Arsenal’s slow starts cost them the League: By the Numbers

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Chelsea Bosses Arsenal: Bad Passers

Arsenal had a number of players who were tidy with the ball but three whose terrible passing was Arsenal’s undoing.

17 – failed passes by Shkodran Mustafi (of 68) – he attempted more passes than anyone and failed more than anyone on the way to completing just 75%. He was 1/8 on long passes but that also means that he misplaced 10 short passes. As a center back you just can’t give the ball away 10 times on short passes. 12 of his misplaced passes were forward but that means the other five were bad passes sideways and backward, again, this is where you need your center back to be almost perfect.

10 – failed passes by Koscielny – slightly better than Mustafi, Koscielny was only 0/2 long but gave away 8 short passes. However, unlike Mustafi, most of his misplaced places were forward (8) and he only played 2 poor balls square.

10 – failed passes by Coquelin – slightly better still than Koscielny, 9 of his misplaced passes were forward (one led to the Hazard goal) and one was square. His one failed square pass was also deep in Arsenal’s half.

Low passing percentages from your back three are normal when you’re playing counter attacking football. But what happened with Arsenal was that Chelsea set out a deliberate strategy to allow Koz, Mustafi, and Coquelin to make the entry passes. Leaving those three alone to make the pass meant that Chelsea could gamble on interceptions and tackles.

Kante and Matic led all players with 4/6 and 4/5 tackles each and Kante and Hazard led all players with 20 ball recoveries between them (11 and 9 respectively). All of the Chelsea players got involved in closing the passing lanes down, Chelsea had 9 players with interceptions while Arsenal’s Mustafi and Koscielny had 8/10 of Arsenal’s interceptions and Ox and Gabriel just 1 each. This shows excellent defensive coordination by Chelsea and the subsequent starvation of service explains why Arsenal’s six forwards (Alexis, Özil, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud, and Welbeck) only managed 3 shots among them.

Stand out player

93 – percent of passes completed by Ox. Chamberlain led all players (in pass %) with 55/59 passes. He also created 2 chances (the same as Özil), was 2nd on Arsenal in passes in the final third (20/22), was 4/4 on dribbles, led Arsenal with 8 ball recoveries, led Arsenal with 4/4 tackles (tied with Mustafi), was second on Arsenal with 4/4 clearances, led Arsenal with 3/3 headed clearances, led Arsenal with 3 blocked crosses, and was second in fouls suffered with 3.

Arsenal’s slow starts are now endemic

In the last five League matches, Arsenal have gotten off to a slow start in four (Chelsea, Watford, Swansea, and Bournemouth) and had just one first half (against Burnley) where they came out the gates looking like they were going to win the match. The resulting stats are atrocious.

In the first 35 minutes against Chelsea, Watford, Swansea, and Bournemouth Arsenal have managed just 6 total shots with 5 of those from outside the 18 yard box. That’s an “expected goals” tally of 0.26.

The opposition in those same games (Chelsea, Watford, Swansea, and Bournemouth) have managed 23 shots in the first 35 minutes. Their expected goals based on those shots in that time is 3.18.

Even if I include Arsenal’s good start against Burnley, Arsenal’s first half performances in the last five games has been rather poor. This first graphic shows cumulative shot quality by Arsenal:

This graphic cumulates all Arsenal shots and all of their opponent’s shots by 5 minute increments in each of the last five games. Cumulatively, in terms of shots taken and their positional value* Arsenal are being dominated by the opposition until the 50th minute.

When we look at the periods as stand-alone segments, the opposition have one period which shows huge dominance, the 10th-15th minute, of every match, where Arsenal have conceded shots worth over 2 goals.

Arsenal, on the other hand, don’t get going until the 40th minute, but they continue rolling until the 55th and then pick back up in the 90th minute. Arsenal do show shot dominance throughout most of the second halfs of games with few if any periods owned by the opponents (just the 81-85th).

The goals also follow this pattern, with Arsenal conceding 2-6 in the first 55 minutes and then going on to dominate games 9-3 after the 60th minute;

If this was just one or two matches I would write it off as an anomaly, but this is now a clear pattern of Arsenal starting matches slow and finishing them strong that has developed over the last five games and has killed off Arsenal’s title hopes for yet another season. This cannot be attributed to physical exhaustion, actually just the opposite, and has to be down to either poor preparation or poor mentality (perhaps hubris, thinking that they are better than they actually are) on the part of the squad.

