Coquelin injury could kill our season 😐🔫 | Squad issues of Wenger’s making

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image courtesy of @Akhil10

image courtesy of @10Akhil

Frustrations are mounting. November is usually the point in the season where you see what your team is made of. You find out if the faith placed in the squad was right, you find out if you’ve nailed your fitness game and you find out if the correct mentality is there.

If there are cracks in the windscreen, this is when they start to splinter.

Yesterday’s line-up on the face of it, looked fairly solid. It looked solid because it’s the same starting 11 we play every week. The defence was the same, Santi and Coquelin at the base of the midfield with Ozil pulling the strings for Sanchez, Giroud… and Gibbs. The left back moved up a position after his goalscoring cameo against Spurs.

Things didn’t start well on an afternoon of upset. Coquelin looked like he did a bad to his ligaments. He signalled to the bench that he needed to go. It got worse though, because Wenger opted to bring on Arteta. A player so past his prime he’s literally rotting.

The game was pretty standard post international break. We were sluggish, there was a lack of zip about our play, but we took the lead when Ozil whipped in a cross so perfect Giroud just needed to walk into the ball to put it over the line. No missed headers this week.

Then things started to go really wrong. Chris Brunt fed James Morrison from a freekick, the ball looped over Petr Cech. A really poor goal to concede. A total lack of concentration from all in our defence.

Things went from bad to worse, Arteta turning in a relatively soft cross from Poppy hater James Mcclean. It really was tough to stomach, mostly because we all knew Arteta shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

Well, within 3 minutes of the restart, Arteta wasn’t on the pitch as he’d picked up an injury, his 74th in two seasons. For the second time this year we had to replace a sub who’d replaced an injured player earlier on in the game.

I call this phenomenon ‘injury relay.’

Billionaire Flamini coming on not only caused us a problem because he’s not exactly a game changer, it also cost us the opportunity to chase the game down with attacking talent we don’t have on offer.

Come on, admit it, you were thinking about how great it’d be to bring on Jeff?

THIS IS NOT A TITLE WINNING THOUGHT.

We did bring on Joel Campbell. I mean, I like him for his effort, but talent wise, he’s so far off the pace it’s embarrassing. It’s like whilst the others train, he’s in the nursery playing with Duplo. He looks like a professor wheeled out to fight Mike Tyson in his prime. Clueless. This was exemplified when he failed to turn a floated pass. He didn’t just miss, he missed like a professional misser looking to entertain through incompetence. Also worth noting that Ozil rattled the post with a nice shot across goal.

We had chances to kill the game off. But we weren’t really at the raced. Players didn’t show up, minds weren’t focused and it was pretty apparent that the beating our small squad has taken of late is starting to take its toll.

We had one more roll of the dice in the 86th minute when we landed a penalty after brunt bundled over Olivier. Santi, normally so cool, stepped up to slot home… and slipped like Beckham on the run through, ballooning over in the process. What a plank.

Our dismal record against Pulis continued. A massive opportunity missed at the top of the table. Back into the comfort of 4th place.

Take-aways:

Squad matters: One of my pals said that it always happens in a season. That moment when you realise that the nagging feeling you had about Wenger being wrong about something was actually right. All Arsenal fans question themselves. Wenger is a manager of the utmost intellect. He can joust on most topics, religion, globalisation, terrorism… but he can’t spare a little of his smarts for his squad.

Arteta was dead 3 years ago when Chelsea set up a team to take advantage of his weakness through the middle. He can barely string 3 games together without picking up an injury, yet he’s our number one back up for the 24 year old Coquelin. This summer was the summer of defensive midfielders, they were available by the truckload. But we ignored them all and stuck with Arteta… and Flamini, another player we know the manager isn’t exactly fond of talent wise.

I don’t know what the prognosis is for Coq, but if he’s out for an extended period of time, our season is over. I don’t mean to be dramatic here, but we have no one that can cover his position. Jack Wilshere could, but that’s a big if and fitness wise, he’s a massive, massive risk.

Why are we in the position again? How did the manager get himself into this situation again? How did he not see what we all saw?

What makes me madness me the most is this. Why does our squad have players in it that aren’t good enough? Wenger has been trying to get rid of Joel Campbell for years. If we can’t get rid of him, sell him. Arteta shouldn’t be on the playing staff now. He’s about as effective as Robert Pires would be. Flamini hasn’t been good enough the whole time he’s been here. So why is he a prominent squad member?

