Amazingly, Arsène Wenger is receiving criticism from some quarters after Saturday’s defeat to Chelsea.
Arsenal had been more than just in the game for the entire first half, defending well and restricting Chelsea’s chances. The Blues created little despite a large amount of possession and, unlike previous visits to Stamford Bridge, we didn’t look like we could be pushed aside.
The team was set up fairly well, focusing on restricting space and having the ability to break at speed to cause Chelsea with some issues.
Then it all went pear-shaped.
Diego Costa shouldn’t have been on the pitch by half-time, but his infuriating aggressive actions, verging on cheating, saw Gabriel lose his temper. The Arsenal defender was foolishly sent off, while the Chelsea man inexplicably wasn’t.
Mike Dean, obviously, was the architect of evil as everything seemed to conspire against Arsène Wenger’s side. The referee failed to handle the Chelsea striker as he should have done and the undoubtedly naive Gabriel paid the price.
A set-piece goal, converted by Kurt Zouma after Laurent Koscielny had played him onside, gave Chelsea the lead. The second goal was added late on as Chelsea needed a deflected Eden Hazard effort to break down Arsenal’s nine men.
Yet somehow, Wenger is at fault.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) September 19, 2015
Yes, we were ever so stupid that Mike Dean didn’t send Diego Costa off and that is Wenger’s fault.
The sun will rise, taxes will be paid, ITV will show Matrix films at 1am, and Wenger’s Arsenal will lose to Mourinho’s Chelsea. — Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) September 19, 2015
Yes, Wenger’s record against Mourinho was worsened by the manager himself and not the hideous errors of the referee.
Wenger surely has to play Ramsey in his proper position or not play him. Starting him on the right is a fudge
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) September 19, 2015
Starting Ramsey on the right was clearly the worst decision made in west London on Saturday. Let’s ignore the referee.
For Arsenal, a naivety and lack of leadership were witnessed again. Fans may rail against Costa but problems lie with Wenger and board. 3/3 — Henry Winter (@henrywinter) September 19, 2015
Again, Arsène Wenger (and this time the board) were the problem as Mike Dean failed to send off a Chelsea player for: diving, demanding the referee showed a card to another player, scratching and repeatedly hitting Arsenal’s defenders. I have a huge amount of respect for some (and only some) of the journalists above, but this stance is beyond belief.
There are legitimate reasons to criticise Arsène Wenger – right now there are arguably more than ever – but to lay the blame at his feet for Saturday’s loss is ignorant.
That version of events is blinkered. There were a number of things that went wrong for Arsenal at Stamford Bridge but, this time around, Wenger can’t be blamed for them.