Against Chelsea, this pattern continues with the Blues dominating Arsenal completely between the 1st and 35th minutes and Arsenal finally waking up after going two goals behind.

Arsenal continued their propensity for late goals with a Giroud consolation in the 91st minute. But have now allowed 9 goals in the last five matches, that’s 32% of Arsenal’s goals allowed this season in the 20% of the season where Arsenal were supposed to be pushing for the title.

@7amkickoff

*shots outside the box are awarded 0.03, shots in the box 0.11, shots in the 6 yard box get 0.3, big chances 0.4, and penalties 0.7

Sources: Opta, my personal database

Qq

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106 Comments on "Arsenal’s slow starts cost them the League: By the Numbers"

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Trez

Wenger needs to leave. We lost the title when we lost the games against Man City and Everton. We will never win the league with him incharge for 20 more years…he’s done for.
Tired of people defending him for what he did 12 years ago. He must leave this May. Wenger out!!

Paul

Is a twenty year contract on the table then?

Highberry

All these stats are very informative but its missing the point. When I was a nipper and my uncle used to take me to see the Arse there were a lot of supporters who’d come from work in their donkey jackets. They would rip into the opposition or our own players if they weren’t giving their all. In the 80s and 90s it was the same. Tony Adams had to put up with donkey noises because he was so slow. Now you’ve got what you paid for. Normal people can’t afford to live near the stadium and its full of corporate hospitality tossers. The extremely overpaid players don’t really care about the fans and are hapy to collect their cash for just turning up. Now excuse me for being pissed off but I’ve just had a sp*rs fan sing to me “it’s happened again, Arsenal bottlers its happened again.” I did however remind the tosser that they haven’t won a league title in over 50 years in a very phyiscal way and that is the reason I’m due to appear at Bow street on Monday. #ya gunnersya

Cazorla's Both Feet

Yeah gentrification has pretty much killed our club and the area around it… but then again that should have happened to Chelski as well

7amkickoff

I thought we did well for about five minutes. Then settled into a sterile possession game which was exactly what Chelsea wanted.

IamaGoober

I think what really fucking cost us big time was our CM duo. It just didn’t work. As much as I think Coquelin has surpassed what I thought he was capable of, considering he was on loan away at Charlton not too long ago – for me, he was well and truly out of his depth yesterday. At time’s he looked like an U16 having his first ever experience training with the first team. I genuinely think we need to upgrade on him in the summer – we need a bigger stronger better defensive midfielder if we realistically want to win the league.

If our centre midfield isn’t firing we really struggle to find any sort of rhythm and we just cant get our passing game going. I think thats why Mustafi and Koscielnys’ passing stats were so bad. I lost count of how many times in that match either of our two centre halfs would have the ball, look up, and Coquelin nor Chamberlain were making any effort to drop in and pick the ball up, which is their responsibility. The Ox was the better of the two, but at times his inexperience in that role showed big time.

Tg

Don’t forget to wear your Donkey jacket.

Redrich

It is only football. No excuse for violence.

Fabulous

I don’t mind Spurs at all because they won’t win the league anytime soon. Now Chelsea singing “London is blue” pisses me off as it might just be true. Younger fans are likelier to support them, they’re closing in on our 13 league titles if the last 15 years continues. And it just hurts me like hell.

spinner

Don’t worry Trez, I don’t think Wenger has the balls to sign a new contract so he’ll be gone in the summer.
I mean it’s been over a decade since a title challenge (average of 14 points below the winners since last league title). He’s taken over £100m in salary since the last league title. He spent £90m on new players in the summer and the team has gone backwards. And Spuds are looking down on us.
He can’t have the balls to sign a new contract after all that, can he?

Eric Blair

I feel as if we lost the league in the opening day defeat to Liverpool. No team serious about winning the league goes into the first game against a title rival with a squad as thin and unprepared as that one was. Of course that one game didn’t render the league unwinnable, but it sent completely the wrong message, although an accurate one. Wenger is always building the squad and club with the future in mind, and while that it admirable and we will one day thank him for all he did for us it means we sacrifice short term success for long term stability, and that is also why Kronke will give Wenger all the time he wants.

wellarsed

Wow. That’s pretty damning. Some massive problems with the pre-match preparations – not to mention desire.

chippy's chip

Is it de ja vu or groundhog day?? I just cant decide. Out.

Georgeycharles

It’s just the same shit, different day.

Herewegoagain

Are the stats hiding the facts? I think in most games we’ve started by attacking well – including yesterday – but we are just defensively naive when we attack which then leads to giving away goals and losing the impetus. Unless we score early we’re sunk (or still sunk as at Man City).

