Wenger: We were psychologically paralysed but showed our quality


Arsene Wenger spoke to Sky Sports after the 3-3 draw with Liverpool this evening, chatting with Kelly Cates, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.

Here’s how the conversation went.

Cates: It was an incredible game, how would you sum it up?

I felt in the the first half we were paralysed, frozen, we played too deep. We gave too many balls away on long balls, we always looked second best everywhere. It was down mainly to psychological factors, and you could see that the Manchester United game, where we had a bad start had an effect.

What was good at half-time that we were only one down. It could have been game over, and in the second half we have shown quality, character at least played at our level.

We are the team who won the most points from lost positions and you could see why. The team wants to do well, has character, but we played inhibited in the first half.

Cates: What changed at half-time then?

I said to the players that the good thing is that we are only one down. In the second half it’s a great opportunity for us to show a different face, what we did was not good enough. At least go for it, we have nothing to lose.

Carragher: Did you instruct team to play deep because of Liverpool’s pace on the counter?

No, not really. We knew about their pace, but it’s not the message we gave the team, that’s the subconscious message the players put in their mind. They know the players are quick so let’s not make too big a distance.

Sometimes the way to play against pace is to play higher up, you can play them offside, you push them away from the ball. After if you play too deep the midfield has too much space and to come forward, so that was even more dangerous.

Neville: You put lots of trust in Maitland-Niles. How proud were you of him?

I believe Ainsley has good pace, is good at one on ones, and has good recovery runs without making fouls. You know at full back you have to come back and not make the stupid foul, just nick the ball away, and he has that quality. After that, it’s a lack of experience in this position because basically he’s a midfielder, but overall he is 20 years old.

It’s a part of a career. When you get the chance, take it, no matter where you play. And that’s what he did.

Talk me through the four minutes and forty seconds (the goals).

The regret of the night is that at 3-2 we were a bit naive defensively for the third game. It was a thrilling game, but at half-time we would have taken the point. There’s always regrets when it’s 3-2.

If I try to be fair, it’s a fair result.

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46 Comments on "Wenger: We were psychologically paralysed but showed our quality"

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Psychologically, we’re beaten when ever we step on the pitch against any top side, have been for years. When is this going to be addressed?


Other coaches get up quickly to motivate their psychologically down teams before they fuck up.. . Hell, Guardiola is still up motivating his team 4-0 up…

Not our Wenger

Mein Bergkampf

Blaming a previous performance that was your fault does not make this performance not your fault.


Chelsea disagree?

dr Strange

Bla bla bla bla bla united bla bla bla character bla bla bla……


Mentally we lose to top 4 teams even before the game starts…


Oh please stop with the Manchester game. It’s been five gameweeks since then.


exactly, come may he wilm still say the machester game did the damage and because of that we could not make it in the top.4

Stoo with this shit already i understand one game to be bad after the mancester game played in tge mind of.the players but after 5 you still talk about that ?! what it says for the players that they are weak?

Stop playing players out if position yes Niles was great when he was one of one but position wise on the goals he was terible, for the second goal instead of tracking back his runner and get back to his position he was pressing in the midfield totaly out of position. In 2 times he was ball watching 2 crosses when firmino almost scored.

Play him in midfiled as DM with wilshere and ozil give xhaka a res let see how that will look like. Give kos a rest start olaying chambers and holding.

Man Manny

When – in the nqme of all that is holy – will these bunch of well paid professionals get over the Man United game? It’s becoming irritating hear the manager link every bad game to it. Average teams recover from a good hiding within a week. I am sick and tired of this tripe!


Leave. Please. Leave us.


I wish for once he’d be honest.

Some of our players don’t have the top technical quality needed to win the league, but they are cheaper to buy and we don’t have to pay them much salary so when we give the ball away and it leads to goals it is expected.

Why don’t you buy better players.

We live in a world that wants results immediately. If i say to you who should we buy you tell me but we have an owner , and myself, who don’t want to spend.

Why don’t you buy a decent holding midfielder who can break up play when you lose the ball.

Because that would mean I’d have to admit that I’ve been wrong about saying we don’t need one for the past ten years.


Except that it’s Alexis Sanchez giving the ball away.


“Alexis Sanchez gave the ball away x amount of times” is not how you analyse the team, it’s how you analyse one individual performance. The two things are not the same.

As usual today our midfield was wide open. Everyone in the team knows it will be, so we panic under pressure and immediately start passing the ball backwards when we should be playing fast one-touch football to beat the press. When we had Vieira and Gilberto, players weren’t “psychologically paralyzed” by the thought of giving the ball away because we knew we were good enough to get it back.

Wenger’s now playing 2 international no.10’s (Xhaka, Ramsey) or our actual no.10 (Wilshere) as DM’s. And when we’re behind at half-time in a huge game instead of being tactically sound he’s telling his players “you have nothing to lose, go for it”.

We have to stop blaming individuals for the team’s tactical and structural failings.


3 number tens ramsey , jack, ozil, and Xhaka ( more of a 8 for me )


I can assure you, when put on the table 2 seasons ago with the same question about center midfield, most people would he chuffed with granit xhaka. He was ment to be the answer.

I for one, loved that signing, at the time. But after two seasons, he clearly has flaws, but can clearly get better. His passing needs to be much better for “that” arsenal midfielder.


I’m positive that managers get paid to ensure that their team is mentally prepared for big games. It’s their job.

Lord Bendnter

Oh MY GOD! This Manchester United game! How much longer is he going to keep on bringing it up for???


