Does Wenger have the nerve?

by .

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The calm before the storm. Arsenal vs Chelsea tomorrow has me fearing for our season. I think there are some interesting questions that are going to be answered.

‘Does Wenger have the nerve?’ being the main one.

Formation:

Wenger has had to slip back to a flat back 4 versus Liverpool, and against Cologne. His team was torn open against Leicester. It was destroyed against Liverpool. It looks shaky against Cologne.

Does Wenger have the guts to stick out a back 3 against Chelsea? Or will he play it safe. What will the manager think? Will he channel the mindset of the cup final, or will he be realistic based on what he’s seen so far and play it safe?

Players:

We know Ozil is not a big game player, we know he’s leaving, so what’s the thinking? Do you give Ramsey the number 10 role and push Ozil outwide as we try to find a new shape? Or do you just throw him in and hope he fancies it?

What do you do about Sanchez? He’s playing for himself at the moment. He’ll be doing that all season. Do you bench him and give WELBZ another go? Or is that suicide?

Wenger has landed himself in a situation where he has to assess whether players that don’t care will show up in games they don’t show up in when they’re in long contracts. It really is a psychological test of which we’ve not had to deal with before.

Mentality:

How is Wenger going to fire up his squad. I kind of feel the players know they’re second rate this year and the attitude has been to just lie down and accept that. What can Wenger do to recreate the passion of the cup final? How can he have the players feeling a million bucks? My worry is if we lose a goal early, the heads will drop and they won’t come back. What is the solution there? Do you change up the starting line up and give someone like Jack a go in there and tell him to make people accountable? Do you change up some of the players positions? Do you introduce Reiss Nelson for the greatest ever debut? Do you deep block and play like Stoke back in the day?

Do you try something completely new to shake things up?

The fear is we just go at this like we go at any game. Same old, same old.

It’s a massive game for our season. If we lose, it’s over. If we win, we’re back in it. We won’t be able to recover our away form over the next few months to make a difference to the season, and other teams really are looking pretty good at the moment.

A massive game for Wenger.

See you on the other side.

420 Responses to “Does Wenger have the nerve?”

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  1. champagne charlie

    Pragmatic Arsenal, what an odd spectacle that was. Enjoyed not having total fear of being carved in half with one turnover in play. Could see the players mentally grow into the idea tat they could match the chavs stride for stride.

    Still poor in terms of attacking depth for me, Iwobi and Welbz are industrious but not top grade. Missed Ozil’s cuteness, although whether he’d have produced is another question.

    Draxler instead of Iwobi and suddenly we would have a solid-ish base with some potency in the final third. Ramsey was much better tucked in, but the lack of mobility with Xhaka/Rambo is exploited by nippy fuckers like Kante dancing in and out occasionally.

    Not scoffing at that whatsoever though, would take 0-0 at the Bridge, Etihad, and Old Trafford all day long. Good shift lads, fill your boots vs WBA next please.

  2. WrightIsGod

    Waiting for the likes of Pierre and the Ozil appreciation-never-played-the-game-hipsters to stick up for their overrated over pampered bug eyed twat

  3. loyika

    Good game (although lacking in quality in major patches) but we take a draw and get out of Dogde.

    Now no silly runbish against Brom (and Doncaster). League will probably be heading to Manchester this season eitherways.

  4. Dissenter

    reD
    ‘Lacazette cost £52m so i would expect a lean mean goal machine and not a stuttering tractor’
    Our defense kept Moratta, the £65 million striker quiet.
    Chelsea’s defense kept our £46 million striker quiet.
    It happens like that sometimes so stop acting like a withered daisy for once.

  5. Tee

    Red, everyone knows the circumstances that surrounded that. I know it pained you we were not battared. So, stop trying to put a dent on their performance. Wait till you have something to shit your pant on

  6. WrightIsGod

    Haven’t watched the game because I’m at a function in Ghana right now but people jumping on Lacca’s back for being human.

    The modern day fan is a piece of sh*t.

