Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Wenger: We must fight for the rest of the season

Wenger: We must fight for the rest of the season

Arsene Wenger accepts that a draw was probably a fair result after Arsenal and Manchester City shared the spoils at the Emirates this evening.

David Silva put the visitors ahead in the first half before the Gunners rallied in the second, deservedly equalising through Mathieu Flamini’s well-taken effort from a Podolski cross.

Speaking at the end of a traumatic seven days which has seen his side’s title-ambitions crumble, the boss paid tribute to a show of character from a squad that has endured a week of criticism.

“Maybe, yes [the draw was the fairest result]. We were a bit nervy at the start, insecure in our attitude by our last two results. But even when we were 1-0 down you could see the team was ready for a fight and we controlled the second half – we controlled the first 20 minutes.

“Overall in the first half maybe they had another chance, in the second half we had a second chance. We could have won it in the second half but overall it was a game of quality between two good teams and the game was played with a great spirit on both sides.

“With what happened last week of course if you read the newspapers you can’t believe that, but if you look at our results since the start of the season, we are in the semi-final of the FA Cup. We knocked out Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton, we lost against Bayern with 10 men and played a 1-1 [in Germany]. You don’t do that if you’re terrible and with the players we have out and what we have shown today, I think it’s remarkable.

“Of course you could see with the 2-2 against Swansea that the team was on the floor and hugely disappointed because we conceded an own goal in the last minute. Despite that, we responded very well here.”

After Chelsea lost at Crystal Palace, the Gunners end the day a point closer to the leaders although with Everton playing Fulham tomorrow there’s also a worry that the gap between themselves and the fifth placed Toffees could be cut to four points before next week’s trip to Goodison Park.

“What happens at Chelsea doesn’t help us because it does not give us more points here,” reflected Wenger.

“It just shows that we have absolutely to fight until the end of the season because everybody can beat everybody. Chelsea lost today at Crystal Palace, so that means all of us have to be careful and consistent.

“Mathematically we are still in there but it is not in our hands. That means you cannot say it is just depending on us and it is not realistic maybe to say that today. We have to look above us and behind us as well, because behind us they are coming as well.”

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63 comments

  1. If we keep up that 2nd half performance going into last few games of the season I’m confident we will be happy come the end of season COYG

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  2. Wouldn’t it be a way to win the league if we won it. There’s no pressure on us and that might just drive us on. And then before anyone realizes what is happening, we’ve won da ting

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    • we ain’t going to win this league with 82 points which is the max we can get now. was probably asking too much for this squad to play champions league and go for the league title and deal with so many injuries to key players. boys did well in the second half and could have got all three points against a tired looking city. we should be aiming to win the last 6 and hope we can sneak into third and bring the cup back to the home of football. that would be a pretty strong showing in my book. with an integrated ozil and everybody fit, plus a couple of quality additions we should be serious contenders next season. we do seriously need some more attacking options though. so many glorious balls we put in dangerous positions and nobody on the end of them…

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  3. heartbroken_gooner

    i hope we will now win all our remaining fixture. COYG ..

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  4. Flaminis celebration was that of a mad man and thats how i want the AFC players for rest of season. Go mad on the pitch.

    “Get off your fucking arse and cheer for your fucking team” Flamini gestured to the crowd.

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  5. Really thought we had it in the second half. So frustrated. We played really well but that should be the standard from the lads, not the exception. We’ll look back on this season yet again with the “what might have beens”. We have the goods, we just don’t use them all the time. Also I almost kicked the TV when our #1 Pole took almost 30 seconds to take a goal kick around the 90 mins when we needed the 3 points faaaaar more than City.

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    • Think about it. Only taking a point at this stage (in the title race, not a race for fourth) still leaves us 2 games behind Chelsea. A point here and there is good for a Champions League slot but now we must rely on the big teams to loose at least twice in the last few games for a title shot – instead of just the once.

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  6. If the players give 100% between now and the end of season then I think nearly every supporter would be happy

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  7. Let’s just focus on winning all our remaining games, and see what happens. It’s all we can do now.

