We've got a problem

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Post by Jay29 Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:05 pm

That result against Chelsea is just one part of a bigger whole, so I thought that rather than have a post match thread where I go off on one and basically repeat myself for the third time this season, I'd open up a discussion on this issue.

For me, it's incomprehensible that this team, which we've praised for its recently discovered character and ability to grind out results, can concede 17 goals in just three games. Luck and random events play a large part in football, so occasionally you do get anomalies. You do get strange occurrences that you'd have never predicted; things that defy all logic. When we lost 6-3 at City, I wrote it off as a freak result for that reason. After we lost 5-1 at Liverpool, I wrote it off as something of a freak result again, for the same reason. But now that we've lost 6-0 to Chelsea, there's no justification for me to write it off as a freak, because there's clearly a problem.

Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea just happen to be our main title rivals this season. When we've played them away from home, it's been a 12:45 kick off and a Saturday afternoon. In the latter two, the game was over inside ten minutes, in the same manner. Against City, there were similar problems. Looking at it like this, this not a mere coincidence. Something is happening, or not happening, during Arsenal's preparations for these games.

It's baffling how last week we can defend for 90 minutes against Spurs and not concede any clear cut opportunities, but then the next lose our ability to defend. It makes you wonder what on earth goes on in those seven days between games. What is being done during those seven days to prepare for these games? When I look at the team selection, and the way we play, the answer seems to be nothing. Or if not nothing, then simply "just go out and play". Meanwhile, the other teams have clearly done their homework on us, have prepared a game plan to use against it and have practised executing that game plan.

When you go into these games, you have to expect that the home side will press you and look to gain an early advantage. If you're a team that plays out from the back, then against most teams these days you have to expect pressure. Arsenal, though, seem to always play as if they're not expecting this to happen, because they've constantly fallen into the same trap. We started today's game like we started the Liverpool game, pushing both fullbacks and an extra midfielder up the field, leaving the two centre backs and the midfielder that's come deep to collect the ball. When that midfielder has gotten onto the ball, he is closed down. When he loses the ball, the opposition have three or four players springing forward up against our two. This happened twice against Liverpool, and it happened twice against Chelsea.

So it begs the question, why are we playing like that so early in such a big game? Why are we playing a midfield of Arteta, Chamberlain and Cazorla in such a big game? One who, if isolated, will always struggle, another who's young and inexperienced and the other who's not comfortable this deep. Meanwhile, our other holding midfielder is on the bench for some unknown reason. Then, after the first goal goes in, Arsenal fail to learn from that mistake and continue to play the same way! And oh look, we get punished for it again.

Then, the collapse happens. So much for mental strength, eh? It seems that the immediate response to disaster this year is to just capitulate. Chamberlain moronically pulls of a diving save on the goal line, then proceeds to have the most shocking of first halves after Gibbs was comically sent off in his place. 3-0 down and down to ten men within 15 minutes and the game is gone. Again. The only way to respond to that is damage limitation, and inevitably we conceded more.

But even with eleven men, we don't do ourselves any justice. Our passing was wayward, our defending was appalling, and we only looked mildly threatening. Happened in the Liverpool game, too.

We can sit here and blame individual players, and we can the team as a collective, and we'd have some justification in doing so, but it all starts with the manager. The manager who's been praised to the moon in the past couple of days for reaching a great milestone, but who apparently can no longer prepare his teams adequately for the big occasion, mentally and tactically. He doesn't change the way the team plays, he doesn't make any proactive moves to the opposition threat, he doesn't instil the right mentality and confidence in the players. Of course you'd expect the players to be able to self-motivate for these games, but when it all goes to shit within ten minutes because of suicidal tactics what more can they do?

This is without considering the injuries; the absence of big players like Ramsey, Ozil and Walcott, all injured because of the club's shit methods of handling injuries. Just another way we *bleep* handicap ourselves when the big matches come along.

Make no mistake, the title is gone now. Even if we beat Swansea and go within four points of Chelsea, we're not going to overcome that deficit. We've got two more big games against City and Everton coming up and I'm not feeling at all confident. The FA Cup will save the season but at this point I'm having the terrifying premonition of us being out-thought by Wigan in the semi's.

Wenger will soon sign his new deal, but I'm wondering whether he can do it in these big games anymore. We can strengthen all we like in the summer, but if we're going to keep going into these games with injuries, with poor team selections and tactics, we're not going to get anywhere any time soon.

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Post by VendettaRed07 Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:13 pm

Horrible.

I love wenger but I think he should step aside and maybe take a fo role. Maybe as director of football or something and he can hire a manager for the day to day operations. I think the task of the everyday management is too much for him now.

Three of the biggest matches and the three sides in the way of us winning the title have battered us horribly. Three humiliating away losses. That just can't happen. Title winning teams can't do that. Even top 4 teams or even 6 just can't have that.
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Post by EL Patron Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:19 pm

Arsenal bottling  :facepalm: 

How can you collapse like this  :facepalm: 

Not like its the first time we have done it  :facepalm: 

In Arsene 1000 game as well  :facepalm: 

More Ammo for Arsenal are shit against top four teams ( Which we are)  :facepalm: 
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Post by RealGunner Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:24 pm

I am sad for Arsenal


I don't know where to begin. I don't think there is anything new to add which I or We haven't after the City game or United games or Liverpool game or Bayern game.

I agree with all of the rant in the OP. I don't believe in coincidences. You can lose 6-3 at the Etihad but you can't then lose 5-1 at Anfield and 6-0 at the bridge. We have conceded 4 in one half only 3 times in our 150+ years history. Two of them being this season. That's worrying.

We have always had bottlers in the team. We are the famous bottlers but this is taking the piss. And I fully agree that the team set up in big games is just not right. It's baffling though how we know that the potential is there but we can never exploit it. I don't know if it's wenger or just poor mentality in players but we are just not at the level city/chelsea/liverpool are in big games. The games that actually matters.

I told you all that there is no point being hopeful. I know that's a shit thing to say but did any of you actually believe we will win against Chelsea today? Or win the title? We lost it the day we lost our main players. Or when we chocked against Everton and Southampton.

The season is done. FA Cup and 4th to salvage it. We wasted the jan transfer window and messed up last summer's. Hopefully that's a lesson to everyone at the club.

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Post by Kogallo Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:25 pm

Wenger will need to become way more ruthless with his players if he's ever to win the league again. That and getting the damn tactics right
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Post by EL Patron Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:25 pm

Last week we kept giving the ballway cheaply in midfield against Speerz. It was amazing how sloppy we were in midfield, i don't mind players taking the extra touch in midfield and trying to create space but some times you have to play the simple option and keep the ball moving

You can get away with giving the ball cheaply in midfield against Poverty teams like Speerz but you can't do it against clinical teams like Chelski. OX is clearly not mature enough to play in a double Pivot, doesn't have the discpline and makes the wrong decisions in midfield the all time. Just because he is strong and has a good burst of pace doesn't mean he can play there maybe when he is older but at the moment he makes too many mistakes during games

we have to hold our hands up and say we are far from title winners at the moment.Games against fellow title contenders are games where if you win then you have a good chance of winning the title if you loose then you have no chance of winning the title. If you draw it keeps you in the title race. They measure how good you are, at the moment We are good enough to be in it but far from a title winning team.

We are basically the top four punching bag, City have battered us, Liverpool have battered us now Chelsea have battered us.Its about time we accept that we aren't as good as we think, yes we were missing players but so were Chelsea today and they din't even have to play well to batter us.Just turn up and watch Arsenal make all the mistakes.We are good but the likes of Chelsea and City have spent more, are more experienced and just better teams even Liverpool have caught up with us.We are Good enough to challenge but far far far from title winning material at the moment.


Last edited by EL Patron on Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by RealGunner Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:25 pm

5 out 6 goals were conceded due to individual mistakes today lol

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Post by REWB Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:30 pm

i dont think we bottled it, i just dont think we have a good enough team, we havent been good in big games all season. wenger doesn't have the players to play the way he wants to play, that's the problem.

imo he has to leave if klopp becomes available. we cant miss the opportunity to get this guy.
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Post by REWB Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:32 pm

RealGunner wrote:5 out 6 goals were conceded due to individual mistakes today lol


yeah but individual mistakes happen because of lack of preparation, resulting in a lack of concentration.
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Post by RealGunner Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:33 pm

About the actual match today

Not starting Flamini was a mistake. Arteta is done. Mourinho knew what to do with him. He was pressed all game. Our other midfielders had to drop deep to help him out. And both of them made errors which led to goals.

Which brings my next point that Cazorla has been a liability in midfield this season. The amount of times he has lost the ball which ended up us conceding. He is terrible in awareness. Not the first time he made a mistake like that.

