At £15m, Arshavin is not meant for the bench

Wenger’s criticism of the pitch might have merit. Yes, the Wembley stadium operators could care less as long as it holds the weight of 15,000 standing fans attending a concert by some aging rockers but it should not deflect from his puzzling selection choices.
The pitch was the same for both clubs. Chelsea had figured out that they would win in the air.
No game on the left without Arshavin and Nasri. Arshavin’s omission was most glaring. The most expensive player in club history sitting on the bench for most of the match.
Fabregas was left without Song, his deputy. Song is having his best season, he’s been physical and his defensive help would have been much appreciated in this game. Wenger mentioned in his press conference that Song needed a break. Nasri had not fully recovered from the flu. Diaby was brought in to offset Chelsea’s physicality.
Lukasz Fabianski’s mistake proved costly. He covered Silvestre’s lack of pace against Rossi in the Villareal match by effectively timing his runs but he picked the wrong player this time. Our defensive woes really showed up. I think Fabianski is a good goalie and is very ambitious but Almunia can feel safe after this display.
Wenger may have his explanations but his match selection was debatable. It might reflect his opinion of the FA Cup in the grand scheme of things when weighing out priorities. But the FA Cup was our best chance and the most egalitarian of silverware.

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