Arsenal Embarrass Themselves on Wenger’s 1000th

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    Updated: March 22, 2014
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    This is not at all what I envisioned today would be when I realized that Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal would be at Stamford Bridge against London rivals Chelsea.

    I knew the game would be a difficult one for Wenger because he has never beaten Jose Mourinho in the league in 10 tries, (5 wins and 5 losses before today) and it seems like no one can beat Chelsea under Mourinho at home.

    So I was expecting a tie and a share of the points, but I was hoping for a shock win on the 1000th match day. I got neither what I expected nor what I hoped for, what I got was the football versions of the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre/ Red Wedding at the Bridge. And Chelsea were the Lannister’s. 

    This was a monumental defeat at the hands of Chelsea, and the Arsenal squad’s performance was an utter embarrassment to the Arsenal shirt, the Gunners badge, and most importantly they were an embarrassment to the man who has had faith in them over and over again.

    I have no idea what happens in big games but when the Gooners play away from home they turn into a Championship side and do not play like the English Giants they are. 

    Away from home this season they have conceded 6 goals to Manchester City, 5 goals to Liverpool, and today they gave up 6 to Chelsea.

    As I said, in big games away from home they suffer some sort of mental block and simply succumb to the pressure and it’s impossible to know who’s more to blame for it, Wenger or the squad.

    The team is full of internationals, and a good portion of them are older than 25 years old so they’re experienced. But away from home, no one on the team has the ability to calm the lads and steady the ship and it’s frightening. 

    Wenger made a crucial error today by pairing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikael Arteta in the Arsenal mid-field today.

    It did not work well against Tottenham last week and Arsenal barely escaped with their lives on that day, to try the same tactics again this week against a Chelsea side that is far superior to Tottenham was asking for trouble.

    Ox is always better on the wing where his pace and his work rate can overpower opposing winger and wing-backs. Pairing him in the middle and sacrificing the stability of Mathieu Flamini today cost Arsenal more than anyone could have imagined.

    It seems as if Wenger becomes tactically naïve away from home against domestic clubs, which he never has a problem with away from home in Europe. 

    Arsenal writer Lewis Roland, the host of the wildly popular UK Podcast “Touchline Fracas,” was spot on with his assessments of Wenger today: 




    Too many times the Arsenal mid-fielders including Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla were caught in possession and made costly turnovers and there was no one behind them covering them other than Arteta who has lost a step and is only best when he has a player like Jack Wilshere, Flamini or Aaron Ramsey next to him. Those players are tough in the tackle and know how to mark and track back.

    Ox is still young and full of energy and he only knows one speed, fast. And once the mixture of speed and excitement for playing on Wenger’s 1000th match day combined, he was far too erratic in possession and consistently left Arsenal’s back 4 to fend for themselves. 

    The entire display by the Arsenal midfield was bad, but has anyone been more terrible than the main striker Olivier Giroud these past few months?

    It’s safe to say the answer is no. He has been horrendous as Arsenal’s main striking option and it is obvious that Wenger’s gamble in not getting any strikers in the January transfer window has cost him the best chance of winning the EPL title in years.

    Giroud hasn’t played like he should be starting for any of the big-clubs in Europe, he goes missing far too many times, he doesn’t seem to doing anything other than wait for the ball to get to him most of the time and when he does get a chance like he did before Chelsea scored their first goal, he leaves a lot to be desired from his strikes.

    He is a more than suitable back-up coming off the bench but with the mounting injuries, Wenger’s gamble that his midfield would be good enough to sustain the goals similar to the style Barcelona uses has failed miserably. 

    I have been optimistic about Arsenal winning the Premiership this term but after today’s display and with Manchester City to come to the Emirates, the task may be too daunting with the injury situation at Arsenal.

    The best we can hope for now is the FA Cup and a top 3-4 finish, because the only way Arsenal win the Premier League trophy is if every team above them collapses for at least two weeks at some point in the near future. 

    It was a sad day for Arsenal supporters, it should be a shameful and embarrassing day for the Arsenal players and for Wenger, the architect of so much great for this legendary club, and it should have been a day of joy and celebration.

    Unfortunately for Gooners across the globe, this will not be an anniversary to remember. 

    Heads up Gooners, and let’s continue to fight on. And as always, “In Arsene We Trust.”

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    One Comment

    1. Bratish

      March 23, 2014 at 2:59 AM

      The first two goals were because of ill preparation. Arteta was useless and was easily bullied by Luiz and Matic. Gibbs was venturing too far out.

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