The former Arsenal and England international star Ian Wright was on the TV panel for the Gunners´ opening Champions League match away to Dinamo Zagreb, and if anyone thought that meant that Arsenal would get an easy ride they were very much mistaken.
Wrighty may be an Arsenal fan and can often provide a more optimistic and positive response to our club than the usual anti-Arsenal bias we get from the likes of Michael Owen, Carragher and all, but it also makes him feel our pain more and there was plenty on offer as the Gunners crashed to a shock defeat in Croatia.
As reported by The Telegraph, our former striker was not impressed with Olivier Giroud and he thinks the French forward has a big problem at the minute, as nothing is happening for Giroud. Wright thinks that Arsenal´s first choice centre forward is now clearly Theo Walcott.
The pundit also got stuck into Arsene Wenger for what he sees as the arrogance of making six changes for an away game in the Champions League.
He said, “I get a lot of stick from Arsenal fans for comments I make but I’m not going to sit here and say Arsenal can make six changes against Dinamo Zagreb and win the game. We’re not good enough to do that what we did tonight.
“I would have started Walcott, just because he played and scored against Stoke. He has the momentum but at the moment, Giroud doesn’t seem to be in the right place. He got booed off for France and it’s not quite happening for him. This is Theo’s time.”
Another former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas also got stuck into Arsenal, although he placed the blame for last night´s horror show firmly at the feet of the players, telling Sky Sports that the boss was right to have expected a lot more from the likes of Arteta, Cazorla, Debuchy and the Ox.
He said, “It was really, really poor.
“There were six changes and although that’s a bit over the top for me, I still think it should have been enough to get a win, never mind a point.
“After 20 minutes I thought it was going nice and easy, but then I started to worry around that period of the game when Arteta and Santi Cazorla slowed it down and a leisurely, horrible slowness crept into their play. All of a sudden they were punished.
“There’s nobody left to blame but themselves. For the first goal, Debuchy pushed in too deep when he didn’t need to and Oxlade-Chamberlain switched off. The second goal was an absolute shocker in the second half.
“Maybe six changes is a bit over the top and people think Wenger is arrogant or is taking it easier than he should, but these players have got so much trust and belief from their manager.
“Every time they fail the manager will get caned because of the changes he made. Some of these players don’t turn up when they are given an opportunity, so why should he trust them as much as he does?
“They are responsible at the end of the day for their performance. It’s not tactics, commitment or anything like that. You are a better player than them, so perform – and they don’t perform.
“Giroud’s red card was silly.
“The second yellow card was a soft one, but he was arguing with the referee after the first one. You’re away from home, walk away.
“You’ve bundles of experience. Why do you want to get involved in this little mish-mash with a referee because he ain’t going to listen or pay attention to you? He finds that you’re being childish, so stop it.
“He ended up red-carding him because of a clumsy, silly little soft free-kick.”
Hopefully the Arsenal players will be reading the papers and looking at social media today because they need to wake up and smell the coffee. Do you expect a good response at Chelsea on Saturday?