Wenger: Lack of goals could be psychological


Arsene Wenger says that the Gunners lack of firepower at the moment could be a psychological problem, and with just one goal in the last 180 minutes of football, the Arsenal manager pointed to all the chances missed against Manchester United as a contributory factor.

That day, despite 33 attempts on goal, Arsenal could only muster the one goal, and last night’s 0-0 draw with West Ham saw Wenger’s team draw a blank once more.

The Frenchman was frustrated after the game, but insists that the goals will return.

“I felt that the 33 shots on goal against Manchester United and the chances we missed had a little impact there, ” he said.

“But we need to continue focusing on the quality of our game and not to focus too much on the fact that we are not ruthless at the moment.

“That will come back by not making too big a problem of it. There are periods like that where adjusted finishing is not right.

“It is a moment where our performances are not reflected by our results because against Manchester United we had 33 shots on goal but did not win the game and at Southampton we had a lot of possession and it was a similar game to tonight basically.

“It’s true, it’s a bit frustrating, we had to keep confidence in our game and we go through a patch where there’s a difference between what we create and what we score, but that will not last.”

For more on last night’s game, read today’s Arseblog: Boring, boring Arsenal

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51 Comments on "Wenger: Lack of goals could be psychological"

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More nonsense. Nobody is listening anymore. Least of all the players it seems. This all feels a bit late in the day Terry Neill, George Graham and Bruce Rioch to me.


Psychological problem?

Or maybe just maybe, its the fact you played Giroud up top and we constantly made all the traffic go through the middle where West Ham had quite literally, every single one of their players sat deep padding out that area of the pitch.

There was no retention of width at all. We were too slow on the ball and we didn’t play with anywhere near enough tempo to try and move West Ham’s shape which would pull their players out of position to create space.

It took us until the 65th minute or so for us to get the ball out wide and cross it in for him to try and do something. Maitland-Niles got the ball out on the left hand channel and fizzed in a decent ball for him to actually try and win and he nearly scored.

And that was it.

That was pretty much the only time we did it. Other then that it was just slow sterile possession in West Hams final third.

That’s why we didn’t score.

If you’re starting Giroud, we have to get the ball out wide and fizz it in for him. That’s his panache. We have to play percentages when we’re playing a team like West Ham who were always going to have every single one of their players parked in their own half. All this cute one touch stuff is so hard to play all game because you have to get it 100% right every time. And you need runners to pull it off. Either from midfield or from your striker. You cant just stand there static with Giroud’s back to goal looking for flicks and tricks because that stuff hardly ever comes off in a game.

I lost count of how many times our full backs would get high and then instead of firing a ball in for Oli they would just cut it back to reload the move, which in principle is fine, but we did it so slowly which allowed West Ham to reshuffle and hold us at bay with ease. It was making me rip my hair out.

SB Still

Enough with the reference to the ManU match already!

I was happy with the performance on the night but to keep talking about that match, which we lost for all our ills and dropping 4 points in the next two matches sound like a mid-table team talk!

We missed going within 1 point of 2nd place and now fucking drawing games against teams at the bottom of the table. Let’s get our act together on the field.

Off the field, let’s please bloody sell Sanchez even if it’s ManC and get on with replacing him.

Unless we have invested all the money in bitcoins, we are loosing even the cash reserves – something the club has prioritised over trophies!


I got attacked all summer on here for stating what was clear… we’re in decline.
Players don’t progress here anymore.


Dont worry, one win and wenger romantics will be back in town.


Sad but true.
What did making things hard for them is that this time it’s not so easy to blame the fans and support, they’ve been brilliant.

Da Boss

Perhaps stop leaving our record signing, top goalscorer on the bench. Just a thought.


comment image


Or picking a formation that’s been stale for the best part of two years?! Fuck, I know blogs has been banging the four at the back drum for ages, but let’s at least go for a variation and not the same tired 4-2-3-1 with Giroud up top supported by wide players in Alexis and Iwobi who never play well with him (that’s not even considering their current poor form).


Bring a top manager and all those players would actually perform

Heavenly Chapecoense

Putting Welbeck in when you need to score.


Putting Welbeck on right wing when you need crosses to score.

David M

It would help if we stopped passing the ball sideways and backwards all the time allowing the oppositions defense to get organised. Need to move forward with pace.

Lingards\' Milly Rock
Lingards\' Milly Rock

We don’t even seem to have any genuine pace in the side, or a player that can dribble/beat a man at speed. A lot of our players are slow and ponderous; also because they are over-indulged, they often want to play the killer pass but won’t actually move to get on the end of them…this is why Ramsey is so important to the team.