    He’s brand new, has yet to be in a stable team with a stable starting 11 or even stable tactics with a definitive stable way of playing. yet entitled armchair fans want to call quits on him already? What’s he played 4-5 competitive games?

    Some of these sane fans have accepted Ozil’s impotence for years.

  7. Tonyd

    Can’t fault the effort, commitment and at times belief we could win. Shades of a GG team at times.

    2 shots on target 5 off target and 1 corner brings the overall final third performance into perspective. Just not good enough to challenge for the title or qualify for the CL.

    Questions are can we improve going forward and was this a one off because it was Chelsea?

    Poor substitutions by a negative manager seeing a draw being good enough for him to keep his job.

    I’ll reserve judgement until January.

  8. raptora

    “Ousmane Dembele will be out for between three-and-a-half and four months with a ruptured tendon in his left thigh.”

    Feel bad for the boy. The risks of spending crazy money on 1 player though. Still f*ck Barca.

  9. Johnsgiles

    Afc played alright today hmmm

    I want viera Henry keown Adams all working at the club …how inspirational to have those coming into the dressing room at half time to help

    None as manger but blokes that can inspire the team

    Wenger would hate it though

  10. Redtruth

    Ramsey: “we showed we can compete against the best. We showed solidarity. We played higher up the pitch so if we did lose the ball we were able to get back. Granit and I have a good understanding. We have one bad half against Liverpool. We are in a good place.”

    Someone should remind Ramsey that he plays for Arsenal not Stoke…silly twat.

  11. WestLondonGoon

    Can’t be denied that, without Ozil, and by playing people in their proper positions today, we looked a much better team. There was still a peroid in the first half where there was a big gap between the defence and midfield, but we got through it. We went to the Bridge and didn’t concede; an improvement on recent times..

  12. Dissenter

    “I’d love to know what gives Red joy in life. It’s not football or this blog”

    I suspect that only his hands give him pleasure in this life.
    Go figure.

  13. Southernpeople

    “SanmiSeptember 17, 2017 16:29:11
    Schneiderlin is a xhaka without a pass. Now imagine that shittery”

    lol. so true. and he was the best holding midfielder in the pl according to some here. We’re lucky Arsenal didn’t buy him.

  14. steve

    Ramsey: “we showed we can compete against the best. We showed solidarity. We played higher up the pitch so if we did lose the ball we were able to get back. Granit and I have a good understanding. We have one bad half against Liverpool. We are in a good place.”

    ___

    Hahahaha what a silly cunt. As far as I know they conceded two goals in both halves each so which half did he consider “not bad”? The players are as deluded as their fraud of a manger.

  15. raptora

    If we had achieved win after win in those games Aaron can talk big and feel sorry we didn’t win. With our stats away against the top teams Ramsey is right to see the positives. More of the same is what we need. It was a similar performance to the FAC Wembley game we just missed the goal to let us play more freely and with less pressure in our feet.

  16. Don

    Steve

    How is that deluded?
    We beat Chelsea city and united last season
    You clearly didn’t watch the game so how can you comment?

  17. Sanmi

    The lukaku I saw today against a lesser opposition is still the same as everton’s. He could be the highest goal scorer but will disappear in big matches. He’s so limited I can’t believe he’s 90m

  18. leon

    I thi k being without Ozil really helped, the team really put kn a shift and ramdey really suprised me l, he was really disciplined

  19. Sanmi

    As much as I detest ozil, I don’t think the result will be any different (just as you saw in fa cup).

    The issue is Wenger, he needs series of bad results to be able to motivate or instruct the players.

    He sees Ramsey out of position game after game, an uninterested ozil, a sanchez that complicate things game after game but he doesn’t correct them till there is crisis.

    That’s the difference. Wenger shouldn’t need a bad game to make it happen. Apparently the idiot needs it

  20. Dissenter

    Sanmi
    “That’s the difference. Wenger shouldn’t need a bad game to make it happen. Apparently the idiot needs it’

    So it’s okay for you to call Wenger out but when someone else does it they are being anti-Arsenal.

