Wenger calls for unity, creativity and better defending

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Arsene Wenger says his team need to start defending better and improve their efficiency and creativity in the final third if they are to get their season back on track.

Arsenal have lost four of their last five Premier League games and currently sit sixth in the Premier League albeit with two games in hand on fourth place Liverpool.

Dismissing suggestions that his contract situation is taking a toll on his players, the boss highlighted the on-field issues that need to be rectified as the Gunners prepare to face Manchester City on Sunday.

“What’s gone wrong? We don’t defend well enough and that’s what’s gone wrong,” he told Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves. 

“We can still have to turn this around by the end of the season. It’s a strange season because we played 20 games unbeaten and then you slip slightly away in one game, two games and suddenly it becomes a problem.

“We have 11 games to go in the Premier League and now you cannot change completely the structure of the team,” he added.

“The same players have won games and the same players have lost games. I have tried many changes in the last five or six games and it does not always come off.

“I have to come back to the strength of the team as much as I can. That is basically our attacking potential and we also have to focus on our togetherness and our desire to prepare our future”

Drawing attention to the possession stats during Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion, a game the Gunners controlled for long periods without looking dangerous, Wenger continued:

“We had 70 per cent of the ball at West Brom and didn’t create a lot. That is obviously a concern so we have to come back to being more creative, playing with more flow and more freedom as well because when the results go against you play with the handbrake on.”

Adding meat to the bones of his rallying call, Wenger also played up the necessity of squad unity given the negative atmosphere enveloping the club.

“We have to stand up and be counted all together. I do not especially look at one or the other one. As a group, as a unit Arsenal needs to be together.

“We are in a difficult situation together and we have to respond together. Life is a great opportunity to fight and when you have that turn up and go for it.

“Show that you can fight, that for me is what is interesting in life. It’s not always a motorway because sometimes it’s a bumpy way and you still need to get to the destination.”

Wenger’s full interview with Sky Sports, in which he repeatedly bats away questions about his future, can be read here.

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42 Comments on "Wenger calls for unity, creativity and better defending"

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Tusikon

God, again with him putting on the commentator hat on…
You’re SUPPOSED to admit YOUR mistakes and learn from it, not keep throwing away the same old nonsense about mental strength, bouncing back and needing to better defensively. For crying out loud…

Public Elneny Number One
Public Elneny Number One

They do learn from it, everytime we get beaten one of the team gets rolled out to tell us they wil learn from their mistakes and i for one believe them.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. FRIBBLE.

The Loon Ranger

I’m calling for the whole team to be sprayed with handbrake begone. I’m sick of hearing it all. 3 points tomorrow please and something to smile about. Because if you think about it this is the guy responsible for the set up, tactics and morale of the team and he’s saying we can’t defend etc. I love you Arsene. Don’t go away angry. Just go please

IamaGoober

He’s saying it as if he doesn’t have the capacity to change what’s going on. Like its out of his hands. Arsene lad, you are the manager, yoooooou, need to make them defend better. So make them do it? By I donno, maybe, training and drilling them defensively??

Like could yaaa kind of dooooo that for us? Just one time? So we don’t get are butt holes ripped out live on Sky Tv?

Kwame Ampadu Down

So all we need to improve on is our attacking & our defending. Simple.

David C

and goaltending! Ospina in for the injured Cech.

Kwame Ampadu Down

That is not going to help!

JustBrowsing

Again hinting at changes in the squad in the summer. Not that we haven’t heard that before, but I honestly I believe he knows he’s in the last chance saloon this time.
The fan base as a whole wants change, whether it be manager, board, playing personnel etc.
He’s smart enough to realise we won’t be fobbed off any longer.
I just hope this roundabout we keep going around on has an exit and it’s going in the right direction.
I don’t ‘demand’ we win things and throw my toys out the pram, it’s just the same failings without any direction that is difficult to accept.
Please God when we all say ‘well there’s always next year’ it actually carries a bit of hope this time.
Up the Arsenal!

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Don’t think he’s been fobbing us off? That’s a serious insult to a man who gave us more than two decades of his life to the club. And that you treat him like a petty con is more or less the same as ‘demanding’ that he win. I’m ok with criticisms to Wenger, and god this community knows that I love to stick in an argument here or there, but this, I can’t stand this anymore.

