Football

‘A Specialist in failure’? Arsenal capitulate again

Arsene Wenger’s number might just be up this time, with the gunners being embarrassed again by Bayern Munich, and again, by 5 – 1.

Thing is, they were lucky to get away with conceding just five.

Ospina, despite the score line, was Arsenal’s best player, and kept them in it for as long as anyone could.

Arsenal started well in the first half, pressing the ball and creating the chances, Bayern especially looked out of sorts and were there for the taking, but the gunners just didn’t convert this, and when the tides turned, the German powerhouse was typically ruthless in front of goal.

The first thing they did wrong was a clanger. Arjen Robben is known for cutting in from the right and banging it with his left, and whilst his goal was phenomenal, if he was under a little more pressure the odds are he might have missed. But the defensive pressure wasn’t there and Arsenal went 1-0 down.

Now, let’s be honest, the penalty was a lucky decision. I personally don’t think it should have been given – the Arsenal players were barely protesting for it, but anyway, Sanchez’ first effort was fairly poor, but he made up for it with his last gasp shot.

This wasn’t the only lucky decision Arsenal got though – Kieran Gibbs hand balled a certain goal off the line, and the penalty wasn’t given. It was a pretty odd one considering Munich had conceded a penalty because Koscielny got his foot in the way, but a hand ball off the line? Nope that didn’t count.

They similarly didn’t stop any kind of cross that Lahm fancied picking out – making Lewandowski’s towering header to make it 2 – 1 almost too easy.

The Polish striker also made the defence look ridiculous for their third goal.

Unpopular opinion here, but it wasn’t that good. Yes, the touch and control from Lewandowski was brilliant, and we can all accept that Thiago’s finish was top drawer, but if you allow some of the world’s best forward players that much space to play about they should be turning it in to a moment of brilliance, and Gabriel – Koscielny’s replacement – gave them acres.

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Thiago’s second goal followed a similar blueprint; world-class attack vs shambolic defence. When you’re 3-1 down and you’ve got a corner coming in, surely the only thought in any Arsenal player’s head is to just clear the ball at any costs, they might of tried but they didn’t succeed.

I’m only about 5”8 on a good day, so safe to say I’m not a natural centre back, but even I know you don’t let the ball bounce in your box before wrapping your foot around it and smashing it away from your goal, so what was Mustafi doing?

The last goal was just, well, head-in-your-hands for the North London outfit.

Oxlade-Chamberlin, up till then a lonely point of light for the gunners, dithered on the ball at the edge of his box with around three red shirts circling. The rest is a comedy of errors. Losing the ball, poor attempts to win it back, shocking defensive organisation, and Thomas Muller being as insufferably good as usual.

The main question after this is surely not whether Wenger is a goner, but when. The players have an awful lot to answer for, Ozil was nowhere to be seen, the defence were embarrassing, and Alexis did his usual bit of giving his absolute all without any help from his friends. However, Wenger picks the players, he signs the players, he prepares the players for what is undoubtedly one of the biggest tests in world football, and so the blame must ultimately lie with him. Defensively especially, they were shambolic, let’s just remember that Mustafi cost more than Chelsea’s resigning of David Luiz, let that one sink in.

How long does it take for a change to be made, how many times must Arsenal fans be embarrassed like this before Wenger accepts that the invincible were more than a decade ago, and since then the club has gone nowhere.

By James Doherty

Images from: wikimedia commons