Wenger calls for focus and pragmatism

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Arsene Wenger is confident that his players can get back to winning ways when they face AC Milan and urged his players not to forget how good they are despite losing four games on the bounce.

The Gunners have been in wretched form so far in 2018, exiting the FA Cup, losing in the final of the Carabao Cup and falling adrift of their rivals in the chase for a Champions League spot.

Ahead of their last sixteen Europa League first-leg clash at the San Siro, the boss called on his players to focus on making incremental improvements as they look to restore lost confidence.

“In life you forget quickly how good you are,” he told press on Wednesday evening.

“When you have a bad week, players change their mind on their own quality. [We must] not forget we are good football players but as well to fix reachable targets.

“Be practical, pragmatic – focus on what you can do better and analyse well what you didn’t do well and not be scared too much about the consequences of a bad result.

“Focus on defending better, playing quicker and doing more things together. Reachable targets to improve the team.”

While Wenger accepts that the pressure is on his players to deliver success in the Europa League he hopes that having a single aim will focus the minds of his players.

“This is an opportunity for us we have to take. It increases the pressure on you in this competition but as well it is certainly difficult when you go through a patch like that.

“I believe as well it is a good opportunity. You want to show you have the quality and the strength and you can only show that when it is difficult. That’s a good opportunity for us to show as well that we can deal with that and for the longer term make the team even stronger.”

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Arsenalista
Arsenalista

Hope focus comes in and gets us a couple of goals and pragmatism should shore things up at the back.

Arun M
Arun M

??? . This is gold

Toure motors
Toure motors

AW needs to start forgetting how good he thinks he is and remembering how good he was 10 years ago….

IamaGoober

I just hope that whatever happens tonight doesn’t effect any wheels of change that are (hopefully) already in motion behind the scenes.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

I want us to beat Milan and I want a new manager next season. I think we deserve both.

Gio
Gio

Hahahahaha Sp*rs being Sp*rs!

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

I love a good Spurslol but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Toobes
Toobes

Enjoy what you can friend, that was hilarious. But, man I wish we had Allegri (or equivalent) – Juve were played off the park in the first half. Little did Spurs know, he had them exactly where he wanted.

santori
santori

Very good tactical switch.

Suddenly he has Asamoah on and they go on a flurry hit Spurs with two goals. Game over.

Thing is they have that South American “unpredictability” up front with Higuain and the superb Dybala.

We are fundamentally lacking one or two of this sort of technical wizardry at the moment, particularly out wide.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Don’t you know we have Iwobi or Welbz on the wing? Be confident in your team. People tend to forget how good their team is after a bad week.

Sandman

Now now. I’d say that we should ALWAYS get ahead of ourselves when LOLenham do what our very own Arsenal used to do -remember THAT Anfield UCL game about a decade or so years back when WALCOTT of all ppl went on a solo run which resulted in THAT Adebayor goal?- BUT…..waaaay better! 😀

Clarkey
Clarkey

Strangely, I’m actually looking forward to this game. Chances are we’re gonna get mullered, but I got a sneaky feeling we might surprise a few people. COYG!

Everesco21
Everesco21

Which will hopefully start us back on track to a point where a win isn’t a surprise… Sigh

Antgoon
Antgoon

Wow so you expect the team to loose but if we beat this milan team what does it really change?

Yolo Toure
Yolo Toure

Somehow I feel the same way – out of no where I’ve got a good feeling about this.

Sandman

Eh? What nonsense. I’d say that 2017-18 Arsenal team is the FAR BETTER (on paper) equivalent of the 2005-06 Arsenal team (same league tragicomedy was happening then also IIRC) that went all the way to the UCL finals and was within 12 mins or so of winning the damn thing against THAT Ronaldinho Barca!

So I’d say that we ought to be favourites against a slooowly reviving Milan team. Especially when it’s being managed by Ringhio coz well, even the current version of Le Proffeseur >>> manager version of Snarl (atm). Surely?

Kwame Ampadu Down
Kwame Ampadu Down

Hmnmm…..far better ?
That team though had a central spine of Lehmann, Toure, Gilberto/Cesc & Henry…..& the quality & leadership they had raised up he rest of the team.

Don’t get me wrong, I think we can pull this off tonight if we turn up but I think your comparison is way off.

Pedant
Pedant

Agreed, if we had Gilberto in the middle we would be far better up front (they would be freer) and in defence (more secure).

