Wenger: Time to prove we have the quality to compete


Arsene Wenger says he’s not in denial about the poor quality of Arsenal’s performance in the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool before the international break. However, he firmly believes his team can turn things around quickly because that’s the nature of top level sport.

Facing the media for the first time since the trip to Anfield, the boss made clear that the defeat, as always, left him suffering but he also made clear he’s not giving up on the season three games in.

“Do I suffer from performances like that? That’s obvious.

“If it makes you happy that I suffer then I can tell you you can be very happy.

“Unfortunately, it’s part of the career as well. Ideally you want your team to perform at the top level and of course, you question your decisions, your preparation.

“We have played three games, there are 35 to go. We have the quality to respond and the opportunity to show that was an accident and that the season is very long.

“I look at some teams and they are not very far way from us, they want to win the championship as well.

“We were not at the expected level, we know that and we will respond in a positive way.”

It was put to Wenger that two defeats from three games and the reaction to the Gunners transfer window business had seen the club veer towards ‘crisis’ territory. Not the case, says the boss.

“I can never understand what is a crisis. Is to lose a game a crisis? I don’t know.

“For me every single defeat is a crisis.”

He added: “We had a performance like that at Liverpool a few years ago [5-1 defeat in February 2014] then we played them at the Emirates a week later and we beat them easy [2-1 in the FA Cup 5th Round].

“Performance swings, life is movement. The quality of performance can change from one week to the other.

“That doesn’t put me in any denial that our performance was not good enough.

“Sport is sport. I love my players, I believe in my players and we have an opportunity to show that we have the quality that people want from us.”

There was also a rallying call to the fans to back the team: “We are at the part of the season where we want our fans behind the team. They can come out of the game and come to a quick conclusion that we are not good enough.

“Or they can see what’s happening and stand behind the team. That’s what we want.”

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Purr Mertesacker



I just don’t know how he does it! I was intrigued to watch the press conference to see if he looked beat, instead he looked energized, optimistic, and wasn’t taking shit from the media. If you can’t respect his achievements you have to respect this man’s attitude and fight because he just won’t give up!

We’re only 3 games in – despite how shite they were. Let’s get behind our team and see what we can accomplish this season! COYG!!


What a great idea! 🙂


I agree. He looked strong, fit and ready for the fight ahead. Additionally he deals with some of the shit stirrers with grace and stronger perspective.

I find his attitude encouraging. Let’s enjoy supporting our team. COYG!


If he had, had the guts to accept responsibility for the thrashing by admitting he got the team selection wrong and had not properly motivated the players then I would have had respect for the man ! As always though he avoided responsibility and put it down to being an “accident ” as he has done with the many humiliations we’ve suffered these last year’s from the Birmingham LC final through the 2_8 at OT the 0_6 at the Bridge the 1_5 at Anfield the 3_6 at City the THREE 1_5 reverses in the CL not to mention the 0_3s against the likes of Palace and Everton or losing a FOUR GOAL HALFTIME lead at Newcastle! There have been other embarrassing results too these are just off the top of my head .They were ALL put down as “accidents ” by Wenger he has never once held his hands up and said I’ve got it wrong ! So “respect ‘ ? he hasn’t earned any these last 13 years !


He does it because he’s arrogant and deluded. You heard it, Liverpool was an “accident”. Nothing to do with his team selection, tactics or preparation. It’s in the past now, forget about it – until the next accident.

Same old Wenger, burying his head in his sand, failing to address deep rooted problems, because he doesn’t have a clue how to. It’s much easier to blame the fans, the media, the transfer window or FFP, than look in the mirror and see where the real problem lies.

Dan Hunter

Don’t believe anything this man says anymore.


Yes. And should results prove that we don’t have the quality to compete, then what?


In that case we go into the transfer market looking for top, top quality that can improve us


Dave M

“But I love my players, we have to focus on the quality we have”


There’s always the January transfer window.
If not the Summer one?
And if we don’t do what’s necessary in either of those windows?
There’s always the January transfer window.
If not the summer one?
And if we don’t do what necessary In either of those windows?
There’s always the January transfer window…..
And around and around and around we go…..

