[Ratings] ZERO attempts on goal? Wengers tactics to blame

Last nights match was more one-sided than a stroke victim!

In fact Since Opta started recording stats for football matches in 2003, Arsenal last night became the first team to not register a single shot at goal in 90mins.

I understand that Barca are 1 of the best teams in the world etc etc etc, But Wenger didn’t really help with his tactics.

First off, Why was Rosicky picked ahead Arshavin?. And who was playing as our DM with no Alex Song? Diaby seemed lost and all over the place.

But for me the main error by Wenger was once Van Persie was sent off we should have got a forward on quickly and not waited for them to score 2 more goals and kill the game.

We were playing 4-5-1 and Van Persie was our lone striker, after he was sent off there was nobody up front to hold the ball up such as Chamack or Bendtner. We needed an outlet and a target up front. The ball just keep coming back at us and it was only a matter of time before the goals starter going in. Our players were winning the ball and had nothing to aim for. So the ball just kept on coming right back at us. We needed a player to work the Barca back 4 and give us some breathing space. WHY didn’t Wenger see this?

Yes Barca are a fantastic side, But come on you cant play 90mins and not have a single attempt on goal. What sort of game plain is that?. It was only due to poor finishing from Barca and some decent keeping that we were somehow still in the game in the 89mins.

Beating Barca away was always going to be a tough ask, but its the manger in which we played. We didn’t even have a go at them, please will say that there are so good. But maybe we are just really that bad.

Lets face it, We should of won the EASY group and never should of finished 2nd and played Barca at this stage in the first place. Again it was Wengers decision to rest players in games before the job was done.

So that’s the Carling cup final and the Champions done, Lets hope that this wonderful team spirit that Wenger keeps talking about can raise up and use this embarrassment to win the league.

Ratings

Szczesny N/A
Sagna 6.0, [Defender well at times, but poor passing that put us under]
Clichy 6.5, [Decent game and defended well]
Kos 7.5, [At times he looked world class vs Messi, showed great pace, But lucky not to see red, at times clumsy]
Johan 7.5, [Played well and made some great tackles, but pulled all over the place by the movement of Villa]
Diaby 4.0, [NOT a DM player and didnt protect the back 4 at all, He may look like Vieira but he is nothing like him]
Rosicky 5.0, [Why was he picked in the first place? Gave us nothing forward or back]
Cesc 3.0, [A disgraceful backheel in a dangerous area before half time cost us the first goal and looked a confused all night. Sorry Cesc but you let us down big time, Where was our captain when we needed him the most]
Nasri 7.5, [Keep the ball well but nothing to aim for]
Wilshere 8.0, [What can I say, The lad played like a lion, Never gave up and was outstanding AGAIN!]
RvP 5.0 [Booked for a momenet of madness after he was grabbed around the throat, and sent off for kicking the ball away after given offside. Did he here the ref blow up? Only Robin can tell you that but lets face it he didnt look to upset about missing the target]

Subs
Almunia 8.5, [ Fantastic, made some great saves and was very brave]
Arshavin 6.0, [Should of started the game, looked up for it when he got on the pitch]
Bendtner 4.0, [Wasted our best chance of the night and the only chance we had to win the game, put thru by Wilshere and his first touch was just all over the place. If only we had Micheal Thomas on the pitch]

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12 Comments

  1. Quophi

    March 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    The only stats that matter in football are goals! At the time of the ref’s stupid decision, we were leading with it!

  2. James McKean

    March 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Although we can’t for a minute ignore the fact that the better team went through, many people are seemingly forgetting that last night wasn’t a one-off game, but the second leg of a knockout tie.

    Arsenal were leading for all but 7 minutes of last night’s match until the clock ticked to 69 minutes or so. They were only behind after 71 minutes.

    In short for over an hour Arsenal were ahead and had no need whatsoever to take shots. Only thereafter with 10 men on the field did they need to show any attacking impetus.

  3. rohan

    March 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    god i fuckin hate this depressive website
    why are you so deluded, do you realise if Bentdner had scored that which most strikers would you would be bumming the shit out of wenger. He got it tactically spot on and we could have snatched at the end and if v persie had stayed on the pitch who knows, we could have nicked something. why do you expect us to go gun ho against barca you deluded clown.

  4. TR

    March 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Nice article, interesting views about bring a striker on, it might have help to alliviate the constant wave after wave of pressure.. But at the end of day as you said our manager left us in the position of having to play Barca in the 1st place having finished 2nd instead of winning the group.

    Not only that, he is content, a) with a striker who can’t control the ball and is at best a mid-table player; b) with no back-up for the only recognisable defesive midfield player in the team; c) with a number of mediocre or fading players in a team which he dreams to be one of the best in Europe.
    Wake up and smell the coffee Mr Wenger, the excuses don’t wash anymore, our team was completely outplayed last night. Take a look at the tapes again, that is what one of the best teams in Europe looks like

  5. brad

    March 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    rosicky was in not arshavin because rosicky has a much higher work rate than arshavin and you need alot of legs if your gonna try to beat barca, i like arshavin but he isnt the hardest working footballer you will ever see.

    wenger couldnt sacrifice a middfielder to replace van persie because barca would have been all over this and took us apart (even more than they did)

    i have to agree with rahan, you really are deluded!!