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Post by RealGunner Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:36 pm

Wenger not attending press conference, but told BBC: "This defeat is my fault, I take full responsibility for it."
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Post by Jay29 Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:39 pm

The scoreline implies it's a quality difference but I don't see how it could be. In the Liverpool game, one of the players culpable for two goals was Mesut Ozil. You've got guys like Cazorla, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna and Szczesny - all clearly good enough - performing at a much lower level than they should be.

And if it is a quality problem then the manager needs to make a plan to compensate for that. Weaker sides than us can go to big teams and not got hammered because they cover their weaknesses, but we don't seem to have any interest in doing that. We know Arteta struggles when isolated, so instead of protecting him with Flamini, we play Chamberlain and Cazorla instead. We know we lack pace of the flanks, so instead of playing Chamberlain there, we play Rosicky instead. Seem to have a problem coping with pressure when you play out the back? Change it. Go long to Giroud. Don't push as many men forward.

We don't even exploit other team's weaknesses anymore. That Spurs game should have been a lot more comfortable with the high line they were playing, but we rather than get the pace of Chamberlain or Gnabry in the side, we stuck Rosicky out wide and left Chamberlain central where he ended up too deep to burst forward.

Tactics are so important in the big games are we're poor at them.


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Post by sportsczy Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:44 pm

This may be a controversial opinion.... but i think Wenger makes very average players overachieve. Look at the players on the team... Flamini, Arteta, Mertesacker, Podolski, Koscielny, etc. None of these guys had a reputation for being top level before they came to Arsenal. Good players; but not elite level. Then you have inexperienced kids in Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, etc. Giroud is average too. The only guys that were known to have elite level talent are Ozil and Cazorla. That's it.

So when you think about... i think Arsenal overachieves to stay in the top 4. The talent is nowhere near the level of City and Chelsea. This is basically a second tier team that competes with Liverpool, Everton and Man U. Difference is that Man U has elite level talent that is being undermanaged and Liverpool have a superstar and are developing.

So i think that Arsenal fans are being deceived and deceiving themselves into believing that their team is a contender... it is not. Until Arsenal spends like the elite and brings reknown elite-level talent at all positions, the club will never be a contender.

Should Arsenal lose this big? No. So why does it happen then? Because the players and the manager have brainwashed themselves to think they're just as talented... so they play straight up tactics. If Wenger were pragmatic and conceded that there's a talent deficit, then he would never play elite teams straight up. It would be suicide. Instead, he would have Arsenal play tactics that would compensate for the talent gap... if that had happened, these losses would never happen.

I think there's a lot of misplaced arrogance by Wenger and i love the man.
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Post by RealGunner Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:47 pm

GoonerJay29 wrote:The scoreline implies it's a quality difference but I don't see how it could be. In the Liverpool game, one of the players culpable for two goals was Mesut Ozil. You've got guys like Cazorla, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna and Szczesny - all clearly good enough - performing at a much lower level than they should be.

And if it is a quality problem then the manager needs to make a plan to compensate for that. Weaker sides than us can go to big teams and not got hammered because they cover their weaknesses, but we don't seem to have any interest in doing that. We know Arteta struggles when isolated, so instead of protecting him with Flamini, we play Chamberlain and Cazorla instead. We know we lack pace of the flanks, so instead of playing Chamberlain there, we play Rosicky instead. Seem to have a problem coping with pressure when you play out the back? Change it. Go long to Giroud. Don't push as many men forward.

We don't even exploit other team's weaknesses anymore. That Spurs game should have been a lot more comfortable with the high line we were playing, but we rather than get the pace of Chamberlain or Gnabry in the side, we stuck Rosicky out wide and left Chamberlain central where he ended up too deep to burst forward.

Tactics are so important in the big games are we're poor at them.

Agreed fully

In the past, our technical level was far far superior that even if the team was set up attacking, it didn't matter because we kept the ball much better and we could actually pass out from the back without being pressed and losing. Cesc, Nasri, Hleb, RVP, Rosicky, Arshavin even, Wilshere, Diaby. All were technically twice the players than Podolski, Giroud and Arteta.

However the problem now is that we have lost our technical quality which means losing our edge on one thing at least. The team set up against Liverpool was wrong. And it was wrong today as it was wrong against City. Arsene in 17 years have not learnt that sometimes it's better to be conservative in big games. Don't think he ever will.
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Post by REWB Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:47 pm

frustrating, you even cant excuse wenger, this team is better than losing 6-0 etc to big teams. he is not using the current team to their full potential. so you cant even make the excuse of financial restriction for this, this current team is just being miss managed.
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Post by urbaNRoots Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:32 pm

50% of the goals we've conceded in the league this season have come from three games (City, Liverpool and Chelsea). Yes you read that right 50 PERCENT, let that sink in for a moment...

