The Arshavin and Song FA Cup Mystery

Many fans were bemused on Saturday when both Arshavin and Song were absent for what was clearly our most important game of the season. We were 90 minutes away from a cup final, yet Arsene opted not to choose two of our most influential players of recent weeks.

On Tuesday night we saw what we missed on Saturday.

Song played like two players; making up for Denilson’s deficiencies. Song covered the pitch, provided support for the defence and dominated Maschareno and Alonso. Oh how we could have done with his power on Saturday.

Arsene’s explanation is that Song had played a lot of games recently. It was more important to play him on Saturday and let him have Sunday against Middlesbrough as his rest day.

The other missing player was Arshavin. On Tuesday night he was very quiet t ostart with. Most of our play in the first half was on the other flank, emphasising how busy and important Nasti is (another absentee). Then the Russian came to life. He scored a good goal in the first half, but his second was something to admire. Not quite in the Pires mould when he scored a beauty a few years back at Anfield but it was a great solo goal. His third was a poacher’s goal whilst his fourth showed his speed. He ran the length of the field, almost overtaking Walcott before he placed the ball past Reina.

Our performance on Saturday lacked the drive that Arshavin would have given us. It is still a mystery as to why he was missing. He played the previous week-end against Wigan and Wenger knows he cannot play in the Champions League, so he was not resting him for the semi-final against Manchester United. The only explanation is that Arsene wants us to finish third and avoid a tough Champions League qualifier in August.

No matter what is said, leaving these two players out of the match against Chelsea cost us a place in the Final. Wenger deep down must realise he made a mistake in the team selection.

Posted on April 23, 2009, in Arsenal News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Couldnt agree more.Wenger really got it wrong against che..

  2. The reason is quite simple – Wenger doubted himself. He decided to play Chelsea’s game, instead of playing Arsenal’s game. Arshavin on the bench, and Diaby on the pitch, was merely a symptom.

    Personally, I knew we were doomed as soon as Anelka was taken off. He & Drogba self-neutralize each other, and Drogba ALWAYS terrorizes us. when left alone. We so needed Gallas :/

  3. Gunner in banjul

    I thought so too. It was obvious that Diaby was a wrong choice for such a game that required so much stamina and skill. Arshavin and Song would have solidified the defence for us.
    Am sure Wenger would have learnt the hard way. Its always better to win the game in front of you than dwell in the one yet to come.

  4. Goons_with_Guns

    As I’ve said on a handful of other blogs, the fans are left to rue for Arsene’s tactical mistakes–very similar to the CL Final in 2006 when he rested Flamini for Cashley or when he took off Pires instead of Gilberto. Also, the QF of the CL in 2004 second leg at Chavs and the list goes on. We are destined to continue to our suffering of winning the lottery, but losing the ticket.

  5. its a gentlemanly gesture we can expect from wenger towards hiddink, arshavin, and the russian federation to minimise awkwardness.

    as for song.. beats me too. he would have slaughtered lampard.

  6. lol @ the guy above, arshavin would not solidify our defence

  7. i dont see it as definitively as that. sure, the absence of key players is always a good place to start when apportioning the blame, but you missed out all of the injured players.
    you should also look at other factors. we were playing on a grazing meadow, not a football pitch, our goalkeeper was obviously out of sorts, and chelsea played well.
    i am a great fan of song’s, and obviously ‘shavin is a wonderkid, but i dont think their lack of inclusion was the only reason we lost.
    there were many straws that broke the camels back.

  8. i can’t believe u censored my perfectly logical comment. 🙂

  9. Goons with Guns;

    GIlberto should have been taken off in the CL 06 final instead of Pires? Are you kidding me. Gilberto was the invisibile wall. Pires was the only option we could afford to lose. Gilberto needed to be there to shielfd the back 4 against the 3 pronged Barca attack

    Anyone who says Song should have played (he has improve immensely) is a hypocrite. 2 months ago you would have called for Wenger to sell him.

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