Stringer Bell

I’ll be over there Saturday and we will likely win. My inner struggle is that Wenger did not strengthen the midfield and that he sat on the bench during that first half and watched that liability Ramsey play as a forward more than a part of a midfield two. Everyone could see it and he sat there and did nothing. He gave no instruction. Just sat there shaking.

Faisal Narrage

Maybe Ramsey WAS playing to instructions?

Dave M

I think that is his point, Wenger sat there and did nothing about it


Because he doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t do tactics. His free flowing game was revolutionary 20 years ago. So was my palm pilot. Both are now sadly way out of date.

Dave M

I think the down voters must believe your palm pilot is retro and cool


There are some things that don’t fit, like I still believe Wenger set us up for failure in that match cos he wanted to retain Alexis & board wanted to sell, even without a replacement. So he played a lot of them out of position, sent players in without proper instructions and got what he want. I maybe wrong and he may do it this week too, but I don’t think he would do it against Chelsea, he is stubborn but not dumb.

At the same time, I believe he’s made some tactical errors over the past couple of years which has affected the team – like asking Coq to play further up than he normally would and asking Ozil to turn from a feeder to scorer, both of which has exposed our midfield more than ever. I think we should play Coq in deeper role and push Xhaka a bit further, where he doesn’t do his panic tackles and where even if he gives the ball away, Coq is still around to cover and pull Ozil a bit in to midfield, which increases his vision and allows Alexis & Laca to run in more.

There’s nothing wrong with the players or strategy, just that they don’t match each other. For eg, Ozil’s current role is a fantastic fit for Ramsey and Xhaka’s is a decent fit for Coq. Wenger evolved his strategy according to his philosophy & not people, previously this used to work when he worked with young minds (raw material) but with established stars (finished goods) this doesn’t quite work. But I’m sure, we’ll see better performances from here on, now that Wenger has got what he intended from Transfer Window.

Third Plebeian

They’ve already proven it.

We have the quality to compete for 6th or 7th, nothing more until he addresses some truly bizarre team selections and tactics…and buys an actual DM or tells someone to play there.

I’m not holding my breath.


It’s about the manager not the players. We have a fine squad. Just need a game plan, motivation and player management. There will be no change in performance until we have a new manager.


We bitch and moan?


Which Paul are you? There seem to be about 5 now

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

Then it’s the media’s fault, and the injuries and the referees, bad luck, the Europa league hinders us and last but not least, the fans didn’t get behind the team…


About time!! Its been like 12 years

dr Strange

I’m not that worried about Bournemouth. We are, without a doubt able to fuck up, but they are really poor away.

I’m worried about the Chelsea game. Say we beat Bournemouth and play well then get a hammering against Chelsea. What would that do to the team, fans and manager?

On a sidenote: Sometimes it feels we are becoming Newcastle. A huge fanbase, lots of money, every possibility to be successfull but keeps fucking up at every possible opportunity. It’s sade.

dr Strange


Bai Blagoi

If it is sad it’s ok, if it becomes de Sade, then it gets kind of painful


Don’t blame her.


We need a smooth operator


Her love is king.

Faisal Narrage

Arsenal give us,
The sweetest taboo.


and even if we lose to Chelski, I’ll keep on supporting. This is no ordinary love……

Burn Baby Burn

To be read in Arsene’s voice:

Look, we need look at these things one game at a time. I am worried right now about the Bournemouth game. Many things can happen between this game and the next. And please don’t forget that we have our game against Koln on Thursday so the Chelsea match is not even in my thinking at this time.


…. but we don’t….


This must about the 1000th time he’s saying this trash, watch him claim we have bounced back scrapping a win against Bournemouth..


Open mouth. Change feet. Close mouth.

Gooner McGoonFace



I feel like putting pressure on the fans maybe isn’t the most sensible idea in our current situation. If the team plays well or even just looks half up for it then the atmosphere will improve. I mean, we’re already buying tickets to support the playing staff – should we really have to force our own reactions as fans for them to perform as players too? Still if it helps, I don’t want to shoot my own team in the foot (and last weekend it did look as if some of them had been shot a few times…), so come Saturday it’s COYG.


