How different could Wenger’s team selection have been against Besiktas? by SE
Arsene Wenger made a meager couple of changes, which were forced due to injuries, from Saturday’s clash against Crystal Palace. Kieran Gibbs, who suffered a hamstring injury, was replaced by Nacho Monreal at Left Back. Giroud replaced compatriot Sanogo, who was also left out with a hamstring injury. The rest of Arsenal’s lineup remained the same, and you just wonder how differently the Gunners could have setup against their Turkish opponents.
Taking into consideration the nature of the playing surface, and the upcoming league fixture against Everton over the weekend, it did surprise me that Wenger didn’t make some obvious changes to his lineup. Yes, he would have wanted to win this match, which was the very reason why he went in with his first-choice XI available to him. But, personally, I’d have liked to see one of Chamberlain or Campbell in place of Cazorla, with Sanchez on the Right-Wing or even as a striker, in place of Giroud.
And, going by the way the game panned out last night, Cazorla didn’t affect the play by much; Giroud just wandered around for 90 minutes, leaving Sanchez to delegate Arsenal, throughout the game. Ramsey and Wilshere didn’t see much of the ball, and it was largely about counter-attacking from the Gunners, who tried immensely to press Besiktas’s defence and midfield, and reaped dividends for it. Sanchez was all alone, and made a couple of darting runs into the 18-yard area, during the first half, and, with a bit more support, could have nicked a goal or two.
Chamberlain, with his pace, would have been a lot more productive for the Gunners than Cazorla, and Sanchez’s versatility could have been put to use; The Chilean could have been deployed as a striker, at least at the beginning of the second half, with Campbell taking up Sanchez’s position on the Right-Wing.
Bottom Line: Wenger could have been a bit more proactive, as soon as he saw how the game panned out in the first half.