Arsenal boss: At home, we look like we play a little bit with the handbrake

20:29 02 December 2012

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger's side could be forced to postpone their Boxing Day fixture. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Manager Arsene Wenger feels Arsenal must learn to play with freedom again at the Emirates Stadium if they are to kickstart their Barclays Premier League campaign following yesterday’s lacklustre 2-0 home defeat by Swansea.

The Gunners’ worst start to a top-flight season under the Frenchman continued as a late brace from Spanish striker Michu took the points back to Wales.

Wenger had looked to freshen his side up, deploying Gervinho down the middle and with Theo Walcott out wide, but there was little flair as the Swans turned in a slick passing game.

The tension flowed down from the terraces, with the ‘Black Scarf Movement’ having demonstrated around the ground before kick-off, complaining at the perceived commercialisation of the club following their move to the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger feels his team must rise above those concerns to get back to their former selves.

“At home, we look like we play a little bit with the handbrake. It is not fluent, there might be a psychological component in there as well,” Wenger said.

“There was no movement or speed in our passing and we looked laboured, not sharp.

“We had a lot of possession, but they created more chances than we did.

“We have to find a solution to this because we turn teams around without hurting them.”

There is little respite for Wenger’s beleaguered squad, who head out to Athens tomorrow ahead of their final Champions League Group B tie against Olympiacos.

With qualification for the knockout stages already secure, Wenger will look to rotate his side, even though they need a win to stand any chance of topping the group ahead of Schalke.

“There are many players who need a rest, because they are on the verge of getting injured and some played with knocks,” said Wenger.

“But we hope that we get a good performance at Olympiacos because it is important for us.”

Related articles


Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 19:40
James Ward (second from left) poses with Great Britain's victorious Davis Cup squad and Prime Minister David Cameron outside No10 Downing Street

Camden’s James Ward was at Downing Street today (Tuesday) as Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated Great Britain’s Davis Cup squad on their historic triumph.

Yesterday, 13:08
Highgate Harriers' Andrew Collins. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers’ boys’ team completed a double success in the North West London Young Athletes League on Sunday at a muddy Trent Park.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Mesut Ozil puts Arsenal in front at Norwich

Norwich City 1 Arsenal 1

Friday, November 27, 2015
Arsenal fans show their colours and support in the stands. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti suggests the sanctity of match-going is being replaced by passionate fan communities online.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Surrey winners of the Division 2 LV County Championship  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

English cricket will break with tradition in 2016 after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced a new rule which will see the forsaking of the toss.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Michael Peart (yellow/black shorts) defeated Kristian Laight at York Hall. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Islington lightweight ‘Mustard’ Mike Peart made a successful step up to six rounds as he comfortably outpointed Kristian Laight on Saturday at York Hall.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Islington BC's Simon Collins

Islington BC’s Simon Collins recovered from a difficult start to clinch victory against home boxer Joe Dennison on a Banbury ABC show on Saturday.

Most read sport


Win a beautiful monochrome tunic dress with Great British Life!

Great British Life is offering a beautiful monochrome silk tunic dress worth £179 to one lucky reader

Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder