Did Arsenal miss a trick and help Carroll with BFG on the bench?

Arsene Wenger would have had to hand in his Arsenal team selection before he knew how West Ham would line up today, but even though the big centre forward has not started a Premier League game for about three months, I could have told Wenger that Andy Carroll would start against us today.

The England international is just the sort of player that has often caused us problems in the past and so it proved again at Upton Park today, with Carroll pegging back our deserved early lead with two quickfire goals on the stroke of halftime and then a third early on in the second half.

But should Wenger have planned for Carroll, and more specifically done so by bringing back the big German centre back Per Mertesacker in place of Gabriel. The Brazilian did not have a bad game in general but he could have done better on all three of Carroll’s goals.

The height, strength and experience of our BFG may well have been better suited to dealing with the West Ham striker’s threat and as we knew that Dimitri Payet was a real threat from dead ball situations I am surprised that the boss did not go for Mertesacker.

Did Wenger miss a trick with his Arsenal team selection?

Tags Carroll Gabriel Mertesacker


  1. The first and second goal from Carroll could have been easily avoided. The defending was awful today. Pretty much like this season has been. Awful

    1. From Andy Carroll (liberally paraphrased) “We knew Arsenal have always been absolutely useless at defending crosses, particularly to a big lad with guts who wants to get on the end of them, so that was our game plan”. I remember a certain Drogba doing exactly the same many moons ago and Arsenal STILL HAVE NOT LEARNT! Pathetic.

  2. It’s all good and well saying that in hindsight, but no, Wenger didn’t miss a trick. Mertesacker, along with so many other Arsenal players, have had years in the first team, and haven’t performed. Because of this, Mertesacker, along with the other deadwood, should never play for Arsenal again. The deadwood have already had too many opportunities.

    The question for the next game is in terms of defence, is it Gabriel or Chambers. I like Gabriel, but he has been a bit error prone, although so was Koscielny early on, but maybe give Chambers a chance now. I feel sorry for Chambers because he’s had to play out of position at RB most of the time, but he’s done okay at CB (his natural position). The league’s gone, so why not play Chambers and a few other youngsters! Walcott and Giroud came on today and did absolutely nothing again! I can’t imagine a player from our youth team would do any worse.

  3. I must admit I’m not exactly the BFGs biggest fan but in the past few season when we have played west ham at upton park the BFG has had Andy Carroll tucked away in his back pocket….

  4. Wenger is not a tactician, first goal and simeone would’ve made an adjustment. He still persisted with the same back two and we paid dearly but wenger’s job still secure

  5. BFG would have probably ducked and cower away like he’s been known to!!! But regardless, his height was needed! He’s had his chances though and squandered them, just like many players at our beloved club! It’s so embarrassing to be behind The Foxes and Spuds, it’s even more embarrassing that they are fighting for the title while we are just running around in the same old circles every season!!!

  6. Koscielney had a great game Gabriel and bellerin were poor.
    Wenger should have sold debuchy and get in a CB or rb depending on what he had planed for chambers.

    There are many CB who are good enough to start for Arsenal we aren’t talking 20m players here
    1)Van dijk came to the prem and based on performance has been one of the top 3 CB since his arrival. He would have been a good signing but we chose not to. He also spoke of his desire to join. He is unrivalled in the air aswell.
    2) loric Perrin is a top performing CB in France for nearly 4 years in a row and has excellent leadership skills. He would have been happy for a squad place at Arsenal. Although not the tallest he is excellent in the air.

  7. I wouldn’t go so far as saying AW missed a trick as BFG has an obvious issue too and if he had played maybe instead of Carroll it was Payet who scored a hattrick and we would be here slamming AW for changing a winning line up that has kept clean sheets in the last two games. Gabriel has played well in those two games and deserve to be given the chance to show that he too can handle Carroll but unfortunately at best all i can say is that he was not convincing. Besides Gabriel i notice Monreal too for the first time this season was having a shaky game against M. Antonio. Bellerin meanwhile should stop trying to place his lob crosses into the box as i’ve never seen them cause havoc to any teams. Until his delivery become sharper he instead should just whip them first time high or low across the box…

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