Wenger – Arsenal were not ready for Watford challenges (What! Again?)

Arsenal had won their last 9 games against Watford at home up until last season when the Hornets arrived for an FA Cup match (a competition that we hadn’t lost a game in for 3 seasons) but we let our North London neighbours bully our stars off the ball and surprisingly lost the game 2-1 after going 2-0 down.

So it looked like ‘deja vu’ yesterday, when Watford, who had not won in their last 7 games, came back to the Emirates and did exactly the same thing! They showed the same aggression as they did last year and fought like Lions (which is little surprise as it worked for them last time) but Arsene Wenger is trying to tell us that he wasn’t prepared for that. “We were not ready for the challenges,” Le Prof told SKY Sports. “We were a bit in between and maybe we paid a heavy price for that.

“We were dominated in too many duels. We paid for it because we just didn’t start sharp enough. It happens sometimes and you are not punished but we today were punished.

“In the second-half we responded very well. We are a bit unlucky to lose the game and overall that sums it up well.”

We were unlucky to lose? Seriously? I reckon if I rewound the clock to the Watford game last season, we would have heard EXACTLY the same response from Wenger after the match. Surely the boss would have shown the players the video from last season to remind them what to expect from the same under-siege Watford side? How can the team not expect the same thing from the same opponent two years in a row? It was the same game, the same passion, and surprisingly (!) the same result.

There must have been something seriously wrong with the preparation for this game if they were surprised by Watford. And who is responsible for this preparation?

Darren N


  1. Jansen says:

    Nothing is going to change at this club as long as Wenger is in charge. Sadly I don’t think Wenger will leave on his own accord and “Wenger out” banners also feel sad and wrong.

    In an ideal world, we had a strong owner or a strong board or a strong GM, who would take Wenger aside and say: “You have had a great career and the club will be forever grateful for not only the job you have done but also for the manner in which you did it. But now the time has come for us to part ways. Let’s throw the best goodbye party this League has seen and call it a day.”

    The man has too much class to be fired but not enough modesty to resign. That is a predicament.

    Not renewing his contract would the best thing for all involved.

    1. ThirdManJW says:


      I would disagree on a couple of things. I know it’s not nice seeing “Wenger out” banners at games for our greatest ever manager, but it should be expected given the situation, we as fans, have been in for years. We pay the highest prices in the world, and for what? Wenger’s one of the highest paid managers in the world, why? I do not think there has been nearly enough criticism from the fans, and media alike. The protesting has been, at best, mild! For me, Wenger has got off very likely in this respect.

      I do agree with you about Wenger having class. I’ve always liked the way he conducts himself (barring the Burnley game), although his response in the interviews was good. Wenger is a very intellectual person, and comes across like that, but one cannot forget, that he does come out with some delusional points of view as well, and has shown disrespect to the fans as well in some of his comments. One thing that irates the fans however, is how Wenger keeps recycling the same hollow sayings, usually after a disappointing result.

      Wenger will never be fired, and that is a disgrace! It essential means that this man is immune from results, despite every other manager on Earth being judged on results…and rightly so. Wenger achieved great things in that first decade, which should/and has, given him some breathing space when things started going wrong. One doesn’t just ditch a manager, who had done so much for your club, at the first sign of trouble. Although this does in the modern game. Wenger was given more time, and everyone had to be patient. But our patience has been stretched beyond belief, and that’s why he should be sacked. He’s had a fantastic opportunity of the last few years to win the league, what with the finances, and the manager merry-go-round at our rivals, and still he hasn’t! In fact, it’s been an epic failure!

      My point is, Wenger has done more than enough to deserve the sack, despite his achievements a very long time ago. Although we cannot turn back time to retrieve so many lost years because of Wenger, at least his sacking would have given fans some sort of vindication. Also, it would have been a strong message to Wenger himself, that it’s not been good enough, because Wenger honestly believes a top four place, is pretty much like winning the league anyway. A sacking would have helped him with his delusions!

      1. antbadapple says:

        And what about these club values he keeps going on about!?!? Think he needs to go and rethink them .. cos the club values i remember Arsenal used to stand for was more mental strenght and toughness not softy,softy niceness losing mentality.. something like thaT anyways.
        Sorry just not happy at how easy it would have been to predict last nights poor show!

  2. Pablo Picaso says:

    But you are paid 8mil a year to prepare the boys so what’s your excuse for not doing your job?

    Next time when the boys are not ready send them back home and throw in the reserves or forfeit the match. No much difference between losing 2:1 against Watford at home or losing a game by 3 goals and some charges from the FA and the likes by forfeiting!

    The club should not pay Wenger and his boys this weeks wages based on this revelation. You don’t work, you don’t get paid. Only Iwobi, Sanchez, and some extent Lucas looked interested yesterday.

    1. bran99 says:

      true.. and also this old man has taken us for a very long ride, every time they play badly he says they’ll be ready for the next match, they have time to prepare and even relax, but come the match and they lose, he comes and say they were not ready.. what have they been doing for 3 to 4 days they had between the matches? and it’s not the first time he comes up with such bullsh*t, putting in mind how much he gets paid to come up with such lame excuses every other week

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Wenger is a specialist in excuses

    Anyway, I believe that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
    Our best period this season was when we had Alexis as CF scoring consistently and Walcott scoring too with Giroud scoring off the bench. Add Lucas on the Left.

    Keep Ramsey off the pitch and off the bench. Start Ox and put Adelaide on the bench.

    For Chelsea

    Bellerin.. Koscielny… Mustafi… Gibbs
    Coquelin…. Ox.
    Walcott….. Ozil…. Lucas

    Good news: IF and it’s a big IF, we can beat Chelsea then we will be down 6 points, so we will still have a small chance. Anything other than a win and it’s over.

    1. Pablo Picaso says:

      Good line up but its hard to drop Iwobi right now. He has been showing some consistence in his performances and my Lord if it was Ozil playing as good as Iwobi we would be hearing this everyday. At least he shows that he gives a dumb when his on the pitch. Lucas has been great too but IF IT WAS UP TO ME I would line up the team as such:

      Bellarin Mustafi Koss Monreal
      Ox Coq Iwobi
      Theo Welbeck Sanchez

      Pace pace pace, for counter attacks/ technical and play making ability provided by Sanchez and Iwobi / Coq, Welbeck and recently Ox to do the dirty work while contributing effectively in attacks / false nice kind of line up with Theo, Welbz, Sanchez rotating causing havoc to Chelsea’s back 3.

      Bench: Ospina, OG, Ozil, Gibbs, Gabriel, Lucas, Mert

      Ramsey and Wenger can watch from the stands together.

    2. arsenalfan1 says:

      ‘we still have a small chance’ (i.e. against Chelsea)
      ANSWER: Chelsea have Conte as Manager…. We have ‘Arsene the Dope’ as manager….consequently Arsenal have ‘no chance’ of overtaking Chelsea in the Premiership.

  4. AsburtonGrove says:

    Is it wrong that I almost celebrate like we’ve scored a goal when Ramsey gets injured?!
    Thank the football gods he cant be selected for at least a few weeks!! Why the hell does Wenger always put blind-faith in a player that can only pass sideways and backwards over in-form players??
    Sell him, Wenger out, if Ozil’s contract is contingent on Wenger staying then he can go too, I’d rather have a hungry playmaker who shows up in the big games that matter and actually cares about winning for AFC. Break the bank to keep Alexis – whatever it takes! Play him up front, keep Giroud as super-sub and when he’s IS on the pitch in the (predictable like clockwork) 70th minute – cross the bloody ball Arsenal, he can actually score headers! Oh and pay me 7mil a year, myself like 90% of the fans on here have more diversity and ideas than the current corpse we have in a broken zipper-coat. #wengerout, #coyg!

    1. Jim A says:

      Crosses to OG yesterday 0.0

  5. summerbreez says:

    Iwobi recked my head last night he was weak and misplaced many passes he cant seem to control the ball its always running away from him he should not be in the middle in the middle you need good ball controllers with good eyes for passes long and short on the ground and above the ground >>>waterford yesterday were on top of us with no space giving to our players and we were scattered all over the place with no vision or leader ship too goals in the space of 3 minuets ok the first goal was a fluke but come on the second one ???? and thats all what it takes to loose a match many times this season we cant play when the opposition seats in our face we have no cohesion or understanding we crumble away we need to start the game together as a unit a compact unit

  6. vinie2000 says:

    Believe me, If we do not turn up from the whistle go. We will be humilliated at stamford bridge. Chelski will be fired up for revenge and will show no pity.,why should they? How much of this ill faith expectations remain in those believing our coach is good enough to bring us glory back? Every time the same lame excuses. We were not ready mentally for the game, we lack sharpness, cohesion bla bla bla. Listen beloved fellas who come here to express your pros and cons. We have enough pain, enough false promises. This team needs change from top. Pace and guts was the main key of the invincibles team. This team lacks this, wait we got pace no been select right team so few got guts but if you see klopp and conte screaming on the touch line. This helps teams to react. Anyway, pace for chelsea otherwise better not warch. Wel-alexis-theo up front and lecoq ( who needs to have look at himself lately no ball watcher ) with iwobi and ozil behind the three up front. Bellerin and gibbs full backs. Really hope they turn up.

