What is worse is that even the players didn’t approve of the substitution with captain Robin van Persie visibly upset about the substitution and seen mouthing the words ‘oh no’ as it occurred.
Admittedly it was a huge gamble to place the hopes for a win in the arms of Arshavin, especially when Oxlade-Chamberlain had played a brilliant reverse pass for Van Persie to score minutes before.
Personally I felt Chamberlain could only get better after receiving a huge boost from making an excellent assist, surely it had given him a huge shot of confidence and adrenalin.
It turned to catastrophe for Wenger and Arsenal when Valencia easily cut in and ran into the box after Arshavin made an extremely poor effort at defending and dived in rather than showing Valencia the line.
In the post-match conference Arsene, obviously on the defensive, said:
I can understand that the fans are upset about the substitution, especially when it doesn’t work, but I made the right decision at the start of the game [in starting Oxlade-Chamberlain]. He had started fatigue, stretched his calf and he was sick in the week.
People pay for their tickets and are free to express their emotions. We have to deal with that, not to dictate behaviour to people.
I didn’t see [Robin van Persie’s reaction]. I don’t want to come out on every reaction. We lost the game now and I don’t think I have to explain what I will do. I have to stand up for the result and the substitutions I made.