By 1970’s Gooner
Granted, the Barcelona we saw last night were from another planet. But Arsene Wenger’s choices of personnel were proved ill advised and aggravated what was already a very difficult football game for Arsenal.
Firstly to play Fabregas and van Persie when both were so obviously unfit substantially reduced the effectiveness of the whole team.
Cesc who tweaked his hamstring again was unable to offer that important outlet from defence to attack. He could not hold the ball at all nor find van Persie or even Nasri up front.
This meant that young Wilshere was left pretty much alone to carry out this function something he performed admirably under very difficult conditions. This boy will be a truly world class player in a few years.
Van Persie was another disappointment. He was unable to hold the ball in the few occasions he was provided it. He also lost his cool, probably out of frustration, and got booked which eventually led to his crazy dismissal.
And if this wasn’t enough the decision to start with Rosicky was also wrong in my opinion. He has been below par all this season and was unable to provide adequate defensive cover for Sagna nor an outlet for Sagna to pass the ball to.
The absence of Walcott proved a major weakness for Arsenal. Not only Rosicky proved inadequate but the very significant outlet of chipping the ball over the Barca hunting packs to the speed machine that is Walcott was not available.
This had troubled them in the previous encounters between the two teams and also relieved the defence of the continuous pressure that they found themselves. Alas this was not available.
Better to have played Bendtner there who has the physical presence to hold off opponents and to physically defend the space. He would have been much more effective than Rosicky.
I was impressed once again, though, by Djourou and Koscienly. They are both improving game by game and under difficult circumstances performed quite well. I don’t think that we need to buy any more central defenders especially with a fit Vermaelen around.
I don’t mind the defeat. It’s the manner with which this came about. I need say no more.
The important thing is that moral has to be restored and quickly because the Premier League title is there for the taking. Can the players find the mental strength to do it?
It’s up to you Mr Wenger.