Wenger: we must deal with ‘relentless’ pressure

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Arsene Wenger says that his team are under ‘relentless’ pressure from fans, unhappy that results and performances have been a long way from what’s expected, but that it’s their job to deal with that.

The Gunners lie 8 points behind leaders Leicester with just 9 games of the season remaining, and the Arsenal manager says they have start winning again soon.

“I must tell you that the pressure from our supporters is relentless and I’m in a good position to tell you that,” he said following the 2-2 draw with Sp*rs yesterday.

“We have to deal with that. We have to go on a run again. We play on Tuesday night an important game and then we will see if we will play in the FA Cup or the Premier League. We want to win our games.

“I prefer that the fans are happy but I’m more worried that it can get to the players’ confidence level.”

Wenger did take some positives from what was a day of mixed emotions. Having seen Francis Coquelin sent off at 1-0 up, Arsenal went 2-1 down, before coming back to take a point thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s first Premier League goal since October.

If there has been a lack of character in recent times, there were some signs of it at White Hart Lane yesterday.

“We showed good attitude and character and I’m happy and proud of our performance and attitude,” said the Frenchman.

“We refused to lose the game. We have as well big regrets because I could not see how 11 against 11 could have dropped points today. We made a mistake at 1-0 when it was 11 against 11 but even though we had a shock loss and it went to 2-1, we refused to lose the game.

“We always looked dangerous going forward.”

Arsenal face Hull on Tuesday in a game that will determine next weekend’s action. If we win, we play Watford in the FA Cup. If we lose it’s a Premier League encounter with West Brom.

55 COMMENTS

      • The pressure of being first when every pundit is saying it can’t last.
        Today’s blog deals with this and by trying to foist blame onto the supporters, Wenger is talking garbage, yet again.

        Fact – supporters were not responsible for Wenger not signing any outfield player in the summer when he had three months so to do. And that is a fact : as is the cash mountain we have in the bank. But then we also have an absentee owner who has ranches to buy and American Football teams to finance. That too, is a ‘fact’.

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    • Well they are mantra is. We have nothing to lose and when you are in such a zone, then there is no fear of failure.

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    • Leicester’s fans did not turn on them when the going got tough.

      I am a little surprised that Arseblog turned on the team I must say. The United result was poor, but the nature in which the fans failed to support a “trying” Arsenal team overcome Swansea was embarassing.

      Arsenal were pressuring a “2 shots on target 2 goals” Swansea while we hit the woodwork 3 times, yet the fans practically gave up by abusing their own team.

      Your blog has a hint of guilt about it, and I think many know the fans played a huge part in us dropping points to Swansea.

      Let’s all support. Forget past troubles, what the manager did/didn’t do etc, we are/were in a title race, and have only ourselves to blame for stumbling.

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  1. I can only speak for myself but the pressure from this fan isn’t relentless.

    The ability of Arsenal (not just this season) to put themselves under pressure is relentless.

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  2. We really need to score lots of goals. This seasons league may be won on goal difference and in that regard we are well behind. All in all lets hope that the leaders open their bottling plant soon enough

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    • The goal-difference ship sailed long ago, I’m afraid. While it’s likely an already-relegated Villa will allow us to put several past them, none of the other fixtures we’ve got look particularly easy. History suggests we’re more likely to concede from a set-piece against West Brom away than score a bundle of hat-tricks and, while Everton have a shaky defence, their goals-for column is far better than ours. Everton’s attack looks like ours looked a decade ago when we were playing thrillingly and regularly scored six or seven v. them.

      Thrilling is a thing of a past. These days, despite the considerable spending, we’re grateful to pick up three points, so low have our expectations fallen.

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  3. Leicester are playing with the freedom that nothing was expected from them in the first place. They can enjoy the ride.

    Arsenal fans have high standards because of the success we’ve had in the past. And rightly so especially now with the highest priced tickets in the league.

    Dicks like Walcott think they can stroll about and collect it his £140K a week without putting in any effort. Not to mention all the hassle he gave the club when it came to renewing his contract.

    10 years he been with us and I don’t see much improvement from him. He’s got none of that hunger, ruthlessness that Ian Wright and Thierry Henry had.

    He should be sold, if any mug would take a punt on him.

    27 points to play for. Our fixtures in the run in are a lot easier than Leicester’s and Sp?rs.

    We’re still in this title race.

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    • I really don’t know why you have so many downvotes. Everything you’ve said is bang on. Walcott needs to go in the summer for me, only need to look at Campbell to see how much difference a player with hunger and determination can make.

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    • Totally agree. Walcott, Ramsey, Ox have no winning mentality at all. They’re always happy with something in a game they lost or had a draw. We started the game very well ect… then why did you lose it ?

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      • Ramsey? Disagree. He often looks up for it and frequently shows it on the pitch. It doesn’t always come off of course, but he gets about you know.

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      • You can’t accuse Ramsey of not trying to win. He has always shown the desire and bottle. Has scapegoating become contagious?

