I am not really sure how much of a tactical genius the former Arsenal and England midfield star is himself, as Paul Merson lasted less than two years in his one and only job as a manager, before being sacked by Walsall as they were heading for a second relegation in three seasons.
Merson is a football pundit on TV but is not exactly renowned for getting his predictions right, but he did know his way around the pitch as a player so you would think he knows what he is talking about when it comes to tactics. That is one of the things that the former Gunner has been talking about this week to Sky Sports, and more specifically the tactical flaws of our manager.
He said, “Tactically they are not good enough.
“Three weeks ago, Hull went to Chelsea and set up to make it very difficult for Chelsea to win that game and Hull were unlucky. They were always in the game.
“Wenger sets up the same old way every week: ‘we’ve got good players, so let’s go out and play’.
“They have once tried to stifle a team away from home – and that was Man City the year before last. They won the game and they were absolutely outstanding.
“They had Santi Cazorla that day and that was the only time I’ve really ever seen them set up to stop a team and then play from a base.
“You watch these other teams go and do it and you ask why can’t Arsenal do it? For me, that’s when you have to say the manager is getting something horribly wrong.”
Do you agree with this damning verdict on the Frenchman’s tactical nous? I do not agree that the game away to Man City is the only one in which Arsenal have played with a moire defensive and counter attacking system but we certainly got done over by Chelsea after trying to take the game to them.
But while Hull would have been delighted with a draw it was really win or bust for Arsenal. The Gunners do normally have the superiority over opponents in terms of technical ability and class so maybe it makes sense to play the way we do on a regular basis.
Do you think Wenger is stubborn and misguided with his tactics or steadfast in the way he wants Arsenal to play?