Arsene Wenger defends decision to drop Per Mertesacker for Chelsea match

Wenger defends dropping Mertesacker
© PA Photos
Arsene Wenger admits that his decision to drop Per Mertesacker for the 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Chelsea is open to criticism.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended his decision to drop Per Mertesacker for the Gunners' match against Chelsea on Saturday.

Mertesacker enjoyed arguably his finest display for Arsenal in last weekend's 1-1 draw against Manchester City, but was left out in favour of the returning Thomas Vermaelen for the 2-1 home defeat against Chelsea.

Wenger believes that he is open to criticism for the decision but stands by his choice.

He told the club's official website: "That is a decision which was based on the opposition we played.

"You can say it was a wrong one maybe, but I believe [that statement] is lowering the quality of the players who played, they are internationals.

"If you do not play Laurent Koscielny or Vermaelen and cannot win the game, you will ask me the same question. Nobody can play all the games, it is simple."

Defeat to the Blues cost Arsenal their unbeaten Premier League record, with the Gunners standing in 7th place in the table after six matches.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool24138354292547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
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