Next time I go to London, I’ve promised myself a trip to The Comedy Store to hear Pep Guardiola perform the gag about Arsenal being title contenders.
Last Sunday’s result against high flying Manchester City is hardly amusing for Gooners and leaves them an impossible 12 points adrift.
None of what follows in this blog is going to make pleasant reading because what we are witnessing is more of the same, failure against the members of the mini league at the top of the table.
Drubbed by Liverpool and outclassed by the cutting attack of City, they still have to take on Spurs and Manchester United. It doesn’t bode well because all the old shortcomings are there to see. Sanchez, who was preferred to Lacazette, was woeful.
Those seeking his signature saw a performance so inept, that one could hardly understand what all the fuss is about. He seems constantly distracted and the passion of his turf slapping, shoulder dropping hissy fits, seem to be a thing of the past or perhaps he was just on his best behavior for his new Manager.
By contrast, Lacazette, who has only played a full 90 minutes against Leicester, must be wondering if the move to North London was a wise one. He managed to grab the only reply to the City onslaught and continues to justify his hefty price tag.
Left out of the crunch games, subbed for Giroud constantly, he must be heading home full of frustration and should be standing outside the Managers office demanding an explanation of how he can be under-utilised, ignored and overlooked.
It’s nothing short of baffling when the player shows genuine promise at the highest level and could turn a game with his contribution. Yet Sanchez and Ozil are allowed to paddle along like Two wet doughnuts in a thunderstorm.
Why spend that amount of money on a player and then constantly claim he is finding the premier league transition difficult when he already has 6 goals to his name. Maybe he just needs to be on the team more often and know that, even if the goals dry up, he is integral to the team.
Frustration with the optimistic Wenger will grow, as he continues to support his want away stars and persists with players that don’t gel such as Coquelin, Xhaka, and Elneny. Merge all three and you might get one decent player but separately they are wide of the mark.
I think Wenger should have offloaded a number of players who simply aren’t good enough, starting with Ozil and Sanchez, who clearly are guilty of theft, every time they bank their wages. How foolish does the Arsenal manager look now for not spending big in the transfer window and by ignoring Jack Wilshire in favour of the lacklustre German?
Further examination shows the flaws that expose Arsenal.
Monreal was clumsy, Koscielny uncertain, Coquelin average and Bellerin might be brilliant in attack but his positional play whilst defending is like that of a crazed dog seeking a bone. Cech is past his best and gets little or no support from a squeaky, unsure and inept defence which looks painfully thin in numbers and lacks genuine class.
Only Ramsey, Kolasinac and Lacazette look fit to wear the shirt as the Gooners season dismantles in front of our eyes. Yes, Arsenal were victims in this match of a poor decision in terms of the offside and they could argue the toss, only just, about the penalty but in truth, City pushed forward in an arrowhead of five players and cut their opposition to shreds every time.
They are the neutrals favourite for the title and could even emulate Arsenal’s invincibles in the process, the last thing that Wenger has on his list of former achievements.
De Bruyne is certainly the key player in the Manchester club and is the main contender for player of the season, in this brilliantly attractive team that is as good as Arsenal once were.
The fresh-faced Belgian, who looks like a wide-eyed extra from the film set of Harry Potter, is an attacking force, forging forward and providing a killer passes to his clinical teammates. He is the main reason that City look so pretty at the moment and are racking up goals by the bucket load.
In terms of Arsenal, it’s hard to watch the decline as they continue to fall behind the main contenders. On this form, they can look forward to another year without the Champions League and to mounting a challenge the for a premier league title they can’t realistically win.
It’s not like supporters couldn’t see this coming, Arsenal have sputtered at times and the loss to Watford said much about their ambition and quality. Bullied, outmuscled, work shy and lacking belief, the Gooners capitulated in alarming style to a team that will be content to finish outside the bottom three.
What does that tell you? City will cruise to the title this year as Arsenal head in the opposite direction. How ironic that City are showing all the attacking flair that Wenger’s previous teams did in their heyday.
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