  21. GunnerDNA

    Redtruth

    You are one of the individual to stays on Arsenal social media to gain a reputation from being negative about everything the club do. That was one of the best away performance from the team for a long time, Arsenal dominated the first half and remain disciplined throughout the second half. I understand they did not win but everyone was writing the team off before the game. It obvious you are disappointed because you are proven wrong, again. You need to chill out sometimes dude.

  22. leon

    Gunner the problem we have seen this type of performance against Manchester city and resorted back to there same old ways . So I lets see how they perform over 4 or 5 games instead of just one game

  23. GunnerDNA

    Leon

    I agree and understand BUT lets focus on today’s performance. Whenever they play poorly again, we will address your statement. The team performance was brilliant today, well done to the Arsenal. Its not hard to be honest and give credit whenever credit is due.

  24. GunnerDNA

    Redtruth

    Chelsea being last seasons champion is irrelevant to you giving the team credit for their performance or respecting other fans who are happy with the teams performance. You need to have a word with yourself dude, that’s all I’m saying. I hope you don’t have a YouTube channel.

  25. GunnerDNA

    Redtruth

    Your response is so predictable when you being called out for acting irrational. We are all C words in so shape or form dude. I have no need to disrespect another Arsenal fan. Have a word with yourself guy. lol

  26. graham62

    No Ozil works wonders. Predicted score draw. DW injured, AGAIN!

    Credit where it’s due, it was a solid, workmanlike performance. Will Wenger twig that structure works?

    NOPE!!

  27. Coach 15

    Loved the Chelsea fans response to ‘where were you when you were shite’…………..

    Where were you Thursday night,followed by
    You let your country down.

  28. graham62

    Coach15

    Yeh, total embarrassment on Thursday night.

    Committed and passionate Cologne supporters showed up the Arsenal supporters, or should I say Emirates ‘plodders’, for what they are – a meek, submissive, gutless. feeble, weak, passionless and cowardly lot.

  29. Coach 15

    @G62
    Absolutely,our European performance on the pitch reflected in the stands,that wouldn’t have happened at any other British club. We were basically abused in our own stadium.and let it happen without a fight. Just sums up what this club has become.
    No fight no passion on and off the field.

  30. WestLondonGoon

    Tale of two goalscorers both having average games…..one is substituted for a player who he knows wouldn’t have been at the club if the transfer window was 24hrs longer, and the other is left on and gets his goal in the last minute of the game.

  31. BacaryisGod

    I can understand the moaning based on our Liverpool and Stoke performances, but to whine about not beating Chelsea at the Bridge (especially when it wasn’t like we were parking the bus the whole game) is unbelievable.

    Realistically, it looks like there’s going to be two tiers to the Top 6 this season. Tier 1 will be the two Manchester teams and Chelsea. We’ll be fighting it out with Spurs and Liverpool for the final Champions League spot.

    I think Arsene got it exactly right with the back 3 and Bellerin and Kolasinac on the flanks give us great defensive shape. Hard-working attacking players like Welbeck and Iwobi may be frustrating in front of goal but their defensive pressure also creates opportunities for the team.

    Overall, very satisfied with this performance. In the best of all worlds, we can sell Alexis in January to a foreign team (he’ll be Champions League eligible, right?) or even City if they’re already streets ahead of us in the league. Then we can bring in a replacement.

    Ozil will be valuable in order to create chances against our lesser Premier League opponents but we really need to keep this type of solid formation in our trickier away fixtures (Spurs, Man U, Man City) to come.

  32. Emiratesstroller

    There is not one occasion when RT cannot post a critical comment about Arsenal.

    I don’t think that I am alone in wanting this guy binned. It is one thing being critical when the performance justifies it as was the case against Liverpool.

    However, we played well today against Chelsea who won the League Title last season and are one of favourites this season’

    Arsenal played for the first time this season as a team and the formation was well balanced. Yes I still believe that Xhaka and Ramsey are not a great combination in midfield, but at the end of the day they were combative and worked
    hard for team. I hope and believe that if Wilshire recovers full fitness he will
    be a good central midfield option to have and certainly better than Elneny.

  33. loyika

    @ Em and co?