The level of disrespect by the fans, whether they want him to leave or not, has left me flabbergasted all season. I’m not saying we need to revere Wenger, but don’t treat him like a schoolboy, just because his tenure is familiar to us…

All his victories and losses nonetheless, if we really want to ship off Wenger with the respect he deserves, then perhaps trying to shoo him out the door with media statements is not the way to do it.

JustBrowsing

I direct the ‘fobbed off’ comment at the board more then any individual.
I know Arsenal are run in a very private manner which is actually one of the reasons I support them, but the silence is deafening.

I think a lot of the in fighting with fans is coming from a complete lack of clarity. Is Wenger protecting the players or are they protecting him? It all just seems like everyone’s coasting along without any repercussions.
I can accept no team has a divine right to win anything, but where’s the fight from the team?
Is that coming from the manager or are the players not up to it? What’s Bould allowed to do? All I see is the coaching bench just sitting there watching the world go by.
Meanwhile Wenger answers to no one on £8million a year.
I respect Wenger enormously and would love nothing more then to see him go out on a high.
I’ve never called him names or any such offence, I just want change. I actually wish he’d stop protecting players a bit, coach on the sidelines, change tactics, sub a poor player earlier in a game..just some sign that he can change the same pattern of mistakes.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Completely agree and I hear you–i apologize for my accusatory outburst; today’s headlines have gotten under my skin…

JustBrowsing

No need for an apology my fellow Arsenal fan 🙂
Good man, yourself!
Fans united, up the Arsenal 👍🏼

Ozil\'s Eyes on Wenger\'s Hot Thighs
Ozil\'s Eyes on Wenger\'s Hot Thighs

I hate United.

Dan Hunter

Arsene Wenger insults peoples’ intelligence on a daily basis by telling us: we have a great team with great spirit great mentality, 4th place is like a trophy, I built Arsenal football club on my own, I built the fucking Emirates stadium with my bare hands, we don’t have money to buy players, there are no players available, Arsenal fans are just customers to a product, we don’t need a striker, we have Yaya Sanogo, Danny Welbeck is completely fine, this is the best squad we have ever had, the fans should be happy, we played well against Bayern etc etc etc.

Respect goes both ways. When you fob off the fans week after week with pathetic excuse after pathetic excuse, you have to say enough is enough.

Public Elneny Number One
Public Elneny Number One

We haven’t been able to defend properly for years, what magic wand you gonna wave to suddenly change that for the next 2 months?

Trez

I’ve accepted we won’t make the top 4 and Wenger is staying. I don’t understand how he can destroy everything he’s achieved in his first 12 years. He’s been making the same mistake over and over again.
It’s either we start poorly and end the season on a high or start greatly and end the season on a high with the same 4th place trophy as solace.
So no, Wenger doesn’t learn. It’s crazy.

yagaru

Defending better and scoring more goals? Inspired! To the people who say Wenger’s lost his magic touch, this is proof he’s clearly still a genius.

goonerboy

‘manager tells team to play better after managing them for 21 years”

Jin

Arsenal should invest in a new “mechanic” and fix that goddamn handbrake.

UMG

Reminds me of when David Moyes said the areas of the team which had to perform better were the attackers, midfielder, defenders and goalkeeper, or words to that effect.

Goontang

Sit back, defend solidly, hit them on the counter attack. Fuck posession football! Everytime weve beaten one of the big teams in recent years its because weve been explosive on the counter attack, then all the sudden wenger gets cocky again and reverts back to thinking we are Barcelona.

EVANG. SIMON

The last time i said Wenger was the right man was 2years ago. Arsenal and Arsene have lost the fear factor. Arsenal’s onfield success should be our priority. in other news…. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY

Jamdangle

This shit again.

Terry Neill\'s conscience
Terry Neill\'s conscience

His point about the team putting he brakes on offensively is something I have noticed. We play the same safe balls from side to side then Alexis try’s something or plays a one-two with Monreal…….without the fluidity that comes with confidence and Ozil at his best as playmaker we are really struggling and it is hard to watch

Ulysses 32

He’s in danger of becoming really tedious. The same old bollocks, time and time again. I’m minded of a boxer, who’s past his prime, continually taking beatings, but unwilling to hang up his gloves…… I’m becoming genuinely saddened by whats happening. He’s tarnishing his legacy by hanging on, and outstaying his welcome. Quit now and remain a legend.

