Arsene Wenger has always done his utmost to protect his players, and has jumped to take responsibility for our disappointing defeat in Croatia this past Wednesday evening, as reported by Sky Sports.
Having been reduced to ten men and going a goal down in the first half, it was always going to be tough. A number of poor performances certainly didn’t help, and when Dinamo Zagreb doubled their lead it looked all over. We battled back to make it 2-1, but never really looked like overturning the deficit.
Wenger has taken the burden of responsibility though, and claims it was down to his team selection. This is noble of him, but few will fully accept it.
The team that started the game were more than capable of getting the win, and should have cruised past Zagreb – despite Wenger resting the likes of Hector Bellerin, Aaron Ramsey, and initially Francis Coquelin.
Nonetheless, Wenger felt compelled to shield his players from blame.
“I stand up for my selection and take responsibility for it, but I believe we can repair what happened,” he said.
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“We are on a good run in the Premier League and it’s important now to look at that.
“The numbers were quite good for us as long as we were 11 against 11 and at even 10 against 11 we had some chances, but of course it was more difficult.
“It’s easier to lose away from home than at home and every defeat hurts, but every defeat is an opportunity to respond in a very strong way.”
With our Champions League defeat coming soon after the lull of the international break, which itself directly followed a disappointing transfer deadline day, Arsenal fans don’t have a huge amount to be pleased about at the moment.
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Our next game is against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge however, and could see a drastic shift in fan temperaments. We are on a decent run in the Premier League, and a win over one of our biggest rivals would be a huge boost. It would also see Jose Mourinho’s side continue to struggle down at the bottom of the table, which would be an added bonus for the fans and players alike.