Should Arsenal have made MORE changes last night?

How different could Wenger’s team selection have been against Besiktas? by SE

Arsene Wenger made a meager couple of changes, which were forced due to injuries, from Saturday’s clash against Crystal Palace. Kieran Gibbs, who suffered a hamstring injury, was replaced by Nacho Monreal at Left Back. Giroud replaced compatriot Sanogo, who was also left out with a hamstring injury. The rest of Arsenal’s lineup remained the same, and you just wonder how differently the Gunners could have setup against their Turkish opponents.

Taking into consideration the nature of the playing surface, and the upcoming league fixture against Everton over the weekend, it did surprise me that Wenger didn’t make some obvious changes to his lineup. Yes, he would have wanted to win this match, which was the very reason why he went in with his first-choice XI available to him. But, personally, I’d have liked to see one of Chamberlain or Campbell in place of Cazorla, with Sanchez on the Right-Wing or even as a striker, in place of Giroud.

And, going by the way the game panned out last night, Cazorla didn’t affect the play by much; Giroud just wandered around for 90 minutes, leaving Sanchez to delegate Arsenal, throughout the game. Ramsey and Wilshere didn’t see much of the ball, and it was largely about counter-attacking from the Gunners, who tried immensely to press Besiktas’s defence and midfield, and reaped dividends for it. Sanchez was all alone, and made a couple of darting runs into the 18-yard area, during the first half, and, with a bit more support, could have nicked a goal or two.

Chamberlain, with his pace, would have been a lot more productive for the Gunners than Cazorla, and Sanchez’s versatility could have been put to use; The Chilean could have been deployed as a striker, at least at the beginning of the second half, with Campbell taking up Sanchez’s position on the Right-Wing.

Bottom Line: Wenger could have been a bit more proactive, as soon as he saw how the game panned out in the first half.



  1. Marco Reus snubbed Ushited so swoop Wenger! Where is our DM??? Damn we are now desperate for one and a CB . If no Reus what about a hot striker, AW?? 12 days to go!!!

      1. barca has been banned for next 2 transfer windows they might make a move for reus we need to act fast

        sell giroud & get balotelli or someone else, loan out sanogo + bring in a new cb & cdm

        1. you mean how barca were banned in this window- total bs dude-

          barca nor real have any rules – they make the rules- cheating b*stards

          1. 2011/12 Champions League. Bayern vs Chelsea final, which teams get the highest points ranking for that year? Real Madrid and Barcelona.

            All the Spanish teams seem to have bs rankings.. Atletico got more points for winning the Europa League than Chelsea did for the CL, Valencia overtook Arsenal despite not even being in the CL last year. Bit of a joke really..

        2. I think Giroud could be a good super sub. Everytime he comes off the bench, strangely, we score. But a starter for another season? NO WAY.

          This transfer ban for Barca, no matter if it will still be on next summer, will make them do preparations this summer, just watch. So this is the time to go for Reus – that is if BVB have replacement in mind,

  2. We’ve brought 4 players in, 3 of those were replacements for players who left this summer. We’ve only got 1 addition. Typical summer tbh we are still 3 players short from a being a complete squad

    If Giroud is the leading striker this season it is officially confirmed. Wenger has lost the plot

    1. Why these knee jerk reactions? After Crystal Palace Wenger was supposedly doing a great job and now after an away draw Arsenal are in crisis! I am glad that none of you are Arsenals manager because most can’t handle pressure. Arsene picks the best team because HE is the manager and sees em in training. Tell Wenger he has lost the plot when you have won 3 league titles, 5 fa cups and 5 community shields.

      1. fergie won a pl title with the same squad that everyone is calling sh*t point is we will finish in top 4 & if lucky a fa/carling cup we deserve better & with this squad nothing is going 2 happen

    2. Tbh i dont think debuchy is a replacement for sagna sinces hes younger and better than sagna thats and upgrade to me in my opinion we have replaced vermaelen with chambers and bought 2 new players.

      And talkin’ about giroud after yesterday i think people should stick the kettle on and remember the premier league only started on saturday the world cup finished last month and we are bless with the unfortunate fortune of have a first team that all got called up for world cup duties so the team are a week or 2 behind schedule on every front giroud has played under 1 full game so you cant expect him to be sharp you guys saw what giroud can do with some of his assists and goals during the world cup campaign he was good in qualifying stages too scored some world class goals i think people need to drop the whole giroud out shit hes not WClass because arsenal has never bought world class players henry pires bergkamp established their status in the Arsenal shirt so remember that and accept hes most DEFINITELY a [b]top[/b] striker get behind him to push for 25+goals this season and show why 12ml is better than 50ml for Noscorres torres.

