Arsenal slow off the blocks


DOUBLE-YOU (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:22 pm

I was going through our fixtures this season and it has struck me how often we have started games poorly. The last three matches played, we have been non existent in the first 45mins, but it's been like that for too many games. Norwich, Schalke and montpellier at home in the champions league, villa, southampton, man utd and bradford. We've also had poor starts in games won convincingly. Scum outplayed us until Adebarndoor got sent off, Reading in Capital One Cup and Newcastle were the dominant team in the first half, even though we won 7-3.

The first thought would be Wenger can't inspire the players anymore, but that argument is nullified as he seems to be able to motivate them enough to vastly improve in the 2nd half of games. Could it be a confidence thing? There is also an argument that the top top players get to such high levels because they can motivate themselves, and lesser players are so because they don't have that inner desire...and we have a squad of lesser players.

Any thoughts to why we start so slowly ?
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a_fourteen (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:28 pm

Wenger is unsettled at the moment. He hasn't settled on a starting center back pairing, constantly rotating between Kos, verm and mert. He's played three center forwards and is obviously not fully satisfied with either. The midfield shape changes depending on whether diaby is fit or not. As a result the team are clueless. They don't know who to pass to and what runs to make. I think at this point he just needs to play theo down the middle, settle on mert and verm as our starting CBs and go with a midfield of jack, coq and arteta when fit. Bring some stability to the setup for the rest of the season and our results should improve.

Shadow Moses (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:33 pm

DOUBLE-YOU wrote:

Any thoughts to why we start so slowly ?


Wenger. He chose the players. He trains them. He decides on the 'tactics' - not that there's any. He also attempts to motivate them which he fails at horribly.
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evoh_1 (Lobby Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:35 pm

I don't think the players are mentally prepared for a match and everything that goes with it when we kick off. It might be to do with wenger and the coaching staff and or the players themselves and how they are in warming up and in the dressing room, though nothing about how the team warms up has changed for a decade.

Issue i expect is with the players as second half agaisnt chelsea was fantastic after they had got their noses rubbed in sh't in the dressing room.
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Quicker than Walcott (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:36 pm

Yep, unacceptable. It's been the same for years and years.
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THunter (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:36 pm

It does my bloody head in how professional footballers can't perform from the first minute, and need the manager to wake them up at half time. You'd think playing in front of thousands of fans, playing for a massive club and getting payed millions would be enough to motivate them.

Though most of our players are "scared" of playing in big games.

“We need our character on Sunday. That is the most important thing.
“In the second half against Manchester City, we showed our character, which was much better than the first half.
“We were a bit scared against Man City from the beginning. We were not that confident.
“The second half was much better. With a bit of luck we could have scored in two or three situations.
How can they get away with it? It's a ******* disgrace.
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arsmile (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:36 pm

it isn't just starting slowly.

it is starting with an almost premeditated degree of self sabotage

it is not like we come out the blocks slowly and then find our feet...what we do is just keep making false starts until we get disqualified...then we make a gesture of running the length of the track just to show we can when we are no longer part of the competition.
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mavelous (Trusted Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:43 pm

maybe we need to hit austria again this summer
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DOUBLE-YOU (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:45 pm

Shadow Moses wrote:
DOUBLE-YOU wrote:

Any thoughts to why we start so slowly ?


Wenger. He chose the players. He trains them. He decides on the 'tactics' - not that there's any. He also attempts to motivate them which he fails at horribly.


As I said, it's easy to say Wenger, but he is able to get the team going for 2nd halves. Watching Jack scream at other midfielders to press with him, i think it's not so much the tactics going wrong but the players not implementing what they have been instructed.

