Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wenger picked the wrong team

By 1970's Gooner

I have to call them as I see them. And what I saw during this pulsating FA Cup semi final was a team put out by Wenger which was starved of its midfield tenacity and its forward minded players.

The first and foremost glaring team selection by Wenger was to keep Song out of the team and play Denilson in his place.

The result was a weak Denilson often failing to block Chelsea’s midfield but above all passing the ball to them and putting our defence under unnecessary pressure.

When he lost the ball he invariably gave dangerous free kicks away. If Song had played I am sure the game would have had a different outcome.

And if Song had an injury then Diaby and Fabregas should have been the pairing in midfield with Diaby instructed to keep back.

The second of what I call “self induced weakness” was to drop Arshavin on the bench and play Van Persie as a left winger.

Not only did Arsenal lose Arshavin’s thrust and penetration the player chosen to replace him was playing out of position and thus the poor man rendered largely ineffective.

The third which arose as a result of playing Van Persie out of position was playing Diaby as the man behind Adebayor. Or was it Fabregas who was supposed to play there.

You see what I mean? Diaby was more often than not in the Fabregas territory crowding the little maestro out thus depriving Arsenal of its creativity.

Or was it Fabregas that was crowding Diaby out? Take your pick because it was not clear who was supporting Adebayor at all. This also meant that Adebayor was starved of any support.

Fair enough you cannot legislate for two goal keeping errors and if Fabiansky had not come out to try and block Drogba then you never know we might have got away with a 90 minute draw and then it would have been anybody’s game.

I also feel that if we had played with a full strength team we would have out played Chelsea to the ground. This leaves me feeling very optimistic for the remaining games and for next season.

But only if Wenger stops messing about with the formation and the selection of players.


Anonymous said...

you faced a better team and once again you cant bat a top 9 team in your so called resurgence.. get crackin

Danish Gooner said...


Anonymous said...

Of course we can't "bat" a team. As this is football, that would be a sending off offence. You tool.

Anonymous said...

I came on the net to go on to all the arsenal blogs to vent some frustration at some of the "Arsene knows" prophets who seemed to have a belief in his over whelming insight into the world of football but strangely enough I can’t find any.... I’m assuming their whole world has come crumbling down and are now sitting in the corner clutching a childhood favorite plush toy, that or they are currently writing a complaint to the FA on the state of the Wembly pitch (since its the only way to make their almighty god infallible).
I agree with most of the comments Diaby was useless Eboue was hopeless and our keeper for no good reason was shakier than theirs, a shambles thank you Mr Wenger for taking a winning formula YOU MADE and turning it into something the s**ds could of walked over.

Encore said...

THREE positions are completely failed today!
1. S18 >> Old Man! Non wisdom defender, no speed! He need to response on the 2 goal too! We should use S17 (SONG) in this post today!! How can he handle D11 from Chelsea.
2. D2 >> Dreaming on the pitch! The biggest problem is he like to keep and hold the ball by himself, never helping defend, F4 need to play more defend than him, NO Creation! We should substitutes by N8 earlier in second half.
3. D15 >> Biggest FAIL! Every times he plays in the pitch, the speed of the team and attack always slow moment by him, that’s why we found out S19 stronger than him in last few games! You think BOSS didn’t know? Of course! He knew it, but he always gives him chance and chance! But the problem we paid for it by ourselves.

To be honest! Today the game should be tie! But we lost because of Wenger’s wrong decision!
a) Mistake of the first 11! And Wenger didn’t change earlier, he wait and dreaming for extra time! We pay for it!
b) Short of experience! While we ahead of 1:0, we didn’t attack and control the midfield, then we lost the game!
c) We cannot control the midfield, our Strikers without supply, how can WIN and goal? Is very stupid to change 2 Strikers, but we didn’t change D2 & D15!

Anonymous said...

wenger jus messed up again..i dnt knw why he kips doin dis,jus wen we had a chance to make sumtin of dis season he changes a winig team n most of all a very good attckin team which shud have outplayed chelsea.first u got song, nasri n arshavin n you opt 4 diaby n denilson.dnt see no sense in dat one bit.jus tink its go it all wrong n to be honestarsenal wont win if wenger kips on playin on playin negative football wen it matters d most..

