Arsenal legend slams Arsene Wenger’s decision to rest Petr Cech
Paul Merson can't understand why Petr Cech didn't start Arsenal's biggest game of the season
Paul Merson has questioned why Arsene Wenger decided to rest Petr Cech for Arsenal’s biggest game of the season.
The north London side’s Champions League hopes are hanging in the balance after a surprise 3-2 defeat by Greek side Olympiacos at Emirates Stadium.
People say Arsenal have made it difficult for themselves but, for me, progression is now out of their hands
Wenger handed David Ospina a starting spot after having demoted the Colombia international to second-choice goalkeeper for Arsenal’s Premier League games.
And former Arsenal midfielder Merson can’t understand why Wenger’s only summer signing was left on the bench for a must-win Champions League encounter.
“It was a must-win game for Arsenal and they should have played their best team,” Merson told Sky Sports News. “Why English clubs don’t play their best team beats me.
“If you look at Barcelona – who played Bayer Leverkusen – Messi was injured and they still played their strongest team.
“For Arsenal to make one signing for the whole year and not play him in the two biggest games of the season so far is beyond me.
“People say Arsenal have made it difficult for themselves but, for me, progression is now out of their hands.
“If Olympiakos or Dinamo Zagreb do the double over each other then Arsenal are out – they are not going to beat Bayern Munich.
“Bayern Munich are the best team in the world at the moment, not Europe, the world. Arsenal have to completely rely on the results in the other two games.
“If either of those teams do the double Arsenal, will have to get nine points and I don’t see them getting nine points.”
Cech joined Arsenal in an £11m deal from defending Premier League champions Chelsea in the summer transfer window.
The Czech Republic international usurped South American shot stopper Ospina as Arsenal’s number one goalkeeper following his big-money switch.
Arsenal face bitter rivals Manchester United at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.