Was losing Arteta really the reason for Arsenal collapse?

Just about everyone concerned with Arsenal Football Club will have been absolutely astounded at what they saw against Anderlecht at the Emirates last night. And most of us have been trying to pick the performance apart to see just how the Gunners managed to throw away a three goal lead against one of the minnows of the Champions League.

The man whose job it is it see that these things do not happen or at least try to prevent them from happening, Arsene Wenger, had a few ideas of his own including; insisting that the Belgian champions are a better team than most people think, an all round poor defensive performance from start to finish from Arsenal and dropping off because the players thought the game was won.

But in his post match statement reported by Arsenal.com the Frenchman was asked the main reason and he claimed that it was the forced withdrawal of the club captain Mikel Arteta.
Wenger said, “I think when we lost Mikel Arteta we lost out because he was one of the few who defended well. That didn’t help. Apart from that maybe we underestimated subconsciously Anderlecht and got punished. In the Champions League you need to be at the mental level or you get punished and certainly we were not.”

The timing was certainly right because the Spaniard was already struggling with his hamstring when they scored their first goal and he was replaced by Flamini right away. So you could say that Arteta was not playing for all three of their goals. And maybe it was not just his defending ability we missed, but his leadership to get everyone organised and not to leave the back four so exposed.

But we still had experienced players like Flamini, Ramsey and Cazorla who should have done better, while Per Mertesacker as vice-captain should have been barking orders. Does this show exactly why Wenger gave Arteta the captain’s armband?

Tags Flamini Mertesacker Ramsey


  1. frankn says:

    Title winning teams just don’t throw away 3 goal leads at 60 minutes

    1. Grim Bligh says:

      off topic,i have a picture in my mind of campbell and his girlfriend at the start of the season with a big smile telling how proud and happy he was to play for Arsenal.Now the smile is gone and I am sure the lad is a goner,if he could not play with Wallcot injured there is no way he gonna play with him back.
      Arsenal is a court with king Arsene who give play time to his favourites(courtesans)and let rot on the bench the out of favour.
      I like Arsene but his flaws as a coach are too numerous,even a lass from bbc could teach him how he had messed up the transfer window in the defence department.
      I say it now,remember that,Wenger is a goner as end of this season as the supporters are fed up with under achievement and he cannot do better than that.
      Ultimately the board would have no option but to show him the door and a deserved retirement.Merci et adieu le prof.

  2. muffdiver says:

    just got back…minus the samurai sword…
    wenger is harder than he looks

    1. SaveArsenal says:

      FFS Muff what sort of fan are you???
      As the Spartan mothers used to say to their sons: “come back with your shield or on it.”
      Surrender was NOT an option!

  3. Greg says:

    Honestly to me, when both arteta and ox came off! Flamini has not been at his best and made very little impact on the game!

    1. Tas says:

      Flamini has been poor all season his struggling to stay in the game he looks just a fraction of a player last season he should not be playing not even on the bench.

      1. jermaineBryan says:

        Flamini has done ok this season his pass accuracy has always been over 91%, he also was the best player on the pitch in the chelsea game he dominated the midfield battle (squawka)

  4. Greg says:

    Theo should have been brought on! The extra pace from him would have made a difference, and would have opened up the anderlecht defense! What was wenger really thinking?

    1. Mesut O-grillz says:

      Theo definitely should’ve came on. Fresh, fast legs – he woulda been chaos for Anderlecht. We all saw how much of a difference his presence made on Saturday, but looks like Wenger didn’t. AW was probably counting the amount of grass blades on the pitch instead.

    2. jermaineBryan says:

      @ 3 nill joel campbell should have been given a chance

  5. NIKK says:

    Reality is that there will be similar collapse in the future Arteta or no Arteta unless Arsene fortifies the defense and midfield with a real quality. We have been intermittently collapsing for at least last five years because the real weaknesses at back and midfield, has not been addressed by the Stubborn One!

  6. Brada b says:

    If u sign quality def it wouldn’t have to be all of this with who loosing who #Arsenal is a club not a 1 man team!!!! So even if #Arteta got sub that shouldn’t have affect the team & it ain’t to say #Arteta waz a big def so that loosing #Arteta article iz #BS!! #NEXT!!

  7. Thando says:

    Wenger should have instructed the players to close the shop at 3-0 and player counter football.subs should have been defencive players(bellerin for monreal and flamini) and keep possession

    1. Tas says:

      the whole team is trying to score goals our L/B and R/B are always in the opisite 6 yard box leaving M&M behind to hold the fort bit like that cartoon Charecters

  8. Hafiz Rahman says:

    time for wenger to go….

    i want to bring in a new manager…..this is too much.

    after all these years….i had enough of all these BS

    1. NIKK says:

      What is the point of Steve Bould being at Arsenal?
      He sits there on the bench next to Wenger looking mean and moody but never even looking at the manager let alone communicating with him.
      I had always assumed that despite his demeanor he was some kind of defensive genius guru. The evidence suggests otherwise.

      1. Tas says:

        Your spot on Bould was a part of 4 man defence stil gives nightmares to retired EPL strikers specialy M Owin

  9. JDodge says:

    Not even sure how Flamini still gets in the teamsheet, I doubt he would even get into the West Brom team at this rate.

  10. ButtFlaps says:

    NO, because we have no physical strengths to mental strengths!!!