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  4. Ozil is terrible under relentless pressure. He gets mad at others (opponents and teammates alike) for his shortcomings.

    Players invited pressure on themselves, they are expected to choke every February, so the obliged. Shame.

    Now watch us do a 8/9 streak with exception of a 1-1 draw at city…but enough to lift it.

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    • No, he gets upset because nobody could finish any of his 6 or so chances created Per Match. And he should!

      He also responded quite well at That Place yesterday, working hard and fighting for the ball pressing up.

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  5. A win on Tuesday is not enough. The team needs to turn it on and show they have their mojo back. Before the Coq and Santi were injured the team looked and played with a bit of style and class.

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    • The style and class only happened after a terrible opening to the season. We were nearly as awful then as we have been for the last 7-8 games.

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  6. “I could not see how 11 against 11 we could have dropped points today”

    We have dropped many points 11 v 11 recently. Let’s not speculate.

    Yesterday was better. Now lets just focus and get back to it.

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  7. because the whole England and world is behind them. And in ARSENAL case, Arsenal fans are on their back, the press and the world against them. I think until we get behind our team positively the better for the team… COYG

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  8. Yesterday we saw the first signs of quality,grit and determination return for the first time in weeks … and a lot more confidence also. Alas , I feel it is a week too late.
    A draw in Manchester with a win at home to 16th placed Swansea and yesterday’s point at Spores would have set us up for a real tilt at the Title but our chance appears to have gone now for the season and possibly for the next decade with Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd almost certain to become major challengers again.
    For those who love Arsenal, which is all of us lot ,it’s fucking heartbreaking.

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    • Decade? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t say next season is already gone too. Mourinho (at United) always takes a year to adjust. Guardiola (City) will discover something he’s never experienced before: competition. Chelsea will need to adjust with their new manager too. Actually I believe Klopp will have success, depending on Liverpool’s spending in the summer. What’s sure is that we can’t stagnate at Arsenal. Wenger must either change, or he must go.

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      • You do realize that for all the reasons you just listed it would be best to stay with Wenger for another year, right?

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        • Not unless Wenger is willing to capitalise on the opportunity. And as he showed last summer, he’s not able to, instead willing to routinely put his faith in players not as gold as he/they think they are and with little game plan.

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        • So you’re positing the other teams mentioned will suffer from a change of manager their first year but we would somehow immediately benefit despite the fact we’ve got the most manager centric organization of them all.

          Sure, why not?

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      • I despise Maureen as much as anyone here but you said “always takes a year to adjust”. Ermmm…

        1st full season at Porto: league, cup and UEFA Cup (now Europa League for the youngsters!). 2nd season league and Champions League!

        1st season at Chelsea (1st time): league and league cup, 2nd: league

        1st season at Inter: league, 2nd: league, cup and Champions League

        1st season at Madrid: cup, 2nd: league

        2nd time at Chelsea he won nothing in first season, 2nd: league

        It’s not a bad record is it? To clarify he is still an absolute John Terry and I would never want his way and style at our club. But we do need to respond to what will happen to Manure if he does take over, as well as Chelski, Liverpool/Klopp and City/Guardiola’s undoubted improvements.

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    • That’s the thing isn’t it?

      Manu, City, Chelsea Tottenham have
      made significant investments each with varied levels of success, whilst Arsenal despite it’s vast resources have made less investment compared to the aforementioned.
      Spending doesn’t neccesarily guarantee success but with a club well run such as ours, coming out of a bleak period why not blow through our resource get the right guys for the team and get the club to where it belonged?

      I imagine any top club after paying off its debts, balance accounts and even have £150 million would have been bursting its neck to win the league again.

      There remains an undeniable reluctance to take this club to where it belonged stemming from the clubs hierarchy (board), manager to the signings made.

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  9. The bigger picture is we are now playing to secure top 4. We will not win the league. We are 8 points behind and only the most blinkered can possibly think we will win all our games. The evidence says we have no chance. It’s gone. Next season Arsene will be in charge, all other teams will have moe money and you can be sure they will spend and pay over the top if necessary. Our manager won’t and will buy a couple of squad players to replace Arteta and Rosicky. He will then tell us there is no one out there better than Walcott and Ramsey and Giroud and Gabriel and bfg and Ox, you get the point. I don’t expect 24 world class players because no one has that but at least open your eyes and see what all bar untold Arsenal and a few on arseblog can see. Some of our starting 11 are not good enough to win the league or champions league. Some of the above can remain as squad players but they are not starters and the fact Wenger won’t acknowledge this is the problem.

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  10. Here are some random info and thoughts. City won the title against United with an 8 points deficit and 6 matches to go. City claimed the title against Liverpool, with a 5 points difference and 3 matches to go. In 2012-2013, we secured CL against Spurs by turning a 7 points deficit with 10 matches to go, claiming 26/30 points.

