Arsène Wenger was very much a marked man on Saturday afternoon but, on the day, he came up trumps with a match-winning substitution.
Fans at the Emirates Stadium were generally pleased to see Danny Welbeck warm up and prepare to come on early in the second half.
They were less happy when Alex Iwobi was the man taken off and they made it perfectly clear, booing as Iwobi left the pitch rather than the much-maligned Olivier Giroud.
So, why did Iwobi come off?
“I saw the opportunity there, because Alex Iwobi comes more towards the ball but, with a runner in behind on our left side, there was some room to exploit, and Danny did that very well,” Arsène Wenger explained after the game.
“On top of that he scored a goal when he came on.
“That is good for his confidence as well. Overall I’m very happy.”
The substitution was absolutely vindicated by the winner, something the boss deserves more credit for.
So often managers influence games with their changes. It’s not something Wenger does all that often but when he does, give him credit.
Wenger must have felt a little joy at being proven right by his players. Giroud rewarded him with an assist and, had he come on up front rather than out wide, who’s to say Welbeck would’ve got into that position?
Credit where it’s due, the fans who booed the decision were wrong and the boss’ choice helped us win the game.