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WENGER - 'I'd Do It Again.'
Andy (Rangers) 7 years ago
Arsene Wenger has defended his decision to bring on Cesc Fabregas in the second half of Arsenal's Premier League clash with Aston Villa yesterday.

The influential midfielder proved the difference between the two sides, netting a brace after being subbed on in the 55th minute although the Spaniard limped off 27 minutes later after effectively winning the match for the home side.

An all too familiar grimace stretched across Fabregas' face dampened the mood following the second goal as the captain was helped off the pitch, clutching his inner thigh. He will undergo scans today to determine the length of injury with the worst possible scenario set at 3 weeks absent.

Wenger post-match

Wenger knew he was taking a gamble involving the midfielder and he seemed to have no regrets when talking to the press.

"Was it a gamble? You never know, if you can prove to me we would have won the game without him coming on the pitch I was wrong. But we'll never check that."

"I feel I did the right thing. Of course he adds some creativity in your game and at that moment I felt that was needed."

"Had we been 1-0 up I would not have done it. But at the end of the day you do what you think will win the game."

"I would do it again."

The Arsenal boss will be of the opinion that the result reflects a well-weighted decision although many will brand it reckless given the lack of resources at the Emirates.

In the upcoming weeks, Arsenal may find themselves lacking options in midfield and may be forced to redistribute transfer budget money in accordance with need. Few would dispute that Arsenal need to bolster their attack with a well thought-out signing and midfield woes may compound the problem.

A well judged decision to which the result is testament to? Or an unnecessary risk that will fail to benefit in the long-term?
PepeLePewPew (Arsenal) 7 years ago
It's never a one-way street. I'm guessing Cesc felt he was fit enough to sit on the bench and possibly enter play, otherwise Wenger wouldn't have marked him up for it.

For now I just hope it's not serious and Fabregas can keep on healing and scoring
Walcott (Arsenal) 7 years ago
I think Wenger made the right decision. Until then the game was pretty well balanced, although Arsenal was dictating the play, the match was pretty closed.
Arshavin was covered very tightly, and couldn't produce a goal-scoring opportunity. Fabregas added more dept and a new threat to the Villa defenders, who had trouble covering Cesc, and therefore gave Arshavin more space. These 3 points were of extreme high value, considering Villa's position and Chelsea's draw on Saturday.
Although Fabregas is Arsenal's MVP; we should be able to get 3 points against Pompey and hope Cesc (among Bendtner and others) will be fit january 9th when we play Everton, and certainly for the end of January/beginning of February when we play Villa-Man Utd-Chelsea back-to-back
Fireknight (Arsenal) 7 years ago
I think his decision was right because arsenal really needed something to happen at that point and cesc did just that.... And even if wenger regretted his decision he's not going to admit it publicly is he? .... I just hope the injury isn't too bad and cesc can play without any probs
Yogan (Chelsea) 7 years ago
Well, it would have given them a shock if they hadn't won, and their confidence would have decreased massively so I think it would be the right decision. No manager knows who is going to get injured and when, but that was a real super sub performance as a substitute and Aston Villa were threatening more as time went on. I agree with Wenger - I would do it again, especially in a heated and tense game like that, to win it. Yes, and like Firelight I hope it isn't long for him because he is definitely Arsenal's key man
SirStig (Arsenal) 7 years ago
I think Wenger's decision was correct, by bringing on Fabregas, it really changed the game. He added immensely to their attack and looked more dangerous. Sure it was a gamble, but we really needed the three points after Chelsea had slipped up
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 7 years ago
Ok so here's the real problem. Arshaven is playing as their striker right now. With him as the front man, they don't have anyone else to consistently create chances for other players. Nasri has his moments, but he is not consistent with them, you never even ask if rosicky is injured anymore as we all just give him the benefit of the doubt that he is. With van persie up front, wenger could rest fabregas and just have arshaven create the chances. But that option isn't really an option anymore. At least not until january. So arsenal had better hope that fab is not injured for any long period of time, otherwise the gunners may have a problem on their hands. Therefore I really don't know if this was the right decision. Arsenal needed the win, but I think that they could have got it without fabregas. There was still a long game to play when the spaniard was sent on, and for all we know, they could have taken control of the game in that second half after being spoken to by wenger without fabregas on the field. I just don't think it was a good decision by wenger, and it could prove very costly for arsenal
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
So.... In bringing on cesc fabregas arsenal got 3points.... And what if fabregas misse's the next four or five games, and arsenal lose or draw a few games? .... I don't think wengers decision would hold up then.
I've heard a lot of the above posts agreeing with his decision, and he got 3 points.
But theres no way any half sensible manager is going to play his star player with a hamstring injury.
So obviously wenger thought fabregas was fit, or else he's an idiot
You can't even walk with a hamstring injury, so obviously an immediate 3points mean to arsenal fans, than the long term fitness of their best player.... Which I find unbeleiveable
Goonerpride (Arsenal) 7 years ago
Agreed with the last two comments. I am worried sick that he might not be able to play in Jan. We need to pick up all the points we can in Jan-Feb to be serious contenders. If Fab falls we will have to shell good to get a good striker and hope Arshavin has a great form for rest of the season
Pball19 (Chelsea) 7 years ago
Yah know if fabregas hadnt been injured wegner would of been a genius but its just one of those things that you can't help and personally I woulf of done the same
PointmanUk3s (Arsenal) 7 years ago
But he's a genius at the same time. What would happen to Our raace for the title if we didn't win that
Yombe10 (Arsenal) 7 years ago
I'm gonna' say that if Cesc's injury puts him out for three weeks, then we can yell at Wenger a bit. However, even if he is out for a while, there is the chance that Arsenal can continue to win games and get the points. On the other hand, had he not come on against Villa then Arsenal would have surely lost. So, I think given his position, Wenger's choice was a smart one
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 7 years ago
We don't know that though. It wasnt just fabregas who played well in that second half afterall. You need to give credit to the rest of the team for stepping it up after half time as well. I would not have been surprised to see arsenall win the match by one or two goals had fab not gone on. Villa stopped playing well, and arsenal started playing great in that second half. Fab certainly attributed to that second part, but not necissarily to the first part, and who's to say that arsenal would not have started playing well after half time anyways
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Again, you are only thinking of the 3points, this hamstring injury could lose you a player, and some games.
And I reckon arsenal would have beaten aston villa with or without fabregas anyway.
You can't mess about with hamstring injuries, and if arsne says he would play fabregas with a hamstring injury he's a liar
Yombe10 (Arsenal) 7 years ago
Well the way it paned out was as such, before Fabregas stepped onto the field Arsenal was barely creating any chances. Sure there was one by Eduardo, but apart from that, not much really.