It’s all about tv and world audiences now. We are really extras in a crowd scene. It wouldn’t surprise me if in a few years clubs started banning people complaining in the ground or started pricing tickets based on computer analysed footage of our supporting performance during the game. The more you moan the more you pay.

Make Arsenal Great Again
Make Arsenal Great Again

Compete for what? Title? Nope. We have the quality to fight for a CL spot but not to win the league. Sad reality. We took a step back this summer instead of forward. Let’s just worry about playing ppl in the right positions 🤦🏽‍♂️


Fair enough. Let’s start playing people in their proper positions and carry on from there


I always behind the team. Arsenal til I die! Through the good and the bad times


me too. COYG.



No, the time to prove we had the quality to compete was three weeks ago when the season started.

I don’t understand how season after season after season we never get going for several matches and season after season after season Arsene makes the same excuses. It’s obviously a basic problem with the club’s approach to things.

When you give away a bunch of points in the first couple games because you are woefully unready you are never going to be competitive for the title.

Nachos in Montreal

“Sport is sport. I love my players, I believe in my players and we have an opportunity to show that we have the quality that people want from us.”

Therein lies the problem.Mr Wenger,why do you think these players have “the quality people want” when all but two of them failed you so badly the previous season,and many of them have failed you for years and years?


Good luck with that!

Nachos in Montreal

No Wenger,it is not just losing a game.It is not just one result.It is not just this transfer window.It is not just this season.

But you’ve heard this narrative before.

Kwame Ampadu Down

‘We have played x games, there are x to go’….

So utterly depressing how many times we hear this cliche. We’re not winning the league : maybe if everyone just accepted then & spent the rest of the season hoping for the best there wouldn’t be so much anger ?

Dan Hunter

If we have played x games and have x games to go we are half way through the season….

Crash Fistfight


the number of central defenders in our formation = x

and the number of central defenders in our squad = 2x

solve the following problem:
why the fuck do we play 2 left backs in the back 3?


“We have played three games, there are 35 to go. We have the quality to respond and the opportunity to show that was an accident and that the season is very long”

He said that last season, or I’m wrong?


Yes he did. This is just the same. Let’s get really cross and hate the season. Or we could try to be positive and enjoy?


Wow! So many thumbs down who want to be cross.

Dave M

So many thumbs down who want change, not this bloody ground hog day we are stuck in. The reason things haven’t changed is because we have all sat around believing it would for so long, but finally most people realise that it won’t until (1) people stop going to games, (2) they stop selling merchandise, (3) players unite and force changes (yeah right) or (4) fans unite and force changes (see points 1 and 2)

Dan Hunter

For me, number 3 is actually a distinct possibility. All is not well in the arsenal camp.

Dave M

While I’d love it to happen most of them are fond of wenger because they know he never gets mad at them (at least publically), the favourites get the royal treatment no matter what and they get paid a fark load of money for it…why would they rock the boat?

Crash Fistfight

It’s good that you’re positive and of course it’s not helpful to boo, etc. in the stadium, but people don’t want to be cross.

The reason people are cross is because they aren’t enjoying the football because they know the same things will happen again. They’ve happened season after season and fans can’t see how they are going to suddenly change, when no aspects of the club that could make a change have been altered.

As with Arsene, it’s not about 3 games – it’s about the same inevitable failings for the last 5-10 years.


On another note…I am in Amsterdam on Saturday, anyone know where I could watch the game?

Ray from Norfolk, Virginia
Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

Most “coffee shops” may have something going on.
Try the brownies. And Wear your Bergkamp jersey.


I think the issue is the margins are slim because of how competitive the league is now.

We can’t afford to always ‘turn things around’ or ‘learn from our mistakes’ which we blatantly have not.

As far as quality is concern, we are OK defensively and up top IMO (proviso we play the right players/strongest players for the position)

At WBack (if we persist with only 3-4-3, we are a bit thin with the Ox gone. Kolasinac and Bellerin are the two obvious candidates but beyond them, our options diminish very quickly (Injury comes to mind). Monreal, Chambers may be able to cover (Debuchy if he has the motivation to do so, is still lurking around), maybe young Nelson can be given a go.

BUT the weakest area is in midfield where we still have not found sufficient balance for 3-4-3 let alone to go back to 4-2-3-1.

