Wenger: Two hours and we still wouldn’t score

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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal were not good enough defensively as Southampton scored twice in the first half to knock the Gunners out of the League Cup at the Emirates for the second time in three seasons.

Jordy Clasie and Ryan Bertrand did the damage for Claude Puel’s slick outfit before the break on an evening where the Gunners mix-and-match starting XI failed to click.

Speaking after the game, Wenger made clear that his side have no excuses.

“On the night we were not at our best. There are no excuses and we can only say Southampton were better than us,” he said.

“We were not good enough defensively and we gave cheap goals away.

“We didn’t have enough urgency in the first half. We were weak in some departments and we paid for that.

“I have no regrets over the selection, I regret we lost the game.”

“They defended deep and were sharper and fitter than us. With a two-goal advantage they defended very well,” Wenger added.

“It’s one of those nights where you can play for two hours and not score.”

So, our unbeaten run that stretched back to the first day of the season is over. Next, it’s a tricky away fixture at West Ham’s new home.

Hopefully, the big guns that were rested this evening will be eager to get things back on track…because quite frankly, this evening was codswallop. The sooner it’s forgotten, the better.

On the plus side, that’s two fewer games in January to worry about.

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36 Comments on "Wenger: Two hours and we still wouldn’t score"

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bournegooner

Pretty sure the onus is on the team today. They didn’t look sharp.

On the other hand the loss was more down to the form. Maybe Wenger is right but Ox and Xhaka from the get go would have been enough to score a winner in 2 hours.

But, what do I know. I have been Analyzing football for a mere couple of years.

Highberry

I’m really not that fussed about this cup. It’s just extra games when we really ought to be concentrating on the big games. What I am really racked off with is paying for three tickets so I could take my grandsons to watch something as far removed from an arsenal performance than almost anything I’ve ever seen. No creativity, no bloody energy and no desire to turn the game around.

sauce

November just couldn’t pass without something happening

Clock-End Mike

Thank goodness it’s over now.

AusDrexler

Thankfully the loss was in the least favoured competition. Still, a win is better.

greg

Very disaapointing. I would have thought that the players on the fringes would have wanted to show what they could do. The lacked intensity like aw admitted after

What I don’t get is that when that is so clear to all, why allow them to go out there like that in the first place. Secondly, why the fuck are you sat there and no berating them to wake the fuck up?

Games like this suggest we give no thought to the opposition or what they will do with their game plan. We were utterly clueless. Played off our own pitch

Dale Cooper

He was on his feet the majority of the game, from what I saw on TV anyway. Arsene looked pretty pissed off from the beginning.

Krispy

Is anyone anything but relieved to get rid of the unnecessary fixtures?

Bosscielny

Disappointing performance.

There are some reports of Arsenal fans booing Carl Jenkinson during the match. Shameful, absolutely disgraceful. In fact it’s more disappointing than the performance itself. Booing one of your own players and that too someone who is a gooner.

AusDrexler

I agree 100% surely the best way to get a player to improve is to get behind him and cheer the good stuff he does…. negativity just brings everyone down.

Alex

I was very disappointed today that wenger didn’t start ox and xhaka. Xhaka has quality passes much better than elneny. Glad I won’t be seeing Jeff Adelaide this season except we playing Sheffield in the facup. I hope you never have such day again this season. We miss per despite his pace problems. Next stop let’s crush west ham with another Alexis Brace

Matt P

Agree.
Elneny in my opinion is a limited player. Would fit in well in a mid table team, not a team with title aspirations…

Charmin_Tas

Yet you are ok with jenks, rene, ox, ram and the likes… let’s not be sentimental here 90% would not make the Southampton team… so do not single out any one particular player

Matt P

Interested in the views of those who have given me 5 thumbs down on this comment. Not sensitive at all to that, I’m a very big boy, but just wondering why others see something beyond mediocre in Elneny. I just can’t see it. Look forward to thoughts.

The Ghost of Peter Storey
The Ghost of Peter Storey

Elneny reminds me of the George Graham era and “send in the clones” – Hillier, Selly, etc. etc. Fit, but limited. Good back up off the bench, but hardly going to scare anyone and certainly not in the bracket of Paddy or Manu. Xhaka has potential, but I just can’t see Elneny getting any better.

Charmin_Tas

We all miss the main issue here. Even the 1st team have produced performances like this; they just about have enough quality to get a draw.
The predictability and repetitiveness is my concern and the fact that most of our young players would never have gotten near Southampton’s team but are part of arsenal’s…
Is it that the guys managing the academy are not good enough or what?