  6. red

    March 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    You guys crack me up , ahh the ref cost us the game by bein shit and sending off van persie . The same ref that should have given barca a penalty . rohan your a dick he didnt get the tactics spot on coz you lost you mug and didnt use any width of the pitch , didnt show any ambition to win it which shows by not even having a shot and risked the rest of season by playing with injured players . Now go and watch a recording of the game without your rose coloured specs on and talk sense .

  7. Mr. Arsenal

    March 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    @Rohan..
    I couldn’t agree more mate…

    This site is ‘Anti-Wenger’ to the fullest… Jus f*ck off!
    Your playing the BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD! At the ‘Nou Camp’ tactics were working until ‘CF4’ backheel… We lost to a BETTER! team NO! excuses about Wenger tactics were wrong, jus accept the fact!

    We Truly Do Have Some B*TCHES As Arsenal Fans.

    “Grow Some F*cking Balls & Push Your CHEST-UP! And Move Onto The Next Game.”

    #ARSENAL4LIFE

  8. Greg

    March 9, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    youre doing a great service with this website. someone needs to tell deluded Arsenal supportes that 14 years of Wenger hasnt really led to much, i mean seriouslly we cant even defeat Barca, at the Camp Nou! a team with seven World Cup winners, possibly the greatest player of his generation, and we were down to ten men! this should have been a cake walk especially after we went down a man. in fact the greatest possession team in the world should have found it a lot harder to keep that possession after we went down to ten men. all we needed to break the monopoly of possession was to bring on a slow clumsy target man, who (since clearly he wouldnt have to defend with the rest of the team he’d just have the simple job of holding up the ball against, lets face it, an amateur defense) would collect the ball from our own half and take on the entire Barca midfield and defence and get some shots on goal, thats all that was fucking needed for victory and Wenger blew it! tactics damnit tactics! youre so clever, so knowledgeable! you should have been out their in the dugout coaching this team! Wenger is shit! Youre right He should never have rested players in the group stages, thats definitely not a manager and team who are set to play over fifty possibly sixty games in a nine month period should do! so what if it was grueling to the players’ healths, tactics damnit tactics! ive been frequenting this site for a while now and you know what youre right. enough is enough of Wenger! we need a manager who’s willing to bankrupt the club in exchange for results, we need a manger who KNOWS Arsenal Football Club BETTER than Wenger, who PERSONIFIES Arsenal Football Club BETTER than Wenger, and basically can COACH Arsenal Football Club BETTER than Wenger and more EXPERIENCED than Wenger! i know lets get Mourinho! i know one thing is certain he would never have deployed the same tactics Wenger did against Barca, thats clearly evident with how he and Inter defeated Barca last season!

  9. realist

    March 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    barca are vastly overrated, they are the man utd of spain cheating bastards. football is now a disgrace a clearly bought ref, and wenger and nasri will be fined for pointing that out. fuck football it is nothing but a game for poofs and cheats. messi is an overrated diving dwarf if he was on the scene 10 yrs ago he would be considered a good player but far from great. when i watch this arsenal team now it makes me sick, we once had players like henry, bergkamp legends of the game true greats , not like diving faggot messi. we also had players like viera the best defensive midfeilder of all time. now we are left with a bunch of overpaid faggots that think they can play pretty football but cant stop passing to the opposition, they havnt got a fucking clue how to pull the trigger when in front of goal. i feel sorry for young jack wilshere i was proud of him over the 2 legs he tried his best but was let down by the senior players around him. van persie was injured and starved of service, he can not be blamed. wenger needs to clear out the shite this yr. bendtner vela denilson diaby squillichi almunia fabianski rosicky etc all need to go. fabregas clearly dosnt want to play for arsenal anymore so sell him to those cheating bastards for top dollar. wenger needs to cop himself on his title winning teams had outstanding talent they could play pretty football and back it up with grit and win matches. this team has no right to try to play pretty football they are not good enough, they need to be told to cut out the pretty passing patterns and get more direct.

  10. Sad_goner@hotmail.com

    March 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Time for Wenger to go. Enough is enough. Barcelona had a goal in the first leg incorrectly ruled offside. They had a penalty in the 33rd minut by Diaby on Messi turned down (wait, they didn’t even protest). Enough of the excuses my friends, and open your eyes. Wenger tries to emulate Barcelona but our youth development is nowhere near theirs. Time to buy and spend big in all areas. I agree with the columnist – he’s got in spot on. No more excuses – we can’t even beat Birmingham, for crying out loud. OUT WENGER OUT!!! We are an attacking team, not a defensive side. He betrayed our values. Get Guus Hiddink, Frank Rijkaard, or many others who’d love to come to Arsenal. Even Benitez has done a better job at Liverpool!!!