Everyone who’s played the game will know that if one full back attacks, the other drops back and in almost to take the diagonal position. We bomb both forward together and wonder why it’s so easy for a long ball out to the wings to find our defence lacking. Similarly defensive midfielders should be just that and not wandering up ball watching.

Mustafi must be our worst passer ever given that he rarely seems to find his own player when passing forward, be it short or his ridiculous attempts at Steve Gerrard long balls.

Sanchez lives in a cul de sac now and no one around him can make runs because they don’t think he’ll release the ball early enough.

Ox had good game and Welbz added impetus which Perez would have helped with too.

Charvakan

Wenger leaving is not going to make the current crew into league winners, and it may convince Ozil at least to go elsewhere. Wenger takes the heat for Kroenke and the board, and this will become evident after his retirement. I’m not saying he’s as “good” a manager as, say, Conte, but that switching managers would not have won this game for Arsenal.

spinner

How do you know that another manager wouldn’t turn this group of players into title winners?
Are you saying the squad that Wenger built is shit?
Sounds like you’re a waffler mate.

PepKlopp

We don’t know if another manager would win us the title, but we do know wenger won’t.

John

Conte would have organised us properly without the ball. Mourinhio and Pottechino would do the same. That’s our fundamental weakness. Wengers strength is in coaching possession football, and that is not enough in the modern game.

Dial Square

Wenger cannot motivate his group, he is far too cerebral.
The performance against Manure at Old Toilet last season was case in point.
As mentioned (and quoted by Wenger) before, Wenger doesn’t do tactics “we play our game” he says

Deano

Couldn’t disagree with you more Charvakan. I look at our squad and think that it’s very good, I just tend to think a change of manager is exactly what this club needs. You’ll get people screaming “look at united”, seriously what about them. He left a past his best Rooney, our former crippled striker, a retired Ferdinand,giggs and scholes a fucked Evra and Vidic. I think that covers them, this however is a top squad with just a couple of purchases off being a great squad. All that is required is a young hungry and determined Manager.

BromleyGooner

Earlier on in the season we were ruthless in the first half and attacked teams from the off. I did feel we tried to do that today with Alexis’ uptop but it failed. Even though and had poorer shot quality than they did I hadn’t felt we had done too badly over the half and were perhaps a little unlucky we were behind given the nature of their goal and Gabriel’s and Ozil’s chances.
It was good to see Ox perform so well in midfield against such a tough midfield duo. Hopefully he can keep his place there and improve.

baz00r

I think our league position even now flatters us a bit, one must look back at scraping the two wins against Burnley, one of which was a clear handball by Koscielny, the 2-1 win against Southampton thanks to an injury time penalty, I’m sure there are others, if they don’t go our way we are in mid-table obscurity.

Ab

Agreed, we are lucky to be in 4th.

Sheffield Goon

2. The number of games in a row that Arseblog Livecast has packed up on me. Is it just me? Very frustrating.

Paul

Thanks for the “who gave the ball away” stats, but would have liked to see Alexis in that.

clins

there is much larger play here. alexis was loosing ball because chelsea was simply defending well. they were hunting in packs to get the ball. in the first half they managed to create so many chances and sent many crosses to the box one of which became the goal. on the other hand i dont even remember arsenal producing a single good cross apart from a corner routine. whenever arsenal was trying to play through wings on the left there were there were atleasr 3 or 4 chelsea players trying to prevent that cross. arsenal on the other depended on individual brilliance to defend . chelsea simply defended as a team and that is the only reason they won

Paul

It’s not about Alexis losing the ball but more about him receiving the ball, twisting, turning, running and then delivering a missed placed pass.
He used to do it quite a bit, but we forgave him because of his sensational pieces of magic and his constant chasing the ball like a puppy.
Lately the cross and moody Alexis is just giving the ball away. Sadly.

Alex

Alexis managed 23/30 passes or 76.6%

Source: Statszone App

7amkickoff

He wasn’t in the top five.

