I know that some Arsenal fans will argue that our manager has made a lot more than two mistakes this season, while others will have a go at me for being too negative. After all, mistakes are always made and are a part of football just like any other sport, career or anything.
So of course Arsene Wenger has made mistakes, just like every other manager in every football league across the planet and I’m sure he will make plenty more before the end of the season, but I am referring to a couple of specific and avoidable mistakes that I think may come back to haunt the Frenchman when the dust settles on the Premier League next summer.
The two decisions were his team selections in cup games. The first was to stick with David Ospina in goal for the second Champions League game at home to Olympiacos. Wenger was roundly slated for not putting Petr Cech in goal for that game and it certainly cost us that match but has also had repercussions ever since as it has forced the manager to field his strongest XI in every UCL game since.
Would he really have kept Alexis and Santi Cazorla on for the full 90 minutes against Dinamo Zagreb if we had not been in such dire straits in the group? And what are the chances that having to play all our best players in Greece next week in between two EPL games results in yet another key player picking up an injury.
The second mistake, and this one is even harder to understand for me, was in the Capital One Cup game at Sheffield Wednesday. This game was also sandwiched between two crucial EPL games against Everton and Swansea and the injury and fatigue situation was already starting to bite. I am not going to question the prof for playing the Ox as he had not been used too much but once he had to be subbed, the decision to risk Walcott in this relatively unimportant league cup match was a bad one and boy has it cost us.
With hindsight we can see that having Walcott out forced him to keep playing Alexis despite the concerns and look what happened? So will the mistakes made in the two cup games end up costing Arsenal our main priority of winning the Premier League?