Arsene Wenger is all set to stick to his stubborn guns against Bayern Munich and use David Ospina, the second choice goalkeeper who has been used so far in Europe’s elite competition, in place of club number one, Petr Cech.
Much scrutiny has come due to the French manager’s persistence with using the small-framed Colombian, particularly last season after a hideous error in the group stage against Olympiakos left Gunners fans crying out for their Czech stalwart to return.
However, the former Chelsea shot-stopper, who was hugely at fault for the third goal in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to the Blues, does not command the same aura of dominance that he once did.
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Wenger won’t admit it, but he can see as clear as anyone that several faults have crept into Cech’s game since his arrival at the Emirates. Now, the Arsenal boss is keen to reward Ospina who so far this campaign, has been impeccable.
As reported by the Mirror, the Gunners manager claims that the key reason for the choice is that his side would not be in the competition were it not for the Colombian international who started all six group games.
“We finished top of the group.
“If you analyse well his performances in every single game, we are where we are basically down to his great performances.”
After all but surrendering the Premier League title, the Gunners being ten points behind leaders Chelsea, the game against Bayern represents their biggest left of the season.
The usually ominous task of facing the German giants could be viewed in a more positive light with the club struggling to deliver the same image of dominance under Carlo Ancelotti.
Nevertheless, any trip to the Allianz Arena is a tough one. If Wenger’s troops are to get a result, they will have to be on their game from the off.
Defensively, no mistakes can be made and Ospina will have to be wary from set pieces with the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels likely to pray on his smaller stature.
As for the Gunners, the debate surrounding Mesut Ozil’s place in the team continues but surely Wenger will not surrender his primary creative instrument in a game of this magnitude? If he and Alexis Sanchez find their form, a positive result could be on the cards.
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