Why have Arsenal lost their way this week?

Arsenal lost today to Manchester City, their second loss in a week, and questions have to be asked as to why we lost form so swiftly.

The Gunners lost 2-1 from a winning position today, much like they did against Everton in midweek, and we have to look at how, or more why?

We were gifted the lead today when Hector Bellerin was allowed to skip down the field before feeding the ball to Alexis Sanchez, who then perfectly placed the ball under Theo Walcott’s feet on the run to glide into the box, and neatly tuck away.

The rest of the game did not come so easy however, as after the break we were losing every 50-50, and didn’t seem to be fighting for the game as we should have been.

This was hard to watch, especially as only five days earlier we had to watch our side be second best for the second-half against Everton also, a site we have not been used to at all this year.

Arsenal have looked like serious title contenders since the season began, but for whatever reason, this week has been a complete shambles.

Shkodran Mustafi is one player who has missed the recent two matches, but his absence cant be blamed for the sudden loss of impetus from our whole team. Whatever is going on, it appears to be mental.

Are the Arsenal players actually rocked by the Champions League draw? We drew Bayern Munich for the fourth year running at this point of the competition, not qualifying beyond this stage over our rivals, but is it just coincidence?

Santi Cazorla is obvously an important cog in our system, but he has been missing for a while now, and it would be naive to pinpoint our recent dip on his inability to play, although against Man City we would obviously want our best possible XI available.

Losing from a winning position makes it all the more hard to take, and what we can definitely agree on, is that a win on Boxing Day is vital.

Did the CL draw mess with our morale? Is Mustafi THAT important to our team as a whole? Or is it just that time of year again?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Bayern Munich Cazorla Man City Mustafi


  1. SQ says:

    Mustafi!!..Secondly Wenger who cant utilize his bench

    1. Godswill says:

      Yes, secondly Wenger.
      Oxil was not in the game and does it mean he cannot be substituted?
      We were playing one man down in the second half.
      Reshuffle when things are not going well, but we hardly do that and when we do, not on time.
      Was it not a manager that made two changes at half time?
      Arsene can’t learn because he feels safe and knows all.

      1. Luko Bratzi says:

        It’s the same story when we lose. Wenger says we dropped phisicaly. If the players not Coquelin not Sanches can’t perform with the same energy as them then drop them
        Ozil is woefull in his attitude, Ramsey may not have his skill but boy he runs his balls off Ozil drop him and bring in Ellerny. Give Gibbs a go and maybe put Gabriel back at right back as Bellerin is not there yet and give Holding a run. Watched Chelsea game and see the coach in his area shouting and at the end greets his players and all go to thank the fans. Wenger is not like the modern managers he just sits and gloats has no idea when and who to sub. Ozil should have been first off. Bring back Wilshire and piss off Ozil. CB

    2. Jansen says:

      This has nothing to do with Mustafi. If it was Mustafi how do we explain playing well for only one half in each of our last two losses.

      This is down to the lack of a killer mentality. We are, and have been mentally weak for years and years. Players have come and gone but Wenger is the one consistent ingrdient.

      I respect him a lot as a human being, and for what he has done for the club some 13 years ago and before that, but the game has passed him by.

      Moder managers make an impact with their game management and intra-game management.

      Take the City game and look at the adjustments Pep made. Wenger had no answer. He never does. Ox, an attacking player, has to come of whilst we are in need for goals. Wenger puts a DM Elneny on and refuses to play Perez who scored a hattrick in his last game.

      Many modern day managers have Wenger’s number. Koeman is not alone. With managers like Klopp, Pep, Conte, Poch and Koeman around the chances we will finish in the top 4 are smaller than ever and I have not even mentioned Mourinho.

      Nothing will change at our club until we decide to step into the modern game. We missed a trick by not signing Pep, Klopp or Conte. We should really try to sign Simeone.

      Most squads play in the image of their manager, we need a competitive and passionate manager to wake the club up again.

      We can not have manager not willing to take responsibility for results by blaming everyone but himself and his players.