People say, ‘he’s good enough for the squad, but maybe not good enough as a direct back up’… I’ve seen that so many times. If he’s not good enough as back up. He’s not good enough. It’s absurd that fans think it’s cool to have players that are ok for like, 10minutes every three months. Like we’re some sort of sentimental community care home for likeable players, over being a sporting entity that can’t have chinks in its armour.

Fitness

Our starting line-up has a strong familiarity. It’s the same players week in week out until they break. Sanchez has been really poor of late. He looks in desperate need of a rest. He’s not going to get one until he pings a hamstring. I kind of feel like Laurent looked jaded, possibly mentally. I’m not going to blame Wenger here, but we have a manager that believes in pure focus all the time… sometimes without understanding the players are sentient beings  (i.e. Wenger doesn’t usually give players time at home over Christmas because he doesn’t like spending time at home). I thought both our centre backs were weak yesterday. I also though Giroud, outside the goal, was pretty bland.

We’re not in a situation where we don’t have a deep enough squad to deal with rotation, which puts more load onto the players, which leads to more injuries. It’s the cycle we see every season. It’s the cycle we thought we’d see the back of when the money rolled in and we could afford a bigger squad.

Missed Opportunity

People are pointing out that we are only 2 points off the lead in November. Sure, I can see that, I have eyes and the internet. But also, it’s worth noting that Spurs and West Ham are 5 points behind us. Liverpool, a team that sacked their manager for poor results, are 6 behind us with Southampton and Everton and their are now 3 teams ahead of us. It’s not like 2 points has any breathing space.

Yesterday was a massive opportunity missed. The sort of slip we come to expect from this side. The sort of loss that would be easier to deal with if you weren’t fully aware that these sort of blips are quite regular. Zagreb, Olympiacos, Bayern and Sheffield Wednesday.

I want to be confident about the league, but I can’t be. I think for a side to win the league, you have to sense invincibility, or at least the potential to be invincible. I don’t get that with this squad. It’s feeble at times. A team best served under little pressure. A team that feels 2-3 players off being contenders.

It’s such a shame as well because we have some brilliant players coming into their prime. We have a season where nobody wants to win the league. Wenger knows best though, and after last season, he decided he didn’t need any outfield players.

We paid the price for that yesterday.

It’s not about bad luck. It’s about bad planning. It’s about invincible complacency.

Still, there’s always the January transfer window, right?

P.S. Remember to #PrayForCoq today.

496 Responses to “Coquelin injury could kill our season 😐🔫 | Squad issues of Wenger’s making”

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  1. Dream10

    tunny

    don’t expect Coquelin to be back that quickly. Firstly, this is Arsenal where injured players don’t return according the schedule AW says. Secondly, I would rather for Coquelin to be healthy regardless of our position.
    Love the guy. He goes about his business in an efficient manner. He was not anointed “future captain”. But, he is a leader.

  2. Cesc Appeal

    Why do I keep seeing Wilshere’s name? The guy is made of glass he is so irrelevant to Arsenal as anything other than a total luxury.

    Go with Ramsey and Flamini deep now I think, Caz doesn’t do it for me there and he’s been dire for weeks now.

    Appalling management, it really is.

  3. vicky

    Wenger always makes fun of January transfer windows, how it’s redundant and destabilizing and now he is talking about looking for a solution in January..

  4. Cesc Appeal

    Cech
    Bellerin, Gabriel, Kozz, Monreal
    Flamini, Ramsey
    Oxlade,* Ozil, Sanchez
    Giroud

    That is what I would go for from now on.

    *Obviously Oxlade has to be fit which is no guarantee, other than that are options are so depressing I don’t even want to put them down. I think Id’ actually play Adelaide there instead of Campbell or Gibbs.

    When you’re discussing all this, keep in mind, over £200 Million in the bank, £80 Million transfer budget.

  5. MidwestGun

    I mean, I guess we know the Zagreb lineup after that presser, more or less.
    Cech
    Bell,Mert/Gabs ,Kos/Gabs , Monreal
    _____Flamini, Santi
    Ramsey,Ozil,Sanchez
    ______L’oreal

    In actuality will probably look more like a 4-5 -1 defending with Ramsey and Sanchez tucking in.

  6. DUIFG

    Caz doesn’t do it for me there and he’s been dire for weeks now.

    is it really suprisng given hes played pretty much every match?

    no coincedence as caz has dropped off so have we, united we were flying with him pulling stings from deep, he had lots of pace he could release up top and movement. now we are back with giroud the only goals i score are shoulder flicks

  7. Romford Ozil Pele

    The thing with Ramsey back is that it frees up Alexis to stay higher up the pitch. Just think back to a month ago when we had a lot of energy with Ramsey, Santi and Coq and then MÖ providing ammunition for Alexis and Theo. Much more potent. Our football is too predictable with L’Oreal. He can’t penetrate defences and only looks for little flicks around the box. Yeah he’s been scoring recently but you can see the team has dropped two levels since the United game.

