Did Wenger get early Giroud sub wrong for Arsenal?

It is always easy to look back with the benefit of hindsight to see where a game went wrong for Arsenal and that is just what us Gooners will be doing over the next couple of days. Obviously it is not hard to point to the sending off of our German centre back as a crucial and telling point of the defeat by Chelsea but we were level at that point and can count ourselves pretty unlucky not to get anything from the game.

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was working as a TV pundit and at half time he pointed to the decision by Arsene Wenger to remove Olivier Giroud as a possible mistake by the manager, so was this a tactical blunder by the Frenchman?

I can see Henry’s point for sure and the fact that Mathieu Flamini had just spurned a golden chance to level the scores before halftime, a chance that Giroud would probably have gobbled up, was fresh in the mind, but I am not so sure that Wenger got this one wrong.

After going down to 10 men we had to bring on Gabriel and although Giroud has been in good form and has a lot of plus points, his pace and counter attacking threat are not among them. So I can understand why Wenger told Sky Sports after the match that it was a purely tactical decision and had nothing to do with the rumours that Giroud had a slight fitness concern in the build up.

He said, “I made the decision and for me it was quite a normal decision. We needed pace to get from one goal to another. We knew we had to drop deeper and to use pace to get forward.”

As it turned out, Arsenal did not have to defend deep and rely on the counter and so it might have been better to keep Giroud on but can we really blame the Arsenal manager for it not going as he expected?

Tags Mertesacker Walcott


    1. the giroud sub was a obv tactical. its just a shame we have theo walcott . mista 200mph i have no football brain an will not turn up every game an never have.
      i feel for per cos hes gonna get alot of vitriol from fans…i blame wenger….he should know when to use per.
      gabriel is an old meat and potatoes defender .he doesnt do glamour but he does the basic stuff excellently
      he and kos have a gd understanding to the point kos can bomb forward an gabs can sit an protect.


      1. Giroud sub? Walcott a winger now? Where’s Elneny? Man I hate losing to Chelsea. At least break his leg if you’re going to take him out.

    2. I was only able to see the highlights of the game. What the hell was Mertesacker thinking? 18 minutes gone, Cech could’ve saved it – who really knows and did he actually think he would get the ball this that tackle? He was nowhere near it!

      And Flamini’s kung fu kick, come on man.. VANITY. That’s a problem with some of our players. Instead of just BURYING it, they have a need to do something spectacular (Flamini, Ramsey..). Keep it simple.

      This outcome didn’t change my opinion which I’ve had whole January: we need a new forward.

      Mert, Flamini, Debuchy, Arteta, Rosicky, OX (loan) can all go in the summer.

      1. Ya that’s it flamini tried to score a highlight reel goal instead of just trying to get it in the net ya that’s it

  1. SO that’s 2 points out of 9 points contenders my ass Wenger has too much faith in some of his players. Arsenal need a few Quality Players but Wenger will keep his hand in his pocket and
    Arsenal will fall short of winning the Premiership. Wenger needs to buy and sell a few players.

  2. Of course AW made a mistake. Walcott has been underperforming game after game, Giroud has been on top form. He should have left Giroud and Campbell upfront. Both would work hard and cause them problems. Instead he plays the tried and trusted loosing squad. Sometimes he makes me bloo#*y mad.

    1. Ps Whatis it Ozil and Giroud’s partnership second most productive in Europe. No wonder Ozil had a bad game he must have thought ” what the hell you leave me with”.

      1. It’s called freakin tactics are you people that clueless giroud’s form had nothing to do with it

  3. Just because Walcott has been here for 10 years you give him the Captains armband? I don’t understand, Walcott doesn’t have any kind of leadership at all.

    Good players play good more often then not. They turn up in 7, 8, 9 games out of every 10. Walcott doesn’t turn up for that many games. It is more like 3, 4, 5 out of every 10. People keep talking here about his pace. What worth is it, if your offside almost always, or you can’t do much with the ball anyway.

    We always have problems against Chelsea. Two reasons, mentality, and not enough shots on target. We don’t shoot against them.

    1. It’s not even the shots, it’s 110% MENTALITY, it’s the same reason we failed to beat United for 3 seasons straight until last year. Players should learn how to move on from the past and play their game, that’s something Wenger can’t teach, but having said that if they can’t learn how to overcome their psychological frailties after 2 years of constant failure against the same team then it’s up to the manager to bench or sell the players and find a better ones who are willing to give their all to win. We need more Sanchez and Campbells and less Flaminis and Walcotts, that’s the bloody fact.

  4. No he did everything right.
    Arsenal will win the EPL.
    Equal with Man City after
    this tough run of games.
    Remember City has to play this rapidly
    improving Chelsea in London and Leicester
    have a shocking run of games coming up.
    Glad Wenger resisted the pressure to start Sanchez and Elneny.
    Now we have 4/5 home games to go on a
    run of wins preparing us for our victory over Barcelona 🙂
    Burnley (H)
    Sotn (H)
    Bournmouth (A)
    Leicester (H)
    Barcalona (H)

    1. give it up davidnz xD this lot here dont like optimism or some fresh ideas, they rather listen and write the same rant over and over again

          1. I am serious Muff.
            We are right there
            after this very tough run.
            We do not have a sequence
            like this again. We have Sanchez back.
            The whole attack feed off his fearless approach.
            Walcott Ox Ramsey Giroud become different
            players when he is on the field.

