Wenger NOT to blame for recent Arsenal struggles

One of the major reasons for the problems that Arsenal have had since the turn of the year has been our failure to score. Since that 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Anfield in mid January, Arsenal have managed to find the back of the net just eight times from nine games in all competitions.

And those goals all came in four of the games, as we failed to score against Stoke City, Chelsea, Southampton, Hull City and Barcelona, so it is not too hard to see why we have slipped off the top of the Premier League and are looking at another Champions League exit at the first knockout stage.

Now I know that a lot of Arsenal fans and football pundits will use this as a stick to beat Arsene Wenger with, saying that he should have signed a striker in the January transfer window. With hindsight they are right but I have some sympathy with the boss on this one.

How could Wenger have predicted that Alexis Sanchez would forget how to score when he came back from injury? And Olivier Giroud was having a fantastic season in front of goal, so who could have expected him to go on his longest run of games without scoring since he joined the club?

And do not get me started on Theo Walcott. Was he even on the pitch against Man United? I agree that Wenger has questions to answer but there is no way he can take all the blame because he might have expected one or even two of his forwards to have a bad patch but to have have three proven strikers that for some reason have stopped scoring is just ridiculous. What could the boss have done about that?

Tags Alexis Giroud Sanchez Walcott


  1. One major problem we have, key Players tend to go missing when we need them the most to shine, in crucial games!

    1. But who is responsible for relying on those players ? Who is responsible for motivating them ? Who is responsible for bringing them to the club in the first place ?? The manager IS to blame and failing to realize this is why the club fools you into believing we’re a top European club. Top clubs do everything to have the strongest squad, we don’t, now it’s been confirmed we have 135m in the bank but will only spend half of it.

    2. where did the writer pull this thing from .
      Wenger has committed a series of blunders.

      1 Off the top , it does not take rocket science to know that united 4 man midfield will overrun us in a 4-2-4 formation by playing 2 midfielders against there 4 and also considering Ramsey’s poor passing ability.

      2 Wenger inability to Dynamically alter formation . We all know his game plan is pretty predictable; even up to his substitutions.

      3 filling gaps in the team with untested teenagers and geriatrics at the start of the season .when you can actually make loan deals

      4 most damning of all is the failure to address obvious flaws in the squad and squad make up

      5 failure to use the so called meaningless games to experiment with new formations and personnel 4-4-2 ,4-3-3, 4-5-1,3-5-2

      6 handing fat world class contracts to average players

      We lost the chance due to our failure to address problems in January . Any serious manager would have tied up a deal in December ( loan or permanent) and the player would have signed right on the day the transfer window opened.
      there are second tier strikers and midfielders from South America and Africa who would have forced such a deal .
      If they do not make the cut, at least we would have been able to release them at the end of the season .

    3. I think its important to remain calm and not over react every time we lost a game. After all only two teams have lost less games than us at this point of time, and they are Spuds and Leicester…..not the EPL biggest spenders this season MU and MC. What is interesting to note is that both Leicester and Spuds had no real long term injury casualties to their key players this season, whereas Arsenal had Cazorla, Coq and Sanchez out for a long period at one time or another…And we should not assume that even if AFC had purchased quality cover for their positions, we are guaranteed to be better off than where we are now.

      Look at MC, they had missed a 6 mil player, Victor Kompany more than they would have liked and you couldn’t really say that they had not tried to find quality cover/starter for this position given that they had spend 30 million plus on what initially looks like two top centre backs the last two seasons. Yet up to this day they still needs VK not to miss a game to be at their best…..

      Spuds and Leicester have been lucky so far in that they have not lost any key players for a significant amount of time because this allows them to build momentum…

      At this point of time I have to say things do not look that good for AFC, but I prefer to wait until the end of the season before making any judgements….we still have 11 games to play and a lot can still happen….Spuds and Leicester will surely drop points and they are now not that far ahead. So we have more than good chances…. However, AW and the players available right now need to find the solution to our poor form immediately or we can kiss the title goodbye…

  2. Exactly what I keep saying. Wenger is not the one who’s supposed to be putting the ball into the back of the net. Guys like Ox, Rambo, Sanchez, Theo, and few others should really take a good look at themselves in the mirror, because at the moment they are nothing but parasites who are not earning their wages. Disgraceful, really, for a club and players of our stature.