Paul

Blimey! No wonder we lost! 🙁

clins

its obvious that we are actually underperforming with the squad we have. looking at our squad wenger have the liberty to call upon worldclass players like sanchez ozil bellerin koscielny mustafi and not to mention the money we are spending yet we never look like a team capable of winning the title. always manages to fuck the first real test we face. this year apart from a win over chelsea we havent won a single game against big teams. we are being completely outplayed by every single team in the top six. im sorry to say this but spurs with much poorer squad than arsenal are much closer to the title than arsenal. the fact that we are finishing above spurs has nothing to do with any of wengers tactics , rather it just shows the gulf in the quality. if it was any other manager we would be atleat look llike a real team. as good as wenger has been for arsenal he is a relic now and arsenal must get out their comfort zone and appoint another manager or risk being mediocre

Bamidele Emmanuel

pls let Wenger leave arsenal alone if he know he is a world class coach let him try his mentality somewhere else, Wenger has killed arsenal fc ,for past 10 yes, he couldn’t challenge for any title, shame shame, shameful

Gooner69

who as a manager should we get then? Certainly not for the sake of someone that has become a relic you said or a just a matter of fresh breath of air…Sanchez was crap, Coquelin was naive but Wellbeck should have had started. Iwobi cannot play against the bigwigs..not yet

Crash Fistfight

I wondered about a couple of people: Leonardo Jardim and Julien Favre. Jardim seems a very tactically astute manager based on games I’ve seen of Monaco, and Favre seems to have done well at both Moenchengladbach and Nice.

Anybody know enough about them to hazard a guess as to whether they’d be a good fit?

Jame5

Jorge Sampaoli looks to be an amazing manager. Would love him here. But I think Barca will try to get him when Enrique leaves at the end of the year.

Which is why Wenger shouldn’t be selfish and leave the contract decision until the last minute as all the top managers would have it sorted by Jan

Amasidos

Yes! Sampaoli. He won the Copa with Alexis and he’s great at Sevilla playing a different style from what he did with Chile: in other words he adapts.

Deryo

Jogi Low!

clins

agreed with sampoli. his teams are simply astonishing in terms nof attacking play. only team in the world that has stopped both barca and madrid with less resources this season.

lucien favre of nice is also very good . managed to create a briliant team out of scratch. julian nagglesman of hoffenheim is good too. the ony team that is unbeaten in this season

Chamakh

Allegri.

AusGunner

could you all please keep in mind that not so long ago fans were positing that the likes of Andre Bish-Bosh would be good replacements for Wenger. That said, it doesn’t seem like the board has better succession plans so I guess the ‘listen to Football Weekly and chuck of a few of the names that crop up into a hat’ method is as good as anything

Cazorla's Both Feet

People are saying they’re a better team, but if you look at Chelski’s squad compared to ours there shouldn’t be that much of a gulf in class. There’s just something about Arsenal that makes them a bunch of f*cking bottlers! We’ll finish behind Spurs and that will be that

Matt P

Each one of Chelsea’s starting players are better than ours. And they can bring on Willian and Fabregas

Anonymarse

Cahill, Luiz and Azpilicueta are not better than mustafi and kos, but they work better as a unit

Having Kante and Matic in front of them probably helps

Anonymarse

Our attack is pretty tasty, i don’t think theirs is much better.

Matt P

Jesus, are you guys Arsene’s trolls or something. Or just idiots? You don’t know anything about football if you think our mediocre chumps are better than Chelsea’s.
No wonder this club is fucked

Matt P

Good riddance to this blog. It’s full of blind faith, unintelligence, silly partisanship, and complacency. All the hallmarks of our club’s failings and the failings of any (once) great organisation.
And rather than dissing all the professional pundits… – maybe the fact that they are all saying the same thing about our team and manager means they are right rather than the easy out that most here revert to which is that they are all just ‘biased cunts’. See ya…

Georgycharles

Bye

Anonymarse

I’m just remembering how well some of our players played in some of the earlier games this season. We have plenty of good individuals.

Cahill has never been that good as a CB, Luiz certainly isn’t and Azpilucueta isn’t even a CB (though he is a good player).

In kante and matic they have the two DMs with the best stats in the league for the past two seasons playing together. They play with 3 CBs and 2 dms. They are very solid and very good on the on the counter.

We probably do need to be playing a different way, if we actually want to win. If that means that Wenger has to go, then i guess he has to go.

Anonymarse

IMO most pundits are full of shit, which is why they are pundits and not managers …

and some of them are most certainly baised

clins

our squad according to me is atleast equal in terms of quality compared with chelsea. even if it isint there’s certainly not that big a gap in quality and watching our performance it feels like chelsea is playing a midtable club instead of a club that is supposed to be fighting fot the title.

alexis, ozil, mustafi, koscielny, bellerin are all worldclass players , players that have won title with other teams or international teams. if it was any other manager than wenger we would’ve atleast put up a fight. if we compare our team to spurs who are above us do we clearly understand the difference. none of their players were bought for big fee like arsenals . our squad is vastly superior to them in terms of quality, yet we are behind them.

the thing is conte , mourinho, or pochetino knows how to completely utilize their full squad and play as an organized team . wengers time has passed.

Paul

I quite like “blind faith” and calling pundits “biased cunts” me.
I am staying right here! COYAsreblog! 🙂

Anonymarse

Or just cunts

PFo

That is a ridiculous statement. Would we be thrilled to have Moses and Alonso (for instance) at our club as anything more than squad players? Would having them make us perform any better? Doubtful. Pedro, Azpilicueta, and Cahill are all decent players, but I very much doubt having them would significantly improve us. They’re lucky to have their best 11 completely healthy (having been healthy and playing week in, week out, for most of the season now), but even with our injuries it’s not like the actual gulf in quality was huge, and, purely in terms of talent, if we had all of our best players available, I think our team is comparable to theirs. They are playing as more than the sum of their parts, and we are very much less than the sum of our parts at the moment. Presumably a lot of that has to do with the managers.

Anonymarse

I’d take Kante and Hazard tbh. They can keep the rest.

Crash Fistfight

Exactly.

How many of the Sp*rs team would get in ours (or Chelsea’s or Man City’s or Man U’s)? Not many, I’d hazard a guess. All the top teams have players of a similar calibre – it’s the manager that makes the difference.

Look at the players that won the league last season. Even if you look at Juve’s team a few years ago with Conte as manager when they were out-performing the PL teams in the Champions League, they really weren’t that an amazing list of names.

Matt P

We’ll be 4th behind Chelsea, spuds and city

Anonymarse

Second still seems pretty achievable. None of the others look that strong.

Spurs will probably find a way to finish behind us

Anonymarse

Spurs always find a way to finish behind us

Holyviper

Spurs always find a behind to fuss away.

ruddy

chelsea should have had atleast 8 goals

Ex-Priest Tobin

Agent 007 Cech needs to make way for Ospina.

Herewegoagain

He didn’t handle it well but why did Gabriel throw the ball to him when Chelski had players pressing at the time? Generally, our throw ins were awful today as was passing out of defence.

Matt P

I think the notion of our ‘squad depth’ is really really overrated.
We have lots of goodish players, which I guess means we have some squad depth.
But we really lack high level quality. None of our players would make the Chelsea starting XI, nor the City one.
That’s where we are getting shown up. Are top players are not good enough. Liverpool are the same.

Couple that with a manager who is past it and lacks tactical nous, then that is why we are where we are.

PFo

“None of our players would make the Chelsea starting XI, nor the City one.”

This kind of ridiculousness is where you lose all credibility. Your points about squad depth not equating to the best 11, and about the managers, are fair.

Matt P

Ok tell me who? Costa would be ahead of Sanchez, so would Aguero. Ozil wouldn’t make it given his patent inconsistency and failure to deliver against the big boys. Koscielny maybe an outside chance.
Otherwise our players are mid table stars or top team benchwarmers.
look forward to an objective analysis as to why I am wrong.
Far too much blind faith in our fanbase.

Jame5

Our back four and both our keepers shit on Man Citys. Even our reserves are better. Their lucky they have so much possession and score goals

Matt P

Really? Our defence is average
And I haven’t been impressed by Cech for a long time

Paul

Our mascot is way better than theirs! 😉

cheesed off

How about we negate this slow start by starting 45 mins earlier than the opposition – get the opposition reserve team to embarrass us for 45mins and then comes Kickoff and we actually start to play!!!

cheesed off

Btw our squad depth includes too many injury crocks, sort this and we might stand a chance!!!

Someone's Something

9 – the nr of goals Chelsea conceded in their first 6 games.

8 – the nr of goals Chelsea have conceded in their 18 games since then.

👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Tribe

My modest opinion about this state in which the team (or better said, the club) is, cannot be diagnosed or put into perspective by the usual considerations like: having a b plan, change of formation, change (rotation) of players, resting players, referees against us, destructive approach of the teams we play against. The same things are same for all the teams in the world. This club (not just this current team) cannot motivate players, the teams we had since the invincibles lack, desire, passion, self belief, lack a manager that will kick their asses when needed. We can speak about having better players, or having a plan b, or change of formation or whatever you like. It simply won’t help. In the last decade (even more) we’ve heard/read stories about certain players that we were after or tried to sign but we failed. No, we didn’t failed because we don’t have capabale personel for that. We failed because they didn’t believe that they can achieve something at the club. Also, we have players who left the club and mostly weren’t better at their new clubs but they’ve won something elsewhere. The debate Arsene to stay or to leave also becomes irrelevant. Irrelevant because it’s not only Arsene, it’s not only the players. It’s something within the club itself that doesn’t flow. Doesn’t produce emotions. We see the club’s desire and passion less but we see more statistics that show the success (it’s a relative evaluation word) of the club. We have speakers and debaters like Wenger and Gazidis in that front. But what we see less is the results the club is promising for about 13 years now. If we compare Arsenal in 2004 and Arsenal in 2014, or even 2017 noone can tell it’s the same display. We are a richer club with bigger and stronger capacity that maintains itself (remember, the self sustain model). Ok, they managed to build that and now? What do we see? I say, nothing more. I say we see less. We are financially stronger, we have better players year after year and we are still at the same point.
And, for the end of the point. I don’t mind to see my beloved club loosing. I mind when they are loosing without a fight, without a passion, without pride, without presence.
That’s the problem and those things are not on the market. You cannot buy those. It’s simple, you have them or not! If not, your plan b should be how to gain them. Make them your goal. Be 12th on the table, but show passion for the game and for the club. Make yourself proud, make everyone proud. The club needs to start roaming for those things… Where and when did we loose them?
The manager speaks all the time about philosophical concepts, about more humane concept of the sport. And he is not far from the truth but he is far from implementing that. As seen from a birds perspective, doesn’t look like our team or the club are guided by the humane philosophy of the manager.
Today we saw a team that was just jogging, a team without spirit, a team that was there just because it should be there, not because why is on the pitch. A football club that goes on the pitch not to do it’s work, not to play football from the heart.

Dan Hunter

I thought you wrote ‘loosing’ by mistake, then I saw you spell it the same way again…

Tribe

Sorry, my bad.

Anonymarse

I don’t buy into this mental fragility stuff, i think the confidence comes mostly from being better. We had it earlier in the season and chelsea didn’t. Now they have it and we don’t.

Gunnerali

Think today was a defining day in how fans view Arsene with even those like myself who love him for what he’s done for the club finally realising it’s time for a change. With the possible exception of Ranieri, the managers who have won the league recently have been guys that could stand up to the modern player and make them play exactly as they’re told and afraid to finish a game without leaving everything out on the pitch. Somehow I just don’t see Arsene being like that and as a result the players are in a comfort zone which is reflected in their performance. An arm round a player for an occasional bad performance is fine but when there is consistent failure harder, more ruthless action is required. A serious review of the players, tactics and preparation for games is required and it needs a new man to do that. The definition of madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result – that’s where we are today!

gunner smith

To Wenger football is an art. That’s why they are easily ripped apart by a swift attack with asid e
that doesn’t bother with passes galore. When you watch how other teams score,why cant the gunners do likewise.Through ball,high ball,etc.Wenger insists Arsenal play his way with passes all over the place.Good riddance. No wonder he cant beat lowly teams.
Next match Hull. The tigers have just beaten Pool who like to string many passes.
So dont be surprised the gunners cant win against aside scrapping for survival.They just parked the bus to draw with the so.
Btw,the so is due a blip soon.

Kanu's Size 15 Boots

Bring Back Kanu!

Paul

He’s 57 years old! 🙂

Anonymarse

That never stopped him before

Paul

I’ll bowl them, you knock them over the boundary mate. 🙂

Lula da Gilberto

Good, clear article again. Time and again we just don’t have the grit and fight in us to refuse to be beaten. The misplaced passes tell their own story not just from the passer but likely also due to a lack of better options.

We’ve a good enough team. Marcus Alonso and Victor Moses aren’t all that and Chelsea are top. We’re a rich enough club, with good enough infrastructure and player for player among the best team in the league.

I think it’s a rational assumption to say that Wenger doesn’t know how to take it to the next level. Every February is the same. We have waited and waited and waited since the money has been good for him to find the solution. I think it’s time to find someone else who can. I am sick of watching us roll over every February. This was bad. Last year was worse. But not the worst in recent times.

Jim wall

Told yous in December,this old fool has too go ,but some said I just love complaining ,if yous are happy with this carp then by all means defend him

Paul

Calling Wenger “an old fool” is bad but calling him a “carp” is not only rude but fishist imo!

Amasidos

Just wanted to say thanks to 7amkickoff for a great article.