Anonymous said...

beat,bat, whatever,arsenal are soft..and as said previously the 18 game unbeaten streak was truly misleading as there were no victories against a top 9 team.. facta are facts softy...

Anonymous said...

I don't completely agree with Diaby/Denilson assessment. I think Diaby was more cupable & did not do anything worthy having him on the pitch: lost possession, did not track back, misplaced passes. Denilson, while not as effective as Song would have been (judging from his previous games) was not as poor as Diaby. Diaby, Denilson, Fabregas are all forward-thinking players which meant no shield in front of an already-weakened defence. Wenger should take most of the blame for lame team selection and poor substitutions. Usually, the goalkeeper & defence are effective if a team defends from the front and the early season malaise showed its ugly head again. Arshavin, ineligible in mid-week, should be on the pitch, Song for his defensive abilities and improved passing of late, should have been on the pitch. Substituting your most dangerous players (Persie & Adebayor), even if they are having a quiet game is difficult to understand. The fact that Gibbs was our best player on the pitch says alot about the team selection today.

For once, Wenger has lost us an important game, he only knows why he chose the team that took the field today.

Rant over

Anonymous said...

fabregas was shite. has been shite for about a year. u dont win a against a half decent side with wankers like the coward that is eboue and sulvestre the girl in ur team . god help us at anfield and utd

Anonymous said...

spot on 1970's Gooner . The insistence of playing Denilson as a holding player is total garbage. Song is perfect for that role Denilson is a liability.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I completely agree! Denilson & Diaby were largely ineffective. I think Wenger kept song on the bench just so that there would be back up to the defensive line up. Also, it seems to me that he is resting players for the Livepool game. This is disappointing, as I feel that we should've gone full strength against chelsea with song and fab in the middle, and with Ashavin on the pitch.

Anonymous said...

Its not Arsene Fault that Almunia / Gallas / Clichy / Djourou are out injured, with a patched up defence and a crap pitch, we wernt able to play the game we wanted to.

That said, I would have started with the same team as weds.

Come Gunners, still lots too play for!!

Next year will be our greatest

Anonymous said...

song should of started.... denilson is a liability and diaby is...well he just nothing really is he????

Anonymous said...

no but it was arsenes fault for playing denilson and diaby and not playing arguabley our two in form players in song and AA

wenger messed up today.....simples

Vincenz said...

Abso-fucxing-lutely right, mate! When i 1st saw the team lineup, i almost fainted! The inclusion of Denilson and Diaby was a joke!!!!

Diaby the worst, gave away too many balls and tried turn ball too much and lost it eventually! Sucks!

Drop Arshavin n Nasri? Simply stubborn decision! Arshavin being fully rested during prevous CL, i supposed he should start this match, but unbelieveable wenger selection whether wrote in wrong name or what!

Without strong defence atleast a strong offence, but too bad, he didnt realized the theory of this!

Anonymous said...

oh for goodness sake, you winging whining fools. so wenger made a mistake. how many of you would really have done any better? i mean really? and how would you know anyway... he made mistakes, but his hands werent exactly made easier in defence, were they? the pitch was a disgrace, but it was a disgrace for both teams, and it showed. the game wasnt great, both teams were off colour, neither team played their usual game, and thats not down to any one player... and shock of all shocks those players are human! not super human, just human. wenger did what he did to win the game, and if that meant leaving a couple of players out, then so be it. if we'd won, you'd all be applauding his genius at the tactics, just like we have done on countless occasions over the last 12 years.
listen to yourselves, you spoilt sods. what god given right does any football team, player, manager, fan or more have to win a game. to win a trophy. what right? none! we have no right, thats why we compete. and because we lost, does that make us rubbish? no it doesn't! get over yourselves. i'm just as pissed off as you that we lost, i'm just as frustrated with some of the decisions, but it's not all wengers fault, nor is it fabianski's, eboue's, diaby's or denilson's. it was an off colour game, from both sides.. unfortunately, chelsea got one more goal than we did. congrats to them, now get your heads out of the sand and look to anfield!