  8. MidwestGun

    Giroud kills our energy level, imo. At least with Ramsey back he gives us a boost if healthy and Flamini will run around pointing, so there is that.

    Our energy level against WBA was really bad especially after Coq went out with Giroud, Gibbs, Arteta and Santi at times looking like they were moving in the matrix.

  9. kwik fit

    He can’t penetrate defences and only looks for little flicks around the box
    —————————————————————————————————

    Not sure I agree. Think he’s very good at penetrating boxes. 😉

  10. tunnygriffboy

    Cesc

    Is Ox fit ? He was back in training the Friday before the international break. What has happened to Walcott ?

    Ramsey alongside Flamini could work short term against the comparatively weaker sides. He played well alongside Arteta. Santi needs a rest but he will be continue to play alongside Flamini. That is an unathletic combination

    The money available is the galling thing. In the past it possibly could have been used as an excuse. Not now. As I said if we don’t challenge this season then it’s Wenger’s fault.

    I mention Wilshere as I think he has much to offer and when hecame back last summerhe looked sharp andon it. I have sympathy because the last 3 injuries have been the result of 3 bad tackles not over use injuries. Do agree that it is now a luxury to have him available which isn’t ideal. Best course of action bring in a couple of midfielders in and let Flameta and Rosicky go meaning that we have young athletic midfielders available who won’t weaken uswhen they play. Wilshere is then a bonus.

  11. Leedsgunner

    ” We have players that cover Coquelin’s position. Chambers has been educated in this position.”

    Is that the same player that came on to play and then left 15 minutes later? I guess he means Flamini… the defensive midfielder who doesn’t do defensive back tracking.

    “Chambers has been educated in the position”… WTF?

    Translation : He has been been playing himself in that position on FIFA and Football Manager.

    To think Wenger gets paid £8.5m+ to display this sheer incompetence…. what an onmi-ultra-f*** -up.

  12. tunnygriffboy

    With Walnut playing up top we win with pace, intensity and movement. When we win with L’Oreal we look functional

    Romford

    Re Ramsey, I think we miss him a lot. As you say when he plays Alexis plays further forward. Ramsey tucks in giving us an extra man in midfield. Going forward his range of passing is far greater than Ox and JC. When Alexis and Walnut play as forwards that passing range works with Ozil as well. He keeps the ball better than the other two as well allowing Bellerin to overlap as well.

    We can’t forget his industry, workrate and his continuing late runs into the box. Sooner or later hisfinihing will come back and that provides another goal scoring option.

    Hope he isn’t rushed back and that he gets a breather now and again.

  13. Hunter

    I really wish that a reporter at the AFC press conference would have the bollox to grill Wenger on some major points,batter him for answers upset him,demand answers for the sake of the fans.He gets away with murder because he feels invincible an absolute dictator holding court.I would love Maureen to be that reporter or Piers just someone,anyone that can make him uncomfortable.

  14. MidwestGun

    Tunny –
    Regarding Ox. .. Wenger said he had “a little ” set back Saturday and expected him for Norwich. Reality? Who knows. . I just can’t take Wenger seriously anymore with his injury updates.

  15. tunnygriffboy

    Leeds

    Basically Wenger is putting lip stick on a pig. Surely he can’t do anything else. He’s not going tocome out and say we can’t rely on players in the squad that wouldn’t be great for the players who do come in.

    We’ll see what happens in January

  16. tunnygriffboy

    Mid

    Who is giving Wenger the information about when players are back ? Someone from the medical department must be giving him the prognosis ? Be better if he just said players will be back asap.

    Is he giving a time frame of when players return to training or when they will be fit to play ?

  17. MidwestGun

    Tunny –
    Well…. I think it’s a combination of sometimes he doesn’t know for sure (Coq). Sometimes he is playing poker so making it hard for other manager to prepare (Ramsey) and sometimes he is in complete denial (JW).

    Also, many times he is just updating a player is in training which can mean nothing as when he was saying Welbeck was” training on his own” this summer.
    Mostly, at this point I think he is full of crap and he thinks it’s a bit of a mind game with the media. For me, it has lost its charm long ago.

