Will Watford loss change Arsenal approach to Europa League?

With Arsenal having won the first two of the Europa League group games, there should not be too much pressure on Arsene Wenger and the players going into the game on Thursday, or at least that would have been the case if the Gunners had not suffered that turnaround to lose at Watford.

The knives are out for the boss in the football media once again, and a few of the individual players as well after another performance that has added fuel to the fire of the old adage that Arsenal have got a soft centre and don’t like it up ’em, with the Watford penalty scorer Troy Deeney not helping by suggesting that exact thing.

With injury problems mounting and another away game against Everton to deal with on Sunday, the boss was probably planning a fart of changes and a weakened team for the trip to face Red Star Belgrade, but what would another bad game and result do the already fragile confidence of the squad?

I would be tempted to pick a strong Arsenal team and try to get the job done and the fans smiling again, but there is always the risk of losing an important player to a knock or worse. At times like this I do not envy Wenger his job. What would you do?



  1. I have said it before, Europa League is a trophy of the higher importance than the FA Cup because it gives you access to UCL. These being said, it is much, much harder to win EL than FA Cup.

  2. Wenger is too old and too stubborn to change his managerial philosophy. He likes to play safe and it is reflected in the way his team plays.

    He does not have the same guts like what the hungrier and younger managers have. Pochettino once said about his coaching philosophy:

    “Where did I get the idea we had to (press)? It’s about your personality, who you are. You show on the pitch who you are. If you are brave in your life, you cannot behave in a different way on the pitch. I don’t understand how to play in a different way. Always, be brave. I like to be brave.”

    Guardiola and Pochettino also push their goalkeeper and defenders to build the attack from the back. Whereas Arsenal goalkeeper likes to use long ball to distribute it directly to the attacker.

    Pochettino’s managerial style, as quoted from the Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauricio_Pochettino), is very different than Wenger’s:

    “Pochettino favours a very high-pressing, attacking style of football. He often employs a 4–2–3–1 formation at the clubs he manages. While doing so, he instructs his team to build from the back, intimidate and unsettle opponents with a quick press system and work the ball into the box.
    Pochettino’s team selection tends to include quick players with excellent stamina, likely due to those players having the attributes to excel in a high press system. He is also hailed by many pundits for his focus on developing local players from the clubs’ youth academies.”

    1. Mind you Sir Alex was 70
      when he won his last trophy.
      Ranieri won his first trophy at 65.
      Yupp Heynckes is 72 and will probably guide
      Bayern to another title by May.

    2. @Gotanidea
      I thought we already tried the 4-2-3-1 formation for the last 5 years and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. We also tried 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1 and still nothing. Let us try this 3-4-2-1 which is the flavour of the league and see where it will take us. So far we have played 8 and lost 3…37.5% of our games…we can only afford to lose 2 more games if we are to challenge for the league probably (city away and man utd away). Any more losses and it will be top 4 trophy all over again…something I think we have all grown tired of.I want Wenger to leave but this guy is a freaking tick he just won’t come out…we just have to wait him out. I hope he retires after the 4 years he said he will.

      1. What I mean is not the formation, but the whole system. Arsenal could use any formation they want, it would be useless if they keep using the same obsolete philosophy and obsolete system.

        Arsenal do not have the “cojones” to build the attack and dictate the tempo from the back. Always trying to play safe, it shows on the way they possess the ball.

        Almost all Arsenal players have no guts to keep the ball longer on their feet, because they don’t want to get blamed for getting robbed and they lack the skills. Only Sanchez has the balls to play more adventurously and the determination to win.

  3. We just have to accept that we are managed by an incompetent fool and nothing is going to change.

    1. I accepted that years ago, back in 2010 or 2011, when we cried out for a DM and Wenger got us.. jacks**t.

      Fast-forward 6-7 years and oops, we are still in need of a DM.

      1. It’s even worse now. He keeps buying **** ones that aren’t even full on dms. In his mind he has spent the money so that is never going to change

  4. After Saturday’s performance, I’m not sure what a strong team is anymore!
    I’d like to see Wilshere play at least he shows some passion & bloody drop xhaka so he can pick his nose on the bench

  5. I went on record several times about how I hate Europa League, and how I wanted us out as soon as possible in the past. However, having already lost 3 games out of 8, I think we have a very slim chance of getting into top 4, never mind challenging for the title. So EL is pretty much our only chance of automatically qualifying for Champions League, and it’s still a trophy. I say we go all out and try to win it.

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