Anonymous said...

Totally right. Agree 100% Wenger's dodgy team selection strikes again, he's done it all season. The most frustrating thing is we just dont know if we could have won we wernt given a chance to find out. Fu*k it!

Anonymous said...

add poor substitutions to that poor starting line up, denilson turns slower than an oil tanker and diaby should have been hauled off, arsh and nasri = 30mill and our only major signings and they were not good enough to be in the first team??

Anonymous said...

i am like most gooners am absolutely gutted at the result. A fully strength Arsenal would have won by a mile...... Wenger should have started with Arshavin, knowing that he was fresh and up for the fight and i dont care what the stats say i dont think denilson is Arsenal quality. Still got the champions league to play for though... Come on you Gooners!!!!!!!!!!

David Wesson said...

I'm sure wenger had his reasons forp playing the team he did but I don't agree with them song was missed and the creative spark on the left hand side of either nasri or arshavin was also missed
That said Chelsea played a physical niggling game who that knocked arsenal out of their stride in a lack lustre game that arsenal never really showed the determination to win
Chelsea were there for the beating we just didn't rise to the ocassion hopefully we can do it Tuesday night and wenger will put the team selection back to a winning formular.very disapponting as our best chance of silverware has now gone and that is whAt the team will be judged on at the end of the season.

norsk gooner said...

Where do i start, you know what i don't have a problem with losing, i don't like losing, but it's quite often the way we lose. I have often said we are our own worst enemy, or should i say AW is our own worst enemy. Unfortunately the team selection was completly wrong again, i sympaphys with AW we have been cursed this season with injuries. YET still i feel along with every one else at times he picks the players that are either out of form or out of position. We had four shots all game of which only two were on my opinion i don't think he tried to win the game. To sum it up i feel well and truly let down, how about you.

karach John said...

I have time and again said that Arsenal will never win any trophy again when Wenger is the Manager of this AFC team, the guy makes mistakes only whenever he approaches the finals, why????? I think we are all convinced that today's failures are linked to poor decision making in team selection,

Can you imagine playing A useless Lazy DIABEY instead of SONG?? wHY DID HE LEAVE OUT Arshavin and Nasri?? he knew he had a weak defence and the way to countaract that was to use his sharpest creative players.

Did Wenger have Liverpool game in mind?? why ?? He already knew Aston Villa had lost 2 points today, He knows that he wont win the premier, and neither Champions league, why was he resting SONG, NASRI, ARSHAVIN???????

I think, AFC is lacking a stronge Manager in MIND, it also lacks a sharpe ASSISTANT to A. Wenger, because THE ASSISTANT TO WENGER is virtually useless.

It is time for AFC administration to find a suitable Assistant to Wenger too. But all I can say is that todays failures are 99% Wenger's. He should accept he has been making poor decisions and there is no hope of him changing.

As an AFC fan, I know I will only get joy when he is out. There are no signs of him doing any thing. WENGER AND THE BOARD ARE MONEY ORIENTED, JUST FINANCES. ACTUALLY THE ADMINISTRATION IS BECOMING A PARASITE TO THE FANS, SUPPORTERS.

Mr WENGER, expect to lose your top players when this campaign is over.
WE BLAME WENGER for all AFC poor state.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, if you think its bad now with Wenger see what'll happen if he goes, the whole club will implode. We are held to ransom by Wenger weaknesses and all!

Anonymous said...

Msg For Krack head John;

Your xcomments are rediculous, dont bother writing on a blog unles it is worthwhile, If we had nicked a last minute goal and won on pens. you wouldn't be complaining.

Chelsea won Sod all last year neither did we, they spend ridiculous money, we dont..we have the best stadium in the land and are self sufficient.

Tkae a chill pill and tomorrow you;ll be fine.


Just who do you suggest takes over from Wenger anyway??

This young team WILL blossom once a few of the weeds are pulled out it will be a joy.

PS; dont forget we're still without Eddie & Tommy Gun.

Next year will be our finest.



Anonymous said...

