Wenger explains lack of Arsenal substitutions against Chelsea

Arsene Wenger explains why he did not use any of his Arsenal substitutes after goalless draw with Chelsea

arsene wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Arsene Wenger stood by his decision not to use any of his substitutes after watching Arsenal play out a goalless draw against Chelsea.

The Frenchman opted to stick with the same 11 for the entire game at Emirates Stadium, despite having the likes of Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski on the bench as a cagey affair ended all square in north London.

I felt we had the balance defensively and we had four or five offensive players on the pitch

Arsene Wenger

Asked why he didn’t call on any of his substitutes, Wenger replied: “Because I had plenty of offensive players on the pitch and we were in the need to attack. I had Theo Walcott, I had Aaron Ramsey, I had Mesut Ozil, I had Olivier Giroud, I had Tomas Rosicky, and because we didn’t play for nine days none of them looked really jaded.

“That’s why… I felt we had the balance defensively and we had four or five offensive players on the pitch, let’s continue to do that. And we had the chances, of course. When you don’t score you don’t score.”

The draw hoisted Arsenal up to second in the Premier League table, level on points with leaders Liverpool heading into Thursday’s trip to West Ham United.

And despite his side having only picked up two points from the last nine available, Wenger expressed his satisfaction at his side’s current position.

“If after the first game against Aston Villa I would have told you that at Christmas we would be top of the league, you would have said you are absolutely mad, so let’s not go completely overboard,” Wenger said.

“We are where we are, we have gone through the last three games, which were a bit more difficult. We still have played Everton, we have played Manchester City and we have played Chelsea.”

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