Should players be running tactical lectures?

by .

Capture

Oh, and a big fat happy good morning to you!

So what have we today? Not much. Just me continuing the party, on my own, sitting in a cold flat. I clamped my hand in some grips two days ago and I’ve damaged nerves because I can’t feel my little finger anymore. All that trying to pull a rawl plug out the wall. Fear not though, you don’t need a little finger to write a blog. I’ll soldier on, for you guys.

So I’m reading this book yeah, (Another Way of Winning) and I love it. Why? Because it’s making me a better Premier League manager.

Anyway, what I learned yesterday is that my assertion that we should expect more from more from players is loosely a correct one. I spoke a couple of days ago about the old guard being leaders on and off the pitch. The case in point was the player meeting called by Tony Adams and co post Blackburn in 97… Petit and Paddy were given a telling off, players like Overmars were told to pull their fingers out and we went on to win the league.

That’s having know how in the squad. That’s taking the bull by the horn. That’s being innovative. That’s not seeking permission to be better.

Here’s the key for me, in any job you do. If you’re not being led properly… work around the problem to get to the best possible outcome for your team. Beg for forgiveness, you get me? (don’t beg, it’s embarrassing. Well, unless you’ve liquidated the bank your employed by with your work around).

So when Cruyff was sacked in the 6th year of his tenure, amazingly, that’s still the longest any Barca manager has served, Bobby Robson was appointed at 63. The players used to call him Granddad, interestingly. So he had Jose Mourninho as his translator. Bobby Robson used to scrawl down tactics on a chalk board and Jose would turn them into Spanish.

Apparently, the tactics weren’t exactly brilliant. So Jose used to make them better, more clear. As Robson’s tenure powered on, his tactical recommendations became more bizarre so Jose and Pep used to work together to not just make them clearer… but to make them far, far better. Sometimes the final product was totally different. They were working together to create a better outcome for the team. I think this is brilliant, because it’s how young innovative leaders work when faced with a dinosaur.

So why don’t our players take more control? Per Mertesacker was asked about tactics at the World Cup at some do last night…

 

Arsene doesn’t really do tactics, which shouldn’t be news if you’ve been reading this site for the last 5 years or watched one of our famous capitulations against top team. So here’s a question, why don’t the players do their own tactics and video analysis? Why don’t they take a situation they know is complete professional suicide… and do something about it?

Culture. It’s as simple as that. The Arsenal culture is one man. One man, one set of values, one set of ideas. Progress is only acceptable if it comes from one place. If you build a culture that is dependent and you don’t encourage ideas from other places, people become lazy. People become demotivated. Great staff become neutered.

Ideas are investments. They’re little pieces of art. They’re a creative execution that an individual or a group have invested time in to build to a point they can be showcased. If you share that vision, and it’s ignored, you’ll think twice about doing it again. If your idea is dropped and you continue to see that your organisation is still suffering the issues your idea was designed to solve, it’s even more demotivating.

Creative problem solving can’t come from the top. It has to come from the layer below. It has to come with buy in, if people are invested in the idea, it has more chance of working. I fear that at Arsenal, unless it comes from one man, or his old boys club, nothing is ever done. We’ve bred a culture of dependence and in turn we have a malaise. We don’t have players who will think for themselves and do their own tactical work. We don’t have a squad that will speak up. They’ll just continue doing the same things they know are wrong, over and over because the cost of doing something is perhaps too great.

If that’s what Arsene wants, then fine. But for me, you can still have authority whilst having a group of people who will question standard practice and come up with solutions that can make a difference. Ideas can come from anywhere, but it takes a special kind of manager to be able to listen. Especially if that said manager is a legend.

Maybe the ‘let others work it out’ approach is a bit modern. Maybe that’s not how it was done back in the day. But I think the way Adams and Co behaved back in the day shows you that expecting players to take responsibility isn’t a wild suggestion. It just requires some balls, some personality… but then again, we don’t sign players like that these days. We sign nice boys. Which is fine, but you need that extra bit of something in the team.

I mean, the fact Wenger doesn’t really believe in captains tells you all you need to know… maybe he doesn’t want a strong captain because that’d be a challenge to his supremacy? Maybe he doesn’t have strong staff who are willing to challenge? Or maybe the cost of being challenging is your career… and people know this?

I mean, topline, has anyone sat down with Alexis Sanchez and purged his brain? If I get someone in from a better agency, I want to know it all. How do they pitch? How do they approach a brief? What’s the structure? What do they have that we don’t? How would you change things? What don’t you like about this place?

Do you think Arsene sat down with his new £30m man and blitzed him with questions? Because you’d have a few…

What’s the approach to fitness? How often would you rest? What would you eat? How would tactics be approached? How much ball work would you do? How do you recover? How often would you sit in a class? How did you practice your game execution? What was the prematch ritual? How did you debrief on games? What sort of role did the assistant play? Did you use video analysis at half time? Do you know the company they used? What would be the one thing you’d change about this place?

When you’re a competitive outfit, the only time you get to find these things out is when you bring in new people. Would Arsene think this way? I’m not so sure. For a man obsessed with football, he doesn’t seem to learn much from watching others, does he?

So in conclusion, if the culture isn’t right. What can be done to change it? Who is looking in to see if something is broken? Who is helping to make Arsenal a better place to work? Who is has enough on the line to force a better Arsenal? From where I’m sitting, that’s behind my keyboard, it looks like no one.

That’s what makes me sad. Two and half more years of watching minimal progression. Untapped potential. Unmemorable seasons. But fear not, once this is over, better times are coming.  This is elite purgatory, but it won’t last forever. Of that I’m sure.

Anyway, brain dump for the day.

P.S. Stop bantzing me in the comments section… it’s freaking me out.

 

434 Responses to “Should players be running tactical lectures?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Bergkamp63

    @snoekrats November 20, 2014 08:48:10
    Don’t be silly Pedro

    Alexis hasn’t been a manager for 1 day so why would Arsene pick his brain

    Because he’s worked with a real manager !

