Arsenal tactics under question again!! by DN
It will not be a big topic of conversation among Arsenal fans this week, as we are too busy celebrating the Gunners reaching a record breaking 18th FA cup final. But the nerve wracking nature of another semi-final against lower league opposition should raise a few questions.
Arsene Wenger paid due credit to Steve Clarke and his Reading side and that was good to see from the Frenchman, but am I the only Gooner who thinks that we should not have found it so hard? I also think that Wenger´s praise of Reading´s efforts perhaps covers up the Frenchman´s tactical mistakes that nearly cost us a place at Wembley in May.
Many will say that Wenger paid the Championship opponents proper respect by only making a few changes, whereas he has previously made quite a few. But I wonder why he felt the need to make any changes at all. Not only did Wenger change both of the full backs, he left Debuchy without any cover in a game that could have and did go for the full two hours. That was as risky as hell, as the manager himself admits in an Arsenal.com report.
Wenger said, “He [Debuchy] came through, yes, but he had cramps after the normal game and in extra-time he just managed to do it because he’s mentally very resilient.”
And if he hadn´t been able to complete the game? Then you have the bizarre decision to play Ramsey on the right, weakening two positions with one stroke. This was a game for Rambo to help Coquelin in the middle and for width and pace down the flanks and it´s not as if we don´t have the players to do it, as long as Wenger has the courage to drop Ozil or Cazorla.
We also had the two key positions of central striker and keeper weakened so it is perhaps not that much of a surprise that we struggled and were not as fluent or confident as usual. We got away with it this time, just, but is it further evidence that the manager´s tactics are not all that we could wish?