John C

The reason we pass the ball sideways and backwards is because they’re not good enough to play the possession based football the manager wants them to play.

The only way for this team to consistently get better results would be to play a more direct style of play, which this manager will never do


Why does Wenger keep mentioning the United game ffs. It played on the defenders mind last game, now the strikers? It’s just bloody football, stop making it over complicated! Pick our best players in a cohesive formation, ensure they concentrate and work hard, we’ll get a result over 90% of the time!


Well good job we hired that psychiatrist last year to sort these problems out….


Monkey nuts

Well that’s great to know. All will be ok soon. Not sure when but soon. Meanwhile it’s another average season going nowhere under Wenger.

Lord Bendnter

I’m exhausted…


‘Adjusted finishing’? Stop using fucking gobbly gook jargon Wenger

Lingards\' Milly Rock
Lingards\' Milly Rock

I’d rather he just walked out of these interviews than to sound so cantankerous.

The things he says seem dishonest, reek of a lack of integrity, and makes it difficult to respect him.


He used the united game to try to justify the shocking defending against Southampton as well, what a crock of shit. His pathetic attempts to explain his teams increasingly inept performances are fooling no one, he is embarrassing himself and turning this great club into a laughing stock.
We are where we are because that is where we deserve to be, the notion that we are underperforming is bullshit, some of these players simply are not good enough and the fact that we have a manager who is unable or unwilling to recognise that simple fact means that, in the sort term at least, nothing will change.
Oh, and blogs in right, it is boring as fuck!

Sir Solar

More of a lack of tactical discipline than anything else. One dimensional tactics. It’s not working and it won’t take us anywhere. It has become too easy for teams to defend against a ball possessing Arsenal team. Slow transition from defence to attack, passing ball backwards etc.??


psychological, or just plain shit


A mixture.

Niels Arestrup



I’ve said it before & I’ll repeat it, Theo should be in in our 1st 11. Play 4-3-3 stick him out wide & he’ll get us goals & we’ll get top 4. Which as we all know is the most important thing in the world
Cmon Theo, it’s all on u to get that top 4 trophy, we’re all rooting for u, u fucking bastard ?


Seems like the old man’s advocates are pretty quiet… Hmmm… I wonder why?


Don’t worry, as soon as we beat “another huddersfield” 5-0 or something like that all of them will be over the moon and asking for a contract extension…


They will still deflect and blame certain players but its getting harder not to see he is done. Sad really he could have gone out on such a high and held in such high regard. Now sadly its becoming harder to remember the great football


The psychological issue here is Wenger’s and his fear of leaving Arsenal where he’s too comfortable with nobody putting pressure on him to deliver the league, actually not even pressure to challenge for it.
And we as fans should not get over the moon by a couple of good results like the spurs win or the huddersfield thrashing; we’ve been having this for more than 10 years with this guy in charge. Too average for a club like Arsenal. And by the way, no, the local cups are not enough, we must challenge for the league AND CL, we’re big enough with a new stadium that was built just for that.


My eyes are bleeding reading that drivel. For the love of Christ when will this stop??!!


Wenger signed for another more season so get ready for more of the same, with the usual fan base getting carried away by some good result like spurs or huddersfield


It’s not Wenger signed. When his contract ended, it was an opportunity to get rid of him but the Board offered another two year contract and that’s where we are. He won’t leave, the money is too good to walk away. Its the salary, too much to leave behind and has become unsackable.


when wenger decides to go


The Wenger merry-go-round of excuses. Speaks as if he’s managing school kids not world proven forwards who have made a career out of putting the ball in the net. Couldn’t possibly down to the management and the style of play


Same old wenger always giving us the nice warm pile of excuses. The last year’s have shown us it doesn’t matter where we finish as we simply can’t win the really big games in the CL or in the premier league. Getting in the top 4 is about the cash. I don’t know how many players have come and gone in the last 10 years but I know it hasn’t stopped these kind of performances from being a regular serving along with a sprinkling of embarrassing defeats season after season. If new players can’t change this then With a year and a half still to come it’s fair to say we can expect more of the same.

Laughing Stock

What makes me laugh with this clown is how he comes out with this crap about psychological problems and then as soon as we eventually win a game he starts talking about their #mentalstrength. He’s really got some neck staying in the job, roll on the summer.


