Arsene Wenger explained what he said to his team at the halftime break against Bournemouth and his comments seem to backup what we strongly believed – it’s a mental problem.
“It was a very intense game, but we started well,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “We scored and after that they got a penalty that, for me, looked soft but it destabilised us and we became nervous.
“At half-time we had to calm down, come out and focus on our game – that’s what we did. That’s why in the second half we created many, many chances.”
They had to ‘calm down.’
I don’t think many people would disagree that panic seems to be this side’s default position. When all else fails, they flail.
While it hasn’t been as bad in recent seasons, we are seeing glimpses of it appear again – a side that wobbles significantly when one decision or goal goes against them, putting them on the verge of terminal mistakes.
I looked at this issue in depth when I discussed how it is Arsenal’s ‘habit’ that causes these problems again and again. When they are stressed, they don’t trust themselves and start to overthink, leading to more mistakes, more stress and a feedback loop that repeats until Wenger can sit them down, calm them and get them out of their own heads.
A new club physiologist might be exactly what the team needs, something else we’ve been saying for a number of years now.