    Not sure why you guys let Redbot get under your skins so much? Including Arsenal I havee never seen Red actually give any team credit for any given performance?

    Its just the way he rolls. So ya’ll should just enjoy/endure him as he is. If we could surviveThe Fireman then surely Red comes no where close.

    Pedder can’t bin him, he has become part of the Le Grove furniture.

  34. Emiratesstroller

    loyika

    You need only read the fourteen or so posts that RT has written today to
    understand precisely why I want to see this guy binned.

    He has contributed absolutely zero to debate. He thinks that he is being clever.
    The reality is that he lacks an ounce of grey matter.

  35. Pierre

    Graham62
    “Yeh, total embarrassment on Thursday night.Committed and passionate Cologne supporters showed up the Arsenal supporters, or should I say Emirates ‘plodders’, for what they are – a meek, submissive, gutless. feeble, weak, passionless and cowardly lot.”

    Yeah, we should have steamed into em , should have caused a riot , that would have shown them that they can’t walk all over us .
    We should have put people like graham, Ruth , wiggy(wrightisgod),boomslag,gums of acne and marko at the front and see how brave they are …they would have SHIT THEIR PANTS …we would have seen who were the weak , feeble cowardly lot..

  36. BacaryisGod

    The reality is that Redtruth generates more responses than anyone else on Le Grove and so he has value to the site. It used to be Gambon and at least he had a brain and reasoning ability, but he’s slowed down recently. Let’s only hope the same happens with Red.

  37. Boomslang

    Thanks for shout-out Pierre.

    Perhaps you and your fellow AKBees should have paraded outside the Emirates in your official Arsenal g-string and stilettos.

    That would placated those rowdy Cologne fans.

  38. BillikenGooner

    Literally the worst result. A worthless draw that will give the Wengerites hope and confidence, but does nothing for us and papers over the craptastic situation we are in.

  39. steve

    “Literally the worst result. A worthless draw that will give the Wengerites hope and confidence, but does nothing for us and papers over the craptastic situation we are in.”

    ___

    Spot on.

  40. Dissenter

    7 points out of the available 15 so far.
    These Wenger boys need to calm down.
    Red has a point. We need contemplation not celebration currently.

  41. tonyd

    As much as many of us are happy with our performance yesterday, we are a long way behind United and City.

    Some will say it’s a step in there right direction, but ……………

    The fact remains that we are still a club aiming for the top 4 trophy accolade, and that is not good enough now or for the future, as much as it hasn’t been for the last 12 years or so.

    All I ask for is for the right manager and owner who can at least legitimately maintain a challenge for top honours.

    Wenger and above are not those people.

  42. tonyd

    People crowing that we don’t need the £120+ million talent of Sanches & Ozil, then why did we buy them, and why weren’t they sold in the last TW?

    Let’s not get carried away, we only drew at the Bridge against a misfiring Chelsea side.

    Wenger was too scared to go for the win with his substitutions and we had zero shots on goal in the 2nd half.

    For me nothing has changed as I believe the coming months will prove.

  43. tonyd

    As for our great club’s global brand, my son and my daughter’s friend at Uni want Lacazette shirts, and I’ve had to order them from the UK to be brought over by visiting friends because you can’t find an Arsenal shirt in Thailand.

    Greta work by Gazidis and co.

  44. Pierre

    Tonyd
    “Wenger was too scared to go for the win with his substitutions and we had zero shots on goal in the 2nd half.”

    I do understand that you struggle tactically with the game with regard to the above comment so maybe I can help you.

    I think the reality is more likely that Conte told his team to tighten up in the 2nd half as they were too open in the first half hence the lack of chances for both sides.
    Sanchez and giroud were not negative substitutions and by bringing elneny on towards the end enabled Ramsey to play further upfield.

    Or do you think at half time, Wenger ordered his team to settle for a draw because he was “too scared to go for the win”

  45. Kay

    Yes it was a “better” performance. Having said that this squad with wenger is capable of europa place + an odd cup.

    For us to compete at a higher level we need to replace wenger. Its as simple as that.

    The same squad with a better manager will defo do better.