    2. #davidnz

      Thanks I made a good sum of money from going against you (Chelsea were 4 to 1 to win!!!!). Guys even though I bleed blood every time we lose, my solution is to bet against us and end up happy either way. And that’s the only way to take this team now. I have followed Arsenal since the mid 70’s and this team is now the most frustrating because you never know when they will turn up. 2 years ago, I made the comments about walcott (he was not and would never be good enough, whats the use of pace when you cant control, dribble, help out your team) and per (too slow and lacks the bottle to be in defence) yet they are still here which proves my comments at that time as well that wenger was past it.
      what a load of rubbish from you, fresh ideas? thats what we are begging for but your beloved wenger doesnt have any, optimism? – being an Arsenal fan today is actually being very optimistic that the manager will play a team basd on the opponent and not on his favourites. Walcott as captain? who doesnt have the balls to take on Chelsea, would Adams or Viera have allowed this XXXX to go on? so please STFU

  5. I know Wenger went for pace after the red card, hence sacrificing Giroud…Some fans were surprised at the sub likewise Giroud but the tactics didn’t work out simply because Walcott had another poor game..

    I would have allowed Giroud continue the game for some reasons 1. He is in good form than Walcott 2. Good understanding with Ozil 3. He has upped his game against big teams this season. Although he hasn’t scored against Chelsea yet but I felt He will break that record today.

    Look at that Flamini miss…..I was like wish that was Giroud there…You just never know..

    I would have substituted Walcott for Sanchez……. Flamini/Ramsey for Gabriel….

    It is insane that a rusty Sanchez played better than most players on the pitch today.

    We will have Gabriel back in the line up….It’s high time we drop Flamini and give Elneny a go….

    Some people said title race is over for us but i don’t think thats the case. Gutted for blowing up several chances to go top with many points but we are still in it…Its very open now…

    Hopefully, we turn things around….

  6. Why does Wenger buy players he stubbornly refuses to play because of blind faith in other underperforming players? Gabriel been here one year now and i dont think he has 10 games under his belt…and he’s a better option than Mertislugger! Either u send the players on loan or give them game time cause u just killing off their form..we’ll be lucky to see Elneny next season

  7. I don’t know Arsene wasn’t shown a red card so that he can miss three matches. That would have given the assistant a chance to try a different thing especially substitutions. Walcott should have been brought out and no Giroud. From selection to substitution, he got them wrong.

  8. i look forward to us beating southampton..an alot of you shouting…where are those tw#ts who were dissing mertesacker an theo…

    honestly it never gets old…funnily we do this year in year out with diff players.


  9. I don’t know if Wenger got the substitution wrong…but I know that IF we let this chance of winning the title pass us by (as is seeming likely with every match), we might wait a VERY VERY long time to win it again.
    No one would have believed that we would not win the title in more than 10 years…especially after an exceptional invincible season.

  10. The board now need to take this in there hands. Let AW have his last year then he’s been there for 21 years. Pay pep to take a holiday and to plan the future for Arsenal. This needs to happen now end of. What kind of manager buys a player because we need it in that position so so bad and not play him? For the love of god man sort your head out and do what’s best for Arsenal and the fans. We are not going to win anything this year not happening. And to think we are well it sums our hope up. You no lestster good luck to them and they kind of pi–ed the FA cup away for the EPL take some guts that but they can do Stoke but we can’t Liverpool can’t win a good game but get a point with us and then the blues lol they can’t win a raffle but go and do us again again again

  11. if you are baffled by wenger taking off giroud then wait till everyone is fit and campbell gets dropped for either theo or ramsey on the right wing.

  12. I think someone should start a petition to ban ‘elephant man’ Diego Costa.
    It would work as well, literally the whole world hates the man

  13. Gabriel should have started ahead of mertesecker coz even at the bridge Chelsea failed to score up until the red card coz the pacey kos and gab combo kept their quick players out.

    After the fact…Flamini or Ozil should have come off instead of Giroud (Gabriel is defensive/ Ramsey could have taken the creative role and still provided defensive cover) walcot shud have come off for sanchez. Campbell should have stayed on and the Ox tho he didnt do too much wrong today, could have come on later.
    Whose to blame? Mertesecker for being his usual tortoise self & Wenger who I feel could have considered the opposition strengths of pace and through balls when selecting the centre back pairing for today

    btw if we are not gonna start elneny then I think its high time we started Calum Chambers at CDM at least until le Coq returns coz the flamini/ ramsey partnership is shambolic.

