Wenger Will Keep The Faith
By David Hamill
His unbreakable optimism and enthusiasm for his young squad’s potential in the face of adversity is admirable, while his philosophy on the game in general and how it should be played demands respect.
Its only through his shear dogged principles that he allows himself to get agitated when he feels his players have been conspired against, even on the occasions were its not entirely necessary.
Eduardo was given retrospective punishment for diving to win a penalty in the second leg win over Celtic, and the Croatian striker will serve a two-game ban in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Arsenal have appealed the decision, but really, when the opposition the Gunners will face in the first phase are scrutinized, there is no need.
If Wenger was given the opportunity to hand pick the draw for his team’s group before it was made, chances are it would be pretty close to how it’s actually panned out.
Standard Liege, AZ Alkmaar and Olympiacos are all capable of causing an upset on their day, but it’s the type of group where Arsenal could afford to lose two games and still qualify comfortably for the knockout phase.
Like Eduardo, Andrei Arshavin looks likely to sit out Arsenal’s European opener after suffering injury during his country’s World Cup qualifier against Wales, but if Wenger’s version of events is to be believed he was already injured and shouldn’t have featured in Cardiff.
While its understandable to be upset at the prospect of missing two Premier League games, as far as Europe goes Wenger can afford to wait for Arshavin’s Champions League debut for the Emirates stadium club, not including the preliminary round of course.
Arshavin was ineligible last season and the Gunners suffered dearly in the semi-finals against Manchester United as a result of his absence.
If you’re going to be without two of your best players its better to be without them in the early stages of the competition, because Arsenal will need them later in the tournament.
But as far as Wenger is concerned, is doesn’t matter if it’s a meaningless friendly or a season defining encounter, he will always look out for the welfare of his squad. Should Arsenal go another season without silverware, it won’t be down to the manager’s lack of faith.
Tags: Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Champions League, Eduardo, UEFA Champions League, Gunners, Andrei Arshavin, Premier League, Emirates stadium