Granit has some flaws but is now currently indispensable in absence of Santi. He will have to improve his game quickly (particularly curbing his enthusiasm when he loses the ball)

But Ramsey’s better instincts is to attack. Restraining him is difficult although he has done it during last season’s do or die late run in and the season before for a spell without some of our better assets alongside Flamini.

The other options would be Coquelin who is our best tackler but we may lose a little going forward.

Also Elneny who is OK but average and tends to mean we go side to side.

Other than that it may be we should look into dusting off Jack and give him a go (for however long he can stay injury free). If he is more mature with his play, he has the dribbling ability to carry us through the middle.

We should also contemplate Iwobi in a deeper role. Again he has the dribbling ability to retain and push from the middle but he also has a bit of strength and has an eye for the through pass. Inexperience is the main concern here (particularly defensively) but if he can stay more discipline (than Ramsey), he may be able to adapt quick.

Whatever the case, a solution for midfield must be found or organically developed very quickly now from the assets on hand.

Faisal Narrage

One of these days, you will make a short post.

I believe in you.

Crash Fistfight

To be fair, this one was actually sensible. There’s still the irrational hatred of Elneny but you can’t have everything.

Dan Hunter

Jack is the closest thing we have to Santi, he is hungry to play. I would like to see him come in next to Coquelin.


I love Jack, but doubt he has the defensive nous to perform this role. If I’m right, we would be replacing a Ramsey type with another Ramsey type – and our existing ‘we’ll concede a goal as soon as the opposition enter our half’ mentality will continue.


Same lame excuses since 2012. Just leave Wenger…leave!!


Don’t worry: we’ll beat Bournemouth on Saturday and then everything will be great.

Wenger has a habit of finding a good result whenever he’s in deep mierde.

Oh Crumbs

And then get thrashed by Chelsea.

Dave M

And bournemouth actually try to play, which plays into our hands, for once Wengers tactics should work. We SHOULD be able to dominate a possession battle against them and that is how we should probably play this one out, but we can’t simply keep running out the same tactics week after week game after game no matter the opposition or their game plan…but alas, we still will…

Crash Fistfight

Generally because we’re better than most teams in the league. It’s against anyone good/set up well tactically that we’re shit.

Dave M

All teams set up well tactically nowadays. Especially defensively against teams that dominate possession and play a slower tempo. That has been worked out. Just look at Stoke. Sure we had plenty of chance and should have had a penalty or three and an offside goal, but they were patient and waited for their counter attacking chances and when they came they were deadly. Same thing with Leicester we got lucky there. Same thing with Liverpool. We tried to dominate possession but our discipline was pathetic. Got caught out by swift attacks so so often with players out of position and then were toothless against a hard working pressing disciplined Liverpool team. Where is our pressing?!


Yes. It is time to prove we have the quality to compete. It absolutely is. So bloody well do it then…

Stuck on repeat...

Except really it’s now past the time of showing we can compete…

Gooner Sam

It really is boring hearing the same tired lines every year. I genuinely just switch off when I hear him talk now. I’ve also got to the stage of no longer going to matches because generally I know what will happen. Until he leaves and things are shaken up in terms of owner and board they won’t be getting any more of my money. Always a gooner but no longer a mug.

Stuck on repeat...

Completely agree. Same lines…same story…Am also at the stage where I switch off, & literally can’t hear him talk. Will still read what he says, but there I just find myself going “what? Seriously? What?? What!?! FFS!”, so will need to end that bit too soon.

Sad to see a great man reduced to this.


Time for you to prove if you are still the man to lead this club. But we all know you are not that person anymore

Faisal Narrage

I do wonder if Wenger gets bored of this. Surely he must? Fans are, and it seems some of the players are too.

How can he not be bored do this? And then having to trot out the same old pre-game speech and rally cry, etc.

kabiru dau

Dont waste arsenal suppoters time worldwide we love the team and you re discouraging us from supporting arsenal, arsenal is our club, and your pay is well responding without quetioning if ur plan to move the club forward is destroyed due to old passion “get out and new / competant person will takeover with vissio and mission please.