PepKlopp

Ever since Barca beat what was probably considered the best team in Europe in the CL final, wenger has been obsessed with the possession football. But at times, especially in big games, his tactics are clueless. If you don’t press vigorously when not in possession, even average teams pour through our midfield/defense on the break. Do Ozil, Walcott, Ramsey, Iwobi even play defense?? As they say in NY, “forget about it”. Xhaka is more of a passer, even Wenger said he can’t tackle, and Coquelin is a solid squad player at best. But wenger continues to buy soft technical midfielders and expects them to do a job like Vieira or Kante. When we play real possession teams like Barca, Munich, or even Man City, we hardly see the ball. We have 65% possession against West Brom or Stoke only because they park the bus and let us have it, and prefer to catch us on the break or set piece. 10 years of the same failures and wenger is either too stubborn or too daft to see it. He has a glaring blind spot. Wenger out

Beat The Press

Thanks 7am,

The inability to play out from the back beats us again. The way we play out (especially with Coquelin in the side) has been shutdown by both the high and low press. Cazorla helped against weaker opposition but our long term poor record against top sides can’t be ignored. The Ox actually did well but the system itself failed. Weaker teams are now of course getting on top of us early by pressuring. By the time teams run out of steam it’s too late and the better sides either keep it up or change systems to absorb any late pressure.

Need a change in how we play from deep as much as we need an improvement in ‘mental’ flaws.

TheG

I will also contribute with my own opinion, based on what I have seen (TV), what I have heard (podcasts, discussions) and what I have read (blogs, articles).

There are two straightforward ways of winning a championship.
1.) You have superior players on every position.
2.) You have well above average players and a system + tactics that bring the best out of them.

Arsenal do not meet the requirement for point 1 (few teams do)
and they certainly don’t meet the requirement for point number 2.

Where does this leave us?
Simply put and this is just reusing information from different outlets.
We are found wanting in obvious areas on the pitch, one could argue (left back, Center Mid, Striker (or at least wide forward). You could also argue that we have Cazorla, which we do yet don’t because he is out injured.

It is difficult to name a starting eleven today and it is also difficult to pinpoint Arsenal’s identity. I think it is unfair to call us a possession based side, since we don’t do that as well any more. I think it is wrong to call us a counter attacking side, because we lack the players to do so. In fact I read somewhere on this site that the evil man in charge of the red devils got very good defenders and positioned them outside the 18-yard box. We rarely do that.

I think we have too many players who are good, but not great that we keep relying on. On top of which we have great players who are used in a way that make them less effective.

Until that is fixed we won’t win any league titles.
I hope I was able to communicate my points even though it wasn’t as structured as I had hoped.

Chamakh

I agree with the criteria of winning a championship.

My opinion is that we lost our playing identity when we purchased Ozil. To that point we had a clear style of play and every player knew how we were supposed to play. When we adapted Ozil to number 10 (as in the beginning he was too weak to play on the wing in the PL) we put a huge responsibility to our 2-man midfield to a) defend as Ozil doesn’t defend and to b) make play and make forward runs to support the attack. There are not many players who are capable of doing both in a 2-man midfield. Maybe Ramsey and Wilshere when they are in form but ur players usually get exposed in one of these criteria (a and b): Xhaka’s and Ramsey’s defending and Coq’s passing. Elneny is pretty good inboth but he seems to lack cutting edge. We got destroyed by Chelsea and Liverpool that season, which is not that strange.

I think Wenger has become too soft and adapts the team too much to the big names. Cech continues to play while everyone can see that Ospina has been the better keeper this season. ALexis doens’t get subbed off because he gets angry. Ozil plays in a free role when we would need a more disciplined organisation.

Tl,dr: Wenger has become too soft and our tactics are too naive. Time for a new manager.

pnmaal

If I could like your submission 10 times I would. Our performance when we used “kids” is no different from now when we are supposed to have a mature experienced side.
Until our manager is able to transition them from being a top 4 side to a title winning side it’s not hard to say this will always be the outcome. Till then, his overwhelming loyalty and faith in some players will be his downfall.

pnmaal

There are just too many players in the squad who aren’t motivated to succeed because they know whatever happens the coach will retain them and use them in the starting 11 once they are fit such as:
Walcott who’s goalscoring record masks the fact that he’s mostly a drifter in matches
Ramsey who’s never in tune with the rest of the team. On the contrary he’s always a different person when he features for Wales because he knows his fate is not assured.
Coquelin who was consistently amazing until his future at Arsenal was assured. His discipline and performances have become weaker and weaker. Ask Elneny and Xhaka
I could go on but these 3 at least have been at the club longest. They should be the ones inspiring and inculcating the team’s ethic into the new guys but it’s rather the other way round.
At this rate I’m excepting Iwobi and Bellerin to join the comfort zone bandwagon in the next year or 2.

