≡ Menu

Arsene Wenger Explains Team Selection v Man United

onearsenewengerMany Arsenal fans were left scratching their head at Arsene Wenger’s team selection ahead of the Manchester United match. Granit Xhaka was once again left on the bench we was Alex Iwobi.

The Arsenal boss explained his team selection this way:

“I knew it would be a bit more of a physical battle so I chose players who have experience and fight,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.

“That’s why my selection was because of that. At the end of the day, everyone gave their maximum and there is a special spirit in the squad. That’s why we came back, because the players who came on made the difference. That’s remarkable.

“Considering the first half, yes [it was a fair result]. We had a lot of possession but in the second half when we came out of the dressing room, we dropped. We offered less going forward, but when we were 1-0 down we found the resources again.

“We want to be about style and steel but today we were more about steel than style. There’s a remarkable resilience in the squad and that’s why we came back to 1-1. We didn’t have the usual fluency in our game. Was that because Manchester United blocked us well? I think it was because we were also not at our best going forward.”

It is fair to say that Wenger’s tactics failed, despite Arsenal grabbing a share of the points. Manchester United’s best player was Antonio Valencia and Aaron Ramsey admitted afterwards that he struggled marking the United fullback:

“It was difficult tracking back with Valencia out there but it was something I was asked to do and I felt alright.”

With Mesut Özil completely ineffective all match, Arsenal did not get a foothold into the game until they went behind and Manchester dropped off, giving Arsenal the ball again.