  2. MV

    You should have more staycations. I enjoy these longer posts much more.

    “Ideas are investments. They’re little pieces of art. They’re a creative execution that an individual or a group have invested time in to build to a point they can be showcased. If you share that vision, and it’s ignored, you’ll think twice about doing it again. If your idea is dropped and you continue to see that your organisation is still suffering the issues your idea was designed to solve, it’s even more demotivating.”

    This is Exactly what happens at my work and it is so depressing. I stopped caring about my job this year exactly because of this.

  3. GoonerGaunty73

    Good post this morning – I always wondered why AW hadn’t got more of our ex players in to help. Too big a voice, would probably challenge him too much, there has to be a reason why all that experience isn’t being utilised.

    Rumours of a deal being struck with the Chavs for Cech (mmmmm). Him and a couple of defensive type players (preferably without broken backs) in Jan and I’m a happy bunny

  4. Crusaderrabbit

    Has anyone else picked up on these Paul Clement rumours yesterday? Alex Fynn has also been alluding to some change afoot? Hard to know what to make of it?

  5. Romford Pele

    Morning gents, you been on form this week Pedrito. Top stuff from Per though it’s nothing we didn’t know already I guess. This is the difference and it’s what I try to get at when i’m talking to Keyser. Players need instruction. Look at the difference with Wilshere playing for instruction. I like set tactics because at the end of the day, results are paramount. Leaving players to work it out for themselves will result in them coming unstuck further down the line.

  6. Romford Pele

    Also saw Per push the line about him and Ozil persuading Khedira to join Arsenal. It wouldn’t surprise anyone really if the deal did happen. It’s common knowledge Ozil and Khedira are best friends. Remember Pires waxing lyrical about Khedira the other month too, even though Khedira isn’t a strict DM in the truest sense of the word.

  7. N5

    Well we all know how I feel about Khedira! so I’m not gonna bang on about how much I’d love to have him. But let’s say this, his price is Wenger right! he’s on a free get him in, make Ozil happy. 2 birds 1 stone.

    PKB.

  8. Romford Pele

    Pedro, Agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately for us, Wenger is too bent on getting in as much creativity as possible without having that stable framework behind – and that’s why we’re always so vulnerable. Players like Khedira can obviously help address that with his robust nature and experience, but it still won’t be enough at the end of the day.

  9. Romford Pele

    Elite purgatory defines Arsenal down to a tee. Top 4 in England, top 10 in Europe, fifth richest club in the world, but nothing really to show for it. Shame.

  10. Steve Biko

    Pedro,
    it occurred to me that Elite purgatory is why we gooners are so divided. Some are just happy not to be in the same place with Beezelbub and his minions that they are comfortable and have no interest in the place beyond the pearly gates

  11. N5

    “Look at the difference with Wilshere playing for instruction.”

    I said last night Romford, it’s almost like Schoolboy football at times. I get the impression Wenger says “just go out and have fun, be creative and try your best”.

    At this level, that’s such a dangerous way to manage.

  12. Steve Biko

    Romford

    That term ‘Elite purgatory’ also has a powerful spiritual resonance. Certainly not in hell with Burnley nor Heaven like Chelsea. Most bizzare thing is that Arsenal fans pay top dollar for Purgatory.

  13. Romford Pele

    “Most bizzare thing is that Arsenal fans pay top dollar for Purgatory.”

    Too many have become comfortable and accustomed to the regime that they’re scared of change. I’m tired of Wenger. Right now I just want to see a new approach rather than bemoaning the same BS each week.

  14. Eltedwardoo

    Good point well made, Adams hasn’t said much that has made any sense in years. However he has been on record numerous times in the last decade as saying he felt the players didn’t get enough credit in the early Wenger seasons and that Wenger got too much. I think it’s plain to see now that Adams may correct.

  15. Steve Biko

    Romford

    I have several friends who do not watch the games just the highlights. It is plain boring putting up with the same BS everyday

  16. Bristles

    I completely agree with Pedro about the player meeting following the Blackburn game in ’97. The atmosphere following the Villa draw then the Blackburn defeat wasn’t good. Walking away from the ground after the Blackburn game, I overheard someone say “George Graham has more tactical nous in his little finger than Wenger has in his whole body”. An exaggeration, obviously – but a prescient comment…

    The team was getting turned over too easily, despite the pretty football. During the Villa draw in particular I remember one supporter really haranguing Overmars for getting muscled off the ball too easily, shouting “FFS, it’s like we’ve got an eleven year old schoolboy on the f*ckin wing…”.

    Things definitely changed after the old guard sat down with the newbies and sorted things out. That wasn’t Wenger’s doing.

    All that was pretty much forgotten during the years of success. I used to think back to that comparison between Wenger and Graham and laugh. But now it’s come back to bite us – with a vengeance.

  17. Ash79

    Alex Flynn tweeted that some changes were afoot on the football side. Very cryptic tweet. friend of yours isnt he Pedro?

  18. Romford Pele

    Steve, don’t blame them personally. Unfortunately for me i’m institutionalised, so even though I know what i’m going to be served, I can’t help but be pulled in. It’s in my blood 🙁

  19. Romford Pele

    “Do you guys want Wenger out or would you rather he changed?”

    Out please. At his age and the way he’s acted in recent times, it’d be a huge shock if he all of a sudden decided to change.

  20. N5

    “Do you guys want Wenger out or would you rather he changed?”

    I’d like him gone! Wenger has proved he won’t change so I don’t see it as an option.

  21. Thank you and goodnight

    @Ash 79

    God no I want him out completely. I think his disrespect and disdain towards the fans over last few years proves what an arrogant egotistical sod he is.

    N5

    Trying to get gravatar sorted mate. Having few problems

  22. Leedsgunner

    “Players need instruction. Look at the difference with Wilshere playing for instruction. I like set tactics because at the end of the day, results are paramount. Leaving players to work it out for themselves will result in them coming unstuck further down the line.”

