Wenger slams the Arsenal defence after Spurs defeat

After our brilliant run of recent form it was a great shock to see Arsenal throw away a 1-0 lead against our great rivals Tottenham yesterday, especially as we hadn’t previously conceded a goal since New Years Day.

It seems Arsene Wenger was just as shocked and he has publicly chastised the Gunners defence for allowing Harry Kane the space to score twice and give all three points to Spurs. “It’s very disappointing because we started very well and then thought too much about defending, and not enough enough about playing,” the manager told the Arsenal website.

“I felt we made too many technical mistakes in the middle of the park, and lost balls that are very unusual for us. On top of that, we gave two cheap goals away and that explains the defeat.

“The corners on the deflection, we could have had the ball and then on the second post we leave them completely free. On the second goal, I felt that we left them completely free to cross the ball and then had nobody in position.

“Before that, we could have won the ball in the middle of the park and if we had won it, we could have gone through. But we didn’t really go for the ball and after that, Kane had a completely free header in the box.

“With five minutes to go, that’s difficult to understand with the experience we have at the back. I’m disappointed by the quality of our football and it was just not good enough.”

I am surprised that Arsene has slated the players so much in public as he usually prefers to reserve his criticism for the dressing room. If he is this angry in front of the media, I dread to imagine what he said to the players after the game. If this is a new facet of Arsene’s policy then I certainly hope it works and that the players respond strongly against Leicester on Tuesday night……

Tags kane Tottenham Hotspur Wenger


  1. Bottom line is we shouldn’t be losing like this, never had a cross word for Wenger but a manager that’s been with the same club for almost 2 decades such be alot more tactically prepared especially with the financial constraints we just went through… Now what hurts is that it’s now obvious money is there and we’ve seemed to regress some how with one of the worst starts in our history… Tired of getting beaten by the Mourinhos, the Pelligrinis (last season), the Koemans, the Van Gaals, the Pochetinos…

    1. Yeah and I’m going defensive to say whomever thumb this down, you’re either not an Arsenal fan or you’ve come to accept this as appropriate performances… Either way that’s sad…

      1. Yeah, way too defensive. I am an Arsenal fan and am unhappy every time we put in a poor performance. Don’t know what an “appropriate” performance is. I thumbed you down because I don’t buy your analysis.

        There never seems to be an acceptance that sometimes the players have to take responsibility – or at least a large part of it. I am not sure how two defensive errors can be 100% Wenger’s fault and down to poor preparation. I know when we do well the team gets the credit and when we bomb Wenger gets blamed. Generally the same for every fan for every club I know but it doesn’t hurt to add some balance every now and then. I am certainly “tired” of being beaten by Mourinho but churlish to put Pellegrini in there since we haven’t lost to them in the last 4 meetings. “Tired” of getting beaten by Pochettino – first time in 4 attempts? “Tired” of Van Gaal – once? These managers have lost 30+ times this season between them – these things happen in football.

        1. Have to agree with you Jonesy, our players just were not in the right frame of mind. We were not getting onto them quick enough and giving them way too much room. Worst of all, which has absolutely nothing to do with Wenger, was our first touch. How many times did we see Ramsey and pretty much our whole midfield give the ball away cheaply? If we strung more than 3 passes together it was good. Wenger cannot be blamed for this. The only thing Wenger should have done was brought on Rosicky and Walcott sooner. Giroud was absolutely useless in this game, because the only way we were ever going to score was from a quick counter-attack, something which we all know Giroud just is not equipped for. After half time, Welbeck and Walcott should have lead our front line, with Rosicky replacing Ramsey. Spurs put pressure on all game but at least with these three players we could have launched some decent and nippy counters. Anyway I think the players are 90% to blame for the loss.

  2. Well said.. I hope he acts an shows the players that don’t perform that he means business and benches the players that don’t perform like he did to Szczesny.
    I just don’t understand what happened to Ramsey compared to last year. It just seems like he forgot how to control the ball and pass. And what happened to his awesome tackling and defensive abilities he had last year?? Rosicky has to start the next game IMO.
    But don’t get me wrong I don’t blame Ramsey for the loss. The whole team just seemed to be nervous in possession.
    I don’t know if I’m wrong but have we ever really bossed a game against a decent opposition in the last few season? And by that I don’t mean attacking like a headless chicken but just dominate a game without having scary moments. Yes, the City game was class defensively and tactically and the perfect away performance. But if I look at Bayern or other top teams how they dominate games its just another league compared to Arsenal if I’m honest.
    I really don’t want to be overly negative after one defeat but I just don’t get why we can’t dominate decent sides like Spurs, Everton, Southhampton etc. If I look at the players we have I just feel we should do better. They just seem to be nervous in important games.

