Why DID Wenger make Monreal the primary Arsenal defender?

The one thing I will say for Arsene Wenger after Arsenal were condemned to yet another defeat at the home of Rugby by Stoke City is that the boss seemed to feel just as frustrated as the fans. But then you have to remember that Wenger is the one that picks the team, trains them, gives then their tactics and team talks and so the buck must stop with him.

Of course I agree with our manager’s comments after the game reported by the BBC, well most of them anyway. We were unlucky to have the Lacazette goal chalked off as the replay clearly showed he was level. And we did have a lot more chances than the home team, although the incision and penetration was not quite up to scratch.

Wenger said, “It’s a difficult defeat to swallow. We had chances – we should have won the game comfortably.

“We were unlucky. I think we scored a regular goal that was given offside and it wasn’t offside.

“It was frustrating getting caught cold for the goal. Defensively there is no excuse. We gave them a cheap goal.

“It was difficult to get the fluency. We tried but we couldn’t find the goal. There was lack of anticipation in the box with the second ball.

“To lose a game like that is disappointing You don’t want to lose games that you should win.

: “I believe some teams will get something here, that is why if you want to play at the top you have to consider it three points dropped.

“It was a very frustrating evening. I feel we had plenty of chances to score and didn’t. We know in this kind of game it’s important not to make a mistake but straight after half-time we were too sluggish on defending and we paid for it.

“After that we did not move the ball quickly enough and we did not combine well. On top of tha I think we scored a goal that is not offside. It’s a very easy decision. When the ball is kicked he is not offside, Lacazette.

“I was not convinced by our central defence today.”

No me neither Arsene, but it was clear from last week’s defensive horror show against Leicester that Nacho Monreal should not be the central of the three centre backs. I like him on the left but in the middle he looks a liability and the fact he is not a specialist central defender is exposed.

So why put him there today? We had Mertesacker on the bench and Mustafi in the starting line-up, both of whom are centre backs for the Germany national team. Is it just me or was the decision to give Nacho another go there a strange one? Did Wenger not watch the Leicester game?



  1. John0711 says:

    Because he’s lost it. He may have been great but he’s fallen behind in every way. His pride won’t let him quit so expect more of the same he won’t change so why do we expect the results to change
    I’ve noticed those who supported him awfully quiet. I’m sure they will be back
    Let’s not have the transfer BS posts on here or the we must beat Liverpool

    1. Eddy Hoyte says:

      playing Monreal centrally was the main problem, Bench BELLERIN fr fvcks sake!! Play Monreal on LWB, then Kostafi n Kola will be our CB’s. We had no threats from the left wing at all. Please return Monreal there back. And Welbeck was wasteful a couple of times. Ozil poor but stepped up a bit in the second half. I’ve always said it stop playing Walcott!! the dude is a ➖ on the pitch. Don’t give me the whole Supersub talk but Giroud should’ve started this match, His presence is what we need in this kind of games. Grrrrrrrrh Someone please talk some sense into Wenger

      1. Jim A says:

        I agree completely about OG. In the few minutes he was on we were a much better side. Anytime we have so much possession and so many corners he must be in there. Sorry but unless we are playing counter attack football which might be 2% of all our games let him work with Laca. Sorry but OG is a much bigger threat than Welbeck.

        1. Eddy Hoyte says:

          those chances Welbeck wasted, Giroud would’ve scored one…I’m sure if he didn’t he would’ve laid the ball for a player in a better position to score. He does it a lot

      2. TOzil / Welbeck /Bellerin out says:

        Agreed , Giroud was needed to start the match , his aerial presence and hold up play could have helped slip Lacazette in in goal . We should have snapped Evertons arm off when they offered 30million for the bumbling idiot Welbeck . We could have invested that money to purchase someone who is more lethal in front of goal . For goodness sake why does Wenger not realise Xhaka is NOT a defensive midfielder and Ramsey is not disciplined enough to be in position to prevent any opposition counter attacks. The amount of times I wanted to Smash my TV with a brick with our passing sideways in the final 3rd instead of driving through their defence . Not one Arsenal player had the balls to stand up and turn the game around for Arsenal . We have sent out a clear blueprint to the rest of the Premier league teams exactly how to win against us .

      3. Dalinho says:

        Someone who shouts at the ref when zouma don’t get booked someone who shouts at welbeck and nearly chins him for not squaring the ball to lacazette fans r a tap in someone who will threaten the linesman when he gave stoke 4 throw ins in a row so that he’s to scared to give us offside coz he knows it’s onside (corrupt) we don’t have a presence just pass pass with no end product and a tiny petty team who lets defenders push them over in the box it’s boring arsenal bore me and Wenger is the master of boringness conte Jose are what I like coz they have a bit of an edge i wish I could be arsenal so CM captain

        1. Dalinho says:

          If any of u have twitter and are friends with welbeck on there message him please and tell to pass the ball to lacazette when he’s open coz u can’t shot to save ur mums life thanx

      4. ZA_Gunner says:

        I think Holding should have at least made the bench and Mert started instead of Monreal, I mean why did we buy Kolasinac as a replacement for Gibbs if we don’t use him as LWB? What Wenger is doing is not helping anyone in terms of development.

