Arsenal’s was put to the sword as Manchester City continued their ascendancy to Premier League glory by stretching the gap on top of the table to eight points.
The Gunners shipped three goals at the Etihad on Sunday, with Alexandre Lacazette coming off the bench to score Arsenal’s only consolation goal for the game.
Although Arsene Wenger made a case for two controversial goals conceded during the encounter, it couldn’t conceal the bromidic nature of his tactics against a well versed Pep Guardiola side.
Coquelin in defense
Arsene Wenger’s decision to start Francis Coquelin at the heart of Arsenal’s defense was as timid as it was misguided.
The 26-year old could have played a central role in his natural position in the middle of the park had Wenger switched to a back four, but the gaffer instead opted for a back three; a calamitous decision in every sense of the word.
Furthermore, shouldering the midfielder with the responsibility to stabilizing the defense on his first Premier League start since May, against a side that had pried open defenses with 49 goals in their last 16 games was an inexplicable decision by Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal managed to secure the services of Alexandre Lacazette from Olympique Lyon despite a summer of discontent. The decision to however drop the marquee signing down to the bench against an opposition such as City did not auger well with the fans.
This wasn’t the first time either as Wenger preferred to start Danny Welbeck over the £52m signing during the stale draw with Chelsea in September; much to the bemusement of fans.
The mere fact that Lacazette threw Arsenal a lifeline with a comeback goal within minutes of stepping on the turf was proof of how Wenger’s belligerence cost the Gunners a result at the Etihad.
With ill-fated decisions such as these, there’s no prize for guessing why Arsenal have already bowed out of the chase for the Premier League title, yet it’s only November.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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