    Yes agree 100%… but the problem is with Wenger there is no instruction because he doesn’t have a tactical vision for the club. Why? Because he doesn’t seem to do tactical analysis of the opposition to exploit their weaknesses.

    I mean he doesn’t seem

    – to do scouting… except after the fact, when he likes to say he “tried to sign “X””
    – to tactics because we set up the same way and we have no Plan B when Plan A doesn’t work
    – to do varied training programs because the same players seem to get injured, at the same places all the time

    What does Wenger actually bring to the organisation today? Sure the Wenger of yesteryear was a giant. A man clearly ahead of his time and a fearless pioneer of innovation. The Wenger of 2014 is not the same man — he looks tired, washed up and struggling to keep his head above the water.

    Loyalty and sentimentality might wish Arsene at the helm but that is exactly it. It is for what he did before and not what he is doing now. We have no guarantee that he is still hungry enough to raise his level to what is required. Want proof? The kind thing would be to ask him to step down, give him his statue and wish him well. He has nothing more to prove Arsenal and we owe him nothing else.

    With the squad we have, with the money we have, with the stadium we have, and the money we have spent this summer — we should be at the head of the table not looking at Chelsea’s rear end as they head up the season.

  23. N5

    It’s freaked Pedro out a bit TYAG, it’s was a moment of unity last night against people saying we follow Pedro blindly!

    #PKB

    Let me know if you need help sorting out an avatar.

  24. bergkamplegend

    “The question is how bad of a season must we have for the board to fire Wenger?”

    Absolutely!! But if he wasn’t fired when we’ve been trashed 3 times last season, I don’t see any possibilities to get rid of him…

    GAZIDIS HAS NO BALLS.

  25. Pedro

    Follow me blindly… all I get is disagreement all day! The way it should be… the worst thing ever would be agreement.

  26. divinesherlock

    Nice article Pedro , but we know that about Wenger since he was appointed . The man encourages creativity , technical abilities and possesion over tactics . You only have to look at Anderlecht game , 3-0 up and Ramsey goes bombing forward . Thats basics he shouldve known to stay behind with defence

  27. Masterstroke

    Bristles

    It’s interesting that you & Pedro should quote that ’97 Blackburn game when Petit & Paddy went all gung ho and had to be bollocked by Adams for not proving good defensive cover, because last night on 5 live John Hartson was saying that under George Graham Adams absolutely ruled the dressing room & would go round before matches ( while GG was sitting down ) and gee the team up by telling them what he expected from them. John is in absolute awe of Adams and was saying that we don’t have those kinds of leaders now.

  28. N5

    “Follow me blindly… all I get is disagreement all day! The way it should be… the worst thing ever would be agreement.”

    Yes, you are right 😆

  29. @snoekrats

    Can anybody tell me how Ramsey went from one extreme to the other so quickly?

    He was too good in too many games last season for it to have been luck.

    But he is like the 2012 model all over again. Doesn’t make any sense.

  30. N5

    @Masterstroke, we’ve been missing a leader like that since Viera.

    When was the last time you saw a player bollocking others, or pumping his fists and geeing them up, or taking control and pointing out where people should be!

    I know Flamini tried it when he came back for a few matches! but Per needs to be that guy! the big man at the back.

    WS1 tries, but doesn’t do a great job of it.

  31. N5

    “Can anybody tell me how Ramsey went from one extreme to the other so quickly?”

    It doesn’t work having him and Jack in the same team for a start.

  32. Romford Pele

    Obviously Wenger wants to win but it’s the way that he goes about trying to win that annoys me. This idealistic BS philosophy of his.

  33. Leedsgunner

    TYAGN

    Make sure the image you choose is one that is publicly available — and make sure you choose “G” at the end. 😉 I was going to continue with the PKB revolution but the picture of Adams and Wrighty drew me in! 😉 Have fun!

  34. Bristles

    What we’d give for an Adams type figure in the side, eh Masterstroke?
    I didn’t hear the Hartson interview but it certainly backs up what Pedro and others on here have been arguing.
    A few years from now – when a few more biographies have come out, and the Wenger era is well and truly over – we might find out just how much of the success in the first half of his tenure was about the quality of the players and their leadership attributes…

  35. bergkamplegend

    “But he is like the 2012 model all over again. Doesn’t make any sense.”

    He waits until his transfer to Real Madrid for recovering his best level.

  36. Ash79

    Peds – check out his timeline unless he was on an early evening razzle and things out of hand cos his mate came back from the bar with a few sambucas and everyone went “nooooooo, oh man, sambucas, you’re gonna kill me mate!” but everyone drank up cos they didnt want to look like a pussy, least of all Alex Flynn who just downed it and then stepped it up during his round and came back with black sambucas AND pints for the crew.

    re wenger – I think he’s too old to change unfortunately but he has a connection with the club that no new manager will ever have. A good thing though perhaps eh.

  37. N5

    “I do like Per but for someone who’s 6ft6, he’s a bit of a flower himself.”

    The thing is Pele, I’ve seen him take National games by the scruff of the neck and really bollock those around him. But his confidence is on a whole different level for German matches. He really should step up to the Tony Adams plate, he’s a fudging giant for crying out loud.

  38. N5

    @holmes, nice one rocking the #PKB avy!

    Is tick tock Wenger you’re account? I assumed you’d created it and linked it to the countdown clock. It’s not fully accurate. I put it to the last day of the season 2017 + allowing for ECL. I’m not 100 percent of the date his contract runs out 🙁

  39. tunnygriffboy

    I’m sure Ramsey will improve again. He’s been injured, doesn’t play well in a 4-1-4-1. Also last season with Giroud, no Walcott or Ox, Ramsey was the one who ranbeyond Giroud, now we have Alexis and Welbeck who run behind. Just needs to adapt his role, he’s trying too hard at the moment.

