Arsenal and Wenger’s brilliant new tactics – Pick odd team and be LUCKY

That is two games in a row now that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have got lucky and ended up taking something from the game that we didn’t really deserve. It was only a point last night away to PSG but it could well turn out to be a crucial one that could see Arsenal finally win a group.

Just like Southampton on Saturday, when we somehow came away with all three points, the fans and football media were left somewhat baffled by the team selection of the boss. And once again it was the unexpected absence of Giroud that was one of the odd decisions.

This time it was not Lucas Perez but Alexis Sanchez that took his place and once again that experiment did not work. Not only does the Chilean not offer the same presence up front but you lose his impact altogether. Another unexpected pick was to leave Xhaka out and we struggled to match the energy and work rate of PSG in midfield.

But if Wenger’s selection was intended to put PSG off then maybe it was a genius move because they really should have punished us but failed to do so and let us get back into the game and rescue a point with a fine Sanchez strike. And you have to say that his picking of Ospina worked out brilliantly as our second keeper kept us in the game a number of times.

For years I have bemoaned the bad luck that Arsenal get but at the minute we are definitely having it the other way and it’s about time. I am not so sure about the manager’s tactics but as long as the luck holds, happy days.


Watch the highlights here

Tags Giroud ospina Xhaka


  1. We could have lost the game by more than two goals margin. Then again, we could have won the game in the closing stages of the game (Iwobi). I think Arsenal are the happier side with the result. Away draw and going down before 2mins didn’t help.

    Hopefully, Wenger find his formula. I don’t think he has his team yet but at least we are seeing abit of rotation.

    1. Hahaha, Mate it could have been 3 nil at half-time and when you add the 4 class saves by Ospina in the second half, the scoreline could have resembled the Barcelona v Celtic game lol ?

  2. @ Budd – What if we had the telly tubbies in defence, pinky & perky sitting in front of george, zippy and bungle with pingu as striker lol.

    1. Yeah, what if?
      PS: you know there is a link called Reply there, you can click on it and I will know you wrote just for me.

  3. Like a million others I don’t understand wenger. Surely when you play one of the top sides in Europe you try to field your best x1. Then when you go up against the likes of Burnley and Hull that is the time to use some of your next best x1.

    For me it is quite simple currently the best x1 is
    Cech Bellerin mustafi koscielny Monreal Xhaka cazorla alexis ozil giroud and one of coquelin elneny perez iwobi ramsey chamberlain walcott (all quite different players) depending on the opposition.

    Yes ospina had a great game and to be honest Cech isn’t exactly covering himself in glory. Likewise Monreal is starting show a little complacency and a bit like ozil appears to be in a comfort zone. I fear bellerin could go that way too if one of Debuchy or Jenkinson don’t return to fitness soon.

    But at the moment in my opinion 10 of the best x1 should be facing the biggest opponents like the best champions league opponents and “top eight” epl opponents.

  4. Ospina played in France (Nice) before coming to us. maybe wenger figured he knows most of the psg team and tactics since he used to play against them on a regular basis (189 games in league 1) . maybe it wasn’t such a odd choice after all….

    1. Ospina is a top class keeper, best stats in PL by a long way in 2014/15 season for us. Awesome for columbia in WC and copa america. Messi rates him.

      I expected him to leave when cech arrived. I think the deal is that he plays in CL and cup games. We are really fortunate to have such a top class keeper as backup. He is Cech’s replacement, if we can keep him. Ospina is our most underrated player by fans.

  5. Two main positives from the game:

    1) The result

    2) Giroud being banned meaning I will have to suffer watching him play less this season

  6. Look at Barcelona, they filled in their best 11 against celtic. And even introduced iniesta immediately at half time. The Commentators were saying that there is no reason for resting players against PSG. What I dnt understand is why will OX keep starting our games everytime? And also, bellerin started to act complacency because he’s the favorite right back. Too many things went wrong yesterday. I prefer Walcott as a striker than Sanchez. Wenger should learn from Barcelona and Chelsea, they never rest a player for gamble.

    1. Walcott is injured. Perhaps wenger did not want to start perez, we do not want to dent his confidence so early in his arsenal career. Possibly wenger wanted us to play a defensive game and hit them on the break which giroud is not suited to. The early goal put a dent in that plan!

      It was a strange team selection but there must have been some logic behind it, possibly issues we do not know about.

      The positive is that we have drawn the hardest game in the group. This should set us up to win the group, but it is arsenal we are talking about here and in recent years our CL performance at home has been very poor at times.

  7. We were much better with Giroud on….he took the two CB out of the game allowing Sanchez to do his thing. There is something going on with Giroud as he looked like a petulant child coming on and looked like in some ways he wanted to get sent off – constant bickering at the ref etc.

    I wonder if he was left out at first to protect him a little from the French fans? They booed him when he came on and I know he gets a lot of flak from them in the national team when he missed chances.

    But we were better with him in, his presence and strength are very underrated. Although when Alexi scored Giroud didn’t seem to celebrate the goal in any way which I thought was unusual. His head seems to be somewhere else- perhaps he has personal issues?? Who knows.

    Someone else that doesn’t look happy is Ozil -even coming off he looked fed up. It’s almost like there had been a row in the dressing room.

    Ospina turned out to be a great decision but in itself at the time was a bit weird and very risky, unbelievable in fact. Pod off though.

    Le Coq for Xhaka I can see partly the reason, he has been playing well and played well again last night. Was good when Xhaka came in though.

    The main thing is the result was good, let’s go on and build from that.

  8. what a fantastic result for us in Paris last night don’t care what the pundits say we played well and now we have an understanding against PSG for the return game at the Emirates

    yes they had a lot of chances like we do every week in the EPL and lose or draw games it just means we did enough to put them off from scoring and lets not forget we missed a chance or two to score too

    Arsenal is always better in the return game, i think we learnt from our mistakes like our left wing was struggling until Sanchez move to the wing

  9. It was truly shocking that we got away with a draw.
    Sometimes we say teams get lucky but this was beyond luck It was a miracle.
    Psg should have scored at least 5 goals.
    Ospina deserves a statue.
    And I’ve got a feeling that we payed too much for mustafi.

    This team is truly average and I always said that we might look good individually but our foward combination, midfield and defense are behind Chelsea and the Manchester teams.
    And I also saud we lack that truly outstanding player

    1. With regard to mustafi, we were an injury to kos away from disaster and it was near the end of the window, sellers market so you tend to overpay. Time will tell if he is a good buy or not.

      My concern about mustafi is the continual comments we get from “experts” about him needing a leader alongside him. We need someone who can lead if kos is injured or needs resting. Time will tell on this one as well.

  10. I did not get to watch the game because of work unfortunately, however we have all made that comment several times this season about sanchez not working out as center forward, yet the manager still persist.

    It is nice to see some rotation between the keepers, ospina is an incredible shot stopper, but not the greatest on crosses. What concern me is we do not seem to learn from previous mistakes and too many players have found a comfort zone in the team, i think wenger has in his hands a more complete team and some players should be reminded what the bench feels like by using the rotation.

    My last comment goes towards Mustafi who i think needs time to settle in, however i felt what he has shown thus far does not qualify him to start and in truth have not been better than Holding who has less experiece but seems a lot calmer. Anyway that is my view. a very good away point

    1. Yes but so far we have played five games, one we played well, the others were poor or slightly better than poor. Got very lucky in two of the games, won two, drawn two, lost one.

      Manc on the other hand, six games (incl CL playoffs) played well, six wins.

      Luck can only take you so far.

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