So to add to his proud record of being the first Arsenal Manager to not qualify for Europe in quarter of a century, Mikel Arteta at the weekend led to us to only our 2nd third round FA Cup exit in over two decades.
What was most concerning about Sunday was how these players didn’t treat it like it was an important fixture.
Concerning, but not a surprise as we equally went through the motions in a EUFA Semi Final last year when our season was on the line.
The Cups are our only route to happiness this campaign, the only chance of silverware.
Should a squad need a reminder of a game’s importance? No.
Yet that is a manager’s job.
Either we have too many players who think they are better than they are, or a coach who has the inability to motivate them.
I kept waiting at the City Ground for the Gunners to realise they had gotten away with not showing up and wake up before it was too late.
If we had any leaders, they would have warned the youngsters that they had gotten away with things in the first 45 minutes, but no damage had been done, now rectify this situation.
It shows how far we have regressed that I was hoping we could hang on ’til extra time against a Championship club, so we would have half an hour to sort ourselves out.
The worrying aspect is this is our future, this is what our boss wants to build.
A young team with a couple of hot prospects who will look good some weeks, but when it matters lack game management.
Remember how good a young Fabregas, Nasri and Vanpersie looked together?
Yet in those key moments of games and seasons they needed experience to help.
Remember not showing up at Everton?
A needless penalty conceded at Old Trafford.
Melting at Man City and Liverpool the moment we faced anxiety?
This happens too often, which is why I maintain we won’t finish top 4.
Because in moments where you need to fight and show grit, our weak mentality is highlighted.
So while Arteta talks about absentees, he’s been freezing out an Aubameyang and Pepe anyway.
In other words, Saka, Martinelli, Eddie, Odegaard and Lacazette, that’s all we have?
Why are we patting the club on the back yet again for slashing the wage bill in January, while not bothering to bring in anyone with more quality?
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