Alan Smith criticises Arsenal boss, reveals Wenger’s obvious weakness

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Arsene Wenger

Former Arsenal star Alan Smith has criticised Arsene Wenger after the Gunners 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Saturday.

The North London club went into the game as favourites against a weak United side, but they failed to turn up and struggled throughout the game.

Smith wasn’t impressed with Wenger’s late substitution calls and claimed that it was one of his flaws. Here is the post from his official Twitter account.

Smith definitely has a point here, there have been instances over the past few years where Wenger left his substitutions too late, not giving the players enough time to make an impact. You need not look far, as this was the case in yesterday’s game too.

During the first half of the game against United, it was clear that Arsenal were struggling to find a foot hold in the game. The creativity was lacking in the middle of the pitch and they also struggled to create any potent attacks from the wings.

Sanchez was clearly not 100% and although he did show his quick feet on a couple of occasions, his overall game was not up to the mark meaning there was no threat to the United goal.

Ozil, Walcott and Ramsey were also very poor and Wenger should have made some changes around the hour mark if not at the lemon break, but that was not the case as the French boss waited until the 70th minute to make his first move.

There was enough pace on the bench in the form of Chambo and Iwobi, which could have opened up United much earlier if the boss would have made the changes before.

Ultimately the goal did come in the form of Giroud with an assist from another substitute Chamberlain, but that only shows that Wenger might have preserved his trump cards a little too long.

There is also flip side to this view, that if you make the changes too early then you might struggle at the end of the game as there is always a risk of some injuries and Wenger might indeed be right in holding his substitutions back until late in the game. But, we would like Arsenal to take that gambles to win crucial games.

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    2 COMMENTS

    1. It seems ridiculous to criticize Wenger’s substitutions when they made the difference between losing and taking a point. Smith is the same guy who has said on plenty of occasions that Arsenal cannot win the league with Giroud at center forward. Thierry Henry has said the same. It is unfair to then turn around and say he should have come on sooner.

      Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Valencia were the two best players on the pitch. Valencia made Monreal work every time he had the ball. Alexis was the one Arsenal player that did drive forward and show consistent attacking intent.

      How many times has Smith and Co brutalized Arsene Wenger for being naive tactically. In this game he set the side up to play defensively. He chose Monreal, Elneny, Coquelin, and Ramsey over Gibbs, Xhaka, Ramsey, and Iwobi. Arsenal still had a lot of possession in the first half, but did the job defensively for most of the afternoon. Mata finally slipped through, but otherwise, Arsenal kept United at bay.

      When Giroud came on he was the picture of clinical. One shot on target, one goal. How ,many times has he been cirticized for not being clinical. how much more clinical can you get?

      As far as a ‘weakened’ United is concerned, please! Man U had about £200 million in players on the pitch. Pogba, Herrera, Rooney, Martial, Valencia, Darmian, Carrick Rojo, DeGea, and Mata are not weak. Rashford was everyone’s darling at the end of last season. The next great English center forward. The only weak player was jones and he had a solid game. United are taking time to gel and Mourinho is showing some cracks in his Special One persona, but this is a strong, deep team that will be a force to be reckoned with in the title race this season.

      Arsenal was missing critical first teamers as well, with Cazorla and Bellerin both absent.

      Wenger got his tactics spot on. He played conservatively until the last fifteen or twenty minutes, then put on his subs to try to snatch a draw or win. He got the point. If Wenger had set up his team to play attacking football, the same people, likeSmith criticizin the approach he took, would now be criticiszing his tactical naivete.

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