  40. Romford Pele

    N5 – He really should leverage his height and size more to his advantage. I don’t think he’s afraid of speaking his mind, he is German after all. I guess i’m just skeptical about him, his lack of mobility is massively exposed when Kos doesn’t play. Add to the fact that from the last 16 onwards at the World Cup he was no longer starting – it’s telling.

  41. Leedsgunner

    Tony Adams — my favourite AFC captain, among my top ten favourite players of all time but a middling manager… he really should have done what PV4 is doing and get himself some decent experience and contacts by working with a top club. He really should be our specialist defensive coach really.

    We used to be ridiculed as boring, boring Arsenal but I don’t know if it’s just me but I pine for the 1-0 Arsenal especially when I saw us giving up those two leads before the international break. I guess I rather be boring and win rather than exciting and lose… sadly, we’re not even that exciting anymore… just sloppy, unfocused and undisciplined.

  42. Romford Pele

    I don’t think Ramsey has gone from one extreme to the other. There’s been too much upheaval between last and this season. We have two new attackers who are very quick, meaning Ramsey’s trademark runs from midfield are no longer really a requirement. He’s having to adapt to their game. That said, he needs to play for the team more. He’s become too obssessed with scoring goals. Needs to remember the other good facets of his game. He’s a B2B midfielder.

  43. BilneyM

    “Two and half more years of watching minimal progression. Untapped potential. Unmemorable seasons….”

    You will be surprised that he will be offered another 3 year contract after that!!! This is Arsenal, that’s how we roll #COYG

  44. N5

    Romford, you have a very good point! it is a shame that we’re missing that kind of character in the team though. I expect Jack will be that guy in the future.

  45. Holmes

    @N5 I set it up as an additional countdown account to give Gooners a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel (that is Wenger’s dictatorship).

    It should be close enough. It gives me something to cling on to knowing that things will get better. I’ll be 33 when they do, but then the good times will roll my friend.

    #PKB

  46. Ughelligunner

    Wenger won trophies with Monaco before going to Japan. Was he also lucky?

    If jack has a defined role for England and at arsenal a free role cos of wenger, how about him sitting with arteta in the holding midfield role, to allow Ramsey freedom to move about while he does the dm sharing load or did wenger put a gun to his head that he must attack?

    Did wenger stop mertesaker from jumping, so as not to concede when a ball is played in? Hull, swansea, anderlet mertesaker was the guilty party.

    We are all just talking. You want wenger out stick with that theory rather than bullshitting.

    When i am given a free role that means i can either stay or move and if i stay we gain more then why should i move so that we lose?

    Arteta has a free role but he chose to sit put and song/flamini choose to bomb forward. Who is captain today and has the respect of the manager?

  47. Romford Pele

    “We used to be ridiculed as boring, boring Arsenal but I don’t know if it’s just me but I pine for the 1-0 Arsenal especially when I saw us giving up those two leads before the international break.”

    I agree. Title foundations are built on 1-0 wins ahead. Not everyday be flash, sometimes just get the job done.

  48. Pedro

    No idea on the Rambo thing… I think he’s just dealing with second season syndrome… maybe a bit of ego, maybe a bit of fitness issues, he’ll be back. Hopefully.

  49. N5

    Lol Holmes. I’m just waiting for your twitter to explode. At the moment @LeGrove has almost as many followers as people that attend the Emirates weekly. I’m hoping by the end of January, you’re Twitter has overtaken the Grove.

  50. N5

    “Interesting that No one’s ever mentioned Joachim Low’s name in potential candidate . Is he retiring after the euros ?”

    Oddly, considering his success, I’ve never been a big fan of Low.

  51. Ughelligunner

    If i have a free role to move, that means i have a free role to stay.

    If jack is saying at arsenal wenger gives him a free role and he becomes awol, that means he wants to play free n he should stop the pretence that he wants the deep role cos i don’t see how he will be able to play it in the first place.

    Players prefer the free role compared to sticking them in one spot that for sure, the wise players.

    Yesterday ozil was saying he has the confidence wenger would make him better, this is a guy who people were complaining he is played out of position

    i believe nobody saw this story, only the agenda driven one are posted here..

  52. Holmes

    @N5, you never know. Enough of the fans are sick of the situation they too may need something to cling on to.

    Perhaps if I changed the profile picture to Pedro’s face more people will follow suit? As we all know that’s the kinda swing Pedro’s mug has these days. #PKB

  53. MadeToLoveMagic

    dont lie Pedro, we all know you broke your finger in one of those tree pissing corporate power handshakes ,,,,,You may have sealed the deal but you lost your pinkie, and all for a seat on the next branch up of the monkey tree of business?

    such a sell out and he cant even admit it

  54. Thank you and goodnight

    @Ughelligunner

    Actions speak louder than words in regards to Ozil. A season and a half under wenger and he’s a shadow of his former self. Whatever Ozil said is just part of the Arsenal PR team at work to try and take people’s minds off the current criticism and flak that Wenger’s had from media and ex pros alike.

  55. Romford Pele

    “If i have a free role to move, that means i have a free role to stay.”

    Errr, no. If you’ve been given a free role, it’s because the manager trusts you with the creativity to make the difference.

    LOL RE Ozil, he isn’t gonna come out and slate Wenger, is he?

  56. N5

    Jim, my comments don’t get moderrated over there, shall I try and sly one in.

    Holmes. Fingers crossed mate. Whatever brings us change!

  57. Ughelligunner

    N5, jack can’t be the guy who will lead.

    A guy who will lead will first be led, you see jack in matches pointng out for a player to be marked while he is standing and doing nothing,

    When arteta is playing you see him talking to the players and you know who is listening and not.

    Ramsey and jack can work if they listen to themselves on the pitch, the problem they have is they try to out do each other.

    Jack are you sitting, ok go i will stay then let me stay and you will go. Simple.

    Last year against fulham away, they both played the double pivot and it was fantastic, the fulham midfielders were confused who to mark out.

    I saw a match when chamberlain refused to listen to arteta.