Chamakh

Don’t really agree. It is normal for a player to stagnate a bit after a first successful season (Coquelin) and then pick up later again. Ramsey does whatever he wants in that Wales team together with Bale so you can’t really say that his place would be less assured there.

If we don’t offer long term contracts to players that perform we risk losing them to other teams. What we could do is to sell them if they don’t live up to their wage.

Agree about Walcott though, it has become pretty clear what he brings to the team and can’t understand how he is ahead of Lucas.

Chamakh

The most ridiculous thing is that we played the best match of our season against Southampton (no matter if it was their second team, we got outplayed by f***ng Preston in the FA cup with our first team), those players don’t get a sniff in the coming games. Also, we played a 4-3-3 in that match like Barca and Real and looked really solid, then go back to our “free form” 4-2-3-1 that never works against good opposition. Wenger just has to go or start playing players on merit and adapting tactics.

And what happened to Lucas? Was he injured or? Has been one of our best players when starting but he is a experienced pro with that cynicality that we need, which is not always Wenger’s favourite type of player.

Riku

I believe wenger thought his midfield in August was gonna be

Xhaka santi, ozil ramsey Sanchez

( in no formation order)

We missed three players from wenger predicted X11 at start of season, yesterday , Chelsea full strength. Yes wenger tried to changed tactics with oxo , isobi and ozil moving around sides in midfield. But we lost the game there against a well oiled Chelsea machine that is why the defender had no one to pass to in midfield. They couldn’t pass long as no giroud up front. We were good at start until Chelsea figured out our formation specifics and the end once they had tired. If they had played like in the game at Emirates 3-0 , it would be a closer game.

Alex

Özil, 2 created chances, 1 shoot on goal (on frame), 69 passes, 90% pass accuracy.
Sanchez: 0 created chances, 0 shoot on goal, 24 passes, 76% pass accuracy.

And both players are put on the same “gone missing” topic?? Next game, Sanchez dropped for Danny or Perez and wait and see!

He's got no hair but we don't care...
He's got no hair but we don't care...

Seriously, just leave.

I really don’t care if the mugsmashers are also cocking up or that manure also stutter, I just give a shit that we have everything we need to win this league but for a decade now, our manager has not been able to instil strength and a winning mentality and it’s cost us.

Like I said, leave.

Chamakh

Not for a decade but yeah for the last 3 years we should definitely have done better.

Andrés

Players lost their own confident with the erratic tactics Wenger had display, specially this season. Starting with Giroud up front, then Alexis (successfully) located on center attack, then Giroud up front again and lately Sanchez relocated on CA… again.
Football players are like childs, when they can’t recognize an structure of behaves, they get lost.

Rob

These Wenger out people… One question, who would come in? Who is going to be held hostage by an owner that suggests there is money to spend but won’t let it be spent? You can say Wenger spent in the summer, but he spent less with all his transfers than United spent on one player.

The owner moved a NFL team from his home town to somewhere else to make more money. To fix Arsenal, you need someone to buy the club and then make the needed changes.

The only coach I can see replacing Wenger right now is Bournemouth’s manager. And table results wouldn’t be guaranteed.

Crash Fistfight

Are you insane?

1. We didn’t spend anything, but we spent £90m??? We spent more than Chelsea and Spurs. Stop it with the ‘Kroenke won’t spend any money’ cliche. The biggest issue with him is that he DOESN’T get involved with football matters – if he did, maybe he would hold Arsene to higher standards and show him the door.
2. What has Kroenke moving an NFL franchise in the US got to do with another manager being better/worse than Arsene?
3. Eddie Howe, seriously?!?! The manager of a team that loses one defensive player and now can’t defend for toffee?

Arsesupport

Team spirit has up and left us. When the team is coming up short they don’t pull together and steady the ship, it’s every man for himself. Or run around like their concussed.

Arsesupport

Sorry no reference to poor bellerin intended. I just meant Pro footballers playing in that clueless way,making the same mistakes over and over. Even the players look like their fed up with it. We’re all board cheesed of with this.

AusGunner

fuckin februaries man

James

If you look at our results against the top six over the seasons it tells us all we need to know

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