      5. kev says:

        It makes no sense playing Kolasinac or Monreal in CB while there are capable CB’s.Can you criticize Monreal or Kolasinac when they don’t play well there?We’ll only say”well he’s not a CB”.This is what I’ve been saying for weeks that I just don’t see the point in Monreal or Kolasinac at CB.If LB’s are being played at CB it tells me more of the quality of the other players than the quality of the LB’s.Now Arsene has sold Gabriel who for all mhis mistakes is better than Monreal,Kola,Chambers and Holding at CB.But as usual it always comes back to bite us doesn’t it.I don’t want Monreal or Kola at CB.Leave them at their original position to challenge for it.Also I feel we don’t need 3 back against some teams.We neef to vary our formation with the players available.

  2. mikki says:

    The same old arsenal, the same excuses,…..xhaka keep losing ball to opponent too bad of him,we need to sign quality players or else my fellow gunners we won,t make top 4,Ramsey 90min of play why

    1. Highbury44 says:

      The panic buys will now kick in

  3. Franko says:

    I am keeping my expectations as low as ground zero this season. Lacazette, welcome to the home of passing the ball into the net.

  4. greg says:

    Clearly in my opinion “a suicide decision “!

  5. Franko says:

    There is nothing I have seen in today’s match to suggest we are challenging for the title this season, not even the Europa Cup.

  6. TongaBull says:

    all I need now is news about possible sign-in oder to cook down. Even lies will go a long way in t

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I know a guy ..who knows a guy, and that guy has a girl ..who sleeps with men for information. She said a dude called resource has it on good authority – That we are at the moment talking to A. Rabiot and J. Draxler, but only Rabiot is sincerely considering it ..as Draxler first wants to see where the chips may fall. He also says ..that we did want Lemar, but for the moment, it’s Draxler, whom has become the priority target, but don’t be surprised if we now go back for Lemar and get him this time round. Then revisiting Draxler next season ..so he says. She asked if there’s any word on a tall domineering CB, and he asked ..what’s a sea bee.

  7. Ozil / Welbeck /Bellerin out says:

    Question is why would you start Mustafi in a physical game against Stoke and not play Holding and Mertesacker who have had minutes under theory belt to cover for him . Monreal is a left back , end of story . Bellerin is a headless chicken that operates from the right . Ozil as usual was our oppositions 12th man . As for Welbeck …. their are not enough swear words to throw at this waste of a striker . He is utterly pathetic, Man Utd must falling off their chairs laughing when they see how many gilt edge chances he spurns . Our season is ruined from game week 2 as next up is Liverpool who are going to destroy us . Let’s take the next two weeks to sell the all the pathetic loosers which is 90% of our squad and hopefully salvage something from the next 36 games

  8. greg says:

    Our defense is like opening a box of “cracker jack’s ” you never know what to expect!

  9. Eddy Hoyte says:

    playing Monreal centrally was the main problem, Bench BELLERIN fr fvcks sake!! Play Monreal on LWB, then Kostafi n Kola will be our CB’s. We had no threats from the left wing at all. Please return Monreal there back. And Welbeck was wasteful a couple of times. Ozil poor but stepped up a bit in the second half. I’ve always said it stop playing Walcott!! the dude is a ➖ on the pitch. Don’t give me the whole Supersub talk but Giroud should’ve started this match, His presence is what we need in this kind of games. Grrrrrrrrh Someone please talk some sense into Wenger

    1. Franko says:

      Kolasinac is a better threat at left wingback than Monreal. Monreal is better at left side of 3-man defense.

      1. GunnerJack says:

        Monreal can’t mark up properly or tackle to save his life. That’s why they scored. He’s always exposed on the left of the 3 CB’s if an attacker has the slightest bit of skill. No idea where to play him – in fact I wouldn’t play him at all.

  10. AllDwayfromAfriCa says:

    here comes the 21 questions..
    like how the hell is welback in our team?
    or how we were ever naive to think we could challenge for d trophy…or how over hyped is xhaka?
    I got a lot of questions but am sure yall got better things to do than indulge my many insecurities as a fan
    I mean, it’s like we went 360 degree just to end up back were we started only difference is this time we found a creative way to stupid( case in point being the defence) .. we are like this bad joke that doesn’t stop being funny…every year we also a couple of players from competing..we go into every game not knowing what to expect..
    I want to be positive but it’s just so hard being an arsenal fan and we just two games into the season

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Know how you feel. I tried to change my password the other day but it was rejected. I typed ‘arsenaldefence’ and it said ‘too weak!’