    That’s is why you see ramsey plays better with arteta cos he calls him to order and he listens, while the wilshere just does the free role without bothering to look back.

  58. N5

    @Ughelligunner, I was thinking more in the future and he wouldn’t be my choice. I can just see him being moulded into the captain/leader.

    If it was my choice, I’d get a tough as nails CDM in and have him captain the team.

  59. bergkamplegend

    “Interesting that No one’s ever mentioned Joachim Low’s name in potential candidate”

    A younger version of wenger ?? No thanks!!

  60. Bristles

    “We used to be ridiculed as boring, boring Arsenal but I don’t know if it’s just me but I pine for the 1-0 Arsenal especially when I saw us giving up those two leads before the international break.”

    Totally agree. Used to go one up and it’d be game over ;o)
    Plus it used to REALLY wind up my mates (Chelski & Spuds for the most part). I miss that, though I suspect it’s mainly cos we’ve gone to the other extreme…

  61. Leedsgunner

    Whatever way to look at it, Wenger has completely and utterly mismanaged Özil as a player.

    Wenger is not good with managing our record signings — Reyes, Arshavin, Özil… and I hope desperately that Sanchez name will not be added it to it at the end of the season.

    Am I saying that the players involved are completely blameless? No, but there is an undeniable pattern, which tells me that the manager (who is the common factor here) is making the same mistakes.

    Given this record, I find the hypocrisy of the club tragic. I mean, the club likes to portray itself as a modern football club where business savvy is met with footballing success. However, here we have a record of when the manager regularly mismanages our prize assets — and the club is turning a blind eye — indeed they rewarded Wenger by giving him another three year contract.

    I cannot think of another private company which would reward an executive who isolated and completely misused £68m worth of company assets. (£68m being the combined transfer spend of Reyes, Arshavin and Özil).

    That’s not even counting the monies wasted on proper deadwood like Diaby, Squillaci, Chamakh etc. The money we’ve wasted under Wenger is eye wateringly shameful…

    Wenger likes to portray himself as a wizrd in the transfer market but lately he’s had more misses than hits, especially in the defensive end.

  62. Ughelligunner

    Romford, why don’t arteta bomb forward often.

    TYAG, and also if Ozil can’t say anything bad about the manager because of p.R, and you don’t believe it, then why should i believe a person who has the hatred for the manager and comes out to say things against him because he has nothing to lose?

    I don’t believe those hear saying too.

    Whether you are seeing it on the pitch or not, the board and current players are saying something positive, who should i believe, the agenda driven person?

  63. Romford Pele

    “Romford, why don’t arteta bomb forward often.”

    Because he’s been tasked with being the deepest midfielder and instigating attacks.

  64. John S

    Send that to Ivan as well please……! Resigned to the same bollocks while Arsene is in charge…..God, what I wouldn’t give for some tactical nous!!!!!

  65. Shaun Wilson

    It’s self evident that Wenger is incapable of change; what is an unknown commodity is the extent of his perversity – we have recently witnessed Kallstrom, players being played out of position and a host of other bizarre machinations too numerous to mention – the question is : Can he get more abstruse? or has he peaked on the pervo-meter – if he continues at the rate he is going 4th place will not happen, something that he may regret.

  66. Ughelligunner

    We ve seen teams where revolution takes place and the players sack their managers.

    Chelsea is good example, then let the ex-players, current players and legends come together and do something, if really wenger is the devil.

  67. Leedsgunner

    ““Romford, why don’t arteta bomb forward often.”

    Because when Areta’s brain sends the words “bomb forward” down to his legs, they send the message right back with the words, “For F***s Sake!”

  68. Bamford13

    snoekrats

    Not sure I have a satisfactory answer to the Ramsey question myself, but I’m not surprised by his poor form thus far at all. I (and others here) expected it. I’ve never been as big of a fan of Ramsey’s as some on here, and I think the ‘he can’t play with Jack’ excuse is a lame one. He hasn’t been great when Jack isn’t on the field either and he was relatively anonymous for Wales recently (when Jack was hundreds of miles away).

    I think it has to do with the type of player he is and with his physical frame/athleticism. First the type of player: Ramsey plays on emotion, enthusiasm and inspiration, and he is always looking to do the unexpected, the spectacular. This is true on both sides of the ball. He is not a metronome. The opposite. When the stars align — right conditions, right opponent, right mood, right positioning — he’s capable of brilliance, but if the stars don’t align — and they often don’t — he can every average, even poor.

    As for his physical frame/athleticism, I have said before — to much criticism here — that he’s really not all that great of an athlete. Yes he has an engine, but he isn’t especially quick or powerful. Over five yards he’s OK, but over ten yards he begins to look like a schoolboy competing against men.

    I personally continue to think he should be played as a CAM, as he is for Wales. His strength lies in attacking third creativity and brilliance not defensive and middle third reliability, consistency, and simplicity.

    Many here will disagree, but as is often the case, they’ll be wrong. 😉

    and his physical frame/athleticism. — flashes of brilliance, creativity, passion

  69. bergkamplegend

    “Sadly for us he’s more Radagast the Brown than Gandalf the Grey… ;o)”

    Although he is really, REALLY grey lolololol

  70. Ughelligunner

    Romford, and Ramsey, wilshere are told to bomb forward and score at every opportunity they get?

    See your logic.
    Did you remember song as a dm was also bombing forward and people said wenger gave him the free role?

    How come he was not told to sit as the deepest midfielder but arteta is told?

    The truth is express yourselves in your position doesn’t mean i should bomb forward.

    Do you know that i can be told to express myself in a position of the field as a striker doesn’t mean i can come and play the dm role?

  71. Romford Pele

    “Ramsey plays on emotion, enthusiasm and inspiration, and he is always looking to do the unexpected, the spectacular.”

    Surely you don’t believe this?

  72. Thank you and goodnight

    @Ughelligunner

    Are the current board/management etc not agenda driven either?