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

“Focus on defending better, playing quicker and doing more things together.”

Just wish Wenger dealt in more specific, micro-levels of analysis.

The above is the equivalent of the boxing coach in the corner after losing the first few rounds telling his boxer “you’re losing but you can still win this. You just gotta hit him more and hit him harder”.

VintageFuzz
VintageFuzz

Ye, I don’t expect him to come out to the public with details of his tactics and plans to turn the team around… To use your analogy, that would be like a boxer and his coach telling the gathered media, at the weigh-ins, what their favourite combinations are and how they’re going to utilise them….

Mootilated
Mootilated

tactics? Wenger uses tactics? since when?

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Thing is, they do that a lot. They will openly say what their opponents weakness is and how they will expose it (and the good ones do).

And your point would be more valid if arsenal showed that level of tactical application in gamesmanship consistently, especially as Wenger usually sits on the side and does nothing.

VintageFuzz
VintageFuzz

Saying you’re going to exploit someone’s weakness is not the same as openly stating your weaknesses/strengths.

I follow a bit of MMA and the only one (seriously, I’m not going to count McGregor’s flamboyant callouts and all the guys that imitate him now) that comes to mind is Jon Jones telling Cormier that he’s going to headkick him and he did. See? That’s on Cormier for not kicking the habit of leaning when he anticipates a low kick.

I don’t get your second point because in the time I’ve been supporting Arsenal I have never heard AW talk about his tactics beforehand. He is always coy about his team sheets and gameplans until game day. More often than not he will say one thing to the media and go and do the complete opposite. I guess you could call that gamesmanship. Just because he doesn’t leap up and down the touch line all game (fun fact: you don’t need to jump and down to convey your message) doesn’t mean he doesn’t adjust in games. Adjustment might be micro, might not be a sub that the whole stadium is crying out for, but, he adjusts.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Club is in need of change and it starts with the manager and higher ups but this witch hunt is getting ridiculous. Anything he says people call out and throw profanities and shite forms of criticism his way. If somebody saw AW drinking a pint our group of fans would be on his case because it’s not what they drink at home.

The Peter Simpsons
The Peter Simpsons

. . . and stop getting hit’

Godfrey Twatsloch
Godfrey Twatsloch

My pragmatism tells me it’s time to move on.

Yolo Toure
Yolo Toure

Lol let’s just be well bitter about everything lol

Are we Liverpool?!

Ah shit, actually maybe we are.

Glasgow Gooner
Glasgow Gooner

Gattuso once tried to nut a spurs coach. He’s a likeable chap

Gooner+Sam
Gooner+Sam

White noise……

Gooner+Sam
Gooner+Sam

I should clarify, that’s what I hear when the once great Wenger says these days…..white noise..

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Great song.

Jorin
Jorin

Wenger says that when you have a bad week, people forget how good you are. Which is true, but totally irrelevant in the case of Arsenal. We have had bad weeks consistently for well over a decade now which have scuttled our seasons effectively in the Premier League.

I get it, he can’t come out and say it in the media anything other than what he does right now, but I just hope deep down he knows the malaise that’s running through the club. And that malaise has crept in when he was steering the ship.

clins
clins

he doesnt

QMantis
QMantis

I’m calling for a rare one off elusive win please Mr wenger.

Mpls
Mpls

so:

“When you have a bad week, players change their mind on their own quality. [We must] not forget we are good football players but as well to fix reachable targets.

“Be practical, pragmatic – focus on what you can do better and analyse well what you didn’t do well and not be scared too much about the consequences of a bad result.

“Focus on defending better, playing quicker and doing more things together. Reachable targets to improve the team”

—-Gee, I’m all fired up now. Truly inspirational quotes to rouse the troops.

FFS.

Can you imagine what Gattuso is likely saying to HIS team?

Stephen
Stephen

Basically “We must be practical. We’re not going to win. We need to lose by no more than two goals.” That’s what I hear with such passionless drivel.

santori
santori

I think we need to consider how Milan play. They have similar issues to us. When they push up, they cede space behind their fullbacks. Also in between the lines, Gatusso has tighten that up. He has Biglia in a discipline role just on front of the Cbacks even if its a flat back 4.

They line up in a 4-3-3 but they go 4 in midfield in front of the DM and behind the CF Cutrone.