  7. Kostafi says:

    I will put my hand up and say I (and the admin here) got it wrong with the squad for last night. Everyone seemed to agree OG was the way to go against what would be dogged Watford defence. Everyone (including Wenger and Bouldy) expected Watford to do what Burnley and West Brom did by coming to the Emirates to defend in numbers hoping to nick a point. Watford having being humbled in the FA Cup came to the Emirates for more than that racing out the blocks. in hindsight pacy forwards was the way to go. AW and Bouldy should have anticipated this (this is what they are paid to do) with a game plan in case that happened. They clearly didn’t and the players didn’t receive any apparent instructions to adapt.
    What was more annoying/disappointing is after having got a foothold in the game, AW/SB sacrificed Coq for Perez. Perez (or Welbeck) was the right call. Coq was the wrong one. AW is used to subbing Iwobi after 60-70 minutes but couldn’t last night because he scored. Iwobi or another forward should have come off (contract stalemate or not). As soon as Coq came off, Watford got a foothold again in the game and used this to waste time. Very poor game management from AW via Bouldy.
    The only silver lining I see is the players being a lot sharper from the off at the Bridge on Sunday. The Jekyll-Hyde performances really have to stop! Ramsey was atrocious… For me Ox can be the new Santi in a few years!

  8. AndersS says:

    I really don’t understand all the comments about Giroud and whether he or Sanchez should play up front. It really has nothing to do with, where our problem lies. look at the facts. We giveaway too many chances and too many goals, that is why we are miles behind Chelsea. And the reason is, we often have too many players, who don’t support the defense and don’t win the ball back high on the pitch. Whoever plays up front normally doesn’t do a lot of defending, and we all know Ozil can’t/doesn’t defend. This means the rest should be very well organized and working like defensively. But when we also have Ramsey and Iwobi (or the OX or whoever) all over the place defensively, we will give away chances and goals. There is no way Coquelin + the back four can do it alone. It really is Wengers fault not to organize this. So forget all the rubbish about who should play upfront. It doesn’t really matter when we can’t defend!!!

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      Spot on Gooner. People fail to realize or are in denial about these basic facts.
      Iwobi, Aaron and Mesut are allergic to defending, which makes it all the more easier for the opposition to run through us. Maitlan-Niles or Ox should have started alongside Le Coq, to help recycle the ball from defense to attack.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        That’s why Giroud is a bad choice when Ozil is playing, they are useless at staying compact on team shape. You add Ramsey too that and it’s asking for trouble, then Iwobi, it just becomes a disaster. Not to mention wide-men. We didn’t sho9w Watford an ounce of respect, we put on all our stroll abouts ..thinking this is a piece of cake.

    2. Kostafi says:

      It does. Sanchez defends from the front, and even Walcott hounds RB’s and wingers this season. Welbeck has been doing it for Roy Hodgson for a while, while the Ox kept his place in Hodgson’s midfield because he knew how to maintain shape and track back. Why do you think Mourinho wanted him as part of a swap deal for Cech? Giroud does not, Ozil does not, Iwobi does not know how, and Ramsey does not like to. This is why squad selection is important. However no one expected Arsenal to be defending at home against Watford whereas Wenger and Bould should have. The failure to prepare is more theirs than the players (with the exception of maybe Ramsey- he was shit last night). A front three of Perez/Welbeck-Sanchez-Walcott would have pushed Watfords defence back creating room for the likes of Ozil to pull the strings. Ox-Coq midfield base had legs for days with Kostafi providing height behind them. The counter press is a proven system (ask Klopp) but the personnel deploying it is more imprtant than the system. Against Liverpool, AW used it against Liverpool forcing them back. We won (and missed) a penalty and scored in the first half of that game. The downside to it is players get tired after 20 minutes. But as we proved against Man U last season, 20 mins is enough to end a match.
      Wenger was clearly resting some players for Chelsea as Bellerin should have started. Both Watford goals were build ups from the right. Niang would have been pushed back by Bellerin instead being invited forward by Gabriel.
      Santi sacrificed his penchant for going forward by dropping deeper and playing more of a holding role to allow players like Ozil flourish. This started at the 2-0 away win at City but it was key to getting the squad and the tactics right. The balance between attack and defence must be right for a team to work and Wenger got it spectacularly wrong by taking Coq off when we got a goal back. The only defensive player ahead of the back four subbed while we were chasing a game. We were lucky Watford were the opponents who were happy to protect a lead with 20 minutes to go. Bayern/Barcelona would have doubled their tally in that time.

  9. SoOpa AeoN says:

    and one more thing…….. We personally created a record for mustafi and finally helped break it!….. EPHEMERAL!!!

  10. Onochie says:

    Since steve bould was on the touch line,the press should please request for his presence and ask him the questions. Maybe he would mistakenly tell us the truth about what is going,we are tired of same old wenger lies and excuses,it sounds boring. Do our players even go to the gym? We lost all the 50/50s in that match,what were they doing in training? We might lose Sanchez and I wouldn’t blame him,he have a hand in 80% of our goals this season,that’s a huge burden.

    1. arsenalfan1 says:

      There is no chance of Sanchez staying as long as ‘Arsene the Dope’remains as manager!

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