I am not one of the Arsenal fans calling for the head of Arsene Wenger today as I place a large part of the blame firmly on the shoulders of the under performing players, especially Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud. But the manager has to take his share of the blame.
For one thing, he picked the team which performed so poorly and he decided to leave Ozil and Mertesacker on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes although to his credit he did give Giroud the hook. But Wenger and the fans should have been able to count on this team and would have expected so much more, so where did his selection go wrong?
Well first of all, apart from the two full backs it was the same side that struggled to hold on to the lead away to Crystal Palace on Saturday. Was that performance good enough to not make any changes? Not really and then you have the tiredness element to factor in as well.
The biggest surprise for me was that Tomas Rosicky did not start as he was fresh and a more natural box-to-box player than Ozil or Cazorla. And I have been struggling for weeks to understand why Wenger has not made more use of Theo Walcott who has been back from injury for over a month but has hardly played, even though he scored goals when he did.
I understand Wenger wanting to stand by his players but we have a big squad for a reason. Why not use it? Is this Wenger’s big mistake?