Arsene blew it, and i wish he would atleast admit partial blame that he didn't get the tactics right. Blaming the pitch is hollow, Chelsea adapted we couldn't.
Only Arsene knows why he dropped Arshavin, who would have mauled Ivanovic allday long. In case Wenger forgot, Arshavin is the reason why we have turned things around in the league and he's been great in the fa cup. The problem with the tactics is we played scared of Chelsea's midfield, inviting pressure on our hapless backline. Also, in the process the tactics wasted our four key attackong players Fab getting lost in the sea of shit midfield partners, moving rvp out left made little sense, why waste him when he's been our best striker? Ade getting totally isolated and removing Arshavin from the team altogether. Perplexing. Walcott was a menace until Hiddink adapted and snuffed him out with extra cover, Wenger never adapted to our obvious deficiancies...thats also why we lost. Having said that- with DIaby and Denilson taking turns in giving posession away permanently. And Eboue being caught out of position also permanently we were constantly on the back foot.
We are cover at the back and a DM partner for Fabregas away from being a genuine threat next year. If Wenger fails in those departments, like he did this past summer we won't reach the heights this young and exciting team can hit.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this, the team selection was poor, Van Persie was ineffective on the left,why would you want to stick him out on the left if you have arshavin, adebayor upfront by himself was probably the worst decision today, as he couldn't hold up he ball by himself today, which in the end enabled chelsea to gain control of the tie, diaby, denilson AND fabregas all got caught on the ball in suicidal positions(Diaby definetly was the worst offender of the 3)

Wenger tried to be a bit too smart, a lot was made of chelsea strength and power during the week so wenger decided to match them in midfield and played the strongest players, even more reason why the inclusion of denilson instead of song is confusing.

After tearing apart villarreal after going 4-4-2 again i was certain we was going to g 4-4-2 against chelsea and give it a go, ut wenger definetly shot himself in an already bloody foot with all the injuries we already had.

Unknown said...

Eboue, Adebayor,Diaby and Van Persie are a waste of space and turnips to boot. Bring back Denis B, stick him in the centre circle and let him play. Bring back Peter Storey to protect him.

Anonymous said...

Among all the comments about team selection, I'd like the point out that this game shows how desperately we need better defensive cover. Eboue and Silvestre were utterly pathetic compared to Sagna and Gallas.

Anonymous said...

If we had lost with our two best players on the pitch then we would have no complaints. To lose with the Ash and Naz on the bench is hard to take. I do not blame the goalkeeper. The blame lies with the all knowing Mr Wenger who gave the chavs too much respect. He failed the team today with his selection. He undid all the good work of the past months with his cowardly team selection. The chavs were there for the taking and we bottled it because of Mr Wenger and his cowardly team selection. I hope he rediscovers his balls in the coming weeks or we shall have to chop them off because he is not using them when picking his team. He has ruined everyone's weekend and we demand a public apology from Mr Wenger for leaving two of our best players sitting on the bench and for filling our hearts with hope only to break them with his cowardly team choice for such an important game. I don't want Mr Wenger out. I want him to stay true to his beliefs and send out Arsenal teams to play our atacking football and to not worry about the opposition. Come on Mr Wenger, grow some fu*king balls for fu*k sake!

Van Perry said...

1. Defensive injuries cost us the game. Almunia, Gallas, Djourou, Sagna and less so Clichy (as Gibbs did well) would have provented at least one of the goals, espcially Malouda's.
2. The wrong players started. I agree, no Song = no Fabregas. Liverpool have no Gerrard on Tuesday and so Song could have played today and have been rested then giving Denilson the chance to pass throught the midfield at Anfield, NOT today.
3. Although he had no supply, Adebayor was shite, i cant tolerate his hit and miss pereformances. Wright, Anelka, Henry; we need some one at least near their abilties to the lead the line and as much as i like him, Ade will never be one of these.
4. Despite this, Wenger made an error in playing 1 up top, the only player in the World that could do that job against the immense Alex, Terry and less so Ivanovich is Drogba! Especially with Fabregas being shadowed and the fresh Arshavin not being on the pitch.
5. Im baffled why we didnt play 442 as we did at Stamford Bridge (it looked like 442 to me then) and look what happened there.
6. Theo Wlacott is becoming a real player, he made Ashley Cole look shit all game, he gave Terry problems, showed strength and tracked back very intelligently. Without doubt our best player.
7. Didier Drogba on form is the most devastating centre forward in the World and there is no team more powerful than Chelsea... but it wont last.
8. Liverpool is a pivotal game of our season on Tuesday.