      P.s. Oxlade Chamberlain needs to be a striker.

      1. We all try to protect and support GIROUD in one time or another, but he is just NOT good enough. More especially as 1st choice…Costa, RVP, aguaro, sturriedge and even adebayo I.e top 6 team’s strikers are much better than him.

      2. I think Debuchy is a little more attack minded than Sagna. Might leave Mertesacker’s pace exposed on the right if he’s caught out like he was a couple of times last night. He’s a decent player though.

    3. Can we not all put this absolute nonsense about transfers being “replacements” don’t somehow count!!! In what world does that make any sense? The squad can’t grow numbers wise ad infinitum – it is all about churning the squad in an effort to improve your 1st X1, match day squad etc. If ours are mere “replacements” then Chelsea with 5 in and 14 out are properly up shit creek. Man City 6 in 7 out, Liverpool 8 in 9 out, Man United 3 in 7 out are all paddling down the same creek as well.

  3. Yes! Why not just give Campbell a chance upfront? And Chamberlain is one of our best players and he’s sitting on the bench all the time 🙁 He should easily be a starter!

    1. AOC is still not match fit, and, has been terrible so far when he has come on.
      Last week people on here where giving him stick for losing the ball all the time.
      Last night he came on, played better, but, the Basiktas players had gone, legs that is.
      Someone has a decent game and he is top class, bad game, and he is tosh and needs selling.
      Bit of consistency in player analysis is required methinks.

  4. There are reports saying wenger will sign adrien rabiot and kostas manolas. Kostas would be good, but I think we need a more established cdm

  5. maolas deal isn’t done wenger is also interested in nastasic against everton hope wenger drops cazorla & start ox + maybe Campbell on rw & sanchez upfront

    1. Cazorla is brilliant in the middle .. he is not need for Wilshere and Giroud
      for Everton..
      Oxlade… .Cazorla….Rosicky

  6. Lots of rumours that Barcelona have made Alex Song available for a free loan. If true, I wouldn’t mind having him back. There’s no world class DM’s available this summer and I’d rather get Song free for a season than spend an inflated price on someone who’s no better than him. Song played as anchor before for us and he was good. Only reason why he pushed forward is because Fabregas left and he had to fill that void. Song would be tasked to sit back and I think he would be a good option.
    People that are calling for Carvalho are going to be disappointed. Wenger won’t spend that sort of money on an unproven talent and who’s ridiculously overpriced anyway. He’s no better than Song in my opinion.

    1. I wouldn’t be against it either. He defiately has more steel about him than arteta who in all fairness wasn’t bad yesterday. Song and Ramsey would be a pretty good midfield. I do like what I’ve seen from rabiot though.

  7. 1. Campbell or Ox for Carzola (60 minutes in)

    2. TR7 for Ramsey when he was still on a yellow or Wilshere who was chasing Shadows most of the game (70 minutes in)

    (However due to Arteta’s injury I guess Flamini in Arteta out)

    3. Ox or Campbell for OG12 or for Sanchez in order to keep him fresh (80 minutes in)

    All in all Wenger should not be afraid to sub players who are tired / underperforming / or unbalancing the team. This would have saved Ramsey a 2nd yellow, Wilshere or Carzola out in order to TR7 a chance to run at the tired defense, and Ox or Campbell for OG in order for us to secure an all important away go or potential 3 points. What’s the point of having players on the bench if the coach wont give them chance to play at appropriate time.

  8. Well, i am kinda tired of bashing out on players and Wenger lately. All the things which had to be said have been said. Now its up to the club to make those changes.

    We have no tactics.
    And Some certain players do not deserve to play for Arsenal.

      1. Bendtner is class! He’s scored 24 goals in 58 games for Denmark so statistically he’s better than Cavani!

        Oh why did we let him go..

        1. Well I suppose doing it for Denmark and not for Arsenal would be a good starting point for that discussion.

  9. As bad as this may sound. I love that giroud flopped yet again. Probably his worst performance for the club which goes to show just how terrible he wasn’t the reason why I’m hopeful is that the transfer window is still open and if Wenger can open his eyes and buy a striker or a lw then we will be 100x better. Once again that game proved we do not have a natural lw which is why our on gets exposed and mineral takes all the criticism. Cazorla is bench to Ozil. Sad but true. In a perfect world I would like to see a frontline of
    Reus Ozil Sanchez

    1. (The premier league started saturday bro)

      Wait till hes fit and sharper on the ball he’ll get us goals one way or another if not then talk.

  10. Approaching the 70th minute, I was hoping Wenger would replace Cazorla with Sanchez yesterday and bring in Chamberlain to replace Sanchez on the right. In that case we would have achieved very mobile wings and subsequently enhance our attack.

