The main memory I’ll take from last night’s game is how much it reminded me of the Champions League semi-final we played against United. For the opening few minutes of play, and for the minutes leading up to kick-off, The Emirates was a sight to behold – loud, passionate and awesome. Then we conceded early, and it was all over.
Unlike the FA Cup on Saturday debacle when we whimpered out against inferior opponents, last night we we’re comprehensively outplayed by a far better team. There can be no qualms or debates about the result. Even with the greater share of possession, our players couldn’t match the quality and control facing them. The defeat wasn’t unexpected, and it’s difficult to be too annoyed by it.
However, it does serve as an indication of just how far Arsenal have fallen. As my memory serves me, I don’t recall a European side coming to our home ground and looking so vastly superior. This season, it’s happened twice – last night, and when Schalke visited. And such things will invariably come back to our manager.
To an extent, Arsene is to blame; his selection, his team, his responsibility. Yet, there are some players who we are entitled to expect more from. £100k-per-week Theo Walcott was nothing short of woeful in the strikers position last night, Bacary Sagna looked hapless and disinterested, and, other than Wilshere and Ramsey, no one especially looked as if they gave a shit.
Perhaps it’s a motivational issue. Perhaps the players are happy to take home their huge salaries and to hell with the consequences of their faltering performances. Some of them simply don’t look like they care. Can we blame Arsene for that? Yes and no. Ultimately, he is responsible, but he can’t be held accountable for the actions of his players once they take to the field. There has to be a point where they take some of that off his back and stand up and be counted.
All in all, we are in Febryary, and left with nothing more than the imaginary trophy that comes with 4th place to play for. These are trying times to be an Arsenal fan, and we’ve a few vital fixtures coming up between now and the return leg in Germany.
I’d like to think some of our squad will look at Arsene in the firing line and do something proactive. Jack Wilshere cares, he plays his heart out and is rarely found wanting. It’s high time one or two members of the squad did them same. We can attach as much blame to our manager as we see fit, but it would be wrong to pay no attention to those continuously letting down a man who has shown great faith in them.
That’s all for today, folks. It’s a quick post today as I’ve had a busy day at work and I’ve things to do. I hope you’ll use the comment section below to share some of your thoughts.
I shall return tomorrow at some point. Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.