Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wenger’s choices prove him wrong at Barca

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.


Alan Skirton said...

You are, of course, right that Wenger shouldnt play unfit players. However, due to the squad he has put together having no depth, he had little choice. A half-fit Van Persie is still more likely to score than Bendner or Chamakh. Would you really rather play Denilson than take a risk with Fabregas ? Its his team policies that let him down, not his selections.

Anonymous said...

the spuddies advanced. They beat a former CL champ too.
and their brazilian Sandro had a blinder while we toil and watch our brazilian screw up and play like a lazy potato.
there is no justice

Anonymous said...

Hindsight is a wonderful thing aint it?

Its oh sooooo clever pontificating after the event from the comfort of your armchair. Just like that sanctimonious prick Myles palmer.

This blog is shite and you are a mug. Cesc said he was fit and RvP passed a medical test you dickhead, did he get sent off for being injured???

Anonymous said...

To the anon spud

AC Milan are a shadow of their former selves, please do not even attempt to compare tem to barca.

PSV are former champs, as are Ajax, they are comparable with Milan.

Same old whiney plastic Gooner fans, you make me vomit, cunts

adam said...

Personally I wanted Nasri with Jack and Cesc in the middle, with Bendtner RVP and Arshavin up front.
Wenger's plan was to play the same game as the Emirates and hit them in the final quarter with his subs. Unfortunately the plan had flaws, well many. Cesc was no way fit. Diaby was lost and had no touch. Rosicky was ineffective and RVP was almost strangled!
Roll on Man U lol

Anonymous said...

Moany cunt

Unknown said...

I think Wenger has to take responsibility for this one. Fabregas was so obviously unfit. His error was that of a tired player or one with limited mobility.

Diaby looked off the pace. RVP could not have been 100% either, but given his talents and his position, he was the only player short of fitness that should have been risked. We basically played two men short the entire game!

I would have tried Eboue at DM; he’s quick and athletic. Anything would have been better than the anaemic displays of Fabregas and Diaby. In a game like this Arsenal could not afford passengers.

Questions have to be asked about Wenger’s now legendary stubborness regarding transfers and recruiting. Where is Song’s back up? It is obvious that Denilson has not impressed his manager for some time now, so why exactly is he still at Arsenal FC?

Why do have so may players who are shockingly inconsistent or mediocre and yet they remain on the squad?

Last night was a case of the chickens coming home to roost. It really is like Groundhog Day. A shame our beloved coach continues to carry on in denial.

This team continues to flatter to deceive. There is still a lot to play for, and I pray we are not witnessing yet another late season collapse from Arsenal.

Jekyll said...

To the above: the reason we have such mediocre players in the squad is that they are on such high wages that nobody else will offer them anywhere near to them take them off our hands.

This is a backfiring of the Wenger policy to overpay youth players in order to keep them at Arsenal. We are now left with mediocrity such as Denilson, Diaby... not to mention overplaying older players such as Rosicky and Almunia in an attempt to have continuity. This is now biting us in the arse severely with the squad depth. Hence RVP and Fab starting last night.

How we get out of this, I don't know. I fear the familiar March collapse yet retain the hope that we'll have a clear run at the title with 10 games to go and everyone coming back from injury.

Unknown said...

@Jekyll...thanks for the explanation. Once again though, it all boils down to Wenger's stubborn policies. Denilson has failed to hold down a first team place in all his years at Arsenal, yet he remains on the squad.

This is incredible - for all the wrong reasons.

Belve said...

I might be inclined to believe and concur the author regarding Cesc not being properly fit for this match there is no way you can watch this and say RvP wasn't fit enough to do the job. Sure he was his spiky self and was punished (fair or not) for basically being his normal self.

You spend time bemoaning the lack of Walcott as an option but your "analysis" was sorely lacking during the lead up to the match. It was obvious that he choose the team he thought would provide the best defensive solidity while also being able to attack. It was unfortunate that Cesc wasn't 100% and Song wasn't there. But the only other real option was to put Denilson (who is either having a crap season or is simply not good enough for this team) or push Nasri inside and put Eboue on the wing. If Cesc had not passed fit, it is a certainty that he would have gone with the Eboue option and left the Russian on the bench to chase the game if needed.
We lose the fact that as good as Barca played in both matches they only gained an advantage after an ill-fated backheel and a the softest second yellow ever.

Could we have lost anyway.. sure but I see no reason to slate off Mr Wenger for this one.

The issue is simply that we didn't have the needed defensive cover Song AND the weak link in the backline that is Clichy. To say he is one of the quickest players we have on the pitch most times, Clichy is shockingly slow to step up in ever offside trap. Anytime this year someone has sprung the trap it has been Clichy that played that person in. That is why the diagonal long balls have been killing the team time after time. It needs to be sorted and SOON!

Anonymous said...

The 4 games against Barce has shown Arsenal to be totally out of their depth. I doubt even Champions League novices Spurs could do worse.

Too much power at Arsenal has ruined Wenger.

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