Both Kessie and Bonaventura have goals in them and bomb forward. At the same time Suso and Cahanoglu like to drop for the ball. BUt always at the base Biglia the catch all.

We can do the same if we are pragmatic and employ the more limited but diligent Elneny in front of our own Cbacks Mustafi and Koscielny.

He can drop between them should they try to intercept acting as cover should the intercept go wrong but he can also watch the space behind the fullbacks when they are commited higher up.

I feel this line up may be better caution to take to Milan away :

………………………………….Welbeck…………………………………..
……………Ozil…………………………………………………Mhki………
…………………….Jack (or Granit)……Ramsey………………………..
Kolasinac……………………..Elneny………………………………..AMN
…………………….Koscielny……………Mustafi………………………..
…………………………………Ospina……………………………………..

When we lose the ball, Welbeck deals with the Cbacks and Biglia.

Ozil and Mhki must put pressure on Kessie and Bonaventura.

Jack or Granit and Rambo take on Suso and Cahanoglu. In that they must also exercise sense and not be sucked too high up. One can attack the space behind Danny but the other should be close on hand to help Elneny cover left or right behind the fullbacks should we get turned over.

Welbeck needs to work on his first touch. Thereafter if he can apply robust strength, he may unsettle Bonnuci and Romagnoli (not the quickest pair)

Beyond tactics, its all about application. We need focus through 90++ minutes.

No amount of tactics is going to work if we don’t carry out sensible decisions.

But if we are ‘practical” and look after our Cbacks better, make sure they don’t get isolated (provide cover), we will defend that much better.

ramgooner
ramgooner

Wilshere – Ramsey axis.
Mkhi on the right. Welbeck up top.
Ozil at 10
Iwobi on the left. We should be able to control possession with this line-up.

Christopher Wreh
Christopher Wreh

Cool, well given your extremely factual tone I’m guessing you’re someone working in the game with years of experience both playing and coaching. Someone just let Arsene Wenger know that a total randomer on Arseblog’s comment section has got it all figured out!

Nordin
Nordin

Lets get behind the team! Lets cheer for them!
Looking at the Sp*ds fans, they were cheering their team all the way despite knowing the team was on the way out and that they are not going to win anything again this year!
Why I give this example, coz we are definitely much much better than those lots across at Black heart Lane. So please dont behave as if we are worst than them.

DontForget
DontForget

Everything football aside, I believe this is good life advice.

Viv
Viv

Woohoo Spurs lost.Made my season .Wenger In 🙂

Dennis

Had me until “longer term”

Lanre
Lanre

Listening to Allegri talk after f**king Spurs up and you realize how much this team needs a real coach. One who really reads the game and reacts accordingly with tactics change and the right substitutions at the right time. They were losing the game and two changes later, game has been turned on it’s head. No wonder the boys sent out an SOS last week.
Who was it said Wenger coaches by default again?

Vedant
Vedant

Nobody should say “as well” that many times. I can imagine him saying it and it’s frustrating.

badaab
badaab

You were asking for this reply, as well.

Lula
Lula

They’ve lost faith in you, not themselves.

LongRoadtoRuin
LongRoadtoRuin

All true but I guess some people won’t be happy whatever he says as long as he says it as manager of Arsenal. Victory vs Milan please….so I can return to reading comments for insight and humor and not just hate

Nordin
Nordin

Lets get behind the team! Lets cheer for them!

Looking at the Sp*ds fans, they were cheering their team all the way despite knowing the team was on the way out and that they are not going to win anything again this year!

Why I give this example, coz we are definitely much much better than those lots across at Black Heart Lane. So please dont behave as if we are worst than them.

Leon
Leon

When you have a bad week?
Its been years of this shit – does he ever look at results and league table?
He is a bloody awful manager – how can you solve problems when you obviously deny their existence?
I expect a resounding victory for Milan tonight – Arsenal are simply a bang average team with zero confidence or leadership within the team or from the manager.
No doubt he will sit there in the dugout and do nothing like he always does.
Arsenal should be grateful they are sixth because if we had this form at the beginning of the season we would be looking at relegation.
If he stays then Arsenal are simply fucked…

Sean Juba
Sean Juba

Sp**s. ???

JustDoneIt
JustDoneIt

How about tactics and a plan? Just saying. ..

Mpls
Mpls

I’d even settle for the players just knowing their roles and responsibilities in general.

baz00r
baz00r

As long as they are wearing their trousers again all will be fine.