The North London club has once again been kicked out of the UEFA Champions League by their European foes FC Bayern Munich this week – why?
Ask Arsene Wenger.
He’s played this opposition multiple times before, but appears seemingly incapable of changing tactics to suit his team. Doesn’t that usually mean the manager should depart a club on their own accord? One would think so.
Then again, perhaps he is accustomed to the disappointment by now, given this is the seventh successive season his team have gone out at the first knockout stage. Bayern accounted for three of those exits. To make matters worse, it was Arsenal’s heaviest defeat at the Emirates since 2006 and the worst result, over two legs, for any English club at this level.
However, in order to provide a further analysis of their 10-2 aggregate drubbing, it is important to consider three key factors which may have caused this demise.
First the Red Card on Laurent Koscielny and then the collapse. Coincidence? Wenger thinks not. In fact, he called the officiating ‘revolting’, quite a statement from someone who, lest it be forgotten, has won a measly 3.6% of every league title and FA Cup in the history of English football. Of course, after losing 5-1 back-to-back.. it must be the referees? Surely?
They got absolutely hammered at the Allianz Arena. So imagine how the players must have felt having to claw that back in their own stadium – they got stage fright. Simple as that. For fans, it continued to feel like a total cop-out. Each goal prompted a walk-out of supporters, meaning the ground was sparsely filled by the time the home team were put out of their misery.
When you don’t have your own fan channel supporting you – well, there must be something wrong. After a filmed rant following the first leg went viral, players must have felt like their own were turning against them. No individual can perform to their best when a whole stadium is standing in union against you. Arsenal fans have really just had enough – and sooner or later, the club’s ‘traditional’ hierarchical system will bite them in the backside. It could even happen this season.
Arsenal Football Club has a rich tapestry of tradition. It is a club steeped in proud moments and triumphs. But at this moment in time, and looking ahead – the administration is marred in a psychological battle between new and old.
They need to move on from the past.
And yet the decision-makers are unable to do so.
Sorry to break it to you Arsenal fans – but Thierry Henry can’t save you anymore.
Originally published by Spalk as ‘Killing Arsenal – three easy steps.’