welbeck I was really excited about this signing. I feel that welbeck may do well with wenger and he should be given a chance to prove himself. I am more concerned about the defense and our DMF. Flamini seriously? The centre was constantly exposed. Flamini constantly outrun by opponents.

  9. Our first half’s formation was so messy! Players were all over the place. So messed up that we couldn’t see the formation line. They need to be more disciplined. The centre was constantly exposed whenever man city attacked us on the flanks. Despite that only three or four players were attacking every time the ball was being brought forward. The big teams like Chelsea and man city, they attack in big numbers. I think it’s time to change tactics and play new formation with two strikers up front. And wenger needs to use more substitutions, not when players are injured, not at the last minute or even not at the last ten minutes. He should have replaced Flamini and Ozil and I don’t think Flamini should have even started the game. He needs to improve his choice of players and play them in the right positions!

      1. It may not be Ramsey’s best position but I’d rather Ramsey play in that position and Cazorla can play at left wing and Ozil in the middle.

        1. For yesterday’s match at least. Of course I think Campbell should be properly utilized and be used on the wings.

  10. The 3 biggest problems:

    1. How many points must Arsenal drop before Wenger abandons the zonal marking for set piece defense?? Wenger’s failed system is costing points needlessly.

    2. How many times must Ozil (and Cazorla) play poorly on the wings before Wenger abandons that failed experiment? Campbell, Ox, or Poldi can play the wing while Ozil and Cazorla cannot. I’ll be even Rosicky, Wilshere, and Akpom can do it better. Why is Wenger the only one not to see this?

    3. How many defensive injuries must Arsenal sustain until Wenger realizes that top clubs actually need defensive backups. Gibbs out constantly. Debuchy injury scare. And we are only ONE game past the transfer window closed. (I hope Bellerin and Hayden are fit for 1st team play).

    1. Agreed! He plays players out of position and his choice of players needs to be improved. I think they did change the zonal marking formation and it didn’t work too. The centre is just too exposed and it’s down to our slow defense with slow DMFs in Arteta and Flamini. They are just not good enough!

  11. So many decent/good Cb were playing at the World cup and Wenger couldn’t find quality in CB position before, during and after the World cup? You must be kidding me. One injury to CB away from a crisis.

  12. Why Chelsea will win the league and Arsenal will fight for 4th: Chelsea signed Diego Costa while the Gunners signed Danny Welbeck. Chelsea look for top shelf and Wenger looks for middle shelf.

    1. To be fair and I am not a fan of Arsene but we got Sanchez instead of Costa not Welbeck. Welbeck was for Giroud being put for 4 months or eland we would have let Spurs have him.
      We should have bought Sanchez and Costa and Carvalho and kept Sagna and Vermaelen and Fabianski.

  13. Wenger forcing Ozil on the wing is eerily similar to what he did to Arshavin eventually killing his confidence and motivation.

    The funny thing is Giroud who does track back would never be made to play in another position for a string of games to try and develop him, Wenger would stick with him up front and will do even with Welbeck’s superior movement and pace. Sanogo still hasn’t scored a PL goal but we don’t see any experiments playing him on the wing.

    Ozil is being shafted out wide in a position not suited for him because Wenger doesn’t want to upset Jack. He even changed the formation to 4-1-4-1 just to squeeze Jack in.

  14. Now i seriously think that 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁
    Ozil is a flop 🙁 🙁 🙁
    We should have bought christian erikson instead 🙁

  15. And mert and kos are si poor we have to sign sergio ramos and david luis sell ozil mert kos lazy people only buy players with determination and masculine like rvp and samir nasri 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

  16. And when i think that i have to wake up in the morning and study and listening to the teachers and do homeworks and work with my conspiracy theories i feel like i have more commitment to arsenal fc than ozil does i dont even get paid 🙁 🙁 🙁

  17. And when i look into the mirror and see myself wearing a 70 bucks arsenal puma jacket i feel so proud ozil should be even prouder i know hea german he may hate the british cuz of world war and stuff but he should forget the past and look into the future 🙁 🙁 🙁

  18. And when i think bout how many iphone6 ozil can buy with his weekly wages i feel like the world is so unfair my dad told me thats just it is life is unfair and i have to get used to it but i wanna live in a better world and ozil has to shine or else we must sell him to cristal palace and play with chamakhs 🙁 🙁 🙁

  19. why does wenger refuse to play campball ? serious wenger frustrates me soo much he is the root to many problem we face , lets all pray diaby can stay fit so he can play dm he cant be as bad as arteta and flamini .

    1. That was exactly what I was thinking about Campbell. It was bizarre how the Debuchy injury seemed to knock the stuffing out of us. However Jack Wilshere had his best game for a long time. On a slightly different note but Wilshere related, there is a really good quality YouTube video of the first FA cup final at Wembley in 1923, and you can see all the construction works still around Wembley. At the end the victorious captain is holding up the FA cup on the victory parade, with a cigarette in his mouth…..

    2. Maybe because he know’s Campbell will outshine Sanogo. Wenger doesn’t want Sanogo to go down in the pecking order.

      Campbell is wasted, if selected he wont even be properly fit to play against BVB because Wenger won’t give him game time to get fit, might stick Ozil on the wing again. In fact I think Sanogo will jump right in and start against BVB on Tuesday maybe being subbed on even if Welbeck is having a good game.