  11. muff d says:

    boring every year the same

    just boring, it will never end .
    wenger probably shook john coffeys hand on the green mile and will top 6 us while hoverboards become public transport

  12. Break-on-through says:

    Very hard pill to swallow when your manager is dikking around like that. And as you say, all the signs were there from last week, what did he expect differently. Worst still is he does this for an away game against a team which has troubled us at the best of times. Why does he do this crap, it’s not fair, he should have more sense than that given how he has 20 seasons worth of experience.

    Kolasinac is brand new to our players, our set up, the league, and the style of football. So putting him in there when he isn’t even a CB, it’s a bad idea, it hardly shouts cohesion the word he’s so fond of using. Wenger just sees that he is strong and can pass a bit, so he thinks he knows best, well he doesn’t.

    Putting Monreal centrally next to him, they don’t know each other, and he isn’t a CB neither.

    Mustafi needs to stand up to Wenger, same with Bould and Mert. They need to explain some things to the meddling one. I can’t imagine any of them are happy with him shooting us in the foot so unnecessarily. We need leaders, but today we had the players which could have set up and made this a routine victory. The players were there. The decisions, the work, and the caring was just not in it.

  13. ZA_Gunner says:

    I am only hearing excuses and no accountability from the manager. Who in the world has such a nice managerial position without being held accountable?

    If I had to find one excuse for Wenger and in his defence then here is one word, “DEMENTIA”. When you had the same problem a week ago and you forget and do it again, that’s what it’s called. Every man and woman at a certain age will experience some degree of memory loss doesn’t matter how big or small. The worrying thing is Arsenal is willing to accommodate at the expense of the football club.

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Accountability and AW do not belong in the same sentence. He loves zonal marking where absolutely no one is accountable for any attacking player entering our box. Maybe he doesn’t want to upset the little darlings. Contrast that to Mourinho, in fact Man U for ever, who use man-to-man marking and god help you if you don’t mark your man! Remember when Luke Shaw allowed the winger he was supposed to be marking to cross the ball for Watford (I think) to score. He said ‘Shaw’s supposed to be marking him (the right winger) but instead of being 5 metres away when they get the ball he’s 25 metres away!’ I notice Shaw is no longer in Mourinho’s thoughts. Would Wenger have the guts to say that to any of our spoilt brats? In your dreams maybe.

  14. jacob says:

    don’t worry guys there is next season,or next season..and the next season…there next season and the next season

  15. #ThatArsenalFan says:

    Hehe hehe…all the blame goes to Arsene Wenger irrespective of d poor decisions made by the referee and his assistants…
    How the Fcvk does the manager sit down for good 90 mins squeezing his hand and hoping for some luck…Wenger should fcvkn take charge or get out…Look at Big managers, the game is usually 12 vs 11 because they are on their toes giving instructions and all of that… Wenger Out…tiz high time, football has fcvkn advanced n yhu refuse to advance…yhu repeat d same fcvkn mistake year in year out…stupid board…now I understand why that Nigerian man says he will sack Wenger

  16. ZA_Gunner says:

    I wonder what Alexis is thinking. I am sure he can see this team is no where close enough to being a winning team from a guy like him who is accustomed to winning. Even his native Chile who doesn’t have all the riches has a national team that plays football with more purpose. It must be hard for a guy like him to fathom that he’ll have to endure another year of this utter crap.

    1. JW Holmes says:

      It could be if he is in the lineup. Alexis makes a big difference to this team. With him in the lineup instead of Wellbeck, I believe Arsenal walks away 2 or 3 to 1. And I agree that Monreal should not be in the center. Next week Alexis has got to start with Laca.

  17. Israek says:

    thats d most annoying part of this loss. Kola has a goal and an asaist in two games why take in further back only to play Bellerin in his stead.

  18. ThirdManJW says:

    Well it’s easy to answer…Wenger’s isn’t, and hasn’t been anywhere a near top manager for years.

    I’ve said this so many times about him, and I said it earlier when I commented on here, Wenger always likes to do things the hard way. He puts in a very negative position before KO, on so many occasions. I count easily seven questions that need answering:

    1) Two LB’s playing in a back three again! Did Wenger not watch the previous game?
    2) Kolasinac is bigger, and so much stronger than Monreal, so why wasn’t he playing as the central CB?
    3) A RB playing at LB, when we had two LB’s available, and the Ox, who had previously done very well in that position.
    4) Ozil was poor against Leicester, and generally doesn’t turn up in tough fixtures, why did he start?
    5) Ramsey is consistently one of our worst performers, again like Ozil, why did he start?
    6) Welbeck does a lot right, but is useless in the final third, why did he start?
    7) Cech had a shocker against Leicester, I wanted Ospina in. Jese’s shot wasn’t exactly hit hard, right by Cech, and the angle favoured Cech a little, should have done better again!

