Watching Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal play against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United proved Wenger set out his team to absorb pressure and defend rather than attack which is against the Frenchman’s principles.
From Wenger’s line-up it was obvious the North London side were giving so much respect to their opponents from the North as not only was Alex Iwobi benched for Aaron Ramsey who gives more balance to the team considering his ability to help out the full back by doubling up on the opposition attackers. From the very first minute, Arsenal looked like a team lacking confidence as they misplaced passes unable to hold possession. This was so different from the team that had terrorised opponents having white-washed the likes of Watford and Chelsea in previous games. Wenger also made a costly mistake starting two defensive minded central midfielders in Francis Coquelin and Mohammed El’Neny which showed his motive of playing out for a draw considering he had better alternatives in Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in that position . Though Coquelin and El’neny were not defensively poor, they pair were non-existent in attack as United quickly outnumbered and outmuscled the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in attack.
Also as the game progressed, Wenger must have realised his folly In partnering Francis Coquelin and Mohammed El’Neny in the centre of the park as the pair were overwhelmed and outrun by the likes of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba. Even though Arsenal had more possession (55%) against United’s 45%, they Gunners failed to make it count as United created more chances having five shots on target to Arsenal’s one. In attack, Wenger’s charges did not fair better as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were not only isolated but also became ineffective unable to string passes when it mattered. Sanchez was not only a shadow of himself, the Chilean could not test David De Gea all afternoon as he drifted deep each time to get the ball.
Also to be considers is that Wenger was clearly outwitted by Mourinho judging from his ineffective tactics which made his team easy to play against as Antonio Valencia stole the show, terrorising Nacho Monreal on several occasions even forcing the Spaniard to foul him in the penalty box only for referee Andre Marriner to wave play on. Having benched Alex Iwobi , Wenger must have realised that though the attacker might have failed to score a single goal this season yet his influence in Arsenal’s attack cannot be understated given how fluid and mobile Arsenal attack with him on the field when compared to their stagnant and ineffective movement on Saturday.
Though Oliver Giroud’s header made sure Wenger went back to North London with a draw, and it turned out a win win situation for many Gunners at www.bestbonusescasinos.co.uk. It takes nothing from the fact that his team was on the back foot all afternoon as United only have themselves to blame for not taking the whole three points considering their dominance in the game. Having watched Arsenal attack with verve and passion all season, Arsene Wenger must accept his tactics and style failed him hence the need to revert to his former style of attacking football instead of trying to play negative football if they are to challenge the other teams for the title this season .