It's come to a point that I'm missing those pathetic big games we've lost during Cesc era by a single shot on goal, that shit was much better than what we're witnessing right now.

The only thing we've left for this season is a 3rd place finish and the FA Cup and I really don't want to imagine what happens if we don't win it.
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Post by MJ Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:01 pm

These big games are literally our only vice this season. And it makes no sense at all. Not joining the #WengerOut brigade that suddenly popped up after today as it's moronic. But surely there must be a huge response.
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Post by EL Patron Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:08 pm

RealGunner wrote:About the actual match today

Not starting Flamini was a mistake. Arteta is done. Mourinho knew what to do with him. He was pressed all game. Our other midfielders had to drop deep to help him out. And both of them made errors which led to goals.

Which brings my next point that Cazorla has been a liability in midfield this season. The amount of times he has lost the ball which ended up us conceding. He is terrible in awareness. Not the first time he made a mistake like that.


I don't like to scapegoat players because its a team game at the end of the day but Santi has been meh. One good game followed by a poor one then an average one. The guy can dazzle you then frustrate you as well. Arteta was clearly a stop gap solution while the likes of Jack et al mature and We sign someone better. Wenger tried to sign Bender and Cabaye last summer. We should be looking to upgrade his position again this summer. Someone who is equally as good technically but more mobile,energetic and dynamic when they have the ball.
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Post by urbaNRoots Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:11 pm

Can we appeal for Gibbs' red card? What a ridiculous decision to send HIM off.
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Post by Raptorgunner Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:39 pm

Just not even angry anymore. Its happening too often for me to care, all I do is laugh.  rofl 

We have been lucky this season, we are 4th best team and 4th place is our only trophy.

Wenger had a chance to strength in January and he decide to gamble like he always does and cost us.
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Post by El Gunner Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:15 pm

Was so deeply disappointed today.
I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying this. It's the truth. I mean, this was Anfield exactly all over again. You would think that the players would learn something about this. You would think the coaching staff would learned something about it and prepared the team differently for this big game. And it isn't even the case that Anfield was long ago. It was just last month.

It terms of sadness, it's almost up there with the 8-2 at Old Trafford. Just not quite there. Because that team was actually very depleted and we were absolutely arse-f*cked in that match. Pulled side to side, and f*cked a huge hole in our arses. But today's match, is more a disappointing one, because of what I've said above and also because this team is actually good and shouldn't be dispatched by the likes of Chelsea after 10-20mins of a big game.

So so disappointed. Neutral
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Post by EL Patron Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:26 pm

El Gunner wrote:Was so deeply disappointed today.
I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying this. It's the truth. I mean, this was Anfield exactly all over again. You would think that the players would learn something about this. You would think the coaching staff would learned something about it and prepared the team differently for this big game. And it isn't even the case that Anfield was long ago. It was just last month.

It terms of sadness, it's almost up there with the 8-2 at Old Trafford. Just not quite there. Because that team was actually very depleted and we were absolutely arse-f*cked in that match. Pulled side to side, and f*cked a huge hole in our arses. But today's match, is more a disappointing one, because of what I've said above and also because this team is actually good and shouldn't be dispatched by the likes of Chelsea after 10-20mins of a big game.

So so disappointed. Neutral

I await an interview with the likes of Ox coming out saying we have learned something from this  Very Happy 
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Post by Nishankly Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:29 pm

It was pretty clear from the start it would have been the battle of the midfields, Why would he start a two man Ox-Arteta pairing and bench Flamini?
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Post by BeautifulGame Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:04 pm

urbaNRoots wrote:Can we appeal for Gibbs' red card? What a ridiculous decision to send HIM off.

Yeah but the red card will be carried over to Ox
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Post by MJ Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:26 pm

BeautifulGame wrote:
urbaNRoots wrote:Can we appeal for Gibbs' red card? What a ridiculous decision to send HIM off.

Yeah but the red card will be carried over to Ox

Honestly would be better that Ox misses a few games rather than Gibbs. He looked awful vs Spurs and today, surely his confidence must be shot. Plus, I think if Gibbs misses action then Vermaelen is forced to start at leftback. We have more options in midfield if Ox is off.
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