Wenger - Why I selected that back three at Stoke

Shkodran Mustafi’s reintroduction to Premier League football was one of two changes Arsene Wenger made for Saturday’s game at Stoke City.

The World Cup winner replaced Rob Holding in an unorthodox back three alongside Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac, as we slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Bet365 Stadium.

Our defence came under criticism after the match, but Wenger says the trio should not be singled out for our performance.

“We conceded three last week so I changed a bit because Mustafi came back and Holding had lost a little bit of confidence,” he said.  

“In pre-season, centrally, we did quite well. When you lose a game, you lose a game, but we didn’t lose against Stoke only because of bad defending on the ball.

“When you have the number of chances we had away from home and you don’t score, you can always complain about the offence and defence.

“We’ve lost one game so I can understand [negativity], but overall I believe that there were a lot of positives in the game. We created many chances, we had great domination, but unfortunately we dropped three points.”

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