However, Fabregas steps onto the field and suddenly you've got two goals in twenty minutes. That's what we call an impact substitute mate.

Like I said earlier, if Fabregas is badly injured then of course, we've got every right to be angered with Wenger. Otherwise, it was some top managing that won the game for Arsenal
TheReggular (Liverpool) 7 years ago
"A well judged decision to which the result is testament to? " Here's your Certificate of Redundancy Certificate
Tony (footytube staff) 7 years ago
Lol.... A bitter scouser.... What did arsene ever do to you?
ShaneA (Rangers) 7 years ago
Definitely turned the game for Arsenal. I thought it was at least entertaining until Cesc came on, but he took over the match and ignited Arshavin and Diaby. Before his entrance they looked almost lifeless.

The big problem comes if/when he's out for three-plus weeks while Song and Diaby are off. Denilson should be back and has looked pretty good playing in front of the back four. Ramsey's certainly good cover but not the real deal just yet. Wilshere's about two seasons from being there despite his moments of brilliance.

I still think their problems can be summed up as such: 1) No height at the back; 2) No height at the front; 3) No player besides Cesc who can take over a game, at least in the absence of RVP; 4) Almunia's prone to disappear for lengths of games/seasons
Affainyi (Arsenal) 7 years ago
So many mistakes in here. Firstly, Diaby played the same all match long. The appearance of fabregas ignited arshavin only. Secondly; diaby isn't going anywhere. He's french.... Not african. Only song and eboue will be gone. Denilson hasn't looked good playing in front of the back 4. He's physically lacking to be good at DM and is creatively short to be further forward. He's a bit like gago.... A good player of course but quite an unaffordable luxury at DM.

Lastly, there may be no height at the back but I doubt vermaelen and gallas will be beaten in the air many times this season. They aren't tall but they both have great leaps and excellent timing. Only the most gigantic strikers would get anything in the air from vermaelen. Ibrahimovic, torres maybe drogba.... That's about it. So lack of height at the back is no problem at all. The other 3 problems are valid though
Blazeofglory (Arsenal) 7 years ago
Diaby is not going to the ACN. He's french
ShaneA (Rangers) 7 years ago
Aye, I had Eboue in the head and still Diaby came out. Still stand by the fact that he only came alive once Cesc entered. Before that he hadn't the space to get going in. That could've been due to Villa tiring also I suppose. Apologies for the Diaby exit comment.