      We managed to beat Chelsea when other teams were also taking points of them, but we did play very well against them. We also played well against Basel (hardly a juggernaut), but we have been found out by every other decent top 7 or 8 squad IMO.

      Is this team capable of winning even 5 PL games in a row (half of Chelsea’s current run)?

  2. Mehrzad says:

    of course we miss Mustafi and Cazorla for sure
    But we all have to accept that there are small margins in football that changes the result like an suspicious offside goal 2 minutes after the break. City is a good team they beat Barca 3-1 in Etihad.
    lets look forward next game

    1. muda says:

      My taught exactly,
      It is not a coincidence that we lost the 3 league games he didn’t play. Enough said.

      And on the man city game,
      We were direct with the ball in the 1st half, their defense look really shaky while we were serious.

      We switched totally off when we conceded that 1st goal which was offside and So does second goal.

      Imagine if the lineman was not sleeping. It is at least 1-0 to Arsenal.

      Finally it is not over yet, chelsea look out of ideas until we awaken them with heavy duty.

      Let’s hope we respond well, win 5 in a raw and we will forget all this. #COYG

  3. truegunner12 says:

    Zero excuses as City were missing Aguero, Iheanacho and Fernandinho. We set up to counter in the first half but didnt have Ox on the field.

    Like I said before its games vs the big teams that always cost Arsenal the title as they are perfectly capable of bullying small teams. People took too much from the result against a Chelsea team struggling before their switch while completely forgetting we have been bossed by every other big team. PSG Liverpool United Everton Spurs City. 3 draws and 3 losses.

    Thats not championship quality Arsenals problem is mental as we have been losing in the same way for the past decade.

  4. Ramterta says:

    what went wrong is that we have proven that arsenal are flat track bullies.
    Only able to outplay teams in the bottom ten,famers,fishermen from bulgaria and fade out massively against the teams above.

  5. doggydgunner says:

    Arsenal has lost all the games played without Mustafi this season & we have been missing our midfield maestro for sometime who I believe would have made a difference in this game. Well, I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt us in the long run.

  6. AndersS says:

    We have 3 recurring problems, and unfortunately they all come down to the manager;
    1) We are not well enough organized defensively. Wenger has never been able to make the team defend as a unit for 90 minutes, so we give chances and goals away too easily. Especially our flanks is a problem, because the likes of Walcott, Iwobi and the Ox genrally don’t know how to defend
    2) We don’t have an aggressive winning mentality. Too often we look like timid sheep, and when teams get aggressive against us, we loose the battle
    3) Wenger gets outmanouvered tactically too often. Against City it was obvious from the start of the second half, that the tactical changes by Guardiola (switching Sane to the left, putting Sterling from the middle to the right and putting De Bruyne in the middle) gave us huge problems down the flanks, but Wenger did absolutely nothing tactically, before we fell behind.
    It is the same year after year with all 3 points and we can forget any chances of a championship with Wenger in charge, because he has had the problems for at least 10 years, and the small signs of improvement this year have now disappeared.

    1. Jansen says:

      @AndersS – spot on.

      want to talk about tactical naivety or lack of ambition? How about bringing on Elneny instead of Perez for Ox? We were down 2-1 and had nothing to lose. Perez has done, IMO, everything asked of him when he has appeared. The most recent game he scored 3. Why didn’t he get a look this game? even as a 70 minute sub? what is a DM going to do for us when we have 15 minutes to score a goal to save a draw?

  7. Ramterta says:

    Im sorry to tell you thus but our players who we think are better in the premiership are actually not among the top 7
    silva and de bruyne are way better than ozil.
    Sanchez is great but definetly definetly not in the same class as suarez.Maybe costas level but never barca material.
    Bellerin another one.See how he was outshone by sagna yesterday.The boy still has lots to learn.He’s not the best rightback in the pl and also not barca material.
    Another player is koscienly.
    He is not the same if he is not playing with mertz or mustafi.
    We were also told cech is worth 15 points a season.He’s not.

    Then there is that fraud of a midfield.
    No words to describe how awful it is.
    We make fun of pogba but the bitter plain unpalatable truth is that he is better than all our midfield players.

