Steven Gerrard believes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger got his tactics wrong during last night’s surprise 2-1 away defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League group stages.
The Liverpool legend, who now plies his trade for LA Galaxy and also works as a pundit for BT Sport, feels the French coach deployed a “weak” midfield - and singled out Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil as three players who failed to perform.
Gerrard believes Wenger needed to field a midfield enforcer, such as Mathieu Flamini or Francis Coquelin, who came on for the final 25 minutes in place of the ineffective Arteta.
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"Arsenal's midfield was weak tonight with Arteta, Cazorla and Ozil,” Gerrard was quoted as saying on BT Sport by the Express. “It lacks power, it lacks strength.
"I thought they badly missed a Flamini or a Coquelin in there to break the play up.
"On the counter attack, Zagreb were cutting Arsenal apart."
Arsenal now face a tough task to progress
Arsenal’s Champions League campaign got off to the worst possible start in the 24th minute, when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored an own goal.
Junior Fernandez then doubled Dinamo’s advantage just before the hour mark, while Theo Walcott’s goal with 10 minutes remaining was nothing more than a consolation.
Arsenal will still be expected to advance to the Champions League knockout stages, but may need to avoid back-to-back defeats against Bayern Munich in Matchdays three and four in order for that to happen.
The Gunners will also need to defeat Dinamo at the Emirates Stadium and, ideally, Olympiacos both home and away.
Arsenal fans: was Arsene Wenger to blame for last night’s defeat? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!