Wenger Explains Decision To Play Santos
Arsene Wenger took two slight gambles in his team selection in the 3-1 loss in Greece against Olympiacos in a game that was, for all intents and purposes, meaningless, and one of those gambles back fired spectacularly.
Andre Santos had been working himself in to life at Arsenal really well after a shaky start, but the Arsenal manager opted to take him and fellow defender, Thomas Vermaelen, to play in a game that had no baring whatsoever on our future.
Well that`s until Santos was ruled out for 3 months with ligament trouble.
Of course, being the evil bastard he is Arsene Wenger was dragged across hot coals for his decision. In hindsight, it was a bad decision, and given our injury record Arsene should really have thought better of it. But the Frenchman says he owed it to the competition to field at least a couple of first team players as the match had meaning for the remaining teams in our group if not for us.
'I took a gamble because I did not want to be accused of just throwing the game away and I felt that therefore you needed a solid defence, I wanted to be fair to the competition.! Said Le Boss
'Analysing him he came [into the squad] later and played less games than the others, and that's why I played him. But I had a long hesitation before I picked him, believe me. I felt he was a bit tired in the game before, and he had problems finishing the game. The way it happened to him it could have happened to anyone. It was not a kick, there was no contact, he was just on his own. He ruptured his ligament.
'It is very disappointing because it is first of all sad for the player and sad for the Club. It hits us in a position where we of course already have many injuries and where he improved from game to game. The length of the injury is very sad as well because he is three months out. The only good news is that the surgery went well and so he should recover quickly.'
Maybe the well-being of the club and the players should come before Wenger`s personal beliefs, but while I`m mightily disapointed to lose Santos for such a long time, I`m not going to jump on the back of a man who was doing what he believed was right.