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  8. Emir of Emirates

    Just replicate that second half performance…with a bit more hunger infront of goal for the remainder of our matches…and who knows,..Podolski might just be tweeting about the double with 2 #ahas …..#fingerscrossed, #terribleterry

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  9. fight for this season and then move onwards and upwards by improving the squad

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  10. Absolutely the right response from the players, and even if we might have been able to improve on the result I don’t have any complaints. Thought rosicky was fantastic, cazorla just about back to his mercurial dribbly best, vermaelen very solid, sagna is a beast.

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  11. Mourinho: “I told the ball boy not to waste time because he runs the risk of one of my players to punch him.” #specialistinfailure

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  12. If we take max points from here on out and we sit at 82
    For Chelsea to get 81: play 6, win 3 draw 3 OR Win 4 lose 2
    For City to get 81: Play 8, win 4, draw 2, lose 2
    For Liverpool to get 81: Play 7, win 4, draw 1, lose 2

    Are the odds good? No. Like one in a hundred not good? No, more like one in a million.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMRrNY0pxfM

    #COYG

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  13. In a situation like ours today, Mourinho would have created some controversy & probably managed to win the game. E.g. Getting on of the many players yellow carded to be provoked into another book able offence.

    I can’t choose between the win at all ugly cost or stay classy like Wenger. Some in the middle would be nice.

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  14. The odds to finish top are not in our favour.

    OTOH we must finish as high as possible. Coupled with an FA cup, it will represent modest but significant improvement in the right direction.

    It will also allow us to load on the players we need in the summer better.

    3rd or better is still a realistic finish. 1st is a stretch.

    If we finish 3rd or better + FA cup, Wenger will likely stay on and may have a chance at keeping Sagna.

    The core of this team is strong and contrary to the bollocks spewed by the media, we are as competitive in numbers and quality to any of our peer rivals. Whether we feel we are is a different thing. And crucially we are short significantly up top which must be addressed this summer.

    A comparison with City’s squad will serve to illustrate how close we are :

    Aguero – ?????
    Negredo – Giroud
    Dzeko – Saonogo/Bendtner
    Jovetic – Podolski

    Silva – Ozil
    Navas – Santi
    Nasri – Walcott
    Rodwell – Jack
    Toure – Ramsey
    Fernandhino – Arteta
    Garcia – Flamini
    Boyata – Rosicky
    ????? – Gnabry
    ????? – Kallstrom

    Kolorov – Gibbs
    Clichy – Monreal
    Zabaleta – Sagna
    Richards – jenkinson
    Kompany – Metersecker
    Nastasic – Koscielny
    Demechelis – Vermaelen
    Lescott – ?????

    In midfield we are as competitive as they are. Those that castigate Wenger for not spending should really check their heads. We have precisely overloaded this area and the injuries have hit here where we are lucky with attack and defense where we haven’t been quite as hit with injuries.

    if City had the equivalent of Silva, Nasri, Rodwell and Toure out, you don’t think it won’t make a difference over a number of games?

    In defense we are light by one Cback but Wenger tackles the cover here differently with Kallstrom covering for Flamini who would shift to RB if Sagna has to cover in the middle. So we are again equivalent.

    It is in attack where we have been lightweight against our peer rivals this season (see GD). Giroud is decent but he is best played against teams sitting deep where his physical ability comes to fore (as oppose to the lead weights around his ankle). We are missing an Aguero type player who can work on his own and exploit the back line with trickery which is no surprise why we went for Suarez and Higuain last summer.

    Wenger has an eye on the Ozil opportunity which is likely reason why he refused to go over 40m +1 for the striker. Although Napoli got HIguain for mid 30m mark, the Italians had pockets to go past 40m if need be. The mistake Wenger made was not going to secondaries quickly enough.

    He tried again in jan but the market was tight for a striker. Those that were on offer were mainly overpriced, not an upgrade in capability or cup tied. The likes of Berbatov is on the wane and would have wanted to tie us down to a 3 season contract. His wages would then be prohibitive in us adding in the summer. Similarly Mitrogolou is not exactly an upgrade to what Giroud provides (where we must be in the hunt for capability over cover) He is also cup tied as was the pricey Jackson martinez.

