Disastrous four days leaves Arsenal humiliated, and Arsene surely indefensible. 8 goals were conceded as Arsenal’s season slumped to a newfound low, intensifying calls for Wenger’s head to an unprecedented high.
Personally, I found the most infuriating about the defeat to Liverpool on Saturday was its predictability. Two avoidable first half goals left in a position where we needed to chase the game against a Liverpool side that are potent on the counter, and therefore conceding another goal was inevitable. Liverpool are a side that I feel are beatable, and their current squad should be one that an Arsenal side should beat (although the Scousers would say the same for us), a Liverpool side that have now done the double over us this season. Dropping Sanchez was controversial, and also a slightly fickle choice from Wenger. A lot has been said about a training ground bust up between Sanchez and his team mates, I can’t see how his fellow team mates can argue with a man that has dragged them through the season so far, and is seemingly the only player that doesn’t stroll around for the 90 minutes. Whatever happened at London Colney, we need to play Sanchez, by far our best player, in a trip to Anfield.
The 3-1 loss outlined just how weak our squad is, and a cutthroat manager was in place it would be unsurprising to see a mass overhaul in players. Poor Iwobi, who burst onto the scene thanks to his direct and raw playing style, has had every drip off rawness sucked out of him, I’m not sure if he even attempted one dribble. Iwobi should be dropped for Perez who seems to put in more consistent performances than the still youthful Nigerian. Monreal’s defensive frailties were exploited by Mane, Coquelin looked lost (this season he has been well below par, and in truth he was a player overrated by Arsenal fans all along simply because he could make a tackle), whilst Xhaka has no definitive role in the Arsenal side, I don’t understand what his job is in the side.
Arsenal are now the 6th best team in the league. We simply aren’t as good as a squad as the other top sides, tactically we’re miles off, player wise we are in desperate need of a shake up. It would shock me if we now got into a Champions League spot at the end of season.
The build up to the Bayern match was dominated by the anti-Wenger march, which was fierce and grabbed the attention of the media. Protests such as this will only grow, I predict, in the coming weeks – which could prove to be Wenger’s last at the helm of Arsenal.
10-2 on aggregate, red card or not, 5-1 at home is unacceptable. Arsenal seem further away than ever from Bayern, who lets remember aren’t the same monster we faced before that had both Ribery and Robben in their prime as well as a free scoring Kroos from midfield. All 5 goals were a defensive shambles, the sort of defending that wouldn’t look out of place in a Sunday League game. Imagine our season had Koscielny been long term injured, our defence seems to entirely depend on one man, who’s English is questionable and playing style still has plenty of flaws. The lack of leadership is laughable, not one player on the pitch could bring the side altogether and spare themselves, the fans and importantly in the case of last night the manager from the utter humiliation that transpired.
Something that continues to pop up is how the Wenger is so much to blame, how the players are equally responsible. Of course there is a degree, or percentage of blame that can be placed onto the 11 men on the field, but it’s not as if this is a one off. Every season you can almost guarantee Arsenal will have 2-3 embarrassing defeats, many of which are home. And this has been the case in the ten years since we moved to the Emirates, it would probably be accurate to say that since Arsenal the move we have lost about 20 matches that could be labelled as ’embarrassing’ – and not just defeats such as a 2-1 loss at home to Hull a few years back, I mean real drubbings against sides we consider competition. Wenger hasn’t been able to consistently motivate his players, all of which he has brought into the squad himself (and a few that know no alternative to Wenger), for too long now.
No longer can I see how those that support Wenger can defend him and genuinely believe he is the best man for the job. The back to back F.A Cups were irrelevant in context to our league or European success and mean little now. Achieving (often scraping) a top four spot isn’t enough to keep your job as manager of the Arsenal. The club was founded 130 years ago, with 13 titles to our name we win a league once a decade, but in our last 13 years that title will be missing, he doesn’t conform to our best measure of success in recent history. Would any Arsenal fans be pleased with a title less decade consequently to the move to the Emirates on the day we drew 1-1 with Villa in 2006? I doubt it.
I reiterate my opinion that Arsene Wenger will go down as one of the greats in Arsenal and English football, but by dragging out his career at the club he is seriously tarnishing his reputation. When we look back on Wenger at Arsenal to what extent will we say the final 7 or so years have damaged the incredible story that he built up over time? Wenger needs to come to a decision on his future, so if is to leave his exit from the club can be appreciated and respected as it should be – and an F.A Cup success would tie things up perfectly.
Arsenal NEED change from head to toe, from owner to board to players, to unite our disjointed and raging fan base, that seems increasingly weary of the same old story every year.