With Arsenal, one goal is never enough. The players know this, the manager knows it, we fans know it. Even our opposition knows it. It doesn’t even matter who the opposition is. We could be playing the best team in the world or a team that hasn’t won in a century, as long as the lead is solitary, you can never really rely on the Arsenal team to see the game out till the end.
After using the three at the back formation exclusively during the beginning of the season, the manager has resorted only using it in big or away games. Ostensibly to make the team defend better and as a result of our atrocious away record this season.
There was however no sign of the Arsenal team defending any better in this match. Injuries might have necessitated the deployment of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers as two of the three at the back but that is surely no excuse front being able to defend effectively against a team lying 18th in the league.
Arsenal has been bad before; and played bad even. But this was surely one of the worst performances ever. In the history of the club and manager.
Even after Arsenal had taken the lead early in the second half through Bellerin’s shot, the team never seemed like it knew what it was doing or how to hold on to its slender lead. They kept backing off the home team players and allowed them possession in dangerous areas. You could see the goals coming and they came in quick succession through Cech’s calamitous goalkeeping and diabolical defending.
They say a team is essentially a reflection of its manager and when a manager has spent two decades in the saddle, the team is undoubtedly his reflection and his responsibility. We keep seeing the same failings and faults with the only constant being the manager. We can point fingers at the owner, CEO, players, or everyone at the club but the truth remains that this mess, and it is truly a mess, is of Arsene’s making.
Playing three at back hasn’t solved the structural issues in the team. Neither has signing a world class striker. Leaving the current manager in his position, unchallenged, has definitely not been the solution.