    1. the question is , can they ?
      If not , why are they at the club .
      1 Ox cannot even cross a ball .
      2 Giroud cannot dribble , run or shoot from outside the box
      3 Ramsey cannot pass beyond 6 yard
      4 Walcott has only pace and accuracy
      5 Welbeck lacks composure in front of goal

      All these players share one thing in common , they lack street football brain .
      Believe me , when you were born facing the prospect of you and your family going to bed hungry , and this is based on you doing everything to win a game of street football , then you have no choice but to grow a brain , learn the flair , the tricks and the cheat .
      Giroud was headbutted in the champions league , instead of going down , he was moaning .
      For me , that is a sign of a person who wants to go to bed hungry.
      I do come across a few pictures of Ronaldo ( CR7) . Regularly, those photos show Ronaldo optimising himself .
      Either in the gym optimising or practicing his shooting skills at home .
      Some of our players look like people who spend their spare time drinking and smoking .
      I do smoke and a few of them are already shattered by the 15th minute of a 90 minutes match.
      This is why they cannot press like Barcelona .

    2. Vlad, really? who on earth would bring back flamini after he is long finished and left us in the time of need? Arteta, not even what we wanted coz remember he was a panic buy, Per? What ambition does a team has by relying on these flops? Even FA cup is in danger now, Chelsea are still in it and now they don’t intend to lose a game any time soon, remember they always punish us during crucial matches, we can beat them when we need to win the plate or shield, or whatever

  3. I can honestly say Wenger must be held accountable for having a hard working performing player like Joel Campbell on the bench, and why is he playing theo who has been non effective in his last few games! Why?

    1. Walcott scored the crucial equalizer against Leicester. He was also great when played as a CF at the start of the season. There’s also the added bonus that Sanchez – who has been having a dip in form himself – appears to play better with Walcott rather than Giroud. So how’s Wenger to know Walcott will suddenly forget how to play centre forward?

      1. He attends training everyday and knows the progress of his flops, don’t u think so? Or is it because he is English and Joel is not? coz I dnt see how the hardworking Joel can be benched by the speedster with no brains? even the first goal came from Walcotts blunder trying to dribble the whole Man U midfield

  4. This article is very, very wrong!

    Before the transfer window opened, we essentially only had one forward player that should be a starter, Sanchez. Walcott, Giroud, Campbell, Ox, Welbeck are either squad players at best or shouldn’t even be playing at this level. Campbell’s still an unknown quantity, but for the rest of them, we know all about the qualities they lack.

    So we clearly needed strengthening upfront due to a major lack of quality. On top of that, Wenger knew Welbeck was going to miss the majority of the season with injury, so we were already one player down, and amazingly, we actually only have one out-and-out striker in Giroud. Almost all of Walcott’s career has been spent out wide, same for Welbeck and Campbell and Ox. So basically we have players like Walcott learning how to play upfront, before they even start performing. Ridiculous position to be in! Walcott is not a striker!!!

    Wenger is completely to blame because he refuses to get rid of deadwood, and our tactics are a major problem as well. We can get into the final third fairly easily, only then to slow everything down by constantly cutting inside, making a lots of sideways passes and allowing the opposition to get plenty of men behind the ball, thus making harder to score. Wenger also picks the wrong starting XI almost every game.

    My final point is about Ozil. I think he’s on 17 or 18 assists now, despite regularly playing with the likes of Flamini, Ramsey, Ox, Giroud, Walcott and a really out of form Sanchez. Imagine the damage he could be doing with another two or three top class players around him. His best years are really being wasted at the moment.

