It was not just the new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka’s place on the subs bench for the first game of the Premier League campaign that was a surprise to many Arsenal fans and other football watchers, because our Spanish midfield maestro Santi Cazorla was also left out of the starting line-up, despite having played the full 90 minutes of a pre-season game the weekend before.
Aaron Ramsey was the player selected by Arsene Wenger against Liverpool and he had only played about an hour of pre-season after returning from his Euro 2016 heroics for Wales and it now appears that this was a risk after he picked up a hamstring injury and the boss suggested he was not quite ready.
Thierry Henry in the TV studio seemed a touch baffled by Wenger’s decision not to start with Xhaka, after the Switzerland international midfield star was the only big signing of the summer. From what the boss says he will only spend big money on players that will improve the team so why not play Xhaka, especially if Ramsey was a risk?
Perhaps he was worried about how the new Gunner would cope with a Jurgen Klopp heavy pressing side on his EPL debut. I can understand that, but then why not play the brilliant Spaniard in the role he has performed so well over the last year or two? I do not get it, do you?