Arsene Wenger has revealed that the players in his team influenced him to change tactics for the game against Manchester City.
Arsenal went to the Etihad Stadium and came away with a much hailed and needed 2-0 win that put a stop to the constant losses to big teams that the gunners have been suffering for the past few years.
The main focus of the win was defensive solidity, and the way the entire team was together in the goal of not allowing any of City’s creative players any space was especially heartening to see.
In the past, Arsene stuck true to his principles irrespective of which opposition it was, and so the Arsenal fans have had to suffer heavy defeats to the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, City and Manchester United. But with this performance, it is likely to change Arsene’s mind, given that he tried the same against the game against Chelsea.
Regarding the change in tactics, Arsene said it was the players that had requested it and he acceded to the same.
The manager said: “At some stage you cannot go against the feelings of the team because it’s detrimental to the result.
“The team sometimes needs to be reassured and reassurance comes first from feeling solid and strong and then you can express your talent and our confidence in the big games had been damaged by these big results.
“Of course (I listened to the players). Your tactics have to be aligned as well with the feeling of the team and with the confidence level of the team.”
In the interview with beIN Sports, he added: “That’s why you hear so many times in the papers or on television “let’s get back to basics”.
“It’s not because a team doesn’t know the basics, it’s just to get the priorities right to reinforce the confidence of the team again because you gain it slowly back by feeling that you are not going to get blown away.”
It is good to see the players also contributing to Arsenal’s cause, with criticism leveled in the past that there is no one at the club that stands up to Arsene Wenger. However, this was not the first time that the Arsenal players have stood up to the boss. Senior players like Mikel Arteta had asked for lighter training sessions when there were matches every 3 days so that players don’t get tired and get injured. How far Arsene will go along with what the players want is probably something that will define the club’s prospects this season.