After last nights 1-1 draw with Paris Saint Germain at the Parc de Princes, Arsenal fans were quick to berate Arsene Wenger’s team selection. This was partly because it came across as uninspiring, unbalanced and he left out many key players to the side who were supposed to be players that would see us really take the game to PSG.
Wenger made key decisions in choosing to leave out the likes of Cech, Giroud, Xhaka and Perez, with the Frenchman instead choosing to play Ospina in goal, who by the way had a great game despite the pre-match critics, and start with Alexis Sanchez up top. Many fans have had their say but now Arsenal legend Frank McLintock has also appeared in front of the media to show his concerns about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
McLintock said: ‘I think the balance of the team right from the beginning was very poor. Sanchez is playing up front but he’ll never be a centre-forward, he’s better out wide and cutting in. Why didn’t Giroud start? I can’t believe how we got away with it. I’m delighted, really.
It’s a great result for Arsenal to come out of that game with a point, because I think we could have been beaten by four or five goals, and that was just the first-half! Hopefully we pick a better side for the next game, but if they continue in that vein…well, it’s not filling me with great confidence.’
Arsenal’s team selection really was a big point to debate and although we should be pleased to have gotten a point away in Paris, Arsenal fans cannot help but think that perhaps we were slightly hindered by the fact we didn’t play our strongest available team.
The Gunners legend said: ‘If Arsene Wenger thinks that’s the way forward, I don’t think we’ll get anywhere in the European Cup this season. And I don’t want to say this, but they’re not guaranteed to finish in the top four in the Premier League either. I try to measure my complaints about Arsenal because what Wenger has done in the past…but I don’t think it’s heading in the right direction at the moment.’
I must admit that based upon the approach taken last night, Wenger cannot look to place the blame on anyone else apart from himself. Had Arsenal lost out in France, there would have been far more attention on Wenger, however Alexis truly saved him from mass criticism from the fans. The balance of the team was wrong, not to play Cech (despite Ospina’s fantastic performance) and to leave multimillion pound big money buys of Xhaka and Perez on the bench was a big call for Arsene Wenger to make.
If he has just splashed out almost £50 million on the pair combined, then why on earth is he sticking with an out of position Alexis Sanchez up front, when after five games it has proven that the Chilean doesn’t favour that position at Arsenal.
As McLintock states, if Arsenal continue in that fashion and Arsene Wenger continues to take such an uninspired approach, then Arsenal fans will not see hope and belief in the team this season. It’s up to Wenger to make the decisions but it’s important the fans show their opinions and have their say too. Thankfully it just about worked out for the Gunners.