Arsenal

Arsene Wenger: Are the Arsenal Manager's Tactics Holding His Team Back?

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 31:  Arsene Wenger the Arsenal manager reacts on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers at the Emirates Stadium on December 31, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Devil in a New DressSenior Writer IJanuary 22, 2012

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said in his pre-match press conference that failing to qualify for the Champions by achieving a top four place in the league would be a disaster for the club.

"For me not making top four would be a disaster because I want to play with the best. We want to play in the Champions League, and anything else would not be good enough."

However, watching his team lose 2-1 to the supposedly "weak" Manchester United team, it simply seemed that Wenger was talking the talk but doing nothing to walk the walk.

In a match that was touted to be a measure of how far Arsenal had come since their 8-2 drubbing at the hands of United in August last year, Arsenal were lucky to not have conceded eight goals again.

Throughout the match, the mix of indignation and muted disbelief was palpable at the Emirates.

Why did Wenger take off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain—Arsenal's best player—at the time he was most needed?

Why was Theo Walcott instead left on the pitch, despite being so clearly inept and ineffective?

Why bring on Andrei Arshavin, who has been nothing but useless for the last six months?

This was the first time in five years that Arsenal had lost three league games in a row, but it's not the fact that Arsenal lost to United that is the issue—it's the manner of the defeat.

It was a deserved victory for Manchester United, as they were the better team all around. However, that's hardly the sort of reaction Arsenal's fans should be having, right?

In fact, Arsenal's only hope at this stage is that hopefully Arshavin never represents Arsenal again, Wenger starts throwing some money into his team and Robin Van Persie remains blind enough to see Arsenal's viability as a top club.

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