A Wenger Wingerless Wilderness

Martial, Sterling, Hazard, Mane’, all exciting players, all wingers

Pires, Overmars, Arshavin, Reyes, Walcott, Limpar. All exciting players, all wingers.

How many in the current squad? None.


What changed in Wenger’s playing philosophy that meant he gave up on having a proper winger? Was it the lack of progress of Theo or the arrival of Sanchez?

Or could it have been the enormous success of TH14’s conversion?

Whatever it is the entertainment factor is lessened by a lack of a tricky winger, and this lack has had a knock-on effect upon our defensive quality. The demands placed upon both Bellerin and Monreal are enormous and impossible to achieve. Of course teams are going to get in crosses and have open spaces on our flanks when our FB/WB’s are the thrust of our wingplay.

It has to be admitted I know SFA about tactics but in my opinion it just doesn’t work for us.

Answer: Buy Zaha


42 Responses to A Wenger Wingerless Wilderness

  1. malihalls67 says:

    It wouldn’t be so bad if the likes of Xhaka dropped in and covered for the full backs, but there again he doesn’t know how to tackle.

  2. chas says:

    Nice one, BR.

    I always think of a winger as a luxury position.
    If the class idiot forgot his boots, only had plimsolls to play in and the pitch was muddy, the least damage he could do was stuck out on the wing. Same applies to rugby.

    In my book, a proper winger is an assister from the flanks who chips in with the odd goal.
    Out of those you list, I reckon SuperSwede is the only true winger, even Overmars rarely crossed the ball.
    Brian Marwood was another whose main attribute was providing crosses for the big man in the middle, but he was pre-Wenger of course.

    Thierry’s conversion may be a big factor in AW’s rejection of the position, as you say, though I’d imagine that Herbert Chapman would say that he converted Cliff Bastin from winger into prolific goalscorer slightly earlier. 🙂

    Having said that, I do like the idea of Zaha. Palace always seem to score against us as a result of his wing play.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    I was a winger 😦

  4. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Erik, thank you and nice idea for a post during this fallow period

    Wingers for losers in soft shoes in rugger and association football

    Long stop for same group in cricket

    I was at long stop

    Erik, we could have had lazy summer days out on the boundary, slipping off occasionally behind the pavilion for a quick smoke

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Regarding wingers

    Love the rather romantic idea of the speedster with chalk on his boots, but I have to temper that with the awful idea of the big fella in the middle

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    ps you chaps are in for such a treat when you see my before and after snaps of me cannon.

  7. JM says:

    Thomas Lemar(Monaco) is a winger and our club/Arsene wanted to buy him in the last summer transfer window.

    Malcom(Bordeaux), whom our club was heavily linked during the recent winter transfer window, is also a winger.

  8. chas says:

    Malcolm assists from Whoscored.com

    Lemar assists from Whoscored.com

  9. JM says:

    Also from whoscored (the usual standard statistics inclusive):

    Thomas Lemar’s strengths: taking set-pieces (very strong), key passes, crossing, holding onto the ball, passing (strong)

    Style of play: likes to shot from distance, likes to dribble, likes to cross, plays the ball off the ground often, likes to play long ball.

    21 apps(league, 2 as a sub), 2 goals and 6 assists (more assists than goals)

    Malcom’s strengths: long shots (very strong), key passes, taking set-pieces, dribbling, crossing, holding onto the ball, passing (strong)

    Style of play: likes to do layoffs, gets fouled often, likes to shoot from distance, does not dive into tackles

    24 apps(league, 2 as a sub), 8 goals and 6 assists (almost equivalent number of goals and assists)

    Both players are more characteristically and primarily wingers-liked than inside-forwards and playmakers.

  10. chas says:

    Mick McCarthy enjoying the first goal in the Old Farm Derby

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha Mick McC

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    Soo, Malcom’s strengths: gets fouled often (falls over easily), does not dive into tackles (fairy)

    Is he French par chance?

  13. JM says:

    @mickydidit89, 6:03pm
    That is Malcom’s style of play, i.e. he is a foul magnet, who does not do slide tackles often. He is Brazilian.