He’s gone alarmingly barmy


Is he basically admitting the team aren’t playing to his instructions because he can’t get them in the right frame of mind? FFS we will probably be 6th tomorrow so in his own words, just go for it, we have nothing to lose… And if we do, there’s still EL.


Honestly i think if there is any psychological damage it is not from the united game, it’s probably from you spewing that shit after all our recent bad results.


So, in summary, the reason we are crap is that we were crap before.


If the team is still suffering from psychological backlash we should find a good mental preparations coach. Then maybe we could stop freezing up every game the opposition gets a shot on goal…

Faisal Narrage

We actually have one already.


What are players needs are raining fists of love on their heads. That’ll set them up straight.


we seem to have moments in every game now where we just cant cling on to the ball and its so weird since we have so many players who are good passers but just seem drop in concentration, mostly xhaka and sanchez, at random moments… it really needs to stop.


Liverpool cannot go to Burnley and get chances as much as these yet we sit here glorifying a near escape from another home loss. Let’s face it, we’re not really such a big club when it comes to matching up to supposedly fellow big clubs. Our losses and brave draws always seem inevitable.


Thanks for that info Arsene. Glad to know.


Maybe in Arsenish “showed our quality” translates into English as “started taking advantage of some non-perfect chances,” but maybe I am wrong.

This squad seems to be really good at taking chances on an unset defence, yet the majority of the time someone holds the ball up, so the opposition defense can get set up, and the squad can pass it around until it they give the ball away and run towards cech, with everyone out of position, and hope his professionalism makes a save.

I think a better strategy is to embrace the chaos that our players seem to thrive in.

SB Still

Honestly, at 0-2 I wasn’t expecting much out of the game. So, it was amazing to see the quality that Wenger keeps talking about fleetingly. If only we can do it more consistently.

However what was a through let down was our defending through out the game, we are so porous. Actually not just this game, the whole season, many seasons now. Doesn’t it mean our coaching and tactics are at fault? The same players are not as disorganised even in the intermittent internationals, were they have limit opportunity to coach players. We have Bould and Lehman also as part of the coaching team, so not sure why we don’t defend better!


Sorry, Arsene, the only one who’s psychologically paralysed here is your good self. Time to toddle off and put your feet up on a nice Cote d’Azur beach and enjoy your well-earned retirement, with our best wishes.


2025, an 80 year old Arsene Wenger: “The Manchester United game 8 years ago had an effect on the players.”


You’re crap at maths too!


“We were psychologically paralysed”

Because we are now shit and perennial alsorans that pay a fucking mortgage to attend matches!

The chant “we want our arsenal back” is so much more pertinent than we all realise!!!

The soul of football is adulterated by the ridiculous amounts of money involved!

I paid £64 to have a shit view!

The working class have had their sport stolen from them!


Another stroll down Quality Street…..


Enough of the psychobabble.


So they team weren’t told to play deep in the first half and the team wasn’t told to be defensively switched on to protect the lead in the second. Instead there was an inner demon telling them to do this. And has anyone discussed this problem with the team and considered on field solutions?


Wenger has to say this as he can never say…… you know it’s my fault I made a big balls up, i make some bad decisions and my team are shitting themselves in every big game, I wish I could find a solution but I can’t, I’ve tried so many different top top quality players in many many different positions but mistakes are everywhere and they are still doing the shitting themselves. I believe from top to bottom including the fans that you are all now psychologically paralysed…


The real problem isn’t psychology, but Wenger’s inability to set up and coach his teams for games like these. How many time in recent years have we seen performances like today’s? A couple of days ago somebody posted here that the real problem is that we can’t compete with the big money of City, United and Chelsea. But no amount of money will help when your coach doesn’t possess the tactical acumen of a Guardiola or a Mourinho.

A top manager would have made sure that at 3-2 up we shut up shop and took the 3 points. But under Wenger that equaliser was always going to happen. We are so naive it’s not true.

Until he’s gone things are not going to change.


Fa cup final win v Chelsea, win against spurs or is th fans and team only up for it in Derbys,on the first minute under us, cos they know it can go either way in a derby but are shitting it against others. Or because bfg played against Chelsea Nd we had in the team a mature talking leader captain on the pitch to give instructions, …

Nachos in Montreal

I found it very hard to read that


It’s more than obvious that there’s some serious frickin problems with the way we play.. psychological or not.. Every team that play against us carve us open like our defence is some cake.. I should stop watching our matches till he goes.. too frustrating.. y won’t he change a thing!


We played like a bunch of wankers
a little bit…
cos it’s what we do…

Winterburn Wanderers


Lone Star Gunner

Someday this man deserves a statue but he also deserves to be fired. Today. I hate that it’s come to that but he is damaging his legacy so much.


Good call, Lone Star. My thoughts exactly.


A question for you folks. Am I alone in thinking what an ultimate shame it is that Arsene Wenger had been reduced to coming out with such utter b******s in the twilight of his time here? Quotes like this will only continue to take the shine off all that he did for the club when he joined. I am reminded of something John Lennon once said in an interview whilst talking about the Beatles final days. “By the time we got to (recording) ‘Let It Be’ we couldn’t (motivate each other) play the game anymore.” And that’s what we have here. A team that can literally not play the game anymore. Seriously can you imagine the Arsene Wenger of yore using words like ‘Psychologically paralysed’ about his early Arsenal teams? No, me neither. Performances and results like last night leave me frustrated and irritated but also saddened. The team aren’t the only ones going through the motions. It would seem that Wenger can no longer be bothered either. In years to come, I shall be eternally grateful for all that he did and, equally, eternally frustrated with all that a man of his undoubted ability subsequently didn’t/couldn’t be bothered to do.