  11. from 50min

    Oxlade… .Cazorla….Rosicky

  12. Now that Arteta is injured, surely cant this play into our favor and force Wenger’s hand to buy a decent DM we have all been praying for. Flamini is too aggressive and cant play games minus been carded which makes him a reliability and a target for our opponents.

    Secondly OG’s poor performances and Sanogo’s injuries, surely Wenger should think of finding solutions if he really wants to win more trophies.

    Read the signs while the transfer window is still open Arsene, even the gods are trying to tell you were you need reinforcement! These things wont just magically change!!!

    1. Come on what do you guys want from a CDM – Flamini needs to be just aggressive enough to indicate desire and satisfy the armchair punters but not aggressive enough to risk sanctioning from the ref. Not sure how you play that one out. Btw : Flamini = 1 red card in 5 PL seasons. Carvalho = 1 red card in last match.

  13. A.Wenger is both naive and stubborn. No tactics and no substitution. Wait until players will get all injured. What’s the point wasting my money travelling around Europe if we can never do any better than previous years? Don’t fool yourself Arsenal fans, we won’t win the league with this squad unless we fix those problems. Facts

  14. Just a few opinions from across the pond,

    1) Never been a Giroud proponent or hater, but his post up outside the box play is simply the antithesis of the free flowing, beautiful futball that IS ARSENAL. Frankly other than a few moments of brilliance, Arsenal is boring to watch when he features. Campbell or Sanchez should lead the line.

    2) Man City—Fernando and Fernandino
    Chelsea—Matic and somebody Im forgetting
    Arsenal—Arteta and Flamini

    For the love of everything holy Le Prof, buy a freaking physical General to protect the back 4.
    At this stage, I would drive from London to BARCA and kidnapp A Song if Wenger isnt willing to splash the cash on Carvalho and company.

    3) Have been really impressed with Chambers and Debuchy thus far, both will have great years if they stay fit. A Sanchez has the opportunity to be truly special, sadly his ceiling in an Arsenal jersey is directly correlated to Giroud grabbing ass splinters on the bench. They both play, and its obvious they will, Arsenal will struggle mightily to score against the true title contenders.

    I know Rome wasnt built in a day and the signings of Ozil and Sanchez over the last three transfer windows have galvanized the Arsenal Nation and sent a message to the futball world that a sleeping giant is slowly awakening from a decade of dormancy, but this current squad is still 3 very good players away from seriously competing in both the EPL and Europe.

    Just my 2 cents, hope my fellow Gunners are doing well and lets take Roberto and the Toffees behind the woodshed on Saturday!

    1. Fair post mate. You have latched on to what many are either ignoring or don’t want to accept: that this is a work in progress. We can’t recover the squad quality deficit to City/Chelski in a single transfer window. Many on here will advocate buying a new 1st XI in one go but without really giving it too much thought to how that would work out or why it is not that clever, appealing as it may sound to the plastics, games console addicts etc

  15. In reality, we have only added one player so far this season. And even at that, more players have left the club than have come in. And the concerns are still there. We have not resolved the fundamental issues apparent in the team last season. A proper Defensive Midfielder and a proper Striker. And then, what is Wenger’s obsession with short and not too strong players these days.

  16. One of the laws of madness is to keep doing the same repeatedly and expecting a different result or oucome.
    1. Wenger starts every game with his favorite players even when they are not performing or match fit.
    2. Wenger adopts the same tactics irrespective of who the opponent is.
    3. Wenger carries out his substitutions at the 70th minute except when forced by injury.
    4. Wenger is willing to ruin his reputation because of his convictions even when they are based on faulty premises. Everyone knows we need another striker and a CDM except Wenger because he is convinced that Arteta and Giroud can do the job.

    1. And you and many others are fine exponents of this alleged “law of madness” – repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome (or any outcome at all for that matter). The only person (Wenger) who can fulfil your wish list is not listening, probably doesn’t care and is unlikely to be impressed by the armchair managers – although he would probably smile and be polite if he had the chance to respond directly to the punters. Who is madder eh?

  17. One major concern is injuries, wenger is not helping in this department, while world cup was going on i felt the defense should have been a major concern, Kos and Mert have not had any major rest and the world cup did not help, i predicted injury would occur due to the amount of games played.

    Wenger also refuse to rotate in out midfield, which he admitted was not fit enough yet and one thing i have learnt an unfit team is always more likely to get injures more than a fit team. The coach admitted the team needed more practise matches, competition matches are not practice matches which will put more strain on the mind and body.

    Besiktas attack fairly well through Ba and their right sided player was their only threat, however i did not see their defense to be great, i though arsenal slack passing and over dribbling was our major let down.

