Savage on who he would have taken off after red card: Not Cazorla

Emirates Stadium 2

Former player-come-pundit Robbie Savage took to social networking site Twitter to offer his solution to Arsenal’s problem.

The highly controversial figure that is Robbie Savage always has something to say – whether it’s basic information or the complexity of football’s most advanced systems.

Recently assigned to the BBC, the former Welsh international midfielder provides weekly analysis of the Premiership and European games involving the Premier League sides.

After a blistering attack on Manchester City’s ‘poor defensive display’ and singling out Argentine defender Martin Demichelis for lacking defensive discipline, Robbie Savage last night offered his solution to Arsenal’s big problem.

The main talking point in question was Bayern Munich's penalty and the changes that followed.

Arjen Robben was brought down by Arsenal’s goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny – resulting in a rather straightforward red card. Despite David Alaba missing the resulting penalty, the writing was on the wall for the second period.

The European Champions penned the hosts back, making the breakthrough before Muller added a second goal and all but ended the tie there and then.

How could Arsene Wenger have done things differently? Robbie Savage seems to think he had the answer, Tweeting:

Arsene Wenger opted to leave the German on and take off Santi Cazorla.

It was always going to be a backs against the walls defensive job for the remainder of the game, therefore Wenger’s only option was to leave on the most defensively disciplined players and those who cover the most ground.

Over the Premier League season, Santi Cazorla has totalled 29 tackles, 22 interceptions and made 17 clearances. Mesut Ozil on the other hand has made 19 tackles, only four interceptions and just two clearances all season. Statistically, Santi Cazorla is better in defence – but does this prove Robbie Savage right?

Well, according to the graphics, Mesut Ozil along with Flamini and Wilshire covered the most ground out of all the players on the pitch.

Incidentally, one man who has worse defensive statistics than Mesut Ozil is England international Oxlade-Chamberlain, and if the graphic is to go by, he didn’t put himself about as much as Arsenal’s other midfielders whilst on the pitch.

Did Arsene Wenger remove the wrong man? Would Ozil leaving the pitch have made any difference? We can only speculate...

image: © lodekka

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch