Arsenal boss to blame for needless Cazorla injury?

I may be wrong but I have a feeling that Arsene Wenger’s decision to leave Granit Xhaka on the bench for the thumping Champions League win over Ludogorets Razgrad was taken in part because of the red card the Swiss international picked up last weekend against Swansea.

Even though the boss defended his summer signing after the match, it did nearly cost us some valuable points and damage our title challenge, so perhaps Wenger was trying to make Xhaka think about his actions more in the future, but he may just have hurt the Gunners in doing so.

Instead of resting Santi Cazorla for the Premier League and using Xhaka in Europe where his three match ban does not apply, Wenger started the Spaniard but then had to replace him after Santi picked up a knock in the second half, as revealed by the boos in an report.

He said, “He got a kick and I took him off as quickly as possible. He got a kick on the back of his achilles tendon. In my view he was limping a little bit so I didn’t want to take a gamble.”

The problem for me is that starting him in the first place was a gamble. Not much of one perhaps but one he did not need to take with Xhaka available. If Cazorla does have to miss the game against Middlesborough then Arsenal have a small problem in central midfield, with Coquelin and Elneny the only proper central midfielders he can call on and both of those are more defensively minded.

If the Gunners do struggle to break down the Boro defence, will some of the blame have to go to Wenger for not starting Xhaka?


Tags Cazorla Elneny Xhaka


  1. I will not really blame him. We were clamouring for Cazorla-Xhaka in midfield. Cazorla had lots of rest during internationals, so, we really can’t say he is fatigued.
    If Coquelin had picked up a knock, I would be blaming Arsene.

  2. This is all just 2nd-guessing. I also would have started Elneny but who cares what I think. Wenger is closer to the players and must make the difficult decisions.

    Wenger decided to take no chances and start a strong squad. Imagine if he had started more backups and then LOST. Think of the criticism he would receive

    But Wenger DID give Ox and Gibbs a start – and this was important for their confidence. I am sure Wenger also would have liked to sub in many more players but you only get 3 subs.

    It was all good for me. You cannot predict injuries and the like.

  3. Always looking to blame the Boss. Get a grip Bob. You want to win, then you play your best 11, cazorla is clearly in it.

    Dude got an injury and we have ample midfield back up.

    Moral of the story: stop looking for someone to blame.

  4. Bob what’s the essence of this Article? What if carzola was rested,Xhaka got that kick leading to slight injury and immediate change would you still say Wenger is to blame? Carzola was kicked,its nobody’s fault,get over it and stop the moaning and blames. Besides we have some cover

  5. success has reduced the critical fans to nitpicking

    We’re 7-0 from our last couple fixtures…now let’s do a chelsea of two season’s ago and storm to the title! COYG

  6. What really irks me is when people say their professional footballers they should be able to play 3 times a week etc

    Bo****** to that their humans and need rest just like we all do knowing the strains of work etc

    I don’t blame wenger for santi getting injured but I would have had him on bench purely because his role is extremely demanding and at 31/32 it’s a lot to ask of anyone to play 3 games in a week at that age, I also would have had Bellerin rested but that’s is one position for concern as we do not have good enough cover for him & plz don’t let anyone say jenko is is awfull.

    El neny should be able to deputise no problem but for some reason he doesn’t seem to be high up on wengers list, he ain’t no ramsey lol

  7. hey bob. do you moonlight at talksport?

    Stop hating on wenger at least until we eventually have a run of bad results!!

  8. Nonsense irticle.

    Cazola is fit, he plays.

    The club carry out tests and note game time. Wenger knows best .

  9. He might not be injured but in hindsight and in general it would have been good to give him a rest. When he’s at his best everything goes through him. A fully fresh Santi for the weekend sounds good, and because of Xhaka’s red card I think everyone believed he would play seeing as he can’t in PL. I don’t know why everyone is against the thought of a missed break to give to a big player. I was very surprised Xhaka didn’t play.

  10. We r competing with PSG, which means we need maximum goals n points to stay on top of PSG. Therefore we need our best leg. We still have full squad to play our next game, am not sure carzolar is injured, just a knock

  11. why blame the boss? the injury wasn’t as a result of fatigue.
    he played no part in the international games for Spain, wasn’t even called up.
    plus as Wenger said it was just a minor knock and he took him out immediately, he could even play on tomorrow against Boro.
    if he doesn’t, he’ll defo be back for Sunderland.

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