The reasons why Arsenal lost to Spurs – Poor tactics

Hello fellow Gooners out there.

I know you are as frustrated and as angry as I am with the loss to the Spuds. Looking at the team fielded by the manager though, it is easy to understand why we had no chance to win this game and I wouldn’t have backed them with a Unibet bonus code, or even your money! In my view, the team fielded by the manager had two main deficiencies, which I will discuss briefly here:

1) Lack of proper wingers. Those of you that watched the game will agree with me that the team lacked the width to stretch the field of play. For a start, Arsenal fielded a back four. What this meant was that Monreal and Bellerin were deployed as left back and right back respectively rather than wing backs. Neither of Ozil or Mkhi either side of Aubameyang could function as real wingers. Both are more comfortable playing as creative attacking midfielders, the so-called no 10 than as wingers. In modern football, wingers are supposed to track back to help the full backs. Neither of the two players is adept at that. From the way Arsene set up the team, it looked pretty obvious that his intention was clearly to tighten the back and hit the Spuds on the counter. This could however not work when the full backs had to defend and at the same time attack, without wingers to track back and assist them in defending. That obviously left the two centre backs exposed. Remember the goal came from a foul committed on the right flank?

2) The second deficiency was fielding Elneny and Xhaka as the duo pivot in the midfield. The problem with this combination is two-fold: a) None of the two is a natural ball winner. b) Both are quite slow and could not cover enough ground to cover the back four.

For the record, I have supported Arsenal and Arsene for 22 good years now. For me though, it has now become increasingly clear that Arsene’s time at Arsenal is well and truly up. I have nothing but tremendous respect for the man, but there comes a time in life that one has to let go. The time for Arsene to let go is now.

Cheers Gooners.

Patrick Karani, from Nairobi Kenya.

Updated: March 5, 2018 — 4:34 pm


  1. You are correct that Arsenal lack of proper wingers and natural ball winner at that match. But there is also another big factor, which is our players’ lazy mentality when forced to play under a cold rain.

    Mkhitaryan is pretty good as a winger, proven by those excellent crosses at the Everton match, but Ozil really sucks in the wing. Arsenal should have find an explosive inverted winger next season, unless Maitland-Niles or Nelson can fulfill that role (Nelson played as a left inverted winger once, but he also sucked).

    A good ball winner DM with good skills is also crucial and is not easy to find. Xhaka looked as if he could be an excellent DM before Arsenal purchased him, but he is not mobile enough.

    1. didnt Ozil played on the right with Germany?

      with Eleny and Xhaka we were quite on defensive mode….Iwobi should have played from the start to offer more attacks

      1. Some fan said Iwobi does not desirve to start any game for arsenal…but I know of he had started the game, arsenal would have be singing a new song by now

  2. From my observation it was difference in tha quality of holding midfield

    1. you are right….Dembele makes a difference for them…

      winning balls allowing them to attack

  3. Every game we make alot of excuses…referees..penalties..wingers…DM.

    but the real problem is the manager.tactically clueless.

    i hope carlo ancelotti was at the game as a sign he will take over soon.

    wenger won’t last about digging your own grave,can’t deliver the top 4 he was so proud of.

    1. A win versus Östersunds in the midweek and you will be back here singing in “Wenger we trust”. That’s the problem, a few wins here and there seem to wipe Wenger’s 13 year old, failure-ridden slate clean season after season.

      1. Not any more QD.
        A few wins here and there is now the norm for us under Wenger and he is taking us backwards at an alarming rate.
        I will tell you a SINGLE POSITIVE from yesterday’s game.Sven M and Raul will have been watching that performance and will now identify the following.
        New GK (needed despite Cech’s display yesterday)
        Midfield ENFORCER
        Natural winger with PACE
        Most importantly they will have noted the single most important change required at this club and will already be working on the replacement A NEW MANAGER.
        Over to you boys

    2. Oezil can play on the right wing when you dominate possession and attack,not defending..and elneny and xaka are not players who can orchestrate none of them are quiet intelligent with or without the ball.what were they defending,while spurs were missing chance after chances..Wenger has to go

  4. Yeah, I thought we handed the initiative to the Spuds when I saw Xhaka and Elneny there, too. It was a statement that we weren’t confident. So you’ve been a Gooner for 22 years, eh. Which, in my eyes, means you’ve been spoiled rotten. I’ve been an Arsenal fan since 1977. Arsene Wenger is the best thing to happen to our club in that time. I think that lack of appreciation to him from “newbie” fans is shameful.

    1. Im a fan from 1979 and I have loved wenger but not now. I’d settle for a George Graham defence right now…might have been boring but we need some real defenders and midfielders…we were totally out fought in the mid field make up of the team was totally wrong.. was pretty obvious at half time we wouldnt win. we’re just lucky it wasnt 3-0…they were that much better than us…wenger to resign monday morning. thats what this team needs. never be afraid of change. we found wenger after george graham and we’ll find someone who can win premierships again.

      1. defence cant cope with constant pressure and attack from opposition and are bound to concede….

        our midfielders are at fault too…they are constantly getting pressed, pressured and losing balls…..