    As for current board managers etc etc I wouldn’t believe anything they say as I can see with my own eyes that the club is in disarray. If you take the wenger blinkers off you’d see it for yourself too

  73. Dissenter

    The problem with with this free role theory is Wenger gives too many players free roles on the field. It only works when one special player like (Hazard at Chelsea) is allowed more flexibility. Everyone else has to have rigid roles.

    Wenger’s Arsenal defines free role as free of responsibility.

  74. Romford Pele

    “Romford, and Ramsey, wilshere are told to bomb forward and score at every opportunity they get?”

    Ramsey/Wilshere have more of a licence to get forward, yes.

    “Did you remember song as a dm was also bombing forward and people said wenger gave him the free role?”

    Lol it’s because Song is a recluse. Dude was obsessed with attacking even though he wasn’t good at it.

    “The truth is express yourselves in your position doesn’t mean i should bomb forward.”

    What are you talking about?

  75. Bamford13

    Ughe

    You’re clueless, mate. That Arteta stays put is down to two things: his disposition — serious, responsible, mature — and the fact that he has been given SOME instructions, e,g., “you’re the holding mid”. That’s it.

    As for what instructions Wenger gives to other players within the system — Ramsey or Wilshere for example — it is clear both (1) from watching us play and (2) from what players say that his instructions are quite limited.

    What did Cesc say when he returned to Barca? That there there were specific instructions for where to be wherever the ball was on the field, ie, FOR EVERY SINGLE POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE, whereas things were more “undefined” at Arsenal. Meaning aside from a couple of generalities, players are asked to figure things out for themselves at Arsenal, with largely shabby — and at times disastrous — results.

    This is obvious to anyone with eyes who watches Arsenal. They are the least well-organized “top” club in the world.

  76. Irondawg

    Two massive twitter rumours doing the rounds

    1) Steve Bould either has been sacked or will be sacked and Paul Clement (Real Madrid) will be the new assistant manager.

    2) Wenger was showing around an agent at the Colney, potentially for a transfer that could reach 30-40m.

  77. Ughelligunner

    Last season when we played everton in the FA cup, chamberlain just returned from injury and during the match he was having cramps, wenger’s made a sign for him to sit deep so as not to move forward to much and get injured but chamberlain was still running at any opportunity he finds himself.

    I don’t know if anybody remembers that match, thats is what Keyser always argues about that players and their understanding matter more than the formation, and that’s is why the teams with the higher amount of worldclass players win trophies more.

  78. bergkamplegend

    “1) Steve Bould either has been sacked or will be sacked and Paul Clement (Real Madrid) will be the new assistant manager.”

    The WRONG person will be sacked, what bunch of idiots… lol

  79. GoonerInNY

    Great post, Pedro.

    Does that make me a PKB? Certainly better than an AKB!

    The thing is, you could substitute “Kroenke” for “Wenger” and your post would still work. Kroenke is allowing this s@*$ show to go on. No surprise considering how poorly run all his U.S. teams are.

  80. Dissenter

    “Whatever way to look at it, Wenger has completely and utterly mismanaged Özil as a player” -Leedsgunner
    The moment Wenger used “perfect” to describe Ozil’s play, I knew we were in trouble.

    Arsene Wenger in August: “”When you watch his game back the next day you think ‘what a player’. Everything he does is intelligent and the timing of absolutely everything he does is absolutely perfect.
    “You never catch him giving the ball too late. The number of players you catch giving the ball too late is unbelievable. You never get that with Ozil”

    How do you motivate an elite player by calling him perfect”. If he were so then why shunt him to the wing? You always have to leave players some room to think they can be better no matter what. They have to be kept on their leashes.

    Ozil is going to stagnate under Wenger because Wenger doesn’t know how best to use him properly. He knows Ozil isn’t a tackler but won’t surround him with mobile tackling players.

    It may be that I am nitpicking Wenger’s comment but I just found it strange at the time.

  81. Romford Pele

    “Last season when we played everton in the FA cup, chamberlain just returned from injury and during the match he was having cramps, wenger’s made a sign for him to sit deep so as not to move forward to much and get injured but chamberlain was still running at any opportunity he finds himself.”

    1) I don’t recall this happening.
    2) If it did, it highlights the fact there is no proper following of Wenger’s instructions.

    “I don’t know if anybody remembers that match, thats is what Keyser always argues about that players and their understanding matter more than the formation, and that’s is why the teams with the higher amount of worldclass players win trophies more”

    That perfectly explains the recent success of Dortmund and Atletico then.

  82. Ughelligunner

    Coach Bamford13, and you are the one with a clue? Contradicting yourself that arteta is mature and listen while the rest are younger and need to be remotely controlled in the game?

    How did it work for fabregas at barca, oh he was bundled out by the fans after all the role thing. Lol.

    He couldn’t play in defined role, but at chelsea he has more of that freedom compared to barca and he is playing well.

  83. Leedsgunner

    “Wenger’s Arsenal defines free role as free of responsibility.”

    Well said Dissenter — in this Wenger is the ultimate free roller, in that he never takes meaningful responsibility for anything when things go pear shamed. Of course he’s more than happy to take responsibility when things go right — hell, he tries to take the credit when players he scouted at other clubs play well… why else do you think he likes to say “I tried to sign “X”” so much?

    Arsene Wenger 1996-2004 was a genius.

    In retrospect he FA Cup in 2005 and the Champion’s League Final appearance in 2006 masked the fact that he was on the slide down to where we are now. He really should have gone in 2008. The signs were there even then that he started to believe his own hype and he wasn’t going to learn from his mistakes.

  84. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal’s tactical play in recent times has been not only predictable but poor and that is down to the Manager and Coaching staff.

    It has always been suggested that Arsenal do not have a Plan B when Plan A is not working well.

    However, I would go so far as to say that Plan A is also rather poor and the team
    this season has not been executing it particularly well.

    Let’s be honest Arsenal are not short of good players in our squad, but whether
    it is balanced and has the correct strengths is quite another matter.