    1. A guy like Özil Will definitely reach a point where he’ll think twice about extending if things continue like this & if he does: What does it say about us as a club? How can you blame a player to not want to waste his prime playing second fiddle…and if he ever gets to that state of mind, it will open the floodgate…Sanchez might follow & soon to be greats like Bellerin might think twice & we would go back to that time where all our great players left because they didn’t see any investments being made & no top players coming in!!
      We had the stadium excuse but with the highest ticket price in the kingdom & pretty much across Europe, the stadium paid for & so much cash reserve. There’s no excuse not to spend cause YES you can spend smart (25m-45m) on soon to be WC/WC players…If I’m Özil & Sanchez I would put pressure on the organization…This can’t continue if you can pay a guy like Walcott 140K/week…you can start opening talks with any marquee player in the world bare a few

    2. @ThirdManJW

      I think Wenger believes Ozil can lift up Giroud’s, Walcott’s, and Ramsey’s scoring. Instead they are dragging Ozil down. Sanchez looks frustrated and can’t shake it mentally, and his game is really suffering.

      Lastly, poor Joel Cambell. He’s become a real favorite for me. Works very hard defensively AND tackles, very creative, good with tiki taka play. NO WAY Ox and Walcott should keep him off the pitch. Shame on them. Unless Cambell has injury, it’s disgraceful Wenger favorites play before him. Rant over

  5. Doh! Obviously Wenger is not the ONLY one to blame for this current state of affairs. Wrote here in the summer after the market closed that if you sack only Wenger and not the whole leadership it will achieve absolutely nothing. Who do you think Gazidis will bring in? Someone who can deliver the same as Wenger on a budget. Truth be told we have no clue what the board is requiring from Wenger. If it is silverware no matter how shinny it is then FA Cup is the reward. If it is financial stability then this goal is achieved already with room to spare. If it is real glory like EPL, UCL, EL then this goal is long overdue. I can’t explain it otherwise.
    Wenger is human, just like every one of us. A smart one, not like me. But I don’t understand his decisision as of late. It is not “the” Wenger I know. Is it because top players got pi$$ed seeing Walcott getting his pockets lined with 140k of Her Majesty credits every week and delivering $hit day in, day out? Is it because the fatherly figure does not inspire power anymore? Maybe our players are not so receptive to phiosophycal lifestyle as he is.
    Wenger is the last one of the coaches leaving huge liberty on the field for every player as long as you keep the shape and you are in the position to get the ball back. I know he is better than that but it will clash with his philosophy for doing so. Will he make it work? Probably. Also, there is this historic argument that Arsenal form under Wenger in March begins to pick up but I hope it is in early March otherwise it will be too late.
    The bar was set VERY LOW this season. Chelsea, Liverpool, City, Manure, Everton and so on have a real problem to be consistent. If you can’t deliver now then what about next season? It will be even tougher and we all know it will not happen.
    Now, players. There is a group in the squad who is keep letting down Wenger every season in the last 3 or 4 years. And that despite the faith Wenger is putting into them rewarding them money and game time. And I am not talking about Giroud. This guy never said he is a world class striker. He works with what we have to offer him. When you offer him Walcott, Ox, Ramsey (although on him I am neutral and to be honest I would keep Ox above Walcott) Debuchy or Gibbs (fsck, I already forgot he is an Arsenal player) then this is the result. And to be honest he delivered above expectation because his numbers are right there with the other strikers in Europe.
    If I was Wenger and still bound to stay and finish my term I would sell all of them bar Ox. There’s a load of money to be made on them, at least 50 million. Why Ox? This guy is damn good, really good but he is played every other game in a different role. Surely, he can’t deliver constantly (although finishing must be taught every second at Colney now) but he does take on opponents.
    Go search La Liga and Bundesliga, go search Ligue 1 or hell! Even First Division for hungry players, pay some money and do not be sentimental anymore. There are 12 years without a title (our second worst period in history) and absolutely no impact in Europe. Start with that. Give Big Pete a chance.
    The board, well this is the third factor and the one I despise more than the players. These little greedy fsckers think we are in a corporate environment and they conduct every decision with an HR consultant (called talent aquisition) instead of relying on the good ole red nosed scouts wearing the tweed cap and chain smoking while not losing any of the kids playing the ball from their sight. People! Football rules are still the same since the begining of the century. There’s no rocket science. You put your bones to the work, you shed some skin and lose some teeth and then hopefully win a game or two. This is how is done. You don’t have to be a genius to spot a top, top player. If that’s what they are after then they are failing miserably at this.
    And don’t get me started on the Academy (which I follow very closely) because these guys are in worse shape than the first squad. We don’t have anyone coming from their ranks. We have some talent in the U21/Reserves but mostly is not grown by us. We are failing at that as well. And that is more worrisome than Arsenal not winning the title this year. We used to be proud of our kids and we used to foster them the Arsenal way (49,49 undefeated … you all know the song). Well, we lose more than we win but people do not pay attention at it because of what is happening at the Emirates. And that saddens me.
    So yes, to conclude, it is not Wenger the cause for our results but in so many ways he is in it. It is not only the players but when you are paid every week double my yearly salary then I have every incentive (and maybe right) to shout at you whatever I want for not doing your job not exceptionally well but decent.