        1. Coz there is no proper anyone in the midfield.. we have no Gilberto we have no Vieira, everyone is soft, slow and lacks aggression to cover the midfield. Dembele played like Messi in the middle of the Park, all our players were like pedestrians.. Wenger have made this team to be like that

          1. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter

            Bran911 you are spot on; as well as technically gifted players Arsenal need physically commanding players with a take no prisoners mongrel attitude. Arsenal had these types of players in our great teams and now Arsenal in midfield and defence are bullied!

  5. The other forgotten factors are the defenders themselves seats back alot and fond of backward passes to Cech in an awkward circhmstances without judging the perils therein. Too much seating back beckons pressure into our own territory. DM too are easily bundled therefore creating an empty space on the middle park. Inability to read the game by AW needless to say. Assssh! Its painful surely

  6. From what I see arsenal is the same,the whole season playing away from home,first of all we hv no defensive system,arsenal are not comfortable at all defending,tactically the manager got so wrong most of the time,playing players put of position,mustafi ,average this season,bellerin don’t improve,xaka I still don’t know what kind of player he is,elneny lack football brain,can’t kick forward passes,.trust me,we hv personell,but the manager is the problem. We just need fresh ideas,the team lacks confidence at all.

  7. My assessment is simple. Wenger was forced into a different plan when he realized Ramsey was not going to be involved. But here is what Wenger does. He plays 4.5.1.
    This, is a new set-up not really practiced for the match. Aubameyang is isolated upfront. Wilshere actually has a good game but Ozil and Mkhitaryan are kept apart and unable to play to their strengths. Xhaka and Elneny are water and oil and can’t really mix it up. The four man defense has confusions of not having played this way together for long enough to create telepathic understanding.

    RESULT: WE are CHELSEA PARKING THE BUS AND INVITING – YOU KNOW WHO – HARRY KANE and Co. to try and test our defensive molding. We are not having the CANNON power to hurt them when they are doing attacking adventures around our defense!

    Xhaka and Elneny just can’t start off a serious counter effort. Wilshere, takes one-two dribbles before making the progress so he will not do the Ozil one touch -, one crack counter play. Aubemeyang want’s to run (Like Henry) but he can’t do it without the ball. It rearly reached him!
    This match up meant that Spurs had 18 shots on goal with 6 shots on target. We have 6 shots on goal and one shot on target. In fact most of this attempts came when we brought in Alexandre Lacazette.

    It was a TIMID set of tactics. I insist, with the current squad, this should be our play pattern:


    In a case like against Spurs, when Ramsey was not available, We can play Bellerin on the width and Mustafi in the Right Back. Aubameyang can operate the Left Width and Centre forward and the Lacazette does the same on from the right/ Both these players are adapt at running away from defenders and Lacazette, playing slightly deeper can carry out his link up play too.

    Mkhitaryan and Ozil again at their super best positions sharing the Attacking Midfield. Mkhitaryan can get his free role because Ozil is along side him. Kolasinac and Ramsey are in the Width areas and both have played in the central midfield areas and when called upon they will help out in the centre. But they can help defensively and attacking-wise too. Ramsey can once in a while pop up in the attacking positions late enough to take advantage when he plays. Kolasinac should drop into the defending positions that remain unattended when need be. Wilshere, moving up and down the boxes, starting things and trying to finish up things with the decisive passes to Ozil of Mkhitaryan to find the centre forwards. I’m sure we would have won yesterday and Mkhitaryan would be the same hero of Everton’s 5-1 result. We are an attacking side with an attacking DNA. We decided to try defending…

  8. No, the reason we lost is because they have a better team than us (ouch it hurts to admit that) and a better manager (I think we can all agree on that) also, very soon will have a better stadium than ours, bigger capacity, steeper sides, better facilities and a huge bank of steeply angled seats behind the goal. Have you tried getting to the toilets or a drink at our place at half time? Before anyone says “fukc off and support them then”, I am just giving my opinion of our biggest rivals who we have always dominated, have forever been in our shadow, but will never give up on the team I have supported for 60+ years! It’s Arsenal for life!

    1. Now we know how the spuds have felt for all those years!! Gutted ?

  9. Nige in NZ, kindly read carefully, I said that I have nothing but tremendous respect for Arsene. I appreciate the good work he has done for our club for the last two decades. But unfortunately, it appears to me, and I believe to most Gooners out there that Arsenal is regressing rather than progressing. It is time for him to honourably leave.

  10. u fans are brainless… another day Arsenal win u will b singing arsene stays forever.. the best summer transfer for arsenal is to get rid of Wenger and install tactician coach knows all..

    1. What is the Village doing for an IDIOT today while they have let YOU out.

  11. xhaka-chech x18-100% pass complete-what a amazing defensive player..the fasters,the quickers,the reactions,the tackles,the agilitiesman,the only one-GRANIT XHAKA.

  12. could Ibe guilty if I ask why when Arsenal players who performed best will be left out as ”injured” in the next game?????????? for several times

  13. Like most of us I only see Arsene Wenger when he`s interviewed but I`ve seen a dramatic change in the man since two seasons ago, he looks a sick man to me. I passed his age barrier twelve or more years ago and I`m not a pretty sight but Wenger has become drawn and haggard and to me it`s definitely time for him to hang up the boots.
    With all the medical staff at Arsenal you would think some doctor would have the guts to have a word in his ear.

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