Piers Morgan has launched a stinging criticism of Arsene Wenger’s decision not to field goalkeeper Petr Cech in Tuesday’s defeat to Olympiacos.
Questioned about the inclusion of Ospina, Wenger told reporters: “That is a simple thing. You can’t select a team by making a call before the game and getting everybody’s opinion”.
The focus of much of the debate surrounding this surprise loss to Olympiacos on Tuesday night has centred around the dropping of Petr Cech, who Morgan unambiguously states was not injured.
“I do not have to give you (the reason) why”, the Frenchman replied when asked why he made a decision to play Ospina.
“I don’t have to give you an explanation about every decision I make”.
The Arsenal boss confirmed Cech, who also sat out the defeat to Dynamo Zagreb in the previous Group F fixture, had a slight injury before the Leicester game and clearly did not want to take a gamble with Premier League leaders Manchester United visiting the Emirates on Sunday. Because we had to win this game, Arsenal had to win this game. Although the Gunners managed a late conciliation goal for Theo Walcott The Gunners looked dejected all game, eventually losing their opener two one.
“It (the mistake) could have happened to Cech as well”. We rotate the team and other teams do as well.
“It leaves us in a bad position but we are still in it”, he added. “We are not out of it”.
Walcott eventually returned the creative favour for Sanchez with a clipped cross for the Chilean to head home an equaliser on 65 minutes – and that should have been the cue for Arsenal to climb through their attacking gears and overwhelm their opponents. There is no goal-line technology in use in the Champions League.
“We lacked a bit of concentration”, he said. They had four shots on goal and we conceded three goals. To suggest victories in these back-to-back games could be routine for the Bundesliga champions. Should Olympiakos or Dinamo be level on six points, then the Emirates Stadium club would be required to better the result they lost by earlier in the competition [2-1 to Dinamo and 3-2 to Olympiakos].
I’m very happy with the result, because it was a very tough encounter.
“We watch dozens and dozens of repetitions of Porto taking corners”, he said after the game.
“First of all, we are disappointed because we started quite well, especially on the break after they had set-pieces”, he said.
“It was important never to be scared and we never stopped believing we could win”.