Why Wenger will face the loneliest week of his life

Why Wenger will face the loneliest week of his life

28 Aug 2017, 14:00

Most Arsenal fans are struggling to remember a worse Arsenal performance than Sunday’s. It was humiliating. There are players who look as if they don't want to be at the club and a manager who looks like he has lost his way.

It does not seem like Arsene Wenger is making rational decisions. Why did he leave Alexandre Lacazette his club-record, £53 million signing on the bench for such an important match? Surely it made sense to play him at a ground where Arsenal have not won for five years.

Why was Hector Bellerin deployed at left wing-back when Sead Kolasinac, a naturally left-sided player, was available? Kolasinac has been a rare shining light in Arsenal's poor start. Why sell Gabriel who was Arsenal's best pound-for-pound defender after Laurent Koscielny? It meant the inexperienced Rob Holding who only came into the side in April was thrown to the wolves. Liverpool had too much pace and know-how in Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.

Wenger left his back five exposed with little midfield protection. There was no balance. Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka were both given licence to attack but they left the back door open. Contrast this with Liverpool, who had Jordan Henderson sitting with Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can taking it in turns to get forward. Out of possession, Arsenal looked lost to a great extent.

Of course the players must take some responsibility but the manager has to give them a platform from which they can play. Wenger was as culpable as the players for this debacle.

There must be a part of Wenger that is questioning why he decided to stay but he will not walk away now. He has been in difficult situations before and will know that now is not the time to panic. During the international break, Wenger must simplify his decision-making and work out who are the 11 players he can completely trust to get Arsenal out of this mess.

What is certain is that this will be the loneliest week of Wenger's life.

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