In my earlier article, I had written about how one tactical decision effectively changed the game between Arsenal and Manchester United; of course, the change was bringing Andrei Arshavin as a substitute for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. For Arsenal, he outshone everyone else.
The precocious young Arsenal man had been really impressive in other cup ties, and he was equally impressive today in his first Premier League outing. It was his reverse ball that gave Van Persie the opportunity to score. Oxlade-Chamberlain also made marauding runs, controlled the pace of the game on numerous occasions and enthused the team with a lot of positive energy.
Naturally, when he was substituted, it was a shock. Chamberlain's departure and Arshavin's arrival was met with a lot of dissent, anger and boos from the Arsenal faithful. The malcontent was rightly expressed. Even Robin Van Persie expressed shock at the decision, as he was seen uttering a no as he saw the substitution taking place.
The move backfired eventually: Arshavin was beaten too easily, did not allow others to step in as a result and let Valencia place a great pass at Welbeck's feet, who eventually scored and saw United through.
However, Wenger has lashed out at fans for questioning his decisions. Obviously, with a man with as much experience as Wenger, he probably knew what he was doing, according to AFP (h/t mid-day.com).
I can understand that the fans are upset about the substitution, especially when it doesn't work, but he (Oxlade-Chamberlain) had started to fatigue. He was sick in the week. Arshavin is captain of the Russia national team. You have an 18-year-old kid making his first Premier League start and a player who's captain of his country and they are querying the substitution? Let's be serious.
He further added:
I've been a manager for 30 years and have made 50,000 subs. I do not have to justify every decision I make. I stand up for it
What do you think of Wenger's views? What do you think of Oxlade-Chamberlain?
Leave your comments.
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