Arsenal’s painful and desperate Premier League campaign was epitomized yesterday afternoon, as Arsenal were convincingly beaten by Spurs, in a North London Derby in which we never seriously threatened the Spurs goal. Another pathetic display in which Arsenal showed limited courage or passion, and confirms that for the first time in over two decades that Arsenal will not finish above Spurs.
Wenger got the line up horridly wrong, it surprised me to see Monreal in a back three over Holding. Although Holding is still only a youngster, and its likely he would’ve found the game a stern test, it would’ve helped build him as a player – and only last week he did make his Wembley debut he has played under immense pressure before. Giroud was the worst performer on the pitch, and it seems obvious to me that Welbeck is better suited to a derby match, especially as Arsenal’s chances were likely to come from quick counter attacks. In truth Arsenal did play to a decent standard in the first half, that being said Spurs should’ve gone into the break ahead, but most of Arsenal’s few chances came in the opening forty-five, with Gibbs getting in behind once and Ramsey having a pair of shots from outside the area. These efforts were half chances, especially in comparison to Spurs’ chances, Giroud spurned Arsenal’s best chance in the second half.
The goal was inevitable and it had to be Dele Alli that scored it. At 1-0 Arsenal were still in it, just absorb some more pressure, then counter or wait till they drop off, and grab an equaliser. But just a minute or so after Arsenal got the ball rolling Gabriel makes a ridiculous challenge, Kane would’ve never got to the ball – a clumsy foul from the Brazilian, who recently has improved but exposed his inexperience by giving away the second goal. At 2-0 it was game over, and a case of not letting it get embarrassing like it had done against West Brom, Crystal Palace and Bayern Munich, twice. Thank Christ it didn’t end 4-0, which after Palace I did think was very possible.
Ridiculously, rumors that Wenger will stay are gathering momentum, with some sources saying a new two year deal is signed. After yesterday surely he can’t stay on. Following years of fending off that mob, Wenger was tactically out-thought, with a squad entirely of his own players being unable to compete, despite the fact that Arsenal’s wage bill is considerably higher than that of the Spuds. The lose also makes it increasingly more likely that Champions League football won’t take place at The Emirates next season, and a if we lose to United next Sunday that will surely all be but confirmed. Obviously that would make attracting players more challenging, even more so with Wenger in charge, and I hate to even begin in imaging what another two years of his monotonous, dry and useless style of football will lead to.
Last Sunday’s Semi Final win and yesterday are a nasty juxtaposition highlighting the harsh realities in football.