There is no doubt that Arsene Wenger should have invested in one more defender and a defensive midfielder in the summer transfer window, because injuries (and suspensions – like now) have left the Arsenal squad with practically no defenders.
But Wenger feels that the Arsenal fans have been harsh in constantly criticizing the weak state of our defence and suggests that we should also consider the ames when we have defended well. “I think we defended well in Galatasaray,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com. “Before that game we had three clean sheets in a row but that is the modern game – it is always the last game that is judged definitively on the quality of the team.
“The last one was Galatasaray, before it was Stoke. Yes, we did not defend well at Stoke but I feel that at Galatasaray we defended well.
“We came back at five o’clock in the morning on Wednesday and we just have to recover at the moment,” Wenger added. “Our sessions are recovery, recovery because we played as well two more Champions League games.
“We have played eight Champions League games since the start of the season and we are exposed to demands physically that allow us to work less than we would like to. But of course we work on our weak points.”
“We want to play top level games and over the years we have learnt to cope with that and we don’t want to complain. I have played my 180th Champions League game, that means we can cope with that and Arsenal has learnt to cope with that.”
For this weekend, Arsenal are suffering even more than usual with the injuries to Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal, and of course the suspended Calum Chambers (who was supposed to be a backup defender this season but has played narly every game). But Wenger is now considering playing Hector Bellerin, who had a shocker against Galatasary, or throw in an untried youngster.
“He (Bellerin) is getting better from game to game,” Wenger continued. “At the start he was a bit inhibited, but in the last game I think he played with more freedom.
“Defensively I have 24 hours to think about my options and I will find a solution for tomorrow. We have to play somebody with almost no experience or somebody who is not used to playing in the position.”
Wenger is suggesting that we are criticizing the defenders, but it seems to me that most people on this site are criticizing the manager himself for failing to provide enough coverduring the summer window, especially after selling Thomas Vermaelen. And who can explain why Wenger allowed Carl Jenkinson to extend his loan at West Ham United when we are going through a massive defensive crisis?