It has become so frustrating watch this team play against teams that get organized behind the ball defensively. It’s been this way for years that we seem to be out of ideas on how to vary our attacking philosophy to adapt to the type of defense that is being played (namely the park the bus defense). The major option we come up with when Giroud is in there is the play into him and one touch back to someone which is so easy to defend and everyone knows it is coming. How often does Giroud actually try and do a turn move with his first touch and look to attack the goal? Rarely. At least Lacazette has different ideas and is able to be unpredictable.

Then we have Sanchez, our left winger, who will NEVER go left or use his left foot so again very predictable and so easy to defend when everyone knows he is going to cut the ball to the outside of his right foot and try and get a shot off.

On the other side you have Bellerin coming up from outside defender or wing back and for someone with his speed he can’t seem to beat anyone on the dribble and inevitably loses the ball or turns to pass it back to the middle.

We have so few that can actually dribble vertically past people and get into the box to create things on the dribble (probably only Iwobi and Wilshere and neither play very much) or draw a foul.

These are the types of games where we really miss what Santi brought with his dribbling and passing ability.

Tas Gunner


Tas Gunner

You start to wonder about his mental state when he talks about “Not giving up on title” after seeing the recent shitshows.conte admited its gone,even mou did.their team turned it around again this week.what is our motivational managers “title hope” speech getting?inept performance after inept performance.and the sad thing is it will continue at least for seven more month..


None of this is surprising really.

Wenger doesn’t do modern micro-management level of tactical planning, but uses a philosophy of style built on individual creativity of players.

It’s also not a coincidence that every season, when he wears down the players and they get tired, our play and goal scoring dips (rights before he makes a change in Feb to freshen up the squad).

There is a link between creativity and fatigue. So if you build your team on just individual creativity and run them to Christmas, fatigue sets in, creativity dips.

You know what would help? Having an actual freaking tactical plan so the players don’t have to always rely on finding the solution themselves.

Mesut O\'Neill

Fatigue? The first team players have played 17 games in 18 weeks.


Yeah but it’s psychological fatigue …


No Mr Wenger, lack of goals is taking to many passes to get box to box. We are more concerned with passing and possession and are constantly playing through a wall of defenders


He points at all other explanations than himself.
The players are so mentally fragile that they even don’t dare to create chances ? This team lack above all proper leadership and preparation.
What was the gameplan yesterday? Go out on the pitch and try to win or at least not lose?
There’s several ways to deal with a packed defence, if you can’t play them out Barcelona style at least force them to concentrate in the box, play out to the flanks and hard,low passes between the goal and defence. Or try some shots outside the box and go for a deflection.
But never endless back and forth passes in midfield.


I think the issue is when we switch to 4 at the back, we ended up transitioning slower to the wings and with the players on hand(Jack, Iwobi, Alexis, Ozil) all tend to cut in making us narrow.

I thought Iwobi and Jack were positive driving forward and both turn with the ball better

On the plus side the 4 at the back also gave Granit added help where he has been generally good but isolated in prior games.

So there were a number of positives to ponder.

Where I think Wenger may be right is we snatched at our chances a bit bc we were too eager or not composed enough.

I’m not sure if it’s a question of confidence maybe more than over urgency bc of recent poor results.

At the back we are still too exposed to poor decisions , the Koscielny clearance which led to Monreals equally hasty one and finally Chicarrito hitting the bar, and before that Arnautovich played on by Granit.

Overall though(and we have to remember it’s against a struggling Hammers side) the defense was relatively less troubled.

I still think we miss operators now who can provide both nous and alacrity out wide in the attacking areas particularly in a 4 at the back scenario where the wing backs /full backs are not as high up during transitional phase.

Which is why if we should lose AlexisOzil we should be looking at players like Mahrez and Draxler who can bring that sort of quality.


I’d just like to posit that I believe all of Arsene’s psychological and mental strength talk and focus is creating a psychological and mental strength problem.


To quote one of my childhood coaches: Gaitt the fook oop thearh and scoarh ah fookin’ gooahl!


19 points from top place.
18 points from bottom.

That’s not psychological
that’s just mid-table arsery.

Frankly. Right now, Fat Sam’d be more fun.


Year in Year out the quality of our game keeps declining. we lack pace like before not to even mention aggression that we dont have or the silky passing that’s not working and the lack of shots from outside the box. There was a time when we had Roscky or santi who can hit the ball from outside the box but now we have Granit who’s shot is mostly off target… please Arsenal do something.