    If I was going to design the best formations for the team I would operate 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. To play either system you need either 6 or 5 players in the team who
    are solid players in defence and disciplined.

    Sadly Wenger’s teams play always ‘gung-ho’ football and our defence is left totally neglected. We are not particularly good either at set pieces or heading a
    ball, which suggests to me that the team seldom practices on these.

    When I watch Wilshire play for England he looks a better player than he does for Arsenal. For a start he is far less reckless when he goes into a tackle.
    Both he and Ramsey are far too often out of position when they play for the
    club and predictably they leave both Arteta or Flamini exposed or make poor
    tackles.

    You would hope that Wenger would learn from England. Let’s be clear we don’t need more than 4 or 5 offensive players if they are quality, but of course
    you need players who are quick in their movement, technically gifted and of
    course can score goals.

    What is lacking at the moment is leadership both on and off the field and that
    is a failure of the manager who by his own admission in past does not attach
    great importance to captaincy or leadership. Perhaps if he did there might be
    more thought in the way we play.

  85. Bamford13

    Wenger gives his players more “freedom” for two reasons — one good, one bad.

    The first — “the good” — is that he likes flowing, creative, spontaneous football, football created by the players on the field rather than the manager in his mind and in training. Where other sides train on patterns and have set ways of attacking — but room for creativity within those patterns — at Arsenal it’s all spontaneous. They are always making it up as they go along.

    The second reason — “the bad” — is that he hasn’t a fucking clue what to tell players beyond generalities because he simply doesn’t think about or analyze the game that way or at that level of detail. That simply is not Wenger’s approach. He thinks in generalities, abstractions. This is obvious. Listen to him talk.

    The best managers can tell you — and more importantly, their players — where the CM or CAM should be in every circumstance. Wenger cannot. In part because he doesn’t gelieve in such an approach to football, and in part because he’s fucking clueless.

  86. Romford Pele

    “1) Steve Bould either has been sacked or will be sacked and Paul Clement (Real Madrid) will be the new assistant manager.”

    Lol can’t ever see this one being true. Leave as assistant manager of the best club side in the world to become assistant at Arsenal. Lol the logic.

  87. Ughelligunner

    Romford, do you believe dortmund/athletico can replicate that champions league success again presently?

    Last i check they are struggling compared to last year.

    Its like when mourinho’s Porto won the final against dechamps Monaco, it was a one off.

    This things happen in football, replicating it is the problem, and that’s what a team with worldclass players do every year.

    Dortmund has started rebuilding just like arsenal and they are not like they where 2yrs ago.. These teams punched above their weight.

  88. @snoekrats

    Bamford13

    I hear what you say it is just the starts aligned way too often last season. There was something more. However he looks so slow this season.

    Think we are starting to realise what an impact mezut has on this team.

  89. Romford Pele

    “Romford, do you believe dortmund/athletico can replicate that champions league success again presently?”

    Probably not but considering our vast resources, both sides are easily outperforming us.

    These sides don’t have the money they have so of course it’s always going to be a struggle. At least they don’t paint the picture of being one of the elite. We’re told that we can’t find better players than the likes of Arteta/Flamini. You think fans aren’t going to moan when they are charged champagne prices for lemonade football lol

  90. Leedsgunner

    “Lol it’s because Song is a recluse. Dude was obsessed with attacking even though he wasn’t good at it.”

    This.

    Whose job is it at the club to see this and improve the player’s tactical awareness? Wenger. He didn’t do that but chose to sell him on when Song became too troublesome. He could have chosen to improve the player but he wimped out. No matter, Song was exposed brutally at Barca wasn’t he?

    The truth is Song was a decent DM here and he had carved out a niche for himself… Wenger should have nurtured that instead of allowing Song to be so bleeding indisciplined. There was many a game where Song’s careless forays undid the good work he did as a DM by allowing the opposition space to set up that pass or sending that attacking to shoot… (not to mention his comical own goals!)

  91. Bamford13

    Ughe

    No. At Chelsea Cesc’s role is just as well-defined — it’s just a different role, one that suits him better. Mourinho runs just as tight a ship as Pep or Klopp or Acelotti or any of the best. He doesn’t do Wenger’s bullshit “freedom” thing.

    And no, I’m not the only on here who has a clue, but you clearly are fucking clueless, mate. You just reach for whatever explanation best defends the status quo, regardless of whether it makes any sense or is supported by any evidence.

    And how is my point re Arteta contradictory? If your point is that every player on Arsenal needs to be as intelligent, mature and responsible as Arteta is in his role — despite his severe limitations — then you’re placing all of the responsibility on the players’ shoulders and none on the manager’s. What the fuck does the manager do in this conception of things? Simply pick the side? How do players become intelligent, mature, understanding of their roles? From the instruction of a good manager, primarily, precisely what is missing at Arsenal.

  92. Ughelligunner

    Everybody at barca knows the role is to find Messi, even Sanchez is having a great time here because he is expressing himself more.

    I remember Pep barca had the two full backs bombing forward, even pique was found in the midfield at times. Did pep neglect the defensive side of the game?

    Or he had great players who rarely lost the ball? And never missed a chance to score twice?

  93. Carts

    Nice read that. Wenger’s issue is a simple one when looking from the outside in. But from the inside out it’s not as straight forward as one may think.

    Wenger’s initial tenuare, say the first 8-9 seasons, were very impressive. We built a team full of hungry winners, who were prepared to spill blood for one another. We had figure heads who took no shit from anyone. Lehman, Campbell, Henry to name a few. Did Wenger sit back in his seat and recognise that what he had were thoroughbred troops or thugs in fancy dress? Let’s take the Keown, Cole and Lauren freeze frame for starter *Van Nistelrooy* – correct me if i’m wrong but the media had a field day with those few minutes. The game wasn’t particularly entertaining for the neutral; but at the same time, there was fight. Desire. We were monsters!

