Arsenal slipped to 6th after the weekend’s results, which the Gunners spanked by relegation candidates Crystal Palace. Fans displayed their discontent, in scenes that are becoming a formality at the club, while Wenger is still stalling on announcing his future.
Since I last wrote Arsenal have played three games, Man City 2-2, West Ham 3-0 and Crystal Palace 0-3. The first two looked like they may start a spring renaissance of form that is typical of Wenger’s sides once the title race excludes them. Saying that Man City should’ve comfortably beaten us and Arsenal were lucky that it wasn’t 2 by 10 minutes. West Ham was a cruise, against an out of form side with the relegation trapdoor lingering below.
Monday night’s game was shambolic, Arsenal were never in it – bear in mind this is against Crystal Palace and not Real Madrid. Palace did beat Chelsea a couple of weeks ago, but the manner in which Chelsea lost was more respectable – they created chances and were unfortunate to come away with no points. Arsenal simply rolled other and let Benteke, Cabaye and Zaha tickle their bellies. Some of the individual performances were pathetic – e.g lifeless Ozil and ‘captain’ Walcott. The fact Walcott was captain represents Arsenal’s decline under Wenger – who once had Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry as leaders. Walcott is a good player, and has done well for the club and I praise his loyalty – but he’s not a leader of men.
Arsenal have now lost 7 of their last 12 game in all competitions – including defeats to such illustrious sides as Watford and West Brom. Also within those 12, two came against non-league sides, so against teams in the top flight (including Bundesliga champions Bayern) Arsenal have lost 7 out of 10 – a 70% loss rate. Our poor run of form is now beyond embarrassment, maybe even humiliation.
Wenger has shown faith in almost every player in the squad, he’s stuck with Walcott for almost a decade, defended Ozil, showed belief in youngsters like Iwobi, Bellerin, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey before him. While Wenger is to blame for much this seasons (and previous seasons) collapses, the players should take a long look at themselves. You would think they’d show up and attempt to protect the manager that some owe their careers to. The travelling faithful made this clear with chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” a harsh but necessary message to an idle group of players. Unfairly, Bellerin seemed to be taking much of the criticism, and while I dislike his haircut and his current run of poor form, it was unjust that he was singled out by many.
Fans still await Wenger’s decision, one that must be announced as soon as possible to halt the scenes of fans abusing the team coach after the match on Monday. If he holds up on his decision for too much longer the team’s performances in upcoming games against City in the FA Cup semi and Spurs at WHL will be effected. Arsenal are in for bumpy end of season, with a tough run of fixtures that could humiliate and tarnish Arsene’s achievements further.