    At this points I think all top 4 teams + United have a chance at the title. We have the easiest run-in but we tend to bottle things, you know. So what do we do from now on? Whether we play for the title or (more realistically) 4th place, we need to win all of our fixtures. No more maths, just play every game like a cup final. If we do that, maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised at the end. And if you’re feeling down because our title chances are extremely slim, remember it’s 1-1 at Newcastle.

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    • 100% spot on. Title races are so bizarre in the premier league nearly every year I dont know how people give up too easily. Now is the time to support our team. Just forget what we will do at the end of may just get behind the team let them know we are in this with them. If we win the league, magnificent, if not, we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

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  11. Of course there is pressure, we’ve had to wait 10 years being told to pay some of the highest ticket prices in the world being told be patient we’ll be competing with the giants of world football any day now, well 10 years on and we can’t even beat Leicester to the title, when all the usual suspects had an ‘off’ season and the waters parted for us, stop making more excuses Arsene, you’ve had it easy for far too long!.

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  12. Players on a 100k plus per week.
    Fans paying mortgages,season tickets feeding their kids and trying to give them a holiday
    THATS PRESSURE.
    Get in the real world Mr Wenger

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  13. This feels like a veiled critisism of the fans, which is something I’m hearing more of from club leadership, and it’s rubbing me the wrong way. Thing is, when you treat your fans like “customers,” squeezing every bit of revenue out of them at every opportunity, you can’t be surprised when they’re upset if the “product” isn’t up to expectations.

    There may or may not be problems with the atmosphere at the stadium depending on your perspective, but the club is as culpable for that as anyone.

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    • Agree wholeheartedly. I understand the move put massive restrictions on our spending. Those restraints are off and we were only club who did not buy an outfield player. The lack of investment is shocking and I think it falls solely now at the managers door.

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    • Well when some supporters treat the manager, players, and organization like a beast to be whipped, berated, and the recipient of obscenities, what kind of attitude would you expect?

      There is no may or may not. That atmosphere, not only in the stadium but in the digital and media public forum, has negatively affected the performance of the team. That’s fucked.

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      • Sorry no that’s far too easy.

        Why you making excuses for them? These are professional players, why are they so bereft of confidence after one defeat? Why do they come out with such a lack of desire and intent against man utd? How can that be due to the frustration of the fans?

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      • Never said the performances were all the fault of the supporters. But I am quite convinced some of the lukewarm atmosphere, over-the-line vitriol, and non stop targeting of players is not helping and I said so.

        My point was if you’re sensing a veiled criticism of supporters, perhaps some of those supporters shouldn’t go so far across the line of decency and respect.

        If somebody says they hope I’m injured for a good 6 weeks or so I’m going to tell them to fuck right off at best. “Veiled criticism” is the least that should be expected. And when you’ve got groups of supporters out for you no matter how things are going it’s probably advisable for them to expect the same kind of response in attitude.

        The recent performances have been poor. I’ve said so around here as well. But when the players and manager take the kind of abuse they do we should not be surprised to get a bit of a brush-off in response now and then.

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  14. regardless what happens this year, please purchase Kante and Mahrez from Leicester. Walcott could be moved to make room for Mahrez, but no one (except Arsenal) will pay him 140K a week!

    We don’t deserve the title this year I’m afraid…but I’ll celebrate like a wild man if we can somehow pinch it.

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  15. I’m afraid we’re not in the title race anymore, guys. Wenger know this.
    You better come to your senses, there is no way in heaven we’ll be able to get maximum results from our remaining 9 games. We’re fighting for CL spot now.

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  16. The pressure is unrelenting because the problems are too. Its not like t comes from nowhere. Deal with the pressure of the vast majority of the fan base wanting to see more passion and fight when the chips are down. We end on 75ppint if we draw one and lose one. We can only get a maximum of 80points this season. The league is almost certainly over for us. Show some character and grittiness in the tougher games and theyll go some way to have that ‘relentless pressure’ taken away

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  17. Clever Wenger, saying the players are feeling the pressure from the fans. Deep down he knows it’s him the fans are angry with. He has always been good at leading the criticism alway from his self.

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  18. Except you clearly can’t deal with it anymore.

    One idea is to stop trotting out the same nonsense about stuff you could have done something about but chose not to.

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  19. It’s the age old problem, if Wenger jumps or get pushed who do we replace him with?
    I’ve always been a Wenger fan but the faith is dwindling, has the time come….?
    The Pep ship has docked in Moanchester, and I sincerely hope that we don’t get Mourinho, Rodgers, Pearson, Benitez….
    So would a Frank De Boer / Dennis Bergkamp combo do the job?
    Thoughts?
    In the meantime lets put in a proper Arsenal like performance tomorrow night and restore some confidence…
    COYG

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  20. MR Wenger u get paid several million a year and you have average players like Walcott getting more than enough money.Deal with it!

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  21. And so castles made of sand fall into the sea… eventually.

    It’s what happens when you rely on dross and injury prone players.

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