    Moving forward, as I said yesterday, it was as if we were winning games fancifully – quick passing, clinical finishing and brute athleticism – however, that wasn’t enough for Wenger. He wanted nothing less than eloquent players who ranked very high on the technique-o-meter. This was implememted to the detriment of the more taller athletic players – who soon found the going tough.

    There’s absolutely no doubt Wenger tried to recreate what Barca had. But he failed to realised one important factor: the EPL, as opposed to La Liga, was built on different footballing philosophies. I don’t need to explain that for you. You already know.

    Having already changed the game once, Wenger attempted the unthinkable. He neglected the physical aspect of the game in favour of technique and nimbleness. He went about to sort young unproven players over established mature players. He done away with BIG personality players, instead opting for passive footballers. He bought players with sell on potential instead of buying experienced players in their prime.

    These guys weren’t on the same level as Adams and Keown or Vieria and Henry. I even feel as though Wenger may have felt undermined or even intimidated. Wenger is a control freak after all. Can you imagine him giving a lengthy team talk only for it not to work in the first 15 minutes then Henry turn to you, suggest something, then it worked. Not happening. Without no facts to back it up, this is something that I feel would happen on many occasions. Not to say Wenger never had a plan in mind, but more so that his approach wasn’t well thought through.

    Wenger will sit there while we’re plodding along, moaning to either Bould or the 4th official, when in fact he should be bollocking whomever isn’t pulling their weight. Haul a man off after 45min if need be; don’t sit there till the 72nd minute before you act. These repetitve actions prove that Wenger is stuck in a cycle.

    So yeah, the reason ‘our players don’t take more control’ is because they’re not the type too. You’ve heard the saying ‘there are two types of people in this world’? well we have too many of the opposite. We acquire Sanchez who simply plays the game with desire, persistence and belief, yet the guy will catch heat from Wenger. This says it all really. Wenger what the players to toe a line that, in this day and age, doesn’t work anymore. Players are bigger than managers. See Chelsea, they’d impeech anyone and get you removed from your seat.

  94. Masterstroke

    N5 & Jim

    I’m barred from Untold as well. I tried to be polite and reasonable but pricks like Jambug, bjtgooner, Bootoomee, Finsbury etc start rows and you end up being abusive and get slung off. They’ve barred some good commenters like SurferX & Rupert Cook for challenging the party line. It’s now very heavily moderated and only pro Wenger, anti media & PGMOL gets through.

  95. alexanderhenry

    Maybe when you’re short of internet gossip you shouldn’t post pedro. Today’s article is absolute tosh. The idea that the arsenal team go out and play with no tactics at all is absurd and pure conjecture on your part.

  96. Romford Pele

    “I hear what you say it is just the starts aligned way too often last season.”

    Does that even make sense? The dude scored 16 goals and missed 3/4 months. People try to make out that all Ramsey did last season was score goals, forgetting that his tackling stats/distance covered was one of the best in Europe.

    Why has it gone wrong? Hard to pinpoint but it’s not just one factor. I don’t think he’s comfortable playing further forward in the 4-1-4-1. No Giroud or Ozil who he had good relationships. New pacier forwards meaning he’s not needed further forward as before. That’s not to fully excuse him though. He needs to be playing more for the team, I feel like he’s trying to force things too much atm.

  97. Romford Pele

    ” The idea that the arsenal team go out and play with no tactics at all is absurd and pure conjecture on your part.”

    Even though the likes of Mertesacker and Merson have both come out recently to say that Wenger likes to give freedom and isn’t one for strict tactics?

  98. Romford Pele

    “Romford, please say it isn’t so. I thought he couldn’t sign until January.”

    Officially he can’t but he might have some kind of verbal agreement with them/giving them his word.

  99. peanuts&monkeys

    “Do you guys want Wenger out or would you rather he changed?”

    I’d like him sacked. Gone most unceremoniously, most publicly! I dont care what he has to prove and dont care for any option which involves the demon named Wenger.

    This is how an Arsenal fan who doesn’t care about the millions he has helped Kroenke make, and the stadium shit would reply.

  100. @snoekrats

    Hi Romford

    With the stars aligning too often i simply meant it was simply unlikely that he continuously got luck. And I totally agree re the tackling. That was the point even if he didn’t score the goals he was still so good with the defensive role.

    He just seems a yard off the pace all over the field.

  101. Bamford13

    RSPC

    I think United are depleted enough that we’ll manage a result Saturday, but there’s actually a part of me that wouldn’t be upset if United destrowed us Saturday.

    More pressure needs to be brought to bear on Wenger. His incompetence needs to be exposed as much as possible. That’s the only way we get change.

    I’m hoping for a good result, but if we get shellacked, there are positives that come out of that as well.

  102. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Pedro / Alex

    Today’s post should have included jacks comments that he has asked to play his England role for arsenal ?
    Can it be done
    Of course it can

    Jack ox Rambo Sanchez
    With Walcott an welbo up front

    A rotational 5 out of 6 with enough defensive coverage …

    One or two good posts a week at mo pedro

    C’mon sir you ca do better as you have in da past ?

  103. Romford Pele

    @snoekrats

    I think a lot of players are off the pace tbh. Bar Alexis, Ox and maybe Welbz, a lot are below par. Probably because some are gelling, others are adapting to constant formation changes, some are getting older, some are generally s***. Quite a few issues which need to be addressed. That, and my firm belief, that some of these players need to be told what’s expected from them. All this “go out and play” philosophy doesn’t wash with me.

  104. Leedsgunner

    You have to give it to Pep, he doesn’t p*** about if the Khedira rumours are true. No, “I tried to sign “X”” antics with him!

    So last January we sign Kim Kallstrom, this January Bayern Munich sign Khedira?

    *facepalm*

  105. peanuts&monkeys

    The way Wenger has taken this Arsenal team to dogs, the maximum that any Arsenal fan could aspire is to see Arsenal playing quality football. Never mind if they fall fighting to below 4th 5th 6th whatever fuckin position.