Wenger’s decision on Euro 2016 stars cost us! by AH
So yesterday Arsenal got off to yet another dire start to a season, with a 4-3 loss against Liverpool at the Emirates. The loss follows trends of previous seasons, in which have seen Arsenal dramatically struggle on the opening days of respective Premier League campaigns, possibly due to the fact that Wenger never seems prepared for them.
It is one factor to consider that Arsenal are never prepared for the opening fixture of the Premier League, largely due to the fact that as always, Wenger believes the squad is strong enough to compete and that we don’t need any more new faces of inspiration and ambition at the club. In reality however, when was the last time that approach worked Le Prof? Wenger instead for some reason prefers to see the season start with a struggle before he begins to recognise our weakest links. It not until then that he opts for a rushed end to the remain two weeks of a transfer window.
The other factor that of what meant Arsenal not getting off to such a great start yesterday, was because Wenger lacks the ruthlessness to tell the likes of Ozil, Giroud and Koscielny to come back to training without an extended break after the Euros, and to ensure that those three, who are all arguably key players behind this team’s possible success, are all fully fit to face Arsenal’s first opponent. In the Liverpool squad alone, we saw the likes of Ozil’s international teammate Emre Can feature, although of course he did not start the match nor feature as heavily for Germany as Ozil did. But the point is in principle that if Can was present to make some impact off the bench, why couldn’t Ozil also be present in a similar capacity? Ramsey also got to the same round of the Euro’s as Ozil, yet the Welshman has been in training for over a week and was deemed fit enough to start the match against Liverpool.
The same points go for Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, both whom reached the final with France, but were deemed unavailable to play this weekend, despite the opening round of Premier League fixtures featuring a number of French internationals at other clubs.
Although I can understand why Wenger would want to grant the players an extended holiday after such a long domestic season with Arsenal and then a busy summer at the Euro’s, it is the missing presence of those players, that have largely limited our chances of grabbing all three points against Liverpool. Arsenal were seen to struggle in defence without a recognised experienced centre back, whilst we failed to create as many chances without Ozil in the side. We also did not name a recognised natural centre forward in the entire eighteen man squad for the game, meaning that despite what you think of Giroud, whilst he is not available, we have no out and out strikers able to lead our front line.
It is easy to point the fingers towards certain factors after the result of the match has been determined and although the defence did have a terrible time yesterday, ultimately it is the fault of the manager for allowing the side to get in such a state. Arsene Wenger should take a long look at the reasons behind why we lost yesterday and he should certainly look to act accordingly before next week’s game against Champions Leicester City.