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Summed up very nicely. Although I don’t know what Welbeck does right. Having a good heart and running about a lot don’t quite cut it in the premiership. Unfortunately for him you need skill and a brain with some sort of connection to the legs would help. Hope Everton buy him. That should ensure they are less of a threat to ‘our’ top four position.

  19. Sam says:

    I have to say we were lucky to get away with that back 3 last week. I dont know why Monreal was cb today.Imo mustafi,Merts, Monreal would have been more balanced. By trying this sort of shit Wenger is going to attract trouble for himself.
    By playing a very feeble back 3 , is he underestimating the opposition or does he feel Arsenal are better than they are?
    Either way its the same old crap.

  20. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Keep Kolsanic on left side CB
    He is solid defender
    Play Monreal on LWB or bench him

    Get a top CD like Van Dijk to join Koscielny and Mustafi in CD

  21. Chuks says:


  22. john_gatal says:

    wenger,every years you makes excuse when lost..so,my simple answer,6 places in bpl…..

  23. john_gatal says:

    play careless@same like last year poor def and poor attacker to make a goal(wellbeck)..added news players,but no effect/influence/passion/…THIS IS WENGER STYLE/MANAGEMENT…so please be patients,..dont be like wenger…just play beauty and dont take points home…stoke has change but arsenal dont…why..why..why..

  24. Waal2waal says:

    players out of position, we played side pass around the 18yrd box and our wing backs were weak and ineffective. since giving bellerin a new contract his performances worthy of the shirt have noe gone.

    im also at a loss trying to figure out why our captain was sat on the bench when clearly this team lacked CBs. petr cech should have been benched from the outset for conceding 3 at the emirates.

    aaron never plays well at stoke, its as if we fuel their fans by playing him – even worse its as if hes trying to make a point too. aaron is at his best brought on as a sub, as does his cohort giroud.

    we had something like 77% possesion and still we failed to find a goal. danny has yet to find his goal scoring boots and suffers from sudden lapse in his concentration. were sanchez and ozil to leave i fear we’d go into freefall and kiss all CL places goodbye.

    im struggling to understand why we havnt cleared out the “duds” and in plain words we were pi** poor.
    we got what we deserved at stoke, nothing. wonder did layman or bould have any say in the make shift defences we roll out? someone there needs to stop the rot.

  25. Johnson Omole says:

    it’s is clear that Wenger has lost it in the approach for a title forever. Wenger please cover your eyes in shame! u are a specialist in failure. Why? because u train players before a match but disarrange them… Leicester match was supposed to be a lesson. Why would he change the team that won the Community shield? Why is Monreal in CB, Holding should have been brought in for the not fit mustafi, Why is ramsey playing 90 mins? Why is Kola not on the left? Why do we still have the Wallcot that looks lost overtime? why is Belle on the right wing? he looks lost and doesn’t understand it whats going on there.. I would rather play Giroud and Laca together than have Welbeck that is not skillful and woeful, always trying… I believe Laca is regretting joining the team and this might have a long term effect on his potentials. Wenger should simply resign too if he can not listen to the voice of the masses.
    Wenger i hoe you read this. You have become a failure and its is a shame that you didnt leave after the FA cup. This year if you don’t make permanent +ve change in attitude and stop gambling stupidly, You will become the No.1 most stupid coach that ever lived. We have money we have a team, arsenal has a big name thanks to you, but you have destroyed it all with your attitude and lack of modern day football understanding.

  26. J says:

    Use players in their natural roles, players are regressing! Arsenal players have no bite, no fire in their belly, no motivation. Wenger is not motivating them. Bench players who are not performing no mater who they are. First team places should be earned on the pitch, not by reputation or favouritism!

  27. Gooner Craig says:

    Monreal as the middle CB is just one of a number of questions that need answering urgently! Other questions are hanging over Walcott and Welbz, like what use are they on a regular basis? Why are we never prepared at the start of the season, even though AW wants the window to close prior lol this guy is just crazy man! What is he actually doing? Why on earth do we need to sell before we buy? We’ve only spent 50 mill and already made half back. AW lying to the fans again about how we need to sell first as have too many players lol such a joke in the window! Just want this season to be over already, and that was before the bloody Leicester game loool we are a joke of a club right now! It’s soo infuriating and unbelievable

  28. Sina Idowu says:

    WENGER NEEDS TO LEAVE! #thatsall

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