    1. @Linsagunner
      I think Elneny and Chambers should hold down midfield until Le Coq and Santi get back. Aaron and Flame aint workin out…

  14. For the fact that we were permanently destabilized after the red card and failed to up our game for the remaining duration of the game clearly shows that we lack mental strength. And this has been our lot since after the invincible era. We seem to lack what it takes to step it up when it matters most. And this deficiency can be traced back to Wenger. He has clearly lost what it takes to infuse mental strenght into our team, he just cant imbibe in the players that champions mentality. And he keeps making the mistake of thinking that Mert is a better option to Gabriel. I have always said that our weakest point in the defense is Mert. And whenever we play against a top side the weakness is exposed like today. Well if you ask me, I think we should get Deigo Simeon to replace Wenger when his contract runs out. He will give our team the mental strength and the champions mentality we lack.

    1. @el blase
      Who instilled mental strength in Sanchez, Le Coq, Kos, Campbell, Flamini, Monreal, Giroud, Chech and Bellerin? These are the fighters in our squad. They know instinctively when and how to fight. Why was it that Aaron tried to come alive when Alexis came on the pitch? Where was he before that? The same with Ozil. No one can instill mental toughness in you if you don’t already have it.
      Everybody talking about Per, Oliviers sub etc, but nobody brings up the fact that Cesc was able to feed Costa simple over the top passes most of the match. Yeah, Flame was the DM. But he had his hands full with Matic and Mikel. Where the f**k was his midfield partner????

  15. Giroud missed training on Saturday and was a doubt for the Chelsea game but Was then declared fit to play.
    In another interview, Wenger stated that Giroud’s ankle was playing on his mind, which helped the deluded one make his decision on Substituting him, after the sending off!

    It’s funny how Wenger wanted to go for pace, after the snail got sent off! ??
    Like, why not go for pace at the start, with 11 men?
    Gabriel in for Mertesacker would have been a massive improvement straight away! As for Walcott ?
    The only time I heard his name get mentioned during the game, was when somebody was calling him a lazy useless #@#T!!

    No more if’s or buts…
    Wenger needs to be honest with himself, he once said that if he feels that he can no longer take Arsenal forward then that will be the time when he will step down.
    I know thats a big Ask, Considering that he is indenial, as well as stubborn but Hey!…. I thought that he keeps his word?

    The only moving forwards and upwards that Arsenal are doing, is in the Money League,
    Which explains why the board want to reward him with a two year extention and probably another couple of million added on to his wages.

    Ask yourselves this…
    Do Leicester City really have a better squad of player’s than Arsenal? ? …. Of course not!
    Yet, their manager is able to get the best out of the players that he has and make them play better than ours!

    Today’s game, absolutely killed our chances of winning the league, in my opinion, not just because we lost to the chavs but more of the case of 2pts earned from a possible 9pts.

    Since making money is Wenger’s main priority then he really has to step down and move on up into the Boardroom and let.. eg.. Pep Guardiola have ago, as he has a desire to win trophies with Arsenal.

  16. If Arsenal don’t win the league this season, then we will never win it again under Wenger. Why can’t Wenger just put Walcot on the right and Campbel on the left….their natural position? Its the reason we have been struggling for goals. what’s our goal difference compared to the current top 4 teams. And why is wenger playing cautious football in recent times when we have iwobi who can play quick, technical football. We should be blowing teams away but Wenger’s square pegs in round holes cautious football is making us struggle.

  17. What on earth was that idiot Flamini doing in there penalty box. Hes supposed to be our DM. That’s why we got shot of Song. No F****** discipline. Captain Walcott, what was that all about, he’s about as good as a fart in a thunderstorm.
    Also rumours of Wenger extending his contraract Oh no please no.

    1. @cheeterspotter
      Flame was in the box because it seemed like no one else had the balls or brains to run into those open spaces behind the defense. And if you want to talk about no discipline, you better start adding Ramsey’s name to that list.
      Seems like you feel good when he lose or draw, just so you can have something to b*tch about.
      Btw. Get used to Aw’s face being around more, because that contract extension is a dead cert…LOL

  18. I was at the match tonight. Ticket plus travel £135. Game just gets underway and Mert gets sent off, effectively killing the game off as far as watching, from an Arsenal point of view. It improved greatly when Sanchez came on.

    Stadium looked full so gate receipts must be approaching £5 million. Thats a lot of money spent to watch something which is then ruined soon after it starts. There ought to be a better way, Rugby has a sin bin. Perhaps the players could be fined or a ban applied for subsequent games.

    Basically I am not happy to have spent a lot of money and the game ruined by an early sending off.

    1. sorry to hear that bro.
      feel ur pain.
      but for every loss to chelsea theres a win vs city or manure.
      the prices absolutely suck. but its a buyers market.

  19. I think it was a good call. Walcott is supposed to give us more legs being a man down, but sadly he has been out of form for the past month or so. By hindsight, maybe the OX could have come earlier for Campbell? Campbell hardly touched the ball all game.

    1. Campbell hardly touched de ball ???


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