Arsene Wenger would have had to hand in his Arsenal team selection before he knew how West Ham would line up today, but even though the big centre forward has not started a Premier League game for about three months, I could have told Wenger that Andy Carroll would start against us today.
The England international is just the sort of player that has often caused us problems in the past and so it proved again at Upton Park today, with Carroll pegging back our deserved early lead with two quickfire goals on the stroke of halftime and then a third early on in the second half.
But should Wenger have planned for Carroll, and more specifically done so by bringing back the big German centre back Per Mertesacker in place of Gabriel. The Brazilian did not have a bad game in general but he could have done better on all three of Carroll’s goals.
The height, strength and experience of our BFG may well have been better suited to dealing with the West Ham striker’s threat and as we knew that Dimitri Payet was a real threat from dead ball situations I am surprised that the boss did not go for Mertesacker.
Did Wenger miss a trick with his Arsenal team selection?