Following Arsenal’s horrendous display at the Allianz Arena in Munich; it is safe to say that the side needs serious intervention. The club lost 5 goals to 1 with that result equaling their heavy Uefa Champions League defeat to the same side just two years ago. Who is to blame? Is it Arsenal’s management? Is it Wenger? Is it the players? Surely someone has to take the fall for this.
Arsenal may be wishing that they could put that night’s woes behind their backs as soon as possible however it is fair that we as football lovers have their 2 cents regarding the matter. What went wrong? Everything! There is certainly a handful of issues to scrutinize:
The manager has been at the helm for 20 years and has not won a major title in 13 years. There have been so many calls for him to leave the club but the Frenchman seems resolute. I believe that Arsene is a very good coach, he is highly capable of winning titles as we’ve previously seen but that’s just not happening right now. I think it is absolutely unfair that he remains at the club while constantly brings disappointment to the side. Arsene clearly has no solutions to club’s problems. He has failed to make it past the last 16 in 7 years, that is a terrible statistic for a side like Arsenal. I believe that Arsenal has been heavily bonded with Wenger and that has now instilled fear of change.
Going into the halftime break with the score being tied; the players walked down the tunnel in high spirit and confident. just 8 minutes into the second half they conceded a goal and the rest is history. What was disappointing to see was a bunch of professionals walking with their heads down with no fight in them. The players lacked character and leadership. One would expect Alexis Sanchez to get up and fight but he simply couldn’t. Mesut Ozil showed what was possibly the worst performance of his career however that wasn’t the least expected thing from him after being known for not playing well in big games. The players had no drive whatsoever and they showed no real intent to come out will a result. Their mentality was so poor, ambitionless.
Ozil is a world-class player, everyone is well aware of his technical ability and the threat he possess but on the night I saw an Ozil that’s dead inside. Yes, he walked and failed to press however I do believe that the criticism has been too harsh. His agent believes it is not fair to single out Ozil out of the 11 that were fielded and that he is being used as a “scapegoat” for the defeat. I agree, one simply cannot bash him alone for that. Ozil’s body language has always been that way even when he’s playing his best football, it is the way he perceives himself. The issue of him not showing up in big games is also arguable because if you look at Arsenal in big games; they also do not come out tops really. Mustafi was horrible in that game too, Oxlade-Chamberlain fumbled but where were the critics to point out that? Yes, Mesut is having a terrible run of form but it is harsh to pinpoint him to Arsenal’s woes. Such behavior from the supporters could see him not renewing his contract with the club.
Arsenal needs change. They need to seal deals with Alexis and Ozil which will attract other world-class players in the summer transfer window. From there onwards they can build and hopefully a major title will be headed to the Emirates. Also, they must sack Wenger and bring in a new manager who does not necessarily have to bring instant change.The question on whether who would be a good replacement is a topic for another day.