Maybe the players aren't taking enough responsibility themselves. Why is Theo not bollocked by his peers for not closing down. Why aren't players like Santi, Ramsey and Diaby not given hell by other players on the pitch to play the early pass. You watch games from previous seasons and players were always forming little triangles around the man with the ball, so that he had 2 passing options. I don't see that as often now and its as if players are scared to play.
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fabo (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:47 pm

Yep, pathetic effort from the players and Wenger. Giroud was taking the piss with his pressing, literally strolling around the place.
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mavelous (Trusted Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:55 pm

you guys are just speculating as if it's an arbitrary phenomenon. wenger doesn't get them motivated for first half, but somehow, magically, there he pulls the rabbit out of the hat for 2nd. just like that.

it's just many teams press us like crazy, they fight for every 50-50, they scramble and they scrap. until they can't breathe. and in the second half it usually subsides because arsenal have one of the biggest squads and is one of the fittest teams in conditioning. there's also a (partial) reason why we might press higher late in the game - when you're pushing your defensive line so high up, tired opponents are less likely to punish you. similarly, they're less focused and able to play withstand our pressure, trying to play the ball on the ground.

early in the season we couldn't create, now giroud and walcott squandering chances left and right.. i just don't know what's up with the team, and what wenger is thinking. lack of quality is painfully obvious.
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Airknight (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:56 pm

The mystery of throwing the ball nowhere at kickoff still unsolved? :|

Also think Wenger expects too much from this bunch and has to explain them how to do it properly so they go and improve a bit on second half.

goonerwarsh (Trusted Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:57 pm

arsmile wrote:it isn't just starting slowly.

it is starting with an almost premeditated degree of self sabotage

it is not like we come out the blocks slowly and then find our feet...what we do is just keep making false starts until we get disqualified...then we make a gesture of running the length of the track just to show we can when we are no longer part of the competition.


That's a really good analogy!
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DOUBLE-YOU (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 3:58 pm

evoh_1 wrote:I don't think the players are mentally prepared for a match and everything that goes with it when we kick off. It might be to do with wenger and the coaching staff and or the players themselves and how they are in warming up and in the dressing room, though nothing about how the team warms up has changed for a decade.

Issue i expect is with the players as second half agaisnt chelsea was fantastic after they had got their noses rubbed in sh't in the dressing room.



Your point has lead me to an alternative reason. The players are not mentally prepared because they have nothing to play for. When you play for trophies, you automatically go into games with an edge. 4th place always seemed a given and has been taken for granted, but this is a trophy to teams like Scum, everton and now liverpool.

I also feel we lack standard bearers on the pitch, who demand we win everything. I believe chelsea would be in the same predicament if they didnt have cech, lampard and cole setting standards.
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Pies (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 4:08 pm

Shadow Moses wrote:
DOUBLE-YOU wrote:

Any thoughts to why we start so slowly ?


Wenger. He chose the players. He trains them. He decides on the 'tactics' - not that there's any. He also attempts to motivate them which he fails at horribly.


How did we ever win anything with him? I know that's what you said as well by he chose the players...just saying.

Don't get me wrong I blame him and the fact that this is his squad...but when we had the players like Vieira, Henry, Adams, Sol, Keown, etc. we had some mettle and grit. They normally looked up for it. As I said this is still his squad though, so he has to shoulder a lot of the blame. Just illustrates our decline and lack of bottle imo, we had leaders throughout the squad who were more than capable of getting themselves and the rest of players up for it, they were hardly dependent upon a pep talk by Wenger. Of course every situation is different and perhaps he could do this or that different but a lot still comes down to the players he has brought it.
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mavelous (Trusted Member) on January 21st, 2013, 4:13 pm

Airknight wrote:The mystery of throwing the ball nowhere at kickoff still unsolved? :|

Also think Wenger expects too much from this bunch and has to explain them how to do it properly so they go and improve a bit on second half.


that's common practice to try and win a throw or maybe even gain possession high up the pitch. you don't wanna get caught within seconds before your team is already organized and settled. i guess when you're working with less than confident skill levels it happens. better safe than be on the backfoot off the get go.
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jones (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 4:34 pm

Don't think this is down to Wenger, at least not solely. We had squads in the past who would breeze past opposition for 75 minutes only to concede and draw or even lose in the last fifteen. Last season we had a run of four or five consecutive games where we've gone down in the first half only to win it in the dying minutes of the games.
Barca is another example of a team that very often seems to start slow, and Manure have a habit of going down first as well. This wouldn't be an issue if we had the quality needed to win games, don't care much about us leading first or coming from behind in the last minutes.
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DJ_Markstar (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 4:46 pm

Shadow Moses wrote:
DOUBLE-YOU wrote:

Any thoughts to why we start so slowly ?