  11. Craigie

    March 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Wenger’s tactics were clear for all to see.

    Hold it to 0-0 or 1-0 for 70 minutes, bring on Arshavin to run at them, maybe Bendtner too and go for the 1-1.

    You people whine we don’t defend and when we do you moan about that too. We did well keeping it to 1-1 for so long and we were in the LEAD and GOING THROUGH until the ref completely robbed us.

    The only flaw I saw from Wenger was playing Rosicky and not Chamakh. This wasn’t a game of attack this was always going to be a game of pressure and there is no better player in our squad at hurrying the opposition than Chamakh.

  12. Arsenal

    March 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Actually it was the Barcelona players accusing Jack of time wasting whilst on the floor that kicked it off. Iniesta tried to drag him to his feet.

    Football has never been fair and never will be. Football is never won by the team that creates the most chances, and it is never won based on statistics. If that were so, then Arsenal would have trounced Chelsea last season and beat them twice this season.

    No one claims that a team should have won simply because they deserved to and that same logic applies to the Arsenal vs Barcelona tie. Sadly few people realize this fundamental truth in football.

    Football fans don’t watch the sport to get justice. They don’t watch the sport because they want the deserving team to win. They watch it because it is highly unpredictable, it can be decided with a single shot, and that could have happened had Nicklas Bendtner finished his shot properly.

    At the end of the 90 minutes only one thing matters, the final score. No one bothers about the possession, the shots each team got off, no one cares how many passes Xavi and company completed.

    Following Arsenal’s elimination from the UEFA Champions League, many have criticized Arsene Wenger and his team, and some fans have even boldly stated that it is time for Wenger to be ousted.

    Had Bendtner finished off his shot, or had the referee used common sense and not followed the rigid and inflexible rules, then these same fans would be proclaiming Wenger to be a visionary and a genius which he is and remains irrespective of this result.

    Much of the press have criticized Wenger for “betraying his style.”

    These “geniuses” feel that Wenger should have stuck to his style, and in the process, lost in similar fashion to last year.

    Last year, when Arsenal struggled to beat the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, these same people called for Wenger to change his approach, but when he does it, they say he has betrayed his style.

    Arsene Wenger never betrayed his style; all he did was go for the win, and it almost worked. When teams like Manchester United adapt a different strategy on the big occasions, it is applauded and all the critics have to realize that Arsenal too can adopt any strategy to suit the occasion.

    Many have criticized Wenger and his side for not getting a single shot on target and have stated that since they failed to get any shots on target, combined with prolonged spells of possession for the opposition, they deserved to lose

    At the end of the day, all these statistics count for nothing. After 53 minutes, the game was tied at 1-1 and Arsenal were ahead on aggregate. At this point, despite the statistics being in favor of Barcelona, they were behind.

    Only this counts. Despite playing worse than Barcelona, Arsenal were ahead and that is how football works.

    On the night, and currently, Barcelona are a better side than Arsenal. They dominated, overran and tormented the Arsenal defense. Yet the most important stat read: Arsenal 3-2 Barcelona.

    This is something that always happens with Arsenal. They normally dominate possession, create plenty of chances, and despite all this they find themselves trailing or level with their opponents.

    But when this happens, then everyone starts to criticize the Gunners and go on a tirade on their profligacy in front of goal and state they don’t have a killer instinct.

    But then in the 56th minute, the referee, Busacca, sent off Robin van Persie. Until this point Barcelona did not have anything to show for all their domination. Following Van Persie’s dismissal, Barcelona went onto score two more goals and advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

    Of course Barcelona were the clear favorites to win, especially with the numerical advantage. Even Arsenal have thrashed top teams like Manchester City with the numerical advantage. Until the numerical advantage kicked in, Arsenal were ahead on aggregate.

    Now I’m not saying Barcelona were lucky to go through, or that Arsenal should have gone through, but the statement that Barcelona deserved to go through because of their statistical domination is completely absurd.

    Had Bendtner scored in the 87th minute, then Barcelona would have been eliminated, and rightfully so. They were profligate in front of goal and failed to convert their statistical domination into real substance until the sending off.

    No team can claim they deserve to win because they dominated possession.

    None of us know how the result would have panned out had the referee been watching the same incident we all did, but the fact is that until the 56th minute, Barcelona had nothing to show for the statistical domination.

    Amidst all this criticism, people have failed to applaud the performance by Arsenal’s defenders who put in a great display that exemplified tenacity, perseverance and fighting spirit.

    Now I’m not trying to state Arsenal should be immune from criticism, but the level of criticism they have received in some blogs and in the press is totally uncalled for.

    Arsenal were getting the job done, the only thing that counts until the referee made a mockery of himself, and they don’t deserve the scathing criticism being hurled at them.

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