    Anyways let’s hope Arsenal can bounce back on tuesday when I’m at the Emirates COYG

  3. Good to see wenger publicly criticise players publicly.
    Now that er have mire than one person in every position it’s good for competition.

  4. For a start we need players with a physical presence in the middle of the park, beginning to think Sissoko wasn’t a bad shout after all, we actually now need the next Viera and Gilberto Silva…

  5. the truth is that ozil and welbeck didnt provide much help to the defence and ramsey had a poor performance . In the attack we tried to play like the city game but tottehnam had an amazing pressing . so we were simpy outplayed

    1. Maybe – but the defence didn’t help too much with their defending either, and the midfield didn’t do much to help either attack or defence (FC aside). Whole team poor and silly to pick on the only two players who had the single quality moment in the game.

  6. @TPB-AFK
    Now its up to AW to get ruthless enough to bench those who ain’t up to scratch. I’m gonna throw partial blame on him for his team selection of Ozil/Ramsey over Walcott/Rosicky. Welbeck comin from the left would have been much more lethal as would Theo comin from the right. Rosicky Santi and Le Coq would have be enough to control midfield…

  7. To be fair he is right the players in the middle did nothing to hold the ball and the players at the back dropped their man twice.

  8. About time the players are made to feel responsible, because they are. Our defence is still far too thin and slow. Bellerin was caught out of position time and again, Per was just less than a cart horse, Kos had an iffish day and Monreal was ok….We cannot expect to win if we have crap in defence like this. Still believe a winning, successful team is built around it’s defence, first and foremost. We still need a better quality CB, a beast CDM who can play alongside or coach Coquelin. A quality RB, Bellerin is still too green. We were masters of ball retention yet we gave away numerous amounts of possession in midfield….. Simple, a diabolical game!!!

  9. I may say,people under estimate the spuds,their weakness was the absence of a goal scorer and a leaky defence.
    Kane is ultra hot in attack so that one problem solved and our mindset,style of play yesterday was too defensive to give them problems in defence.Please don t under estimate Pochatino,he s a very good astute coach.I rate him above the aged Wenger already.
    Wenger still insist on playing players out of form(Ramsey)out of position(Ozil)and his subs are dubious and too late.I can see he is trying to adapt but maybe it is asking too much of him to be able to compete with the young ,hungry coach.
    I doubt it would happen but if we finish outside the top 4 we should go for Klopp or Laudrup and wish Wenger a good retirement.

  10. At this point something or someone has to give, a change or changes are obviously needed and personally I’m not going anywhere but I wish I’m still alive when the Arsenal are seriously contenders again or start to take themselves seriously…

  11. Wenger should have done something to save the day even when at 1-1 draw.I mean,it was that obvious what everybody was thinking. He should have brought out Ramsey for Rosicky.Cazorla should have replaced Ramsey as the CM and Rosicky for Cazorla at CAM,Welbeck for Walcott early enough. I don’t even know why he started Welbeck ahead of Walcott in the first place,Welbeck was giving away the ball too often on the right and wasn’t helping Bellerin in defence.Bellerin too can’t be blameless for being caught out of position many times,he didn’t even know who he was marking.The reason why we lost the midfield battle wasn’t because Coquelin didn’t do much,the problem was with Ramsey and Cazorla,they were loosing possesion too often in our own half giving more room for counter attack Coquelin alone couldn’t contain opponent’s pressure for the full 90minutes he needed help too defencively from Ramsey who didn’t give him any,Ramsey now sees himself as an AM who could go forward at anytime and ignore his defensive responsibility.Koscielny didn’t do much to prevent the second goal.

  12. D fault wasn’t with the defense, they tried, there is only so much any defense can withstand.. We lost the midfield battle because of the formation used, and we have a pipe of a striker in Giroud

  13. Now Ospina has been officially tested and I still want him to remain the #1. The score could have and should have been worse with that performance.

