Paul Merson accuses Arsene Wenger of being tactically clueless

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Paul Merson accused Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger of being tactically clueless in the aftermath of Anderlecht's stunning Champions League comeback.

The Gunners let a three-goal lead slip against the Belgian club, effectively ending their chances of winning Group D. Goals from Mikel Arteta, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seemed to give Arsenal an easy passage to the knockout stages before a Vincent Vanden Borre double and a late header from Aleksandar Mitrovic earned Anderlecht an unlikely point.

Merson was in no mood to sympathise with his former club, labelling the team as clueless as they continued to attack, leaving a vulnerable defence exposed time and again. In drive his point home, he even said that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would have done things so differently.

“I bet you Jose Mourinho hasn’t drawn too many games from being 3-0 up. That tells you everything.”


Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “I think they’re tactically clueless. How you can be 3-0 up and attacking.

“This is not the first time, this happens a lot of times. It is absolutely clueless.

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“For me the manager’s got to get a message on. If you know football you say: ‘Right, let’s stop here. Let’s have two banks of four, let’s leave two up front and we’ll go from there. Let them break us down’.

“I bet you Jose Mourinho hasn’t drawn too many games from being 3-0 up. That tells you everything.”

Specialist in failure

The last point would have certainly touched a nerve with the Frenchman, who is still licking his wounds after being branded a specialist in failure by Mourinho last season. Mourinho certainly has the edge over his rival manager at the moment having already beaten him 2-0 earlier this season.

Clearly shellshocked and in no mood to defend his players, Wenger admitted that Arsenal's defensive frailties were there for all to see.

He admitted: “We got punished. A bit of bad luck because the first goal was offside but our defensive performance was not good enough.

Angry and disappointed

“At 3-0 we thought the job was done. It was fatigue as well, they finished stronger and sharper. At 3-0 subconsciously you can think the game is won. Defensively as a performance across the pitch we were very, very poor.

“Am I angry or disappointed? Both. At 3-2 you have to secure yourself and we were not cautious enough.”

Jose Mourinho
UEFA Champions League
Arsene Wenger
Premier League

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