Arsenal boss defends decision to bench ‘superb’ Lacazette

Arsene Wenger has come under criticism for his Arsenal team selection for yesterday’s defeat to Manchester City. The French manager opted to make some changes to his usual team for the tough trip to the Etihad yesterday, and following defeat, there was always going to be criticisms where the selection is concerned.

The Gunners are set for ridicule whenever they are unsuccessful, and had he fielded his usual XI and lost this would be no different, and despite his side not being expected to win, he has come under criticism,

Wenger decided to drop record signing Alexandre Lacazette to the bench in favour of Alex Iwobi yesterday, a very controversial move, and a move that could easily have come good in the second half.

Lacazette came off the bench and scored, putting us right back into the game, and had our opponents not been given that offside goal, we could well have gotten a point if not more from the match-up.

Wenger has defended his selection for the encounter, claiming his side were unlucky not to have gotten something out of the match.

“Yes, he was superb and when he came on he gave us another option,” Wenger said.

“But even in the first half I felt that it was more a case of providing better support up front. That was our problem.

“We were always in the game and I believe honestly we were really unlucky.

“It’s very difficult to swallow today. I’m very, very disappointed.

“We needed to be solid. We knew that we had to survive some moments where they had the ball and overall I felt that was alright.

“But we respected them a little bit too much maybe for 25 minutes in the first half and then the second half when we came out we looked always convincingly dangerous.

“I felt that sometimes in our final ball we lacked a bit of touch or accuracy and we could not transform enough situations we had to score.”

Did Wenger’s selection prove itself to have enough to get at least a point out of the game? Were we unlucky?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal lacazette Wenger


  1. Jeremy says:

    He was playing for a draw and will always hide in his shell 4-5-1 formation. If you see 4 at the back, you will likely see Coquelin as the fifth defender as the hide-in-the-shell tactic.

    Lacazette seems to have replaced Perez on the untrustworthy list of AW.

  2. Sue says:

    It really paid off benching Lacazette didn’t it?? Idiot

    1. Simon Says says:

      Hahahaha, but Sue it might have done if Steve Bould hadn’t of walked under that ladder and Wenger hadn’t of smashed that mirror, because when we lose it’s never ever not in a million years anything other than bad luck or a decision by the referees and FA to punish us.

      1. Sue says:

        Oh yes silly me, I should have known that ?

  3. Kwaku Nyarko says:

    Unlucky yes !but still get papa Wenger sack

  4. Andrew Elder says:

    Why pay over £50m for a player and bench him against the best team in the PL? I think he’s lost it and as George Graham recently said ” I just think we all have our time, you’ve had your period of success, now move on”. Wise words but water off a duck’s back to Wenger in his Alice in Wonderland world!! Gazidis is just as bad he actually thinks that Arsenal are ‘over-performing’.

    Stop blaming everyone bar youself for failure and just go before you embarrass this great club further.

  5. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Unlucky that you are the manager

  6. Incarnate says:

    So it’s not possible that a workaholic Sanchez was meant to wear down the opponents (who laboured against Napoli in midweek) only for a fresh Lacazette to come in and take advantage of same tiredness?

    1. Robin Vanpayslip says:

      That’s like saying maybe if I get punched in my face by a boxer enough times he may just tire and fall over and I will win the match

      1. Incarnate says:

        Actually yes, Ali vs Foreman, rumble in the jungle, watch it. Only in this case, the tired boxer can be replaced with a fresh and even more effective one.

        1. Josh says:

          As if guardiola is stupid enof not to make necessary changes if his players re gettin tired… Bench your best player n top scorer in a big game n expct to take some points from a second half magic…. wenger’s brain is as obsolete as his age if not more…
          Unlucky? Wenger never brings luck, his middle name is bad luck…
          So I’ll gladly vote him out since he most of d time calls for bad luck with his insane selection and out of date tactics…

        2. Robin Vanpayslip says:

          An interesting take on rumble in the jungle. It doesn’t really stack up given that Sanchez was not taken off for Laca. They were both on the pitch. They both could have been on the pitch from the start.

          But no – let’s tire them out while they thump is 3-1…….

  7. Durand says:

    Not unlucky, merely outclassed.
    Our manager outclassed by Pep, Ozil outclassed by Debruyne, Alexi outclassed by Aguero, etc…

    Benching your top scorer against toughest opponent away from home was always BAD idea.
    Attempting to defend that bad idea is idiotic, moronic, and just plain delusional.

    Learned absolutely NOTHING losing to Liverpool last year while Alexi rode the bench first half. Only Arsene thinks he’s so wise. No other manager behaves so foolishly.
    Bayern didn’t bench lewondowsli vs Dortmund sat, jose didn’t bench Lukaku, Conte didn’t bench Morata, but Lacca gets benched.

    His selections of late are absolutely shocking; at least he hasn’t blamed supporters anyway…..yet

    1. Arsenal#7 says:

      The other managers have an ego too but at least they know what is not going to work and they do
      not put themselves in a predicament.

      This Wenger moron is like the king with no clothes on. He is the only one who thinks he has a great outfit on when everyone can see his ass hanging out there. Pretty ugly!!!

  8. Nothing changed says:

    IMO Wenger made a double Laca mistake. First, he should have started him. Secondly, once he brought him on he should have left him in the center. Bringing Giroud on afterward moved Laca out wide and changed our game to a slower rhythm. Giroud can be an excellent sub in games where teams dig in and defend. City was always going to continue to come at us leaving us chances to counter and that is not Giroud’s strength.

    Do not be surprised if Laca’s game starts to suffer as a result of this lack of confidence by Wenger.

    Laca proved he was willing to come to Arsenal despite our decline, Sanchez (who I rate as a player) made it clear he wants to move on. Why not be loyal to Laca and invest in him valuable game time. We should have kept Sanchez on the left and Laca in the center.

  9. ARSENAL FC says:

    Wenger is strange…

    1. Simon Says says:

      Wenger is out dated……

  10. Abiola says:

    Wenger will always give excuses for defeat. We should thank God, it’s 3 – 1, I didn’t watch the match as I knew it will end up in a loss.

  11. sol says:

    THIS IS NOT A FRUDIAN SLIP. what he did is a HUGE mistake…..I would love Wenger if he admitted his mistake…..but

  12. Chess says:

    I’m usually one to criticize Arsenal when they deserve it. But I honestly felt we played really well, we were just outclassed by a superior team.
    Simple as that.

    If we play that way against the spuds we should win.

    1. arsenal#7 says:

      @ Chess

      You can’t be seriously looking forward to that match with the way Wenger is setting the team up?
      Spurs will more likely be the only team that can give City something to worry about.
      How do you even suggest we played well when a 3-1 was very flattering score from a City team that was not pushing hard?
      I wish we played both games before the break so I can have more time to recover from the humiliation of been an Arsenal fan these days.

  13. miker says:

    Wenger is like Hitler. Arsenal is Germany during ww2. Don’t worry guys, our war is at the beginning of the end. So let’s just hope it’s end quickly and we can then start rebuilding.

  14. Marty says:

    Regardless of Wenger and other people defending the decision to leave out our record signing and top scorer I still can’t come to terms with the decision to do it. How is the guy gonna get confidence if Wenger does not trust him against the top teams away. On performances alone this season he deserves to be playing ahead of Sanchez who has not been playing well and deserves to be left out.

  15. ayodeji says:

    Wenger out

  16. Himman1 says:

    Wenger doesn’t want Lacazette to play the full 90mins so as to dodge the full match bonus he’s to pay Lyon, that’s why he didn’t start him. Second time now that he was benched in a top match where he was supposed to start.

  17. Simon says:

    The manager is allowed to make big calls – that’s his job. But he simply got it wrong

    If it had worked, I’d be first to applaud him- but it didn’t. He should have spotted it, and changed much sooner

    Only Xaka as a holding midfielder was near suicide.

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