  14. What I don’t understand is the tactics, counter attacking football works well against sides who are comfortable on the ball and struggle to either gain width, that aren’t direct enough in their attack or have no aerial threat. So why we set up like that is beyond me. Moreover in order for you to do it successfully you HAVE to have a very strong back line that link well with the midfield or a midfielder who is willing to be the link between the defense and the attack.

    Manuel Pellegrini only plays one way, he will simply try to out football you, in Spain packing defenses and forcing teams out wide isn’t a common occurrence and Pellegrini struggles with that. Hull did it yesterday, we did it the week before, QPR did it, Stoke did at the beginning of this season, Sunderland did it the season before that and Mourinho has done it with every clash vs Pellegrini since his return, out of a maximum of 12 points over 2 seasons vs City, Chelsea have taken 8…so it isn’t a surprise it worked for us, especially in Toure’s absence and the fact that Aguero is diminutive in stature, he isn’t an aerial threat.

    However Spurs are a completely different outfit, Spurs are a fast counter attacking team who aren’t comfortable in possession, so conceding possession makes sense, sitting deep does not. Vs counter attacking teams that sit deep you need to nullify or diminish the threat of a counter attack and you need width. So Giroud’s inclusion was good but the battle was lost in the midfield, Spurs played exactly like you should have vs a team sitting deep, push the ball out wide, spread the full backs and put the ball in behind and apply waves of pressure.

    Ox and Sanchez were missed but it’s a story of same old same old, we got pressed high, robbed in the midfield and were under pressure for extensive periods. For me weill be hard pressed to reach the Arsenal of old until we recognize stuff like this, some people point to our results but the writing was on the wall vs City and Villa had gone nearly half a day without scoring.

    We need more steel in the midfield and more flexibility tactics wise

  15. Typical Wenger blame anyone but himself he is the Manager on 8m plus a year.
    So Man up Mr Wenger you know the buck stops with you.
    Your the Manager it up to you to get the best out of your Team
    After last week’s win against Villa you were beating you chest this week you came up against a team ( Spurs ) that put it up to you and you folded, so don’t go blaming everyone else it’s your fault.

  16. jesus…no wonder wenger has gotten away with his decade of underperformance….walcott had his chance to win over disbelieving fans like myself yday and did jack s***, fluffed his one chance when he couldnt control through ball from roszicky…because all he can do is run…arsenal fans need to get over this third rate whippet he might be able to pose threats to the burnely defence but not stronger and quicker defences that we face at top…a definite sell in the summmer if we want to be serious contenders again along with ramsey, mert and giroud….need a manager willing to do what koemans did for s’hampton in summer…wenger cant do that so need to start at top and kick the guy and his bs excuses…its YOUR f****** defence you gallic twat…in to touch

      1. sadly until the frog leaves i will be on an increased dosage…and watching this game in new york didnt help either!!! an arsenal team that, come mid february, is in no better shape than west ham is a team in crisis and i am shocked that fans can still find any room to defend this guy…sad state of an unhealthy club

  17. Man! I did not expect to be 14 points behind Chelsea in February @ start of season, especially after getting Sanchez. Not only 14 points behind but in 6th place

    It’s very demoralizing to be honest

    Now in the premier league we are playing for 4th place and for pride.

    We have a shot at FA Cup and still in the Champions League (well this season anyway lol)

    So hopefully we can stay in top 4 and win a trophy
    COYG. Don’t let your fans down

  18. Too right. That was a true analysis of the situation. Wenger usually will not attack single players or discuss mistakes. What he refers to is a whole game of underperformance. He was right. Had the team executed the plan, we’d have probably won. But we underperformed and lost. Granted, I don’t think we needed to give Tottenham that much breathing space – I think we are the better team and should have acted as such but given Wenger’s history I think he wanted to be solid and get the points rather then try to win beautifully (something fans have been saying for years). Sadly our team didn’t perform and I think he feels betrayed slightly that the effort levels just dropped and the concentration wasn’t there.

    Wenger will protect the players if he feels they gave what was needed to be given. I don’t think he felt they did everything they could, which shows how disappointing that result really is.

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