And Jenks??? W*F
He needs to be far away from our 1st team (not condoning the boos) but he is abject

Matt P

So is it the lack of player quality, or managerial quality?
Personally, I think it’s both
(PS I think Wenger *was*a great coach, but that greatness lies well in the past. He has continued to attain ‘respectable’ results season to season, which is certainly admirable. He’s simply a man that’s past his prime – a stage that almost all mere mortals reach)

Newxieland

How many games will it take for Wenger to realize that Coq and Elneny isn’t a good pairing in midfield… especially for a home game against tier 2 opposition.

More disappointed about the performance than the result and very worried that a third of the way into the season and we still haven’t found a midfield combination that works without Cazorla.

215Arse

What really concerns me is that regardless of who starts, we seem to be off the pace through the first half. It happened tonight, against PSG, United, Ludogorets, and Sunderland.

Gervinho is Driving

What’s tricky about playing at whatever West Ham calls their new ground? Locating the pitch?

Matt P

I think west ham is going to be a very difficult game

Lord Bendtner

I agree with him about the selection. Only thing though is that I would’ve put in the ox from the start. There was nothing wrong with the selection. Today was a game for players to go out n show the manager why they should be in the Premier League starting lineup, and the opportunity was wasn’t taken. Why do I feel an uneasy growing gap between our big guns and bench players.

Carlos_Santana

I’m guessing wenger possibly plans on starting the Ox on the weekend.. He showed some great acceleration last night. Definitely a strong point in his game if he can keep the confidence up..

Dan Gunn

He also missed our very best chance of the match.

Lord Bendtner

Yup I agree with u. I think Sanchez in center would be best against west ham

dholio

Our B team essentially lost to Southampton’s Prem side give or take a player or 2.
In recent years our 1st team struggles against Southampton, so it was never going to be easy for the B team.
Ramsey did nothing in this game to suggest he shouldn’t be more than an impact sub atm.

Roisten

Actually it was Southamptons B side / academy that they’ve been playing in the Europa league Maya yoshida Harrison reed Sam mqueen, Shane long, Josh sims…

Hard_Coq

I am a bug fan of the Jeff.
But still I find it strange that The Jeff is starting ahead of Ox.
It’s not like he needed a break after playing too many games

santori

Couldn’t agree more on the Ox.

He needs as much time on the pitch as possible.

I think he is too anxious to do well personally. He needs to relax a little. His shooting is a fraction too rush, sometimes, decision making too quick.

That said, he brings very good dynamics to the squad because of his powerful runs hugging the sidelines.

I personally thought we would have started Ox and Iwobi given second choices in some of the other areas too.

Ox would have been better giving Jenko a bit of cover.

santori

Lucas I think will come good. Hard to judge as he just came back from injury.

But the lack of choices up front sans Giroud and Alexis is stark.

Still if we’re going to lose a game and get it out of the system, I guess this is the one.

Can’t afford to do the same in the CL, Title race and even FA cup.

EFL mickey mouse cup isn’t priority by any means and we can’t be pushing all fronts, hoping to sweep all in front of us. Not going to happen.

assistantref

Could have played three hours without scoring. That was some rank awful shite.

Ramsey was so bad that I had a suspicion that maybe they switched him with a caricature of himself. So many ridiculous potshots from distance that ended up closer to the corner flag than the goal. It was like the David Squires version of himself.

Bendtners square pants
Bendtners square pants

Should have made the changes he made before starting the game. Ok, Ainsley being better than Carl was hard to predict, but Ox and Xhaka not starting was a surprise. Terrible one as it proved later.

ub

Damn this was Ramsey’s chance to show what he can do and he didn’t really perform. I think it has to be xhaka and coq or xhaka and elneny in the middle now with ox and theo on the wings. the shoehorn ramsey into the side needs to be put on hold for a while. there’s more inform players in the team for sure.

Mike

We just surrendered one of the two competitions we could genuinely win. Gutted.

emmanuel ndiokwere

The greatest mistake Wenger made was to install 2 blunt players, Elneny and Coguelin in central midfield, who can only pass d ball sideways, without any sort of creativity. It is often frustrating to see this pairing which tends to ignore Dhaka who could have brought some craft into that midfield.
I’ve read some critical comments against Lucas Perez but I think those comments are really unfair considering that Wenger has not really given him enough opportunity that would boost his confidence. Moreover, he never really received quality service from the midfield on the night.

Mpls

I think Perez deserves some patience for this one, but beyond him it really is notable that without our starting line -and even with several- we don’t have anyone that seems capable of threatening the goal. Not that I expect every attack to result in a goal, just that when we have a match like this a lot of the time it just doesn’t even feel like it’s close.

Contrast that with how it seems even mid table or championship clubs look dangerous or like there is a good chance when they attack us in matches like this. It almost feels inevitable at times.

I really like our squad and club, including the ones not on the best runs of form right now, but I think this describes my occasional frustrations pretty well.

Thankfully in the big scheme all is going pretty well. November is over, we’re just 3 points off the top.

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