Wenger defends his team selection against Wigan

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RORY LOUIS

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Soccer News
  • Wenger defends his team selection against Wigan

Just a day after Arsenal missed an opportunity to go level on points with Manchester United at the top of the table his taeam selection came under heavy criticism from all circles as the manager made 8 changes to the side that beat Chelsea just a couple of days prior to their lats game but the manager has defended his team selection saying that squad rotation is essential.

Arsenal squandered a 1 goal lead and despite playing with a man advantage they failed to capitalize and could only muster a draw against a 10 man wigan.

Despite a gutless display, the Arsenal manager has said that he had no choice but to rest a few players who had played in the 3-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday.

"With all these matches we cannot play with the same team always - but I don't think that was a problem,I don't think it's a shame - overall the draw was all right."

Arsenal went a goal down early in the through a penalty but two goals in quick succession by Arshavin and Bendtner brought Arsenal the lead in the game and with just 12 minutes to go Charles N’Zogbia was given his marching orders for  head butting Jack Wilshire.

But Arsene Wenger’s men failed to seize the initiative and were undone by a Sebastian Squillaci own goal late in the game that restored the parity in the game.

A win would have brought Arsenal level on 38 points with Manchester United at the top of the table but the Gunners would have played a game more going into the new year but the draw means that Manchester U/nited will go into the new year with a 3 point cushion over the Gunners.

The points still means that Gunners remain in the title hunt and are currently paced at the third place but the manager feels that the fixture schedule over the festive period favoured their title rivals.

"We had a disadvantage that Manchester United has not got - Wigan played three days ago and we played 48 hours ago, a big game in the evening, It is a point and we will see at the end of the season how important it is - last night Manchester United played 1-1 at Birmingham and we played 2-2 today. It was disappointing because we were 2-1 up, playing against 10 men and dropped two points. But overall it was a difficult game, very physical, with a high level of commitment from Wigan and they caught us a bit at the start. You always felt any mistake at the back and we could pay for it as long as we didn't score the third goal."

While the Wigan manager on the other hand was extremely pleased with the result as the draw keeps his side away from the relegation zone going into the new year but the manager did criticise N’Zogbia for his red card.

"There's no excuses - that's unacceptable, it's a bad reaction,Charles started the game very well, he won a penalty, he gets kicked in every game and there's a lot of emotions but you cannot accept that sort of reaction. He let his team down - football is a team game and the reaction of the players got Charles out of jail in that respect. We'll deal with it internally but it's something I don't like. Sometimes in football you need to react in the right manner even if you are getting kicked all over the place. From the first minute Charles got a rough treatment and you want to protect the skilful players and that protection should come from other areas not from himself."