Gallas has looked suspect on set pieces for a couple years now, and Sunday marked two years in a row he was completely bossed off a ball by Agbonlahor in his own area. I can't imagine watching that little bottle rocket push around half of your center defence like he's a shop trolley fills you with confidence. You still need another central defender anyways: what happens when Gallas or Vermaelen go down? Push Song back? Play Silvestre? Both of those options bring their own slew of problems. I think Arsenal have their best shot since the capitulation at St Andrews, just hope they take it so I can quit hearing pundits ask if Arsene's still got it because he can't break two clubs that have infinitely more resources than his own.

And I guess to answer the initial question, they got three points they dropped last year, so I think it was worth it
Affainyi (Arsenal) 7 years ago
You are mostly right. We have senderos and djourou as backup behind silvestre and you know wenger's tendency to promote youngsters. The centre back position could do with an extra body just to provide cover but the situation is far from dire. Pushed around or not the important thing is that gallas together with vermaelen registered a clean sheet against villa. Allow me to remind you that chelsea, liverpool and man-u's backlines were unable to do this. The combined efforts of terry, carvalho, vidic, brown, carragher and agger could not stop villa's attack.

Gallas may have had his shaky moments but he kept villa from scoring with the help of song, vermalelen, the ever effervescent sagna and traore. This is no mean feat and will provide invaluable confidence. Not to mention vermaelen matching agbonlahor stride for stride when haring after a loose ball, and gallas is supposed to be the quick one! Gallas is solid, he just needs someone solid beside him in order to perform because he loses his cool quickly. It could easily go awry but I think the fundamental problem has nothing to do with any of the defenders. They are shaky because the keeper is shaky. Every solid backline is based on a beastly keeper. Take chelsea's situation for example. Terry hasn't lost any ability and is not playing that badly but because his keeper is going through a rough patch he is finding life difficult at the moment. A solid keeper is the most important part of a solid backline.

So as I said before the lack of height at the back is not an issue at all. How many goals have arsenal conceded from a set-piece or difficult ball in the air this season? Less than Chelsea. That problem was prevalent last season and has nigh disappeared this season
ShaneA (Rangers) 7 years ago
If I remember, and correct me if I'm wrong, but most of their toss-away goals in matches they had sealed up this season have come from set plays/high balls into the box. I would agree that you can chalk most of that up to Almunia lacking any sense of command in his area, but I still think having two center backs right around 6-foot could come back to haunt you in games. Gallas still hasn't had his cry-baby moment this year, which could be a sign of cooling with age or could be that it's still to come. We'll see. Senderos is so far in the dog house he doesn't come into the equation anymore.

I think the standard of goalkeeping in the EPL is surprisingly low this year, especially for the big clubs. Cech's completely lost on any cross into the box, has been for a while now. He needs to take off the helmet or Ancelotti needs to take him off. His shot-stopping is still stellar, but he's lost all the confidence of his defence. United's defence is enough to worry about as it is, then you toss in the revolving door that's become their #1 this year and you can understand their problems. Vidic has been a shadow since Torres put him in his pocket last season. Ferdinand.... Enough said. Evans, Brown, etc don't do a lot for me as far as the foundation for team trying to win major trophies. I think they have a far more serious problem at the back even without the injuries. And as for Liverpool, don't care. Reina's highly overrated in my book. He drops balls constantly and has been lucky doing so this year. Great shot-stopper, that's all. Out of the vintage big-four he's the best in net, but his competition isn't much. All the best keepers in the league are outside the big four
PointmanUk3s (Arsenal) 7 years ago
Its simple: You do what you have to do. Period
Yombe10 (Arsenal) 7 years ago
Short and sweet, I like it
Blazeofglory (Arsenal) 7 years ago
Looking at the fixture list, even if he misses three weeks list arsenal should be able to win all the games in that period. If diaby keeps his form up he can provide the creativity from midfield, and that will hopefully soften the blow of losing cesc for these games. Remember last season when he was out the team did very well in his absence. A bigger problem could be if denilson is still injured when song leaves for the ACN

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