  11. fred cowardly says:

    Big mistake not getting more defensive reinforcements and sending Jenkison on loan while selling Vermaelen.

  12. Bobshinery1 says:

    Off Topic:
    Piers Morgan tweets to pay Vicent Kompany 60m and 2 Ferraris.
    Kompany replied tweeting, i cant come to Arsenal for that, i play for glory. (What an insult) So, happy his team lose 2:0 up to draw with CSK Moscow and later lose at home. If not…..

    1. muffdiver says:

      ohhhh vincent – irony is a beautiful thing

    2. Mesut O-grillz says:

      what’s even funnier is Morgan’s tweets after the game.

      @PiersMorgan: I will…and I’ll #KeepTheFerraris > RT @VincentKompany #KeepTheFaith

      @PiersMorgan: We play for the Last 16, Vinnie > RT @VincentKompany “@piersmorgan: £60m & 2 Ferraris?” Those days have gone Pearsie, I play for glory 🙂

      @PiersMorgan: OMG CSKA!! > RT @VincentKompany OMG Anderlecht!!

      Hate or love him, Piers knows how to troll the opposition.

    3. jermaineBryan says:

      Kompany is shite very overrated if Rooney did that to mertesacker u wouldn’t here the end of it

  13. Dennis says:

    hahaha wenger and his excuses. Man’s up 3-0 and brings on 2 attacking players whilst still having his full backs bombing forward. My blame is with the fans that are paying $$$ to see this rubish week in week out, keep your hard earned money and see how FAST things change at Arsenal FC.

  14. Twig says:

    “Apart from that maybe we underestimated subconsciously Anderlecht and got punished.”

    Hands up! I underestimated Anderlecht as well. And when the OX scored the third, I somehow hoped we could put in a couple more to reduce the goal difference between us and BVB 😀

    1. RSH says:

      We overestimated our own team is more like it. Our defense is probably worse than theirs, despite all of ours getting paid more.

  15. Matt says:

    Arteta isn’t ideal, however he must play over Flamini who is f*cking useless. Also, where the f*ck is Diaby? He was regaining fitness and played 60 mins in the League Cup loss to Southampton! He is the best option for the DM position but he’s just a delicate little flower just like the rest of the squad.

    1. Mesut O-grillz says:

      He’s the one who wears the Gunnerasarous costume, that’s the only way he gets on the pitch these days

  16. fred cowardly says:

    It’s weird. For me 2 of the most gut wrenching results for me were actually draws. This one and the time we were 4-0 to Newcastle and ended up 4-4. That result basically ruined the season for us. This one won’t but still is the worst result of the season in my opinion because of the defensive collapse and because Wenger could have avoided this by getting more defensive reinforcements.

  17. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Losing Arteta made the difference huh? ……… Its a sham we dn’t know what our real problems are and thus dwell on cheap theories…… Fine! Lets Lose to swansea then since we believe Arteta won’t be playing ….. NONSENSE!

    1. jermaineBryan says:

      sending jenkinson on loan is a big mistake chambers would have been doing well in def mid if arteta had to go of

  18. SoOpa AeoN says:

    Losing Arteta made the difference huh? ……… Its a sham we dn’t know what our real problems are and thus dwell on cheap theories…… Fine! “Lets Lose to swansea then” ,since we believe Arteta won’t be playing ….. NONSENSE!

    1. Brada b says:

      @soopa Aeon why u alwayz repeat the same twice

  19. sam-afc says:

    Not making changes went we went 3-0 up was a mistake. Arsene is to blame.
    As soon as anderlecht scored the first goal, he should of ordered the team not to commit to many players forward. Monreal is a LB being made to play CB. Arsene’s fault, had all summer to buy a CB and didn’t. Subs were put on too late( as per usual)

    1. RSH says:

      and wenger dont get off the bench the whole match to tell the team to stop attacking/ sit deeper. And then post-match interview he has the nerves to say he saw the problem the whole time? Why are you getting paid 8mill a year? Manage the damn team then!

  20. Twig says:

    Is this our best defence when everyone is fit?

    Gibbs Koscielny Chambers Debuchy

  21. Temugen says:

    my first post on this site. Is this actually an Arsenal fan site? Very hard to tell from the comments…ManCity is on 2 points in the CL and yet the supposed Gooners on this site moan and groan about us on 7. Only Chelsea has more Champions League group points at 8. I laugh when reading the comments here because most people have no sense of perspective. ManU is a joke, Spuds are terrible, City and Pool are rubbish in European play. At worst, only Chelsea is clearly stronger than our side. Even better are the “Wenger out crowd” who want Managers like Klopp – cuz 17th place in Bundesliga is better than 4th in EPL…

  22. Prof says:

    The answer is capital NO! Losing arteta was not the reason for arsenal collapse, neither was mertesacker, monreal and co — they all gave their best ACCODING TO their qualities. The real reason behind our collapse is wenger himself who have been so adamant enough to change for good but rather insist on tackling the same problem with the same solution every season and still expect different result. As long as wenger remains the manager, failure will persist and the blame will always be wrongly bestowed on the players varying from front line to midfield from midfield to defence from defence to poor slim bench and at last blaming our injury crisis.

  23. sam-afc says:

    There’s doing ok/getting silly results, and there’s doing better/ winning games
    I’d rather be winning a game when we was 3-0 up than draw 3-3.
    We won’t win trophies like that, I can tell ya

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