  8. Santi19 says:

    Arsenal lost because many of our players are good only against bottom teams; they are not big game players. Actually we missed Mustaffi and Santi but this cant be an excuse as city missed Aguaro, Gondongan and Fernadinho. Be realistic can Walcott, Chamberlin, Iwobi be in the first XI for chelsea, City even for the Spuds? If we combine Arsenal squad with chelsea or city or Man utd or Spuds and pick XI players the we can get only 3 or 4 players from arsenal.

  9. Franko says:


    1, This are the type of games you know your title credentials. We are not title contenders but fourth-tle contenders.

    2, Apart from Sanchez, the other three attacking players, Walcot, Ozil and Iwobi are men with lady-like physicality football-wise including Chamberlain, hence we had no impact from the 47th minute. They are sisis in a heated, physical game and shouldn’t start in certain games, only come in from the bench..

    3, If we had fighters upfront, we would have won the games…….Ozil, Chamberlain, Walcot, Iwobi lacked fighting spirit. This scenario will play out again against Liverpool, Chelsea and even Tottenham away, unless Perez Starts in those games.

    4, Wenger’s favoritism bias will not cease. Wenger’s refusal to start Perez in both games is the reason we got nothing. Believe it or not Perez if given games is another left footed Sachez and a player that can get stock in, win you free kicks and get in goal scoring positions more often than Walcot, Iwobi, Ozil and Chamberlain combined. . Watch his games in La Liga playing for a mid table team, then how much more for Arsenal.

    5, Wenger’s health is more important to him than barking out instructions from the dugout for 90 minutes. He is an old man now and he cannot give any more to this team. The team is a reflection of the Manager for 90 minutes in this type of games.

    1. bran99 says:

      wish we had Sissoko, him and Sanchez would bully any defense.. but the boss likes soft handsome players, and now any team who applies pressure and a bit kicking, wins so easily and bullies our players like kids.. so irritating imagining our manager is the most experienced of them all

      1. stubill says:

        Sissoko! Are you serious? He never showed up for Newcastle, never! Played well for France, and then went to Tottenham and has been back to his crap, lazy self. Even Pochettino said he’d failed to live up to expectations. And you woud like to see this moron in an Arsenal shirt!

    2. Rare Admirall says:

      Spot On Franko,Wenger done lost it man!
      He is not bothered at the moment when the team needs some direction in tight moments from the sidelines, when he sits there wincing and shuffling and half-grimacing,the only thing that has changed is he does not fight water bottles anymore plus the jacket zipper issues seem to have disspated lately! Or is it that Misery is also bored of his company? Everything from where I stand is just musical chairs to me, unless he has a plan in his head with a master stroke in it.Nah,forget it,not Wenger-like!
      I don’t know when we will start seeing some bite and some fight in this team on a consistent level ala Alexis Sanchez. Oh,my bad,the problem is you know where!

  10. Ramterta says:

    I think its high time we play elneny instead of xhaxa because of his mobility

    1. bran99 says:

      Elneny is always running like a headless chicken chasing shadows.. Xhaka is better

  11. hide_TR07 says:

    To me, it was the very carbon copy of the defeat to Everton. We scored the first goal, then we stopped to fight and let them come back.

    After the first goal, City and Guardiola looked totally at a loss. we should have taken advantage of that, dominated the possesion and closed the game down by scoring the second. But, instead, we slowed down and played down even with the poorer side.

    I think it is both mental and physical. But I guess it’s down to how we have failed to manage and improve the squad as a whole.

    Even great players like Sanchez and Ozil can’t play every single game and have ups and downs, mentally and physically. We all know that and we can accept that as a fan. That’s why we need quality subs. And I see good quality subs this campaign, with Lucas Perez, Gibbs, Elneny, Giroud and Ospina, soon, Welbeck.

