Wenger’s Square Pegs In Round Holes
Arsene Wenger’s decision to deploy Nacho Monreal at center-back and Calum Chambers at right-back cost Arsenal 3 points verse Swansea City on Sunday.
It was a case of Wenger trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes.
Chambers proved early on during this campaign that his skill set and physical attributes are best suited for central defence; despite the fact that the young Englishman first caught Wenger’s eye playing at right-back for Southampton.
His height makes him a proper defender verse target strikers in the air, and his excellent reading of the game is impressive for such a young player; couple these talents with his athleticism and technical abilities, and in Chambers Arsenal have the perfect modern-era defender that can build possession out of the back.
Chambers, is not, however, suited to defend in wide areas 1v1.
Jefferson Montero made this all to clear last Sunday.
The Ecuadorean bamboozled, twisted, turned, and tied the young Gunner in knots at the Liberty Stadium.
After already having served a 1-game suspension for picking up 5 yellow cards in the early goings of the season, Chamber’s earned another on Sunday.
Nacho Monreal, confusingly, on more than a few occasions, has been played at center-back this season; Wenger must see something no rational student of the game has noticed up to this point.
This is a ludicrous selection.
Monreal, it was believed, was brought in to create competition, and serve as cover at left-back, for the still blossoming Kieran Gibbs; a role he has performed admirably with the Spanish National team and Jordi Alba.
The promise was there, Nacho, with his cultured left-foot and ability to swing in a cross, seemed primed perfectly to provide Olivier Giroud with headed goals, and his ability to play the ball on the carpet and zing it around was a match made in heaven for the North Londoners.
Then Monreal’s lack of durability, toughness, and tactical discipline was exposed to the rigors and speed of the Barclay’s Premier League.
Monreal was beaten time after time, game after game at left-back, and Wenger’s recent decision to play Mesut Ozil and the man from Pamplona on the same flank, in several key games this season, befuddled Arsenal supporters from Islington to Istanbul.
The notion that Monreal can play at center-back, and stand up to the strength and power of a Wilfried Bony, who has 30 pounds and two inches on the Spaniard, or a Bafetimbi Gomis, who has 10 pounds and two inches, was a critical miscalculation by the Professor and one wonders what, if anything, Steve Bould whispers in Wenger’s ear about defending.
This was a case of Wenger trying to cram square pegs in round holes to disastrous effect.
In the words of Kenelm Chillingly…
Does it not prove that no man, however wise, is a good judge of his own case?