Another week, another game and yet another defeat for Arsene Wenger. That is 4 defeats in the last 5 Premier League games for Arsenal. It’s not the defeat that is the problem but the manner in which they lost is! It has been the same old story yet again only this time, the usual has turned into a full blown crisis.
On the back of a 5-0 win against Lincoln in the FA Cup, Arsene Wenger would have hoped that his fortunes have finally turned when he took his side to the Hawthorns on Saturday.
West Brom started the game well and went ahead deservedly so from a goal from Dawson, not so surprisingly from a corner. 48% of West Brom’s goals this season have come from set-pieces. Surely Wenger would have known that? You wouldn’t think so by the way Arsenal defended the corner. Craig Dawson had a free run towards the ball and he headed it in while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey stood there like mannequins and watched. No attempt to try and stop the oncoming attacker. The response from Arsenal was fairly decent as Granit Xhaka’s pass found Sanchez unmarked and the Chilean took the goal beautifully pulling things back level but that was it. They stopped playing at that point. No heart, no fight, no direction. Every single player on that pitch looked like they weren’t interested in the game, so much so that they managed no shots on target in the second half of that game. They were very open throughout the game and credit to West Brom and Tony Pulis, they expolited that brilliantly.
James McClean troubled Hector Bellerin all game who apparently was more interested in his hairstyle than playing for Arsenal. Cech went off injured and the man who came on to replace him, David Ospina, was culpable for the West Brom’s second. A ball he should have dealt with comfortably but instead he gave it straight back to the substitute Hal Robson-Kanu and the Welshman took the chance to put Albion ahead. In the midst of all this, there were two planes flown over the ground. Both by Arsenal fans, one in support of Arsene Wenger and the other calling for his head. Sums the club up if you ask me. Chaos amongst the fans, chaos on the pitch and chaos in the sky!
I don’t even want to get started on the third goal for WBA. You could be forgiven for losing concentration once while defending a corner. It happens. West Brom got a corner and it was almost an action replay of their first. Ball in, Craig Dawson has a free run and he heads it in while the Arsenal players stood there and watched. It’s embarrassing enough to concede a goal like that once but twice? Replays showed three West Brom players unmarked, attacking the ball. Any one of them could have scored. It’s like watching the under-10’s play!
Thierry Henry lost it on Sky during the post match analysis. He claimed, he would have been punched in the face for letting in a goal like that. “I have never seen that in my playing career. Ever. I would not have liked to go back in the dressing room if I did that and Jens Lehmann was still playing. He would have punched me, hit me round the head, got sent off. He did it before.” said Henry.
This was the performance of the players who clearly don’t want to play for the manager. Losing to Bayern is one thing but West Brom? No disrespect, a team like Arsenal with the players they have should be beating them. There has been a lot of speculation in the media for weeks now about Arsene Wenger’s future at the club, ever since they lost 5-1 to Bayern in the first leg of the Champions League. No Arsenal player came out in support of the manager and they way they have been playing lately only confirms that they don’t want him in the job. It is extremely sad to see such a fantastic manager look defeated. If the players have indeed turned his back on him, I see no way back for Wenger. He has to go.