  20. The fact is ozil is playing total BS at the moment and fans are too scared to admit it even if he plays in the middle hes still gonna play BS ozil is world class and is going get better when he gains confidence as the match went on today I watched ozil try to get some confidence he never takes shots but he did today he tried some dribbles he’s gonna get better with time or let’s say this hes either going to do a Ramsey or arshavin ..I wonder why hes low on confidence hes a world cup winner. I think he is Fatigued mentally and will find his game sooner rather than later.. Some fans talked about booing him and it might make him loose even more confidence or make him step up his game.. Let’s just hope for the best.
    Also chambers should still be our reserved cb cause its risky playing him I’d say play bellarin as the rb Gibbs on the left and keep Monreal and chambers safe on the bench

    1. PLEASE: no booing ozil! that would be a really really bad idea for ozil and arsenal.
      (and no booing players in general, thats crappy)

      lets wait until he’s played 5 games in the middle .
      he’s a super specialist : does only 1 thing and does it well. if wenger’s not going to use him at CAM threading thru to welbeck/sanchez/walcott, then leave him on bench and rest him for CL.

    1. we’re petrified we’ll do crappy if wenger leaves, but we should have confidence: if we can get klopp or simeone , i think that’ll bring in a new good era at arsenal.
      thank you for your good years, arsene.

  21. Our defence is our weak link at this minute, not a big fan of Monreal the first goal highlights why as he was near the half way line as Navas delivered the ball to Aguero!

    Ozil reminds me alot of Berbatov – ghosts around, has moments of brilliance and sometime very frustrating, doesn’t seem to play with any fire in his belly, i was very disappointed in him today, but on the plus side i thought Wilshere and Sanchez were excellent and Welbeck showed som encouraging moments and i thought our attack looked as dangerous as we have this season so far!

  22. Agree with AW. Fighting spirit was evident. Plusses for me were that they did not back down when things got physical. They fought back well. Jack Wilshire had a really good game. Sanchez sets the standard for how an attacker tracks back and helps out defensively. Outstanding performance by Alex today. Negatives were that defense was shaky. Flamini was not good and is the weak link on this team, especially when playing against opponents that can counter with pace. Honestly I don’t think Arteta is much better in that regard, its something we are going to have to work around until January at least , assuming AW will get a good DM in January. Kos, Per and Monreal were not very good today. Again Ozil performance was dissapointing. At times he showed flashes but did not appear to demonstrate the fight that the other team members had. At some point AW has got to decide what our best 11 is going to be and play them consistently. And Ozil may not be in the best 11 based on performance. Certainly, he is one of the most talented, but he has to perform better or someone else needs to play.

  23. Aww, let’s all feel sorry for prince Ozil. He is being played on the wing, him playing there absolutely drains him out even if he he does nothing playing there, he does nothing offensively, does nothing defensively, just walks around mopping each feeling sorry for himself. And didn’t he play out wide for the whole of the World Cup? Some deluded Gooners were going on about Wenger should build the team around him. Are you mad? When was the last time any successful team built a team around a players who is lazy, mentally and physically weak? You will be asking for trouble. A player who has never performed in any big game. I will assure all the Ozil is never in the wrong brigade, the days of an attacking midfielder that is one dimensional are long gone, just assisting and contributing nothing else to the team is in the past, all players now have to do more than just waiting for others to fight for them, as that’s why Mata struggled at Chelsea under Moanrinho and he is struggling at Man United too. You need to be flexible as a player now days.

    That’s the simple truth.

    1. How stupid. It does not matter how flexible you thing a player should be. Some players are more flexible than others.

      Putting Ozil in the middle SOLVES the problem. So what is wrong with solving the problem instead of benching Ozil forever because you think he should be more flexible?

      Wenger could just put Ozil on the dead wood pile because you think he should be more flexible. Would that make you happy?? Why don’t we do that for all players who have a bad game or 2? Ridiculous.

  24. Let me tell you frankly gooners, critsism is good. But it should be healthy. When i read the comments it makes me feel.bad. Pains a lot. Come on gooners we are still unbeaten throughout the season !! Actually we played very well. The only way is up for us. Dont moan based on some fckn comments . Support pls… This attitude is not good guys.

  25. I hate to say this- but Fabregas is worth twice as much as Ozil in Premiership-

    As reviewer above said- days of having a luxury player to ‘just’ pass the ball is over, or not viable in the EPL-

    The only encouragement I has, was it was good to see him shoot- he had 2 goes, and I applaud him for that – even though they weren’t great efforts – its good to see him try to improve that side of his game-

    The good news is we have other capable players for that role. Which can give him time to grow, improve and become the player he needs to be to thrive in the EPL-

    But is he willing – thats the question?!

    1. he took the shots so i assume he wants to do the best thing for arsenal.
      i want to sympathize with him, but i really cant understand where ozil’s head is at.
      wenger: pls play ozil at CAM in CL: maybe he will do better at cam in CL than PL.
      pls never play ozil again at wing.
      or sell him if you’re going to misuse him.

  26. “That soft centre that Arsenal have been accused of for years is just not there this time.” Are you speaking metaphorically or referring the center of the midfield? If the latter, we are softer than ever and desperately need some steel in the form of a proper CDM.

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