Dan Hunter

A ‘danger’? I think tedium has been the norm for a few years.

Nav Van Dham

Guys listen, we will find internal solutions for our squad deficiencies. We will only expand on the squad if we can find a player that are better than what we currently have. We are a well run business.

*sarcasm*

bazza_wicks

Did you hear that we have to concentrate on the teams attacking potential whch we have done for many games he has made changes but on the offensive not defensive that there is a fine line of brilliance to pure dog shit, one dimentional every team in the world knows how to play us, just close us down get in our faces and counter attack the defence oh wait a minute this team has the hand brake on going backwards not forwards, school boy errors he wont even change it,tactically against west brom we had 3 of the tallest players on the bench and west brom best goals scored from free kicks and corners in the league piss poor thinking from the great man

Frog

That was the longest run on sentence I’ve ever seen.

T-Bone

You feel me fam?

Frog

I feel ya blood.

Santori

But we keep having to do this time and again which is very much the issue with most fans rightfully getting a bit impatient.

This season…midfield has been unbalanced IMO.

Granit has been an excellent addition but Coquelin seems to play best with Santi only at the moment and the two tend to sit too deep against the better opposition with Ozil detached.

Ox is not anything other than stop gap. Ramsey has been on and off. Elneny doesn’t provide much upgrade.

We need to address this deep midfield issue in the summer. Jack hasn’t been stellar at Bournemouth. Its time for an upgrade possibly an advance solution to the eventual stepping down of Santi a season or two from now.

someone like Saul at Athletico or Fabihnio at Monaco imo.

Santori

What I’m most worried with now is…Ospina.

He is a good reaction keeper but suspect commanding the box.

John C

I particularly looking forward to Wednesday and seeing him against West Ham and Andy Carroll, that’s going to be fun

TDL

Yes – I’m also looking forward to our annual spanking of the Hammers.

Santori

There’s no easy solution but footy can hi he on minute details with sudden transformations.

Chelsea is the same team that was wobbly start of season.

Conte did not add any new players. a structural switch to suit the players in hand is what did it following defeat to us.

Wenger must utilise the same pragmatism and find the best way to extract the best value out of his team…in particular in midfield.

…we also have to be wary we now have to play with Ospina

If we can tweak midfield…the team has goals in it going forward.

I think another issue is Plato g Giroud as a “plan B”.

As I have said before…There in no plan B.

We use the playerbest suited to opposition defense encountered.

This whole lack of pace argument is idiotic.Giroud gives us a direct presence we need in the box. The second attacking line can also play off of him.

We need goals now. Giroud given time on pitch delivers. I would play him up top bc it is at no detriment to Alexis who can also conjure from the wings and score.

Fuhgedaboudit

I think our real problem is in midfield. We are just not controlling the midfield and that is where we are hurting defensively. Also affects our offense because of a lack of efficient transition from defense to offense. Missing Santi so long has been a major major problem. He really controls the midfield. I love Wenger, but I have become somewhat ambivalent as to whether he should stay or leave. I certainly don’t believe he is the major problem, but I do feel his player selection could be better. I certainly can’t profess to know anywhere what he does about football, but I just feel Lucas should be used more. I also would like to see Harding get more of a chance. But what do I know, I’m just a currently frustrated fan. All I know is if we can win the Manchester City, Tottenham, and Manchester United games, and the FA Cup, I will feel better. Wenger stay or go, I just don’t know!

Hi-brid

Notice in the video that he says “My commitment is the same whether I stay for two years or ten years”. We seem to have moved on from “two months or two years”…

Dan Hunter

I hope he signs a contract for life. That will be fun. Arsenal Fan TV and chill all day fam

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

So defend better, create more chances and finish those chances.

Can’t say I disagree with him.

Zelig

Not enough good players in the squad to consistently play ‘the Arsenal way’.

I have no problem with Arsenal Buying players based on a moneyball system instead of spending fortunes on ready made players but it has failed. Instead of finding players like Gareth Bale, Harry Kane & Dele Ali we’ve found Flamini, Gabriel & Sanogo. Statdna is basically a computer virus.

Short term we need to spend big on better quality players this summer & move on a lot of dead wood. Long term we need to fix our moneyball recruitment system.

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