Wenger. He chose the players. He trains them. He decides on the 'tactics' - not that there's any. He also attempts to motivate them which he fails at horribly.


It is also Wenger's fault that the sky is blue, the snow is white and the grass is green.

Wenger Out!
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ArsenesNO1Fan (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 5:05 pm

mavelous wrote:you guys are just speculating as if it's an arbitrary phenomenon. wenger doesn't get them motivated for first half, but somehow, magically, there he pulls the rabbit out of the hat for 2nd. just like that.

it's just many teams press us like crazy, they fight for every 50-50, they scramble and they scrap. until they can't breathe. and in the second half it usually subsides because arsenal have one of the biggest squads and is one of the fittest teams in conditioning. there's also a (partial) reason why we might press higher late in the game - when you're pushing your defensive line so high up, tired opponents are less likely to punish you. similarly, they're less focused and able to play withstand our pressure, trying to play the ball on the ground.

early in the season we couldn't create, now giroud and walcott squandering chances left and right.. i just don't know what's up with the team, and what wenger is thinking. lack of quality is painfully obvious.


I think partly this, but partly is that technique if anything like boxing will be much more efficient when both men are tired down the stretch. Where as physical rough housing will hold it's own early when both are fresh. We aren't as physical but we do have the technique and numbers in the middle
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juice man (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 5:08 pm

One thing I've noticed about us (aside from the first month or so of the season) is that there is almost always no gameplan for attacking or defending. He seems to just send 11 men out there to play, and it takes us 60 minutes or more to realize how there attacking us, and where we can find holes in there defence. For me, it pretty much comes down to unpreparedness, and theres no one to blame but Wenger.
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lee1001 (Trusted Member) on January 21st, 2013, 5:15 pm

The players are just not motivated. They go a goal or two down and this in itself motivates them. Been happening for a long time now. This tells me the players do have fight, but are disenchanted by their leader. AKA Arsène.
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leo_ense (Lobby Member) on January 21st, 2013, 5:26 pm

lee1001 wrote:The players are just not motivated. They go a goal or two down and this in itself motivates them. Been happening for a long time now. This tells me the players do have fight, but are disenchanted by their leader. AKA Arsène.


This.
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yuvken (Elite Member) on January 21st, 2013, 5:42 pm

Yes, Lee is right about some of it, but it's a bit vague/general. It has been like that for a long time, and the claim that his match day mental prep is lacking is an ancient (and not necessarily feeble) one. There's also part in the players themselves, and the general loose culture at the club. All quite old, but we seem to be paying for that now dearly.
:idea: Let Jack take over the pre game team talk. Let him hold a gun/shocker too.
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DOUBLE-YOU (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 6:15 pm

jones wrote:Don't think this is down to Wenger, at least not solely. We had squads in the past who would breeze past opposition for 75 minutes only to concede and draw or even lose in the last fifteen. Last season we had a run of four or five consecutive games where we've gone down in the first half only to win it in the dying minutes of the games.
Barca is another example of a team that very often seems to start slow, and Manure have a habit of going down first as well. This wouldn't be an issue if we had the quality needed to win games, don't care much about us leading first or coming from behind in the last minutes.


I think you're the closest to the answer. Maybe starting slow isn't against the norm, but what we had before was a clinical finisher. Giroud, Gervinho and Walcott have all squandered chances in tight games where we have not created many chances. A top goalscorer would score one..which in turn puts a different perspective on things. In our league winning days Bergkamp, Henry and Pires could all score goals with half a chance, we are unable to do this now. Even recent times RvP, Eduardo and Cesc could pop up with a goal when needed.
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dysphoria (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 6:21 pm