  18. Romford Ozil Pele

    Yeah Tunny Ramsey gets a bad rep sometimes but he is more effective than 3/4 of the players at Arsenal. Never fault his work rate and he gives us loads going forwards as well as defensively

  19. MidwestGun

    We could try an old school 4-4-2.
    Ramsey,Flamini, Ozil,Santi
    _____L’oreal, Sanchez

    For what purpose, I’m not sure tho, lol. Other then to get Sanchez into a better scoring position and help Flamini with defending.

  20. tunnygriffboy

    Mid

    I’m just in dispair over the whole thing. I thought we had a reasonable shout this season ( still not out of it) but things look bleak atm. Hopefully Ox, Ramsey and Walnut will be back in next couple of weeks and we will have a boost with Wilshere and Welbeck back. If as he has indicated he will move in the window all may not be lost.

    The topsy turvey nature of the league this season mean anything could happen. A lot of sides have got stronger and with a full week to prepare and rest between games mean that CL teams are more vulnerable than ever. On paper our squad ( bar DM) looked strong enough. However reality is different. Having Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky out for half a season was a disaster from the start and as a result options for players to have a breather was limited so he should have gone into the market.

    Next month vital if we are to challenge. Need to stay in touch, get players back then purchase a proper DM cover in January.

  21. Leedsgunner

    Tunny

    “Basically Wenger is putting lip stick on a pig. Surely he can’t do anything else. He’s not going tocome out and say we can’t rely on players in the squad that wouldn’t be great for the players who do come in.”

    Agreed, but the point is, he doesn’t need to say anything. Wenger proves with his actions that he doesn’t trust the fringe players into the squad. This is extreme poor man management.

  22. Andrew

    No excuses for the self-evident lack of planning. It never ceases to amaze me that simple fixes / adjustments to the squad that were possible before are glossed over as being simplistic by AW, like every single Gunner is so moribundly behind the times that we cannot glean the great genius of AW’s tactics.

    The fans said: “Strengthen the defensive midfield” and “Buy a decent striker”. No great genius required.

    Coq out for at least 2 months. Wow. What a calamitous “coq-up”. Aargh

  23. MidwestGun

    Tunny –
    The fate/ struggle of City,Man.U and Chelscum. Is what makes the last transfer window even more maddening then normal. I’ve even seen people on other Sites try and say because they all spent a bunch of money and are struggling it justifies what we did.
    Complete lunacy if you ask me. One does not justify the other. Just because my neighbor buys a Ferrari that is always broken doesn’t mean I can’t buy a Porsche and keep it in working order especially when I’m upgrading from a Volkswagen with high mileage. Or something like that. .. you get my drift. Lol

  24. Red&White4life

    “Is it true that steve Bould is faster than L’Oreal?”

    no hair = better coefficient of air penetration lol

  25. Sam

    Real Madrid moaners behaving like le grove doomers n dreamers
    They want Perez to sign Lewandowski n Hazard in January
    they’ll be lucky to sign Van past it this January coz he’s bored in turkey

  26. MidwestGun

    Eagle –
    Ha… Firmino is still your boy then?
    Think Klopp will utilize him in that high pressing thing he does and he could be very effective if they can keep it going there without injury and fatigue setting in.

  27. jwl

    I think Daily Mail website is best news site ever. I am minding my own business reading an article on Arsenal and out of corner of my eye I see naked women on university rowing team or some starlet in bikini or ……. etc. News, sports and boob bait, it has it all.

  28. tunnygriffboy

    Leeds

    The players that Wenger would trust to bring in have been injured as well. Gabriel and Gibbs are used. Also Welbeck and Wilshere would have been used. He’s rotated Ox, Giroud and Walcott. The others are squad players . Ok bringing in for one or two games . However to bring them in for any length of time and in numbers weakens the side.

    It’s all about sorting the injuries. I reckon we’ve got about 19 players that could be classed as first teamers. 9 of which are injured none of them defenders. Hence midfield and forward options decimated.

  29. Romford Ozil Pele

    lol the Daily Mail is popular for a reason. Just go to the TV & Showbiz section. Enough material to keep you occupied lol

  30. Gunnerdear

    Wow West Brom that is one great team hay? They look really title contenders. Oh wait a minute I mean NOT…. Arsenal were simply SHIT. I can’t say one player played well enough. EVEN the 2 I would rate as performing the best Ozil and Alexis did not look like they were going to create a break though. And Naomi Campbell wow I mean Joel I got confused by the way he played I think Naomi would do better. Looking at this squad I am not looking forward to CL Tuesday. Who the F is Wenger going to play I would almost be happier to see Bold step out there as player Come on Bold lose the gut and show them lads how it’s done. Of and lets bring back Henry upfront and Pires He has been training http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/robert-pires-trains-at-arsenal