    Pato was a player I thought may have been interesting for us on loan with an option to buy.

    At 24, he has plenty of up side, is quick and technically gifted which is something we are missing up top for a number of seasons now. He is also experienced in the CL and not cup tied. He would have been an interesting wild card for us against bayern considering we would have had to sit deep and absorb pressure and need a player who can operate on his own where Giroud needs close support (not good when you are being cautious at the back)

    Therefore Wenger opted to wait for the summer where we will have benzema and Manzukic as possibilities and less likely Costa or Falcao.

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    • Aguero – ?????
      Negredo – Giroud
      Dzeko – Saonogo/Bendtner
      Jovetic – Podolski

      Come on now, you know better.

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    • Boyata–>Rosicky………………..

      Wow………. A shitty Centreback/right back being compared to a dynamic ball playing energetic rock star midfielder.

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    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but this has been posted before, eh? I remember it for the barrel o’ laughs that I had when reading about Dzeko = Mick Bendtnuuur

      Brilliant!

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  15. There is more vacuous statements coming from the press that we are not competitive in midfield.

    We are without Ozil, Walcott, Ramsey and Jack.

    At the same time, Flamini’s tenacity this season should put to rest the adage that we lack bite in this department. Kallstrom’s addition is another step taken by Wenger to add steel conveniently glossed over by the media.

    How much did Wenger pay for Flamini?

    A big meal has also been made about us not signing on Sagna because the club does not sign old players to extensions. How old is Rosicky in non footballing terms? Sagna’s physical strength probably make shim an 18 year old in football terms then.

    Commentators also like to go on about our lack of height. Navas, Santi and Nasri particularly tall then? Metersecker makes up for Toure in the middle, podolski is 6 feet and Giroud is the same height as Dzeko, Sanogo taller than Negredo.

    These are all fallacies spewed forth by the media to add negativity to the Arsenal-sphere. they know we have the most fickle set of fans who sway between adulation and morose nihilism.

    Whilst our midfield lacks conviction in recent games (largely due to the repeated abberation in the Chelsea game), today’s performance should restore some belief in the team that we are competitive even without our most creative forces availlable in the middle at the moment.

    Finally a word on Podolski who has another assists to his credit to add to the goal and assist against Swansea. He could have almost nicked it here but for hart’s ankle in the way too. This is the sort of performance that we need from him as we try to close out the rest of the season with maximum points now.

    If anything, arsenal has been tenacious this season holding on to top spot and grinding out victories despite players consistently coming in and out of the squad. Where one critical player has dropped out, there has always been someone to replace him.

    We need to improve our mentality above all (along with up front). If we do so, we are not a million miles away. Are Chelsea a million miles away because they lose to Palace? The pressure is mounting and there are no guarantees that the peer rivals will see through the games without some set backs even. I think with3 ahead, it is a bit too far for us but we may yet be able to finish 3rd or better (along with importantly the FA which is a must for us now) and that would be palpable improvement IMO to carry into the next season.

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  16. Would anyone take jay Rodriguez for next year?

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    • i like rodriguez a lot but worry he would be a bit too similar to giroud. i kinda fancy hernandez from united. he must want to get out of there and should be a reasonable price. he also loves to get on the end of chances in the 6 yard box which is something we badly need. if costa is out of reach i would probably go for lukaku although i doubt chelski would sell to us. he is going to be a monster in 2-3 years time.

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      • Honestly, he is pretty much diametrically opoosed to Giroud…he’s all about his clever movement, finding the gaps and finishing clinically whereas Giroud really isn’t.

        I’d like him here, probably over Hernandez, but I’m guessing if we wanted him we could have slapped 25m down in January rather than waiting for the Summer so it’s unlikely.

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        • I like him but he’s not that quick. I want to see a 6ft powerhouse with real pace. A real bastard of a monster of a centre forward.