  46. Pierre

    After our defeat to Liverpool, I did warn all the Wenger obsessives not to get to carried away as we had a run of 9 games (6 at home) that would see us progressing up the league, top of our Europa league group in the next round of the league cup.

    So far we have won 3-0,3-1 and drew 0-0. Next up is Doncaster(league cup) West brom, Brighton, Watford in the league and a couple of Europa league sides.

    Looks like it will be very quiet on Le Grove for a while.

  47. Pierre

    Kay
    “Sanchez and Ozil should just play in the europa.They shouldnt be anywhere near the epl squad for me.”

    Seriously!!

    Have you ever thought of taking up management?

  48. tonyd

    As I said Pierre ZERO shots on goal in the 2nd half. Only 2 on target in the 1st half!

    Enlighten us as to your superior tactical knowledge as to why that happened?

    Do tell…..

  49. tonyd

    Pierre
    “Next up is Doncaster(league cup) West brom, Brighton, Watford in the league and a couple of Europa league sides.”

    Then we should be looking forward to 3:0+ score lines, right Pierre such is our superiority over mid and lower level teams.?

    The same as United and City are doing, nes pas?

  50. Pierre

    Tony
    “should be looking forward to 3:0+ score lines, right Pierre such is our superiority over mid and lower level teams.?”

    Oh dear, you really are struggling to understand how football works. Surely you must have more of an understanding of the game than to think that it’s a given right to beat lower level teams by 3+ goals, only a fool would think that.

    There would be no point in playing the game if that was the case . So far this season we have seen burnley beat Chelsea away and draw with Liverpool .

  51. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s get real for once. Before this game every football pundit including ex Arsenal players such as Ian Wright, Thierry Henry and Merson suggested that we were going to be thumped in this game.

    The reality is that we played quite well and were competitive. The balance of the team was better than in many games over last two seasons and we might have won the match with better luck.

    Does it change my opinion of the manager, coaching staff or some of the players? Frankly it does not.

    There needs to be an overview of the way that the club plays over a season and not just one game.

    Whilst I understand why Welbeck and Iwobi started i.e. they offer perhaps
    more work ethic particularly in defensive department the fact is that Ozil
    and Sanchez are potential match winners something the other two are not.

    The under investment in the squad this summer is of particular concern particularly in central midfield. Personally I don’t consider the combination of Ramsey and Xhaka strong enough. Ramsey is probably a better option for
    Ozil albeit lacking his ability and craft.

    Cazorla and Wilshire were of course more gifted players, but both are now injury prone and almost certainly past their best. In any other major club they would have been replaced. Elneny and Coquelin are nothing more than squad fillers.

  52. TR7

    ‘Let’s get real for once. Before this game every football pundit including ex Arsenal players such as Ian Wright, Thierry Henry and Merson suggested that we were going to be thumped in this game.’

    Never listen to these so called ‘pundits’. Rarely do they make any sense. We have a decent record against Conte’s Chelsea. Besides Chelsea are not a team which can play a good team off the park. They play compact football and pounce on opposition’s mistakes. As long as we play with discipline and application, we would always stand a chance against teams like Chelsea. We for once picked a right starting 11 although I thought Elneny should have got a chance. First 10 mins were tense but that was expected given our record at Stamford Bridge. Once the nerves settled down you could see we were better than them. I have been saying since summer transfer window – Chelsea without Costa and Hazard is nothing special and that showed. We should have won the game but I would take a draw.

    I am hoping against hope yesterday was not a one-off result. If we pick the right starting 11, play with cautious aggressiveness and employ back 3,we will get results. Apart from City and Liverpool on their day, there is no standout brilliant attacking team in the league. We just need to be smart and we can grind out result against most teams. But then it’s Wenger’s Arsenal….so you never know when we revert to usual.

  53. Emiratesstroller

    TR7

    I agree.

    This is a season where Arsenal need to grind out results.

    Whether Arsenal under Wenger are capable of doing so is debatable. Sooner or later the players and manager’s natural instinct to attack incessantly will override the way we played yesterday.

  54. tonyd

    You’re really the comedian, Pierre, aren’t you?

    Looks like you omitted the answer to my question regarding your tactical brilliance and our failure to register more than 2 shots on goal yesterday.

    Now you’re back tracking with your suggesting we’ll beat all the lower teams and it going quiet here.

    (So far we have won 3-0,3-1 and drew 0-0. Next up is Doncaster(league cup) West brom, Brighton, Watford in the league and a couple of Europa league sides.)

    Hope all is well in your AKB camp you all must be giddy with excitement with our draw yesterday. Holding hands with rousing kumbya verses time no doubt.

    Us terrible WOBs, however, believe Chelsea were for the taking even when Hazard came on. Maybe Sanches and Lacazette could have worked some magic together. We’ll never know now, will we?

    Elneny coming on to allow Ramsey to push forward as you say, just didn’t pan out, we still didn’t managed a shot on target, did we Mr. Football genius?

    Maybe my football nous is a bit rusty, but don’t we have to have shots on target to score goals?

    Am I missing something here?

  55. raptora

    “In a game of few chances, Aaron Ramsey produced the best of the lot, dancing past David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta two minutes before half-time and seeing his shot come back off the post.

    But he was awarded the Man of the Match trophy for his all-round play, as he covered more distance than any other player (12.34km) and completed 42 of his 51 passes. It was an energetic, determined and stubborn performance that was at the core of Arsenal’s best away display of the season so far.”

  56. raptora

    I didn’t like that when Elneny got introduced to the game Ramsey went to hug the side line super wide which is not a good option. He doesn’t have the speed or technique to operate as a wing so if we play with Xhaka and Elneny as mid pair if the welshman is playing, I’d like him to still be central and not drift so wide. Better to not play all three of them if it’s going to happen. I disliked it a lot. Feo would have made more sense in that regard.

  57. David Smith

    Myles Palmer spot on with his predictions as usual ” Arsenal will get battered at Stamford Bridge today”
    Hatred is not good for objectivity, which I would assume costs him a lot of money if he is a betting man

  58. PV4

    Boomslang

    Along with your Wenger fetish and goat fucking how do you have time to even watch the Arsenal?

    Ah that’s right your all about the first, second and third on every new post. Way to go champ keep up the good work.

  59. Boomslang

    Thanks for the encouragement PV4.

    God forbid we nicked a win at Chelsea. You would have had an orgy with your Wenger mannequins.

  60. graham62

    Pierre

    “Have you ever thought of taking up management”?

    Based on Wenger’s methods over the past few seasons, actually, many ####### times.

    Also, kindly refrain from delighting in your, so called, superior footballing knowledge. Seems to be a trait of all AKB’s. Your smugness is both iirritating and disrespectful and only goes to highlight your limited understanding of the game.

    Patterns have developed over the past decade which clearly prove Arsenal are incapable of succeeding against the better teams whilst bullying the lower tier clubs. Who’s to blame for this?

    This has been our downfall domestically and in Europe.

  61. PV4

    Bumslam

    ‘Says the guy that slobbers over him like a dog in heat.’

    Show me where iv done this.

    You wouldn’t just be making things up now would you? That’d just make you look foolish.

  62. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    Unfortunately, like the good performance at Man City game a couple of seasons ago, Wenger won’t learn from this performance. Wenger, yet again, accidently stumbled on something that worked for ONE game. Make no mistake, Ozil would have played if he had been fit.

  63. PV4

    Bumslam

    ‘I meant your slobbered over your Wenger mannequins like a bitch’

    Yeah course you meant that you bullshitter. Like I said your Wenger fetish is more than embarrassing but you can’t let it go.

    Don’t confuse your blow up girlfriend for a Wenger mannequin.

    Stop making things up you sound silly.

  64. Boomslang

    HPV
    “Don’t confuse your blow up girlfriend for a Wenger mannequin.”

    You should try doing that rather than sticking up for your boyfriend, Pierre.

  65. Boomslang

    HPV

    Fucking imbecile. You had to drag Pedro into this. You couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to say. Keep digging a hole for yourself.