Give this entire team to fungus and before the transfer window comes when he'll offload most of them, he'll still manage to get most of them to give more and be more effective then what wenger is currently managing. The common denominator for all our past teams is wenger and in the last 7 years or so, we have yet to manage to acheive a solid defense, sufficient and consistent work ethic, we've been utterly useless for the most part at defending set pieces and most of our players can't seem to cross the ball properly into the box. We've had lots of talented players leave but you don't have to be world class to show some spirit and work ethic.
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a_fourteen (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 6:24 pm

dysphoria wrote:Give this entire team to fungus and before the transfer window comes when he'll offload most of them, he'll still manage to get most of them to give more and be more effective then what wenger is currently managing. The common denominator for all our past teams is wenger and in the last 7 years or so, we have yet to manage to acheive a solid defense, sufficient and consistent work ethic, we've been utterly useless for the most part at defending set pieces and most of our players can't seem to cross the ball properly into the box. We've had lots of talented players leave but you don't have to be world class to show some spirit and work ethic.

The only motivated player fungus has in his squad at the moment spent the last 8 years learning from wenger. Irony?

dysphoria (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 6:29 pm

a_fourteen wrote:
dysphoria wrote:Give this entire team to fungus and before the transfer window comes when he'll offload most of them, he'll still manage to get most of them to give more and be more effective then what wenger is currently managing. The common denominator for all our past teams is wenger and in the last 7 years or so, we have yet to manage to acheive a solid defense, sufficient and consistent work ethic, we've been utterly useless for the most part at defending set pieces and most of our players can't seem to cross the ball properly into the box. We've had lots of talented players leave but you don't have to be world class to show some spirit and work ethic.

The only motivated player fungus has in his squad at the moment spent the last 8 years learning from wenger. Irony?




You're deluded if you think rvp is the only motivated player in that squad, there's a reason why despite being geriatrics, fungus still insists on keeping giggs and scholes around.
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a_fourteen (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 6:54 pm

dysphoria wrote:
a_fourteen wrote:
dysphoria wrote:Give this entire team to fungus and before the transfer window comes when he'll offload most of them, he'll still manage to get most of them to give more and be more effective then what wenger is currently managing. The common denominator for all our past teams is wenger and in the last 7 years or so, we have yet to manage to acheive a solid defense, sufficient and consistent work ethic, we've been utterly useless for the most part at defending set pieces and most of our players can't seem to cross the ball properly into the box. We've had lots of talented players leave but you don't have to be world class to show some spirit and work ethic.

The only motivated player fungus has in his squad at the moment spent the last 8 years learning from wenger. Irony?




You're deluded if you think rvp is the only motivated player in that squad, there's a reason why despite being geriatrics, fungus still insists on keeping giggs and scholes around.

How much impact are giggs and scholes having on unites title run this season? Where would they be without judas' 22 goals?

dysphoria (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 7:11 pm

a_fourteen wrote:
How much impact are giggs and scholes having on unites title run this season? Where would they be without judas' 22 goals?



They'd be nowhere near the top without rvp but that's exactly why they went and bought him, fungus bought rvp because he knew exactly the qualities he'd bring and with wellback, rooney and hernandez, there was no need to buy a young player, if they end up winning the league, that'd be money very well spent, not that it isn't already considering his return of goals. realistically, wenger is not interested in being near the top hence why he let him go as easily as he did.

All said and done, your point is moot, you don't stay at the top level as long as yanited have been without being absolutely hungry, ruthless and determined, all throughout the club. Look at the approach fungus has taken with nani, its one we've seen before, under preforming player who doesn't work hard or contribute enough with contract issues clouding the situation is left to rot because that's just the way fungus deals with any player who tries to strong arm him. Wenger on the other hand had to bring on arshavin to try to turn the game for us despite not having played in months, who's essentially in the same boat nani is in. Come to think of it, there is really no basis for comparison, wenger and fungus are on two entirely different levels now, sad when you consider that at one point, wenger had fungus by the balls and was years ahead of him.

Last edited by dysphoria on January 21st, 2013, 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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say yes (Forum Member) on January 21st, 2013, 7:11 pm

It's been a problem for ages. Disgraceful tbh.
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