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  17. I like to read Wengers statements before I sleep after a game, although sometimes he can keep things close to his chest but his perspective of the game in general is usually on point.

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  18. Good performance from the lads but it doesn’t hide the fact that the only “top” team we’ve beaten all season is Liverpool at home. A team challenging for title honours does not get turned over by a tennis scoreline – something that’s happened to us at Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool. There is something seriously wrong with our mentality when playing against elite opposition.

    You can blame it on injuries all you want but that’s what a championship winning team does – it copes. We’ve really struggled in the second half of the season.

    I sincerely hope that we don’t don’t cock up in the FA Cup.

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    • Considering it’s against Championship opposition and not a top team it should be fine then, no?

      Not sure why you’ve got so many thumbs down when you’re essentially right though, we obviously have the goods to get results and with a few signings in the summer to give us a bit of a boost, we’ll get it right in the big games eventually.

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    • Absolutely 100% correct Newxieland…& 7 red thumbs!
      *facepalm*

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    • I do think there is something wrong alright but am sure it can be fixed. We know now for a fact we can compete with them. In our 3 home games we only conceded 1! Playing away to them we should have been playing counter attack but this couldn’t happen as all our pace was missing due to injuries. I think we should be ok for our final games as we get more players back.

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  19. I’m sure somebody said to me last week that I would regret going to the Arsenal vs Manchester city game. But let me tell you the way we played today was brilliant! We showed so much character getting back into the game and played some beautiful football. The fans and the atmosphere was the best I’ve seen! COYG take it to the end of the season and you never know where we could finish.

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  20. Bodom After Midnight

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated Thumb up 5 Thumb down 105

    • City may be on another level, but we’re not useless. We proved today we can go toe to toe , we’re just missing the extra push. Yes we capitulated away to city and Chelsea but that’s just the result of very very bad gambles on style in the opening half. We’re so close, and that’s what frustrates me. Not that we’re miles off but just in need of players we let go (like RVP ) and some better medics.

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  21. What energy that guy Rosicky has, I hope Wenger keeps on feeding him whatever he has been, I suspect Polonium and diced Lions.

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  22. Arsenal got a deserved equaliser. The games commentators and analysts blame the gunners
    pedestrian speed in attack. If they had sped through the the attack,who knows.Flamina’s goal illustrates what I mean.
    I doubt the gunners can win the title.
    Liverpool are due a draw or loss in the game against Spurs. They can’t be winning every game. If Spurs beat them,Arsenal could be back in the race marginally. At the end of the season,I think it’s time for parting of ways.
    Wenger’s consistent cock ups in the finishing line is simply unacceptable.

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  23. Fuck I’m drunk.

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  24. Bodom After Midnight

    “Fuck off” oh……

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  25. We showed quality yesterday. …we are a good team that needs a little tweak here and there…COYG

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  26. All we need is Ibra or Bale or Costa …. an Arda Turan or Pedro type pacy winger and a Pogba, Kroos, etc would be nice too. I would say, go all in and nick Tony Kroos.

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  27. To the guy saying Wenger lacks any tactical knowledge. Please read this. I may be wrong but here are some tactical changes that I saw by watching the game on TV. (I live in Egypt so can’t make the Emirates).

    1.Gibbs and Sagna. We usually see our two FB pushing and bombarding forward like madmen all game long thus leaving us very open on the counter attack. This game it was different. They didn’t go up too much and when they did it cost us City’s goal. Also bad by Podolski should’ve kept possesion. Gibbo deserves an England call up instead of CASHLEY.

    2. The second half. Many pundits and fans have been calling our lack of PACE a weakness, Whilst that is true I believe the word you are actually looking for is PENETRATION. They are not exactly the same thing. Of course you would think that having more pace means you have a better outlet for penetration but this is not necessarily true. What AW did at half time is tell Flamini and Arteta to get into the box more. Which they did to good effect (the goal). We have been missing that type of player since Ramsey went out. This is evident in the number of times Rosicky ran forward past Toure and found nobody running ; the person running doesn’t have to be fast they just have to make the damn run. The fact is that from a tactical point of view AW got it spot on especially when he tweaked a bit in the second half and I honestly believe that City did not have as many clear cut chances as the media wants you to believe.

