How stupid does this cretin think people are? Under pressure to change his obstinate ways, and in fear of his job, last night Wenger switched from a flat back four to a 3-4-2-1 formation against Middlesbrough. Explaining the pitifully transparent tactical adaptation in his post-match press conference, Wenger said: “For the first time in 20 years, that shows you that even in my age you can change.”
It’s hard to conceive that anyone is likely fall for Wenger’s dumb arse tactical gesture or conclude that he is actually willing to make anything other than the most superficial of changes. Ultimately, it’s a political/dogmatic response, albeit a particularly patronising and desperate one designed to swindle supporters into subservience.
Indeed, Wenger only made the change because he knew his team were playing a relegation-bound side that’s scored a feeble 22 goals this season. A calculated yet cynical gamble, Wenger could have predicted there was a very high chance that Middlesbrough – a team that has only won 4 of 32 matches and is in terrible form, would create very little regardless of Arsenal’s formation.
And yet, just to prove how benign an effect it had on Wenger’s moribund methods, having the extra man at the back made absolutely no tangible difference to Arsenal’s defensive stability with the home side reportedly creating 13 chances and missing a catalogue of sitters. Once again, Arsenal had to rely on the individual brilliance of Alexis Sanchez to help steal something from the game.
It will be most amusing to see if Wenger sticks with this formation against Man City in the FA Cup semi-final this weekend, because – let’s face it - you can bet the players have not and will not be sufficiently well-drilled enough to carry out Wenger’s brainless instructions. Forget formations, their only hope is blind hope.
City will be also boosted by the return of the perennially injured Vincent Kompany – the defensive rock they have so sorely missed in recent seasons. A natural leader, he is a crucial cog in the wheel for them who will likely calm their jittery defence, making City a different proposition to the mess Arsenal managed to steal a point from on April Fools Day.
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