Arsene Wenger's Substitution and Six EPL Talking Points from Week 22

Yoosof FarahSenior Writer IIIJanuary 23, 2012

Arsene Wenger's Substitution and Six EPL Talking Points from Week 22

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    Arsene Wenger's strange decision to take off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and replace him with Andrei Arshavin, who's error lead to Manchester United beating Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates, was one of many talking points from week 22 in the Premier League.

    Mario Balotelli and Joleon Lescott, both scorers for Manchester City in their crucial 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur, should've been sent off but weren't, which ultimately cost Harry Redknapp's team.

    Meanwhile, could it be the case that, despite eventually losing 5-2, Newcastle United were robbed of a win at Fulham?

    Here are six talking points from matchday 22 in the Premier League.

Should Arsene Wenger Leave Arsenal?

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    Consecutive league defeats to Fulham, Swansea City and Manchester United, with the latter almost directly Arsene Wenger's fault, have left Arsenal lagging behind in the Premier League, and in a huge uphill struggle to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

    The Gunners faithful have again become disillusioned with Wenger, and many feel it's time for Le Professor to leave.

    His substitution, taking off the team's best, albeit fatiguing, player and replacing him with a massively under-performing lackadaisical one, didn't go down to well with anyone inside the Emirates on Sunday, especially star striker Robin Van Persie.

    And when that "one tactical mistake" cost the Gunners the game, it might also cost the club a Champions League place, as well as Arsene Wenger his job.

Should Kenny Dalglish Leave Liverpool?

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    It's almost unthinkable that Kenny Dalglish could be sacked as Liverpool boss, given how highly he's regarded at Anfield.

    However, results haven't gone well at all for the Reds, and after their 3-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers, it's clear this Liverpool team is one with big issues, and one which won't qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the 2012/13 season.

    Dalglish's side have scored just 27 times in 22 league matches this term, and lie seventh in the Premier League table, six points off fourth placed Chelsea having lost five league games and drawn eight this season.

    Clearly that's not the form principal owner John W Henry envisioned when he rescued the club and invested hundreds of millions to make it great again.

    Results need to pick up soon for Dalglish, not just in the FA Cup and Carling Cup, but most importantly in the Premier League. Otherwise, the Liverpool legend might suffer the same fate as predecessor Roy Hodgson. 

Were Tottenham Hotspur Robbed at Manchester City?

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    Mario Balotelli appeared to maliciously stamp on Scott Parker, in full view of referee Howard Webb, before going on to score the last-minute penalty that saw Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 and dent their rivals Premier League title aspirations.

    No doubt the Italian should've been sent off. And had that happened, there would've no doubt been only one team in the ascendancy, Spurs.

    It's clear to say that Tottenham were at least robbed of one point, and quite possibly all three, even if Jermain Defoe missed a guilt-edged chance to bag all three points for Tottenham just before Balotelli's spot-kick winner.

Were Newcastle United Robbed at Fulham?

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    Damien Duff went down in the box after a soft nudge from Davide Santon and undeservedly won the penalty that changed the game for Fulham.

    It was a harsh decision that ultimately swung the balance in Fulham's favour, and had the decision not been given, Newcastle United could've easily gone on to comfortably win the game, given they had the momentum in the match.

    Of course though, given their schoolboy defending after that goal, defensive reinforcements are clearly needed at St. James Park. 

    Could Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa of Montpellier, Ligue 1's surprise team this season, be the right man?

Will Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres Ever Score?

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    Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres, who cost record transfer fees of £35 million and £50 million respectively, have scored a combined total of eight goals this season in 46 matches.

    Liverpool striker Carroll hasn't found the net since October, nor has Chelsea forward Torres.

    Both seem incapable of scoring at the moment, missing many chances against Bolton and Norwich City respectively, and it begs the question, will they ever score again for their respective clubs?

    Which is a serious question, as it's hard to see how long both Roman Abramovich and John W Henry can continue before having to cut their losses on such huge investments which are giving no sign of any significant return.

    Although, this writer does feel Fernando Torres will find his form soon.

Do Wigan Athletic Deserve Relegation?

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    Wigan Athletic at the moment are playing like a team who deserve Premier League relegation.

    They're bottom of the table, perform with a stunning lack of urgency, show hardly any determination, and display exceptionally poor decision-making at times.

    On top of that, they haven't adapted into a Premier League club. Their squad is virtually nameless, with no star names apart from Victor Moses and Hugo Rodallega, while their attendance figures are very poor by top-flight standards, attracting an average crowd of 17,513 per game in a stadium with a capacity of 25,133.

    Simply put, this club doesn't deserve Premier League football.