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmm, sounds French, but I’ll take your word for it JM 🙂

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn, it’s dull being a Gunner at the moment

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    I guess I’ll pretend we’ve been in an international break and therefore situation normal

    Mmmm, that’s better

  17. chas says:

    Twitter is talking about the spuds trying to cheat their way past Rochdale.
    Lineker, Shearer etc thought this was a clear foul. Most fans would say it was a dive, a small proportion say there was ‘contact’ so it’s a pen.
    It seems crazy to me when nobody can even agree what a foul or dive actually is.

  18. chas says:

    Looking forward to seeing the polished cannon. 🙂

  19. chas says:

    And they say the draws aren’t fixed!

    Leicester v Chelsea

    Manchester United v Brighton

    Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea v Rochdale or Tottenham

    Wigan or Manchester City v Southampton

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooo, the cannon. Hang on a mo, just coming. Took pic on my pocket telephone last night just in case there was eager anticipation 🙂

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    I suggest a before and after to get the full effect

    (can’t believe anyone gives a shit 🙂 )

  22. chas says:

    Haha – what a cheat

  23. chas says:




  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh yes, my Arsenal cannon ready for action again 🙂

  25. chas says:

    The before photo looks like the cannon has been on a sunken galleon since the 16th century.

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Got the angles of camera spot on for the two pics. Most very pleased with myself.

    This is what the lack of football has reduced us to 🙂

  27. chas says:

    I guess I’ve seen about everything when I see Dele Alli fly

    This is my favourite – just majestic levels of airborne cheating

  28. chas says:


    The angles for the cannon are bang on – shame about the lines on the table – nearly as bad as the VAR lines for that Man U offside!

    p.s. that table looks superb – photo please?

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    photos of our tables now eh?

    we are desperate 🙂

    Can think of better images on a dull Monday morning

  30. chas says:

    Wear red for Wembley

  31. Eddie says:

    go to 2:50, best bit 🙂

  32. Eddie says:

    chas – don’t!! you’d look ridiculous in that bikini, people would laugh at you.

  33. Eddie says:

    what a game!!! 10 red and 8 yellow cards, Brazilian classic


  34. mickydidit89 says:

    10 red. Superb

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Lovely pics and banter, the cannon is magnificent.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. How long did the refurb take? A couple of days? Did you risk doing it yourself or send it to a military weapons expert?

  37. Big Raddy says:

    Must be embarassing to be seen to cheat by millions of people. As I keep saying, Spurs are morally bankrupt though to be fair, they are very good at diving. Must take practice.

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Risk? I’d say it’s worth about a tenner with medium to low sentimental value. Just a good Arsenally looking cannon to have lying about.

    Restoration took 2 hrs tops. Polish barrel. Wire brush carriage. Soapy warm wash. Into aga for 20 mins. Spray with cast iron heat proof woodburner black shit. Snap pic. Send to chas.

  39. GoonerB says:

    Lovely cannon Micky

    Morning all and good post Raddy. I don’t think you see too many traditional wingers at the highest level anymore and think they are more wing forward types or inside forwards.

    It is good if these players can vary their play knowing when to cut in and become a goal threat and when to receive wide to stretch the opposition and create space and opportunities for others. The best ones give you both. Robben was a great example of this for me. I personally would like to see a bit more of this variability in our play.

    We don’t seem to employ forward players that stay wide that often and tend to get our width mainly from FB’s operating like wingers. I do think it makes us a bit predictable and is likely one of our longer standing problems in not being able to vary our play enough.

    I think it is as much a coaching and tactical factor with us, and don’t think we will necessarily improve in this area (if we do need to) by just buying a player. Chances are they will just end up coming inside too much and clogging up the space further. I don’t see Malcolm or Lemar as giving us that option really either, and Lemar in particular looks like he prefers taking up positions some way in from the touchline than traditional wing positions.

    Zaha looks more a natural wide player that can cut in so could be an option, (as long as this natural game isn’t coached out of him with us), but why not try Reiss Nelson out at wide left? Even AMN looked to have ability in that position, but I must admit to still hoping he will become our holding midfield answer.

    Welbeck and Nelson look to be our most natural options to give us width at present but there may be a couple of others that could be knocking on the first team door in the youth ranks as well. I definitely think I would sacrifice 2 of our CM’s to accommodate another player like this, but I definitely think AW will not because he does love the CM players.

  40. chas says:


    I’ll move your comment on to the new one so that it isn’t left all alone on here with no-one to read it.

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