Why are Arsenal not “hungry” for the title?

Many people have many personal reasons to explain why Arsenal came off a badly-beaten second best to Leicester last season, but I am personally very interested to listen to one of our players giving their opinion, especially when it is the supremely consistent Nacho Monreal.

At times, the Gunners looked invincible, especially when giving a masterclass to teams like Bayern Munich and Manchester United, but then at other times we get beaten at home by a second-string relegation-threatened Swansea side. So how do we explain the anomaly? Nacho thinks that sometimes Arsenal simply don’t have the hunger.

He explained it like this: “Overall it’s been a good season but we are left with a feeling that we could have done more. If we had been more consistent, we could have won the League. Unfortunately, a couple of months ago we had a slump and lost a lot of points. We lost our edge and the chance to go for the title.

“All things considered, it has not been a bad season but we are ending it with a bittersweet taste in our mouths. Our aim is to win, of course, so if we don’t win anything, we have to be self-critical while remaining ambitious.

“Our biggest regret, of course, is not winning the title. It has been an atypical year. No one expected Leicester to achieve what they have. They have been the most consistent team in the League for the whole season. Inevitably we end up thinking that if only we had been more consistent, if only we had not dropped points in certain matches, we could have won the title, but things have turned out as they have.

“Primarily we need to be more consistent. We are a team that is ambitious, that wants to win, that has a real hunger to win but we can change from one day to the next into a team that lacks those qualities. We must be more consistent and fight for everything from the first minute of the game until the last to ensure we get those three points. We have to improve. We’ve got a lot that’s really good. We have quality players but at times we are a bit complacent and maybe do lack that hunger.”

So we know we lack consistency, but how do you make up for a “lack of hunger”? Is it the manager that fails to get the team to follow his orders? Or do the players lack a leader on the pitch to get them motivated?

Why are Arsenal always an “If only..” team?



  1. You’ve got to put that down to the manager. Clearly.. if Ozil and Sanchez has made Arsenal a better team, them more of the same would bring the title. Why Wenger won’t go that extra mile is frustrating.

  2. Because of the board told Wenger to abandon all ambitions and keep lying to the fans that we’re good enough to challenge for the top trophies when him and everyone else knows it’s not true.

  3. After the Invincibles in 2004 Arsene
    thought he himself was invincible.
    Then Mourinho bowled him over
    two seasons in a row in ’05 and ’06.
    The shock was to traumatize Wenger for many years
    in fact he never rose to the challenge ever again.
    Man U under Ferguson then took back control winning 3 seasons in a row.
    Then Man City arrived, Mourinho again and finally Leicester.
    Through all these challenges Arsenal gradually fell back to a 3rd/4th place side.
    Wenger apologists point to the Stadium build and other clubs
    having more money as excuses for the 12 year title absence.
    Leicester winning with a budget nobody team has finally put paid to those myths.
    I think it’s more a combination of
    1. Wenger’s inability to recover from the initial Mourinho ’05/’06 maulings.
    2. The emergence of Chelsea and City
    3. The present owners indifference to winning titles.
    4. The acceptance by the majority of Arsenal fans of this state of affairs
    as evidenced by the total failure of the late season protests.
    Arsenal is a club hungry to be champions of the “Top 4 sustainable model”.
    I believe winning titles remains a bonus outcome.

  4. *puts the poem down*

    I don’t think Arsenal are not hungry. The frustrating thing is that it is very small margins between success and failure and the two main issues that tilt the small margins outside of Arsenals favour continue:

    We always seem to be slightly short on the squad. Recruitment seems to always be on who is available and not who is available in the positions required

    Injuries continue to hamper Arsenal

    1. And some managers/players have small little tricks that can tilt a bit of favor in there way. We are a very clean side, expecting our superior football chemistry to claim the game.

  5. How can you be hungry if you spend most of the season in the “good enough” zone? Players know 4th place is the target and anything else is a bonus. Fans know it to. So when you are in 2nd, 3rd or 4th during the season all is fine.

    I think with managers like SAF and Mourinho only 1st will do so as long as you are not in 1st you are in emergency hunger mode. You are not where you want to be unless you are in 1st.

    1. It’s like with prison, people become institutionalised. We had all those years where we did have the actual target of forth, and we celebrated it. It’s something that might be ingrained now.

      We should have set no target back then, and said to Arsene, you built the Invincibles with less money, so we expect you to be business as usual. Might have won something if we had went that way.

  6. If there is no hunger to secure then title why have the team. That is what competition is all about – striving to achieve greatness. If not, something is wrong with the club or the players

    It could be very simple. Example: When players see under-performers signing new 140,000 a week contracts instead of seeing new solid transfers come in to bolster the club…… then disillusionment can start to sink in. The hunger dies.

    I am certain players like Sanchez and Ozil heard promises of the club’s ambition for trophies and a willingness to sign other great players to help bring championships. Do you think they believe these “promises” still?

  7. Because they’ve been “feeding” themselves (the board..the coach) for more than 10 years (with money) and they see its gooood….so why bother at all!?

  8. Very interesting angle/topic. It falls in line with our main problem. AW simply can’t (or won’t?) organize our team to win consistently. He fails to demand all our midfielders defend aggressively, and this allows even mediocre teams to put too much pressure on our defence. It makes our defenders look like they are the problem, and it invariably cost us silly losses. This is our main problem, and we can keep demanding new/better players, it simply will not solve our problem.

    1. Totally agree that that is our biggest weakness. That’s why when we get rumoured with players, I’m always thinking yeah they are deadly at going forward, but in the end, it looks like more of the same, failing to shore up our weakness. And people won’t like this, because Mahrez falls into this category for us.

      1. Spot on. Mahrez would be a typical Wenger player and not really improving the team, because AW will not make him work defensively either.

  9. Monreal looked pretty hungry last season. After reading this from Monreal, and with what I know about his consistency, I am wondering what sort of captain could he make. When he played through the middle, he held his own. His levels rarely drop. His speech here, is what the players need to be listening to more regularly, being reminded of the fight that’s needed. If his English is good enough, maybe he’d make a good captain (not sure if he’s outspoken), he’ll need to be. Maldini was a terrific captain from fullback position.

  10. @AndersS, if Mahrez will not improve arsenal because of such a deficiecy, how did he become a winner with leicester? The truth is he will an upgrade on all our wingers, bar Sanchez. Don’t forgive he scored 17 premier league goals last season. A feat Giroud could could not replicate.

    1. @Pam
      Mahrez is a superb player. But Leicester plays a different game, where 8-9 players defend, and then they counter attack. Arsenal try to dominate and already have several offensive players, who do not defend very well. Some because they can’t and some because AW doesn’t demand it enough. So just buying Mahrez may be a small improvement offensively, but our biggest problem lies in how easily all kinds of teams can get to attack us in our own last third. It really is a problem, which can’t be solved by a few new individual players. We need a better organization, and although I keep hoping AW will improve/learn, it seems it may never happen.

      1. Yes LFC plays different game…but don’t forget that Mahrez was also superb when LFC having posession and plain attacking…scored lot of goals and had assists with precise passes and simple solutions.
        And that’s why we could get HUGE aprovement upfront!
        Mahrez > Wallcot+Ox+Campbell together!

  11. Wenger has Plan “A” and that’s all he has. Some people say injuries hamper Arsenal but every Team has this problem it’s the Managers Job to plan for this but Wenger has No Plan “B”.
    He won’t buy the players to fill this gap he uses kids or player who are just not up to standard.
    As for the Transfer of Pobga to Man UT Wenger should mind his own business and concentrate on getting Arsenal up to Scratch. Open your Cheque Book Mr Wenger.

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