Brave of Wenger to big up the team before Bournemouth. Try doing that before Chelsea. The worst of our problems are down to Kroenke but Wenger would get more respect if he spoke out about them. His voice would help get that leach out of our club.

Stuck on repeat...

They’re actually in reality both to blame. If AW really wanted to change things he could. Ultimately he could always walk away or become far more vocal about the club. He doesn’t, & that’s for a reason. I really don’t believe that he sees many of the issues.

John C

There’s nothing brave about anything Wenger does as he’s completely unaccountable


bla bla bla wah wah wah



Would a suffering man not look for a panacea after 12 years of the same kind of suffering? Kinda difficult to convince people you’re suffering if you make the same mistakes again and again. Or maybe he just wants to suffer. That, ladies and gentlemen, is insanity.


I’ve seen this quote a few times now.
“We are at the part of the season where we want our fans behind the team”.
Aaaand when, exactly, is the part of the season where you don’t really care if your fans are behind you?


I’m genuinely curious what kind of results would be required for Wenger to throw in the towel? Would he gladly take us down to the Championship and stay at the helm? I actually think he would (not that it would happen, just hypothetical).


Unless he was fired I think he would. We we lucky against Lester, should be 0-3; this team is not as good with this manager as most of the posters here think. Our talent is probably 7th or 8th in the Premier League, but with this manager our ceiling with this team is probably 10th.


Lets see how Saturday goes, no point looking back at the first three games. Lets hope the team can pull together. I just wish Wenger could find a good system and stick with it. COYG


I just wish Wenger could find a good system and stick with it…… at some Ligue 1 team.

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

& if you don’t, what then? More words maybe?


When he said “we only finish 1 point behind Liverpool” and neglected the fact we behind Chelsea by 18 points last season, clearly his goal is only to finish top 4. We won’t win the league with him again.


We won’t make the Top 4 with him again.


We have heard this drivel time and time again. We have the quality definitely but not the elite level mentality. I am afraid all that belief and arrogance built up during the invincible era has all but disappeared from the club. Until someone at the club steps up and demands this, we will just be coasting along with a few good runs, humiliating defeats and here we go again.

John C

The belief and arrogance is still at the club it’s the humility thats gone missing


I hate this kind of ‘I’m critical the most to myself so I’m exempt from criticism from people who know less than less (read: everyone, ever)’ ethos that Arsene seems to carry.

Sure respond in a positive way, then go on a shit run in November and off the rails by February, then pick it up a bit by April and finish in the top 6.

Yeah I know its negative but I am really, really sick of this. I really hope I’m wrong – COYG


I recall Chelsea were well out of title contention after just a few more rounds last season then where we are at this season. They turned it around.
Whilst Arsenal probably wont, there is still the opportunity to do so. And its more achievable if the fans unite and support the team positively on gameday. I think some fans dont realise how lucky they are to get to attend the games live. Most of us will likely never see Arsenal live in an EPL match. So why waste matchdays being all negative. Just brings everyone around you down too. If your not going to support the team on gameday, then dont go.

Kwame Ampadu Down

I know you’re trying to be positive but the Chelsea comparison doesn’t stand up at all, you must know that. A manager only 6 games into his time at the club with a squad of players who (most of them) had proved they had the quality & temperament to win the league only 15 months before. We’ve got nothing like that to cling to. We know we won’t win it (or even come close) so let’s just accept that & try to enjoy the season for who it is.


If I was the Manager I had rather play Maitland -Niles in place of Ramsey, why can’t this Manager see that he is the root cause of all our problems


Wenger is entirely wrong on this one. The ‘time to show that we have the quality to compete’ commenced on 11th August and finishes on 13th May. They have spectacularly failed so far.


its a bit late for that, old chum


Not sure why people are downvoting people being critical here.. yes he might seem gracious/optimistic but it’s all hot air until deep seated issues are addressed.

Its interesting how someone who believes so wholeheartedly in the improvement and potential of his players cannot see the fact that he too is still learning and growing. The excuses and constant defensive rhetoric points to a man who believes he’s the finished article. Someone who understands that they are always a student of the game wouldn’t surround themselves with yes men like wenger has.

Talk of positive reactions etc is meaningless until wenger begins to admit his faults and work on them.. until then we’re just spinning our wheels without going anywhere