The Arsenal manager suggested after the loss to Swansea City that the reason that the Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell was the first Gunner to be replaced was that he was tiring after not playing too much first team football recently. Maybe he was but I did not notice and I think that Arsene Wenger’s comments reported by the Arsenal website were covering himself after the Emirates crowd let the boss know what they thought of this sub.
The Frenchman said, “Campbell hasn’t played for a while and he started to tire. He played against a very young left back and I thought Welbeck could give him some problems with his runs in behind. These kinds of decisions don’t mean that Campbell did badly. I think he did quite well tonight. I also think that there was room on that flank to be very dangerous.”
Not only had Campbell scored a fantastic goal to put the Gunners into the lead, but he was the player most likely to create or score a goal before ans after that first half strike. He was making things happen and did not seem to be suffering from the same crisis of confidence as, for instance, Olivier Giroud is going through.
I can understand why Wenger wanted to bring on Danny Welbeck but surely the obvious choice to go off was the French centre forward. Unless Campbell really was done in physically, which I saw no evidence of, this decision by the boss points to a scrambled brain.
There was another little nugget dropped by Wenger that points to the fact that this Premier League title pressure is getting to him and wrecking his head and that was the admission that he knew about the groin problem of Petr Cech before the match.
He said, “He struggled. He had a little groin problem before the game and I think he struggled a little bit tonight.
“He will not play on Saturday.
“I trust Ospina completely.”
But if he trusts Ospina, why risk Cech in a game that looks easily winnable when there is a much tougher looking north London derby coming up days later? Is the prof losing the plot?