Did Arsenal just “roll over” for Chelsea?

Arsenal suffered terribly at the hands of Chelsea at the weekend. The Gunners were embarrassed in their performance at Stamford Bridge and it all but suggests that our title challenge is over for yet another season. There have been many suggestions as to what has gone wrong so far this campaign, but pundit Alan Shearer has pointed out a reason for why this Arsenal team lacks the willingness of past greats!

Player turned pundit Alan Shearer is never far from criticism when it comes to Arsenal Football Club. The MOTD co-presenter rarely has a good word to say about the Gunners and in his recent column, Shearer revealed his reasons behind why Arsenal are falling.

Shearer stated: “Arsene Wenger remains, yet the Arsenal DNA he had between 1997 and 2005 has been totally lost over the last decade. That is what frustrates the fans, that a manager who gave them so much and put out such great teams can now be in charge of one of the softest sides in the club’s history.”

“One that rolls over when the going gets tough. One that raises hopes one week and shatters them the next. A side that can’t compete over a season. Players who simply don’t work hard enough to match Watford and more starkly Chelsea, who simply bullied them off the park.”

Shearer points out the ‘Arsenal DNA’, a term that many of us will be familiar with. During the early years of Arsene Wenger and in fact that first decade of his Arsenal managerial career, Wenger established a side that was strong both physically and mentally. The players were strong in the challenge, were not afraid to show a bit of aggression, fight and of course passion. It was all about showing the opposition that we were ready for the challenge and ultimately that we were ready to take all three points. It’s been a question of debate as to why Wenger uses this excuse that the team were not physically or mentally ready for the match, posing the question as to why not? The physical and mental strength made the Arsenal sides of the past; sides to be feared by the opposition. However, nowadays you get the impression that many teams, such as Watford, come to the Emirates strongly believing they have a chance of picking up the points.

This Arsenal side has its fighters, but they are few and far between. Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin all show passion, strength and fight on the pitch. They are all leaders in physical being and in voice. But we also have players that don’t hold the physical and mental capabilities, players who sulk, become lazy or hang their head when the challenge gets tough, instead of fighting till the very end.

I don’t agree with a lot that Shearer has to say on Arsenal, but it’s very true that this current Arsenal side lacks the physical and mental strength to be consistent over the course of an entire campaign. A few dropped points on the trot seems to bring the club into crisis, probably not helped by the fans, but ultimately the side doesn’t hold a lot of belief. At 2-0 down to Chelsea, you could tell that the players were starting to lose belief in attaining any of the points from the fixture; and that’s disappointing considering there was still a long period of play left in the match after Hazard’s goal.

Can the Gunners turn things around? A 12 points gap is certainly a stretch, but if the team shows the fighting spirit that Shearer and the fans of Arsenal so desperately want, then at least we can finish the season in a stronger fashion.



  1. Budd says:

    As I said in the beginning of the season, no expectation and you will live longer. Wenger can’t take this team further. Worse yet, there’s not really crowded with sponsors willing to offer their money for a team consistently failing at this stage in a season for 10 years in a row. I am surprised it took people so long to realize it. I am surprised it took me so long. Fool me once, fool me twice multiplied by ten.
    Look, the lack of trophies I can take, I can deal with it. The lack of commitment, the lack of football, the lack of desire these are things I can’t deal with when we speak about people being paid in a week more than anyone gets paid in a year or a decade.
    There’s a lack of responsibility looming above the Emirates, no one dares to point the finger and say : you! Shape up, deliver or be gone. It is painful and really depressing. Fortunately I managed to detach myself just in time. I am not surprised a bit, I don’t pull out my hair when I see an incredible miss. It is the Arsenal I have failed to recognize 5 seasons ago.
    So here we are. Where do we go from here? Top 4? Maybe an FA cup if even! The thing which pi$$e$ me most is the fact that the Spuds will probably finish above us. Incredible times.

    1. Sam, need a striker says:

      Tell you what will happen “you may already know”, we will go on a winning streak and we will retain our Wenger trophy “top 4” and maybe we get the FA cup and then we have most of the fans back on Wenger’s board and guess what Wenger will get another 2 seasons contract …
      Sad but TRUE …
      I guess we need new fans with ambitions before a new manager …

  2. bran99 says:

    OT: Charlie Adam talking about Arsenal
    Asked if they ever change or tailor their approach to a match, Adam replied: “No, never. It’s the same way, no matter if they are playing Stoke, Bayern Munich or Chelsea, they always try the same way.”

    “Back in the day with Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t be having that, he wanted to win everything, every trophy, and that’s why he stayed in the game so long, and that’s why he was a champion
    “I think Arsene Wenger as a person must sit down at the end of the season and say: ‘I think [we’ve] gone as far as we can.’ There is an opportunity for someone else in there.”

    everyone thinks Arsenal are too predictable except Wenger and his followers, but other players, pundits and most Arsenal fans are speaking the same language.

    We will see same lineup, same formation against Hull, Bayern and the rest of matches till the end of the season, just too predictable from the most experienced manager in the league

  3. legend Henry says:

    Wenger is just deluded.He wants to sign a new contract?Klopp could have remained in Dortmund when he was told to stay .The same applies to Pep when he was at Barca and Bayern.
    Wenger is arrogant ,he thinks he made arsenal and unfortunately, some stupid fans think so.
    Those London based Arsenal fans must realize that if they don’t boycott matches, Le failure will think they are completely happy with his performance.
    That man has humiliated us a lot.
    It’s time to call it quit!!!

  4. legend Henry says:

    Garry Neville is just the definition of failure!!!
    Considering the budget he says?
    Arsenal have resources than most of the top clubs.
    This fool of a failed manager jumps at mourinho if man united lose a single match yet he wants Arsenal to go on with a constant humiliation.
    Neville is a failed project.

  5. peterh says:

    I agree entirely with Shearer on this, but disagree when people say that we have ‘a few vocal and aggressive leaders’. Petr Cech is cited as a leader, but at the moment seems to be a liability. Kos rarely talks to the others and always has a penalty or blunder in him (I am still traumatised from the 1-o loss to Birmingham at Wembley) and Coquelin in my view is average – too slow for midfield, and so always likely to pick up a yellow and then a red card. Who does that leave? Nobody. Now compare with Tony Adams, Roy Keane, Graham Souness etc – Do you really think Adams and these guys from yesterday would have put up for so long from mediocrity from our highly paid ‘superstars’? And a last thing, the best Arsenal teams of recent years were physically impressive. Who in this team scares the opposition?

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