    3,Poldi. Defensively not as bad as you think . He might not have made soo many tackles or interceptions but he tracked back and didn’t allow City too much time on the ball. I say sign him up for more seasons could be a valuable squad player. He is incredibly efficient. He scored and assisted against Swansea and assisted again tonight.

    The boys showed heart and determination. They matched the City players and could actually have beaten them if not for that lucky save by Hart. We can still win it although our chances are slim. The FA Cup is a MUST. I am actually pretty terrified of playing Wigan…

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    • Your second point made up much of a rant I ended up in the middle of during the first half, saying we lack pace is simply lazy punditry when we have plenty of players with pace on the pitch and it’s the utilisation that’s at fault; expected better from Neville as he seems to be the best of a bad bunch but then again, he was a defender.

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  28. Why is a great club like Arsenal being held hostage by one man? Do we really have to go thru this?

    Like do we really???

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  29. Luck favours the brave. If aresenal is brave and fronts up to rest of the seaso like the second half performance i am certain the dice will roll in our favour in other results and maybe there are a few suprises i store before the end of the season.

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  30. Angolan Girl Who Loves The Gunner

    If the injuries didn’t fuck us over, we will still be top of table, still in the tittle race,etc,etc…
    Well, its not that bad, i mean we still can win the fa cup, i’m keeping the faith that we will end our trophy drought this season if we keep this fighting spirit!COYG!

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  31. “Wenger: We must fight for the rest of the season.”

    Yeah, but for what?

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t get excited by a fourth-place finish. At one stage this season we were leading the Premier League by four points; are we really all supposed to get excited by scraping into the final Champions’ League place? And if we do get it does that mean we’ll have to suffer three more years of Wenger’s incompetence? If so I’ll prefer us to finish fifth.

    When that semi-final against Wigan comes around I’ll start to get enthusiastic again: we’ll be fighting for a real trophy – not the imaginary fourth-place one. Hopefully, we’ll get to the final and beat Hull to finally win some silverware. But I don’t give a damn about the Premier League now: we had a chance to win it but totally blew it – thanks to Wenger’s hopeless management. I don’t care about second, third or fourth.

    I was watching Match of the Day last night and Alan Hansen made a brilliant point about our Kamikaze defending in both the Liverpool and Chelsea away games. If only we had played with a bit of restraint and discipline in those matches, and picked up a couple of draws, then we would still be in the title race.

    Fucking frustrating.

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    • ‘Alan Hanson’ and ‘brilliant point’… that’s the first time I have heard those words in the same sentence. Please stop moaning and start supporting.

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    • Yes, we’d be far better off without that extra 31m.

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    • lmao…you prefer the f.a cup than qualifying for the champions league ?

      f.a cup pays …5 million and the champions league pays close to 30m to participate in group stage and qualify in next stage .

      Hmm lets see…… …5 million or 30 million ?

      4th place ..more than a trophy. :) The key to financial survival and repaying our stadium actually.

      so take your little englader’s mentality and stick it up your fat arse.

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  32. *cartman voice* hey you guys!you can always go and enjoy teams eons ahead that were utterly shit before they had a pretty woman moment!oh and suck my balls you guys!

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  33. why couldn’t we have done this weeks back? why do we have to wait till it escapes our grip?

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  34. Statements such as this is somewhat stupid. Ofcourse you are going to keep fighting. Its not like he is going to come out and say “we give up. Lets just lay down and die. What is the point? We allways throw our season away in the end. God hates me! Fock my life! And fock feckin Jose Mourinho that little cunt! I quit and i have chosen Piers Morgan to be my replacement and i hear he will be bringing in John Terry to be his Assistant. Enjoy Suckerz! And fuck you to! Au Revoir!”

    However, that would be a statement to remember. All this usual drivel of we keep fighting, our spirit is strong, we are prepared, we are in it to win it and so on has got old.

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  35. COYG!

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