I don’t know how anybody could have watched this years League Cup Final and not be baffled by Arsenal. There was a trophy on the line and those Arsenal players were a disgrace to their club.
Arsene Wenger must shoulder a part of the blame for yesterday’s performance. Manchester City took the lead in the first half and from that point on it was game over. City players pressed Arsenal into their own half for much of the game, rarely did any of Wengers players have any time on the ball. Wenger never made an attempt to change it. It’s almost parody at this point but he waits until the 60th minute to make a change regardless of the issues his team faces on the pitch.
Arsenal couldn’t get out and every time they managed to get the ball they were quickly dispossessed. There was no way those players were going to be given the time and space to play it out on the deck. City swarmed and were first to every loose ball. Arsenal needed to play the ball up to a forward who could hold it and build from there. Even a few moments respite would have helped the beleaguered defenders. Danny Welbeck is not ideal for this job but he’s all they had to hand.
The 60th minute rolled along and Welbeck was stripped and ready to come on. By the time he was waved on by the referee Vincent Kompany had made it 2-0 to City. He waited far too long to make that change. It needed to happen at half time when they at least had a prayer of getting back into the game.
It wouldn’t be original for me to use words like “pathetic” and “disgraceful” to describe the Arsenal players attitude, others already have. The performance shouldn’t have shocked me but it did. I couldn’t get over the lack of fight from those players yesterday. As soon as they went two behind they gave up and heads went down. That caused the third goal.
Wengers men literally walked around the pitch, completely devoid of any interest, because they don’t have any. There was no backbone, no fight whatsoever. Okay, you’re 3-0 down but it’s a bloody cup final. You have nothing to lose at that point. Push up, be first to every ball. Drive City back. Nothing. They are cowardly, fragile players who knew the manager would get the blame and they would get off scot free. Disgraceful. Invincibles to Invisibles.
If there was one moment to sum up the Arsenal players mindset in a Cup Final it was Mustafis attempted challenge on Sergio Aguero in the build up to the first City goal. Aguero backed into him, Mustafi put his hands up looking for a foul and by the time he had stopped whinging Aguero was about to pop the ball over his goalkeeper. The game was over at 1-0.
The Arsenal conundrum is far more complex than replacing the manager. Firstly Wenger will never be sacked, we all know that. Arsene will go when Arsene says so. He is a huge problem, granted, but his legacy is the bigger issue at the moment. Those players all have to go with him.
The Arsenal squad is a mentally fragile one. They have zero fight in them and are tainted by the Wenger era. Maybe they could get going again after a swift kick in the backside by a manager like Simeone but I have my doubts. The board should not be giving Wenger more money and to their credit they did devise a succession plan with Overmars lined up to be the Director of Football. He would oversee transfers or even just make suggestions but Wenger shut that down before it even started. He has far too much power at the club.
I often mock the goons on Arsenal Fan TV but I’m starting to see it their way. Imagine having to put up with this lot and paying the highest ticket prices in Europe for the privilege?