9. Win that game and we have a chance to get to Rome with our momentum maintained.


Matt said...

You Wenger is God and Arsene Knows idiots just cannot face up to the fact that the guy is now FAILING in competition after competition and season after season!!!!!!!!

How many more years of FAILING is it going to take before you dumb sh*ts before you realise that the man is not great, we have a side who just about can claim to be in the top 4....when in reality we are actually in the Everton Villa Spuds bracket now!!! And still falling backwards. Liverpool found out too late that if you bury your heads in the sand 2/4 years without winning the League very soon becomes 20 years, and as things stand we look about as likely to win any trophy as the Cubans are to landing the first manned flight to PLuto!!!!!!!

Once we have cemented 4th place, Wenger must be replaced immediately and then a new man in charge must be given all the funds he needs to build us into a REAL trophy winning side.

And yes I expect all you Arsene ar*e kissers to start winging and wining and saying how the world was against us...but in reality even you know it was his inept management that cost us the most this time....and he has failed to deliver a true top side since the invincible season.

In the immortal words.....for gods sake Arsene GO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The team blow up just like in the league last year. They could not handle the pressure. The wrong team was put out.

But there again we had no defence they were all injured.

All i keep hearing is this is a young side - well its about time they grew up

Anonymous said...

Wenger is a stupid manager,our team failed bcoz of him,he saw diaby messing and he dint subtitute him.and y did he leave nasri & arshavin out of da squad while nasri was dreaming all löng 2 play at wembley.does our maneger have optical illutions? wenger u failed us.

Anonymous said...

What's our manager smoking? Where was Arshavin? No Reason for him not to be starting! Why does he think all his players are inter-changable? This was our only chance at silverware this year since Barca is Unreal. Why leave the 4 4 2? Why pay So Much for big name players and not use them? Does he want to be canned?

Ajay said...

Take a chill pill guys. The gaffer knows his job, he could not risk Song in such a match.

The guy needs to rest for PL and for CL, give him a break.

That means he had to play with the balance of the team and if Fabiansky and co had not messed up, it would have been fine at 90 mins then anyones game. That football

Anonymous said...

Adebayor should never play ahead of a fit Eduardo in this team, he was simply rubbish. Maybe give him a go in goals or bring back an injured Almunia.
Denilson, Diaby, Eboue, Silvestre were a total joke.
The only players to show some heart were Walcott and Gibbs. The rest were average and should take a long hard look at themselves.
Shame on you Mr Wenger for allowing such a heartless bunch to take the field in a semi final.

Anonymous said...

I went yesterday and as soon ass I saw the team selection I knew we were going to lose, it felt the same way when we surrended the game to the Mancs last year and lost 4-0, even after we scored I knew we wouldn't score again.
Leaving Arshavin,Song and Nasri on the bench was a big mistake, Denilson is simply not good enough time and time again he gave the ball away and was lucky not to have been sent off when he pushed the ref. Diaby has been out injured and he plays from the start.
Gibbs for me was great and Theo scored again for the third time.
Adebayor and RvP should have done better with their great chance on the edge of the box.
Wenger with this selection has made it obvious the CL is his prize, but as a fan I feel cheated with his team selection and I feel he will rest key players again on Tuesday against Liverpool.
Wenger stated in a n earlier interview that he wouldn't talk about fatigue, but yesterday he talks about the team being Jaded.
Chelsea were there for the taking, they are a team that likes to dive and Terry's dive was a criminal as his mum shopping in Tesco.
I am angry, but the rant is over and we move forward and it would be a turnaround if we did win the CL

Anonymous said...

stephanos, senderos. cygan and now silvester too replace what was there when wenger came,adams, o"leary bould and keown.fabinski would be booted out of any other club but somehow hell be kept at arsenal as one person with too much power who has too answer too nobody believes he is a world class keeper