    So, what I don’t understand is that Wenger play almost the same starting eleven. We had many games to play starting with the CL match in Basel, then Stoke, then Everton and City. We all knew we could not affrod to drop points in any of them, but City away was the toughest and most important. A manager should sort things out to get the best performance out of our players at Ethihad. But Wenger played Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott and Xhaka in every game, not started Lucaz in the last 3 fixtures even with his hattrick in Basel. Grioud and Elneny were given only a short time in rather difficult situations.

    This imbalance between favoured players given-starting-spots-no-matter-what and non-favoured might have caused physical fatigue in our key players and mental frustration among sub players. What else should Lucaz do to get his deserved playing time? Rotation is not only fitness matter, but also motivation matter. Rotation can bring healthy competition among the squad. But Wenger is not really good at it.

    I still remember 2 seasons back, Wenger played the same squad for 6 matches in a row, leading to a downfall toward the end of the season. And he said, just like in the post match interview after the City game, “we dropped physically.” Yeah, right, you made them tired! You know it we all know it. Why didn’t you do something to prevent it?

    We need every signle contribution from every single player to play better and win the title. I can handle whatever result if I can see some improvements, more understanding among the players, trial of something new or any kind of efforts put to play better or at least, to fight. What kind of footballers are you if you can’t fight against strong rivals?

    Of course Mustafi is missed and Cazorla is missed, but we can and have to do so much more with what we have in our hands. I have been a Gunner for nearly 2 decades now I have seen enough of this same old problem. I think we do have the quality and the depth in the squad this season, so it is up to how we manage and improve it.

  12. Tatek Girma says:

    @Froanko, I agree with most of the points you mentioned above specially with number 5. Both the manager and the players have lost their passion, commitment and moral to play well when it matters. We were in a good position to win both the Everton and Man city games. However, because of the players carelessness and lack of motivational inspiration from the manager, we have been forced to lose both matches. I feel sorry for the manager excuses and referee blames instead of looking inside and try to improve his players mind setup and tactical approach including his changing time.

  13. Big Gun says:

    Arsenal fold under pressure, it has been our kryptonite for years and years. More and more teams are catching on and I honestly believe its Wenger’s mentality which is to blame as to why our team lack spine when it counts. That and the fact that we don’t have one player on the pitch that can take leadership and boost morale. (Mustafi looks promising though) Piers Morgan was spot on when he tweeted a picture of Tony Adams with the caption ‘How we miss this legend’

  14. Justsoccerfan says:

    To all gooners pls don’t let the result spoil your holiday season. People beside you are more important than wenger and his weak rich players.

    Marry Christmas!!!!!

  15. Tatek Girma says:

    I am really worried even for the coming two Arsenal fixtures as the team performance is getting down. The players’ and the manager’s mental strength is very poor at the moment. They need to be get out of this situation by winning the next game which will be against Westbrom at home though it is not an easy game. On both Everton and Man city games, Arsenal players were look like a lazy dogs who were expected to perform a circus show but let on pitch with out enough orientation and leader. Lack of leadership on the pitch is one of the main reason for Arsenal repeated failure after Viera’s departure. I don’t understand why this situation is overlooked by Arsene Wenger. He always try to fight with the fourth official and blame referees, which has no end result in stead of motivating and leading his sleeping players. If the leader is sleeping, it is obvious that the followers will keep sleeping too.

  16. AWWAL says:

    All error down to Wenger and his Zombie crew like Steve Bould and others, if Wenger is arrogant and adamant and they cannot show some signs of disagree and inconvenience then they are all coward and enemy of success in this Club.

  17. Mark_K says:

    I’ll throw my two pence worth in.

    Wenger is the problem.

    The players play the system that Wenger picks, if the players aren’t playing at 100% then they should be substituted and dropped. The problem is that there are some players that won’t be dropped, no matter how badly they play.

    Wenger also seems stuck in a causality loop, he will not or cannot change our play as the game changes around him.

    We can see opposition managers change tactics and personnel during a game if they’re losing. Wenger very rarely does the same.

    How long have we been seeing the same failings in Arsenal sides?

    The only constant during those years is Wenger and his coaching staff. But Wenger makes all the decisions and I understand that the coaching staff don’t really have their own voices or opinions, they just carryout Wenger’s instructions.

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