  6. The blame always lays with the manager. He is not untouchable.

    If the team is not performing he has to know why, and make the right adjustments.

    If he has lost the team, then he has to go – a la Mourinho.

    We all know the club is financially healthy, but is managed by a miserly old fashioned one trick pony who the club is scared to sack because he is boringly consistent at bringing us 4th place every year. Oh and a few FA cups, but the real prize the league title escapes us, in a year where it was probably our best chance ever.

    Mr Wenger who so obstinately wants to prove everyone else wrong, but has been found out by a second rate club from the Midlands who look like taking the title. Add in the Spuds as worryingly consistent and this looks like being our worst year ever…

    So yes, he IS to blame, but while there is enough people on the season ticket waiting list the status quo will remain.

  7. Wenger chooses which players to buy and sell. He picks the team, he coaches the players and he gives the team talk and decides tactics. He has millions in the bank to spend and still chooses to buy no one last summer, so please don’t tell me he’s not to blame for lack lustre performances, dodgy defending and impotent striking. It’s his job and he’s been doing it badly for the last 10 years. It’s only because we have the most complacent board on the planet and the most deluded fans, that he gets away with it.
    A new manager my do no better but at least he’d give it a try and we’d have some hope that things might improve. Because one thing is for certain, under Wenger they certainly won’t.

  8. Lack of imagination is the root of the problem combined with miss management of resources galaxygooner shed the light on few problems I have a different football brain than MR wenger where i believe defense is the responsibility of the midfield together with the defense so when the midfield is weak all will fall down and you loose the midfield pick the ball from defense and transfers it to the attack the problem with arsenal they pass the ball around until all is present at the opposition goals living 2 to defend it is suicide as it is not rapid enough with to many choices to pass rather than attacking directly For every ball that goes in the opposition that ball will have to come back unless its a goal so the essence is in having bodies in midfield to counter the counter attacks yes position football is good and i love it but you use it to open up opponents in your own half but you need rapid attack look at the goals scored against us

  9. It is stupid to suggest that our player’s have become ?overnight and blaming Wenger for signing them/ trusting in them.
    It’s plain to see that the main problem with our current situation is more to do with Mentality rather than ability!
    Just like, with anything that you attempt to do in life…
    If you approach it with confidence, dedication and concentration then you will have a much more higher success rate! And that mentality is clearly missing from our lads…. Their minds seem to be elsewhere!

    Wenger’s main problem seems to be his lack of motivation to his player’s, maybe he has forgotten how to do that?
    or he simply can’t be ass’ed.
    But he is quick to praise them to the media during transfer windows of late ( to avoid spending?) yet he is even quicker to call them weak and nieve in defeat.

    Anyways… I have calmed down now, from the shambolic display against Utd and even though it has put a massive dent into our title dreams, its not 100% Over.. just yet, The next two games and the results of our rivals, will be decisive to whether its over or not.

    We have used up all our credits for this season’s marathon and we cannot afford anymore losses,I know Its a big Ask, but whilst it is still mathematically possible to win this race to be champions!… We have to remain hopeful.


  10. Wenger has lost the plot. Simple as that. He is incapable to motivate the players anymore. You can say one or two had a bad game and then not blame Wenger for the defeat. But the majority of the squad had a bad game big time, meaning something is very wrong in the dressing room. My money is on the manager. Way too many bad results to be blamed on the players.

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