    On evidence so far this team still needs at least 2 defenders, i think Mert will soon be feeling the affects of last season too, in this season and if we not getting a DM, Callum Chambers should be moved to that position allowing us to become more mobile (from what i have seen of him in defense i think he would even be more impressive in DM). He reminds me of Verm. The continual experiment of Cazorla on the left side of the pitch most be stopped, play him behind the striker and let him do his thing, he should have been building his confidence back while Ozil was out in that position, if you (wenger) wants jack to play so much, let him play behind giroud and bench cazorla, but this experiment must stop allow , Campbell,ox or Gnabry to show themselves in that position, even RYO and COQ would do a much better job on the left side of the park.

  18. If arteta not fit he may put chambers in midfield and bring mert back in for Everton game play cambell on left ox right and Sanchez through the middle have ozil,carzola,giroud,rosicky and podolski on bench!

  19. Cambell needs to start up front instead of Giroud, and Chamberlain has to start on the left instead of Santi. Ramsey needs to cool down a bit bec he is becoming a little bit cocky lately, trying to many times fancy tricks only to fail and grap the opposite player bec he was pisse#d he lost the ball.

  20. What i find funny is supporters thinking Wenger will NOW strengthen with a ST & DM because Giroud had a rubbish game and Arteta could be injured. Does anymore remember our last january transfer window???

  21. Our midfield is not good enough yesterday. As for the strike force? Say no more. Jack Wilshere???? Hmm. Santi Carzola on left wing? ? No no. We need striker and DM. Sanchez is not very comfortable on left, I notice he does not kick with his left. The fact that we do not have class LW puts more pressure on our LB’s. More experienced CB. We need to adress these positions if we gonna be contenders. At this point I can see us sneak in for Semis of either FA cup or Capital one cup.

  22. Our left flank was underused again last night as Cazorla keeps drifting in to the middle. Giroud was hopeless. The guy gets the ball in the middle of the park and does not know what to do with it. He knows he cannot dribble and run with it, so he ends up miss passing it. Happened several times. He is ok in the box for tap ins an headers, but other than that he is useless. This is the honest truth, he might be a swell guy with good looks etc but I would rather have someone as butt ugly as Rooney scoring goals on a regular basis than some powder puff frenchman only worried about his hair and how many chics he can bang before game time. He is at best a 3rd choice striker. The problem is, we end up playing a game where Giroud might score an easy goal concealing the fact that he is still not good enough, but the Giroud lovers will come out of the woodwork again to defend him and the vicious circle continues.

    I just cannot understand Wenger’s logic concerning Giroud. The guy is almost 30 and will not get any better. Surely Wenger can see we need another option up front? Walcott, Campbell, Chamberlain and Sanchez are all excellent forwards and Walcott has already proven he can be clinical enough. Chamberlain is ambidexterous and can alos be formiddable down the middle. Why not try that combination of Campbell LW, Sanchez CF and Chamberlain/Walcott RW? I like Sanogo but the guy is injured.

    Please Wenger make a plan, Giroud is not the answer.

    Also, our DM area is a shambles. Flamini is a red card waiting to happen and Arteta is injured now. I really wouldn’t mind Song back at all. They guy was brilliant for us, in fact one of our best players before he left. Great in the air, great anticipation and no slouch over the ball.

  23. Cavanai

    Di Maria Ozil Sanchez

    Khedira Fabregas

    Gibbs Hummels Kos Debuchey


    7 man Subs: Sheez, Reus, Ramsay, Varane, Walcott, Bender, Pogba

    We wouldnt be worry if we had a team like this

    a strong first 11 and 7 strong subs….

    come on Wenger spend the money…

    1. Why have you got Gibbs, Debucy and Kos in there? Shortsighted thinking my friend. Front 3 looks a bit weak as well – Bale/Messi/Ronaldo would be my shout. Kroos for Khedira as well.

  24. Give Sanchez a go up front against Everton. If he looks the part then we don’t need a striker. Ox/Walcott can operate on the right, and we can buy a DM instead.

  25. Yup.. i think we should play Sanchez in the Middle and put the OX on the right against Everton.
    Joel can replace Santi Corzola in the 70th minute.

  26. sanchez up-front, AOC on right and Joel cambel on left… for middle Wilshere or cazorla, behind them Flamini and Ramsey and the previous games’ back four.

  27. If we going to use a small strike force, we will need a big body in our midfield, although Giroud is not scoring goals for the team he is one of our best defenders in regards to set plays (corners and free kicks), thats why we would need a MONSTER in the midfield to assist with the height problem we would have in set plays against us.
    Really want to see the team he is going to put out against everton

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