Tired Arsenal must stand up and be counted after sloppy win at Wolves

Well lovely Arsenal people, we prolonged the title race a little with a win at the Molineux. It was a game that psychologically had a huge weight, but in reality this Wolves side was missing Neto and Cunha, so we should’ve won either way.

At this point of the season results are the most important thing, but I think it was obvious the players are tired. Bukayo Saka needs to be taken out of the side. He’s played already 42 games this season and it was another 90 minutes. Surely with the lead, we could’ve brought Martinelli on?

I won’t even bother with Reiss, because him, Smith-Rowe and Eddie are players that shouldn’t be here given the numbers they wear, the money they earn and the minutes they play on the pitch. We’re trying to win the league with 13-14 players, but that topic has been discussed a lot.

Saka is far from the only player being overplayed thoug. Havertz, Rice and White have played 44 games each, Gabriel and Saliba – 43, Odegaard – 41. If you compare this to Man City who have played more games including the club world cup and are also in the FA cup final. Rodri has 38, Foden – 41, Silva – 39, Haaland 39, De Bruyne has less than 20.

You may not think a difference of 4-5 games on average is so big, but out of 40 games, that’s 10% less energy your squad has to burn in the course of the entire season. Don’t get me wrong, City looked tired against Chelsea.

My issue is we play Chelsea next, and they’ve been better lately. It will be a difficult game, and our performance against Wolves won’t be enough. Then we go to Spurs, who’ve had a lovely two weeks break. Those are must-win games as at this point any dropped points end any slim hopes of a title.

I just felt given the fixtures coming up, this was the game to rotate. Partey came on today in the last 10 minutes of the game. Another player that I believe is going this summer, but surely he could’ve helped Rice rest a little, because his role demands so much physically in attack and defense.

I think the nerves showed up just as much as fatigue. Trossards goal flew in the top corner, but it wasn’t exactly a shot full of conviction. The goal was as nervy as the team and it gave us a huge sigh of relief. We were wasteful in front of goal, and it took to the last 2 minutes of extra time, before a smart finish from Odegaard secured a 2:0 win, but even that goal happened after our captain failed to put in a good cross, but the ball fell kindly for him again.

All and all we of course take the points. If we limp our way to 5 more wins, I’d take them any way they come. But I just want to point out that in order to improve in general there needs to be critical self reflection. We shouldn’t be so short-sighted and think only of the next game. This is the reason why we look so leggy now, at the business end of the season. I think City will win their 6 games and secure the title, but I’d still prefer us to die by our swords, rather than just roll over and wave the white flag. Let’s make them work for it at least!


Tags Wolves


  1. i agree with your point that our players are looking tired, some more than others, e.g. Saka and even Rice not his sharp self

    i also agree there have been opportunities to rotate more, sub more and sub earlier

    my mind goes back to the deadest of dead rubbers vs PSV in the last group match of the CL, fielded a near full strength team, both risking our star players but denying other minutes

    so is that going to change vs Chelsea = “no”

    with 5 games to go expect this XI to be driven in to the ground

    and with only 5 to go I think that is right now, the past is gone so can’t change that, but where we are today I would play Saka and that first choice XI vs Chelsea

    my reasoning is one slip up, even one draw now, and it is over, no point resting Saka to bring his fresh legs on for a lost cause

    they rest in the summer (Euros is not Arteta’s concern)

  2. I’m surprised at the “sloppy” word in the title, perhaps a hard earnt three points would have been more suitable.

    I get the idea behind resting players, but not because they are tired for heaven’s sake!
    These are fully fledged athletes, who have the most sophisticated back up that rivals anything around.
    For those who have done the stadium tour, they know exactly what I mean!!

    What I do agree on, is the fact that players like ESR and Partey, who have both been warming the bench, should have been given much more playing time.
    It’s ridiculous to expect either of them to come on and influence a game, when MA has totally (or almost) ignored them.
    I don’t see Nketiah, Nelson or Vieria having the ability to play 90 minutes and influence a game, but even they should be getting playing minutes under their belts.
    Arsenal1886 mentions a dead rubber in the CL, but what about our PL games, when we were, for example, 6-0 up against WHU?
    There were four or five games when MA could/should have used those players on the bench and that’s a Arteta mistake… in my opinion.

    Now, it’s a risk so near to the end of the season and he has no choice but to play his first
    choices, as he can’t gamble on the likes of ESR.

    Let’s hope MA is proven right and I’m worrying over nothing.

    1. I’m not at all surprised at the word “sloppy ” KEN.

      Of course I do NOT agree in the slightest with it, though we were, for all but the the half hour after half time, below our normal standard.
      But as the article was by “programmed to moan Konstantin”, it was to be expected and therefore no “SURPRISE”.

        1. Which means than Pat, that Konstantin does NOT also think we were sloppy? If he did not, (which personally I do NOT believe he did not think), then why did you write a headline he doesnt agree with?

          Care to enlighten us all which of those two scenarios is actually the TRUTH, PAT?

          OF COURSE PAT, if you instead decide not to continually question so many of my posts, then I WOULD NOT NEED TO TIE YOU UP IN KNOTS, AS I HAVE JUST DONE

  3. Good points from Konstantin and the 2 posts above as I do think that there has been a heavy reliance on too few players

    The squad is stronger than last season imo but it still isn’t strong enough. I am loathe to mention names, but Nketiah and Reiss Nelson are not of the required level in my book and Vieira looks to be a signing that hasn’t worked – yet!

    Last season it was about 12/13 players whereas 17/18 is where we are today

    Ken1945’s point about giving the bench/returning players a chance during the West Ham game is an obvious one, but wouldn’t it be ironic if we won the league on goal difference?

    I get the impression that Arteta doesn’t rush players back from injury so ESR and Partey have lost out.

    1. Touché on the goals scored SueP – I’d take it though in a heartbeat and thank MA for being so clever! 😂

  4. Play the midfield of Odegaard, Partey and Rice with Havertz upfront to give more rythm to our games. Havertz as 8 does not work. Go theough all the games he played as 8: They are boring and we HARDLY score more than 1 goal per game.

    If Partey is unfit, play Jorginho in that order. Play Trossard. His scoring rate is best in the team. Our major problem is the Left back. But I think the best there is still Kiwior if Tomiyasu is not well.

  5. Well, pessimistic fans are never meant to see it coming, reason why Konstantin have given up already.

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