Image Credit: Catherine Ivill – AMA / Getty Images
Arsenal suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Olympiakos last night, plunging them to the bottom of Group F in the Champions League. With Arsene Wenger having opted to keep Petr Cech on the bench, only for substitute goalkeeper David Ospina to make a calamitous mistake that would lead to the English club failing to take any points away from the game, many fingers are being pointed at the manager. However, not only is Wenger refusing to admit that he made any mistakes in his team selection prior to the match, he has also insisted that Arsenal can bounce back after their poor run of results and qualify for the knockout stages.
Speaking in the morning after the Olympiakos match, Wenger said: “It leaves us in a bad position but we are still in it. We have to get a result in our next game against Bayern Munich.”
Of course, that is much easier said than done. With Arsenal having lost to both Olympiakos and rank outsiders Dinamo Zagreb, the team’s morale will be low heading into a match with German superstars Bayern, who destroyed Zagreb 5-0 in their match with the Croatian outfit last night.
Ospina dropped the ball over his own goal line from an Olympiakos corner last night, costing Arsenal a goal. (Image Credit: Glyn Kirk / Getty Images)
Many are now growing tired of Wenger’s persistent stubbornness when it comes to accepting any wrongdoing on his behalf when it comes to Arsenal’s poor performances, with the manager saying after the match: “I make the selections for the team and I am responsible for them. And I know many things that you don’t know. Or that you ignore. We cannot select the team by making a poll before the game and getting everybody’s opinion.”
When questioned on why he let Ospina start the match, he added: “I do not have to sit here and give you any explanation about every decision I make. You are capable to judge what I do and I leave you to that. Cech had a slight [fitness] alert before the game at Leicester [on Saturday]. I didn’t want to take a gamble but it’s not because of that we lost the game. It’s a farce [to suggest that].”
But Wenger telling reporters that he knows best will be of little solace to Arsenal fans who witnessed their club’s chances of even Champions League qualification become increasingly unlikely last night, and even if Cech playing against Olympiakos could have ruled him out their upcoming game against Leicester, many will rightly suggest that making it into the knockout stages of Europe’s biggest club tournament is far more important than one Premier League game.