In my EPL predictions post I asked if Arsenal had enough leaders to help our youngsters in the tough moments?
If we conceded an early goal at the Etihad, did we have the mentality to not fall apart?
Did we have enough characters to provide game management in those tricky periods.
All of those questions were rhetorical.
In reality most gooners knew the answer, because we see afternoons like the one in Manchester too many times.
Too many times where this is not acceptable, and we deserve answers.
Consider this ….
In our last 10 League fixtures with City, they opened the scoring in the opening 20 mins on 8 occasions.
8 out of 10 isn’t a coincidence.
Some of those Matches Arteta was in our dug out, other times he was Pep Guardiola’s assistant.
Enough times though to know the common pattern of this match and therefore plan a different approach.
That Saturday went the same way, and the fact that came as zero surprise to anyone, shows that either the coaching isn’t good enough or the players don’t have the capability of adapting – or both.
To just focus on why Kolasinac was starting (having been loaned to Schalke last season) or to make Xhaka a scapegoat due to his red card, would be not facing the reality of what is going on at the club.
Holding and Chambers knew that one of them had to marshal the back three and yet left it to each other to take responsibility.
After conceding our first goal, an Adams would have screamed, a Vieira would have pointed, a Henry would have shown disgust.
This version of Arsenal simply shrank into a shell, scared to press as the Champions scored again.
Forget ex-captains, we once had men …Campbell, Lauren, Touré, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, etc. Men who knew the standards required to wear the shirt and wouldn’t tolerate those standards not being met.
In the second half our manager ordered his 10 men to sit behind the ball, stay deep, watch the passes in front of them, and his striker not to close down above the halfway line.
In other words, we accepted, home fans were quiet because routing the Gunners is now common, while the away section resorted to ironic chanting.
As a club we now accept mediocrity.
If nothing else, I believe Arteta cares and speaks well.
Yet it was the Spaniard who promised that anyone who couldn’t follow his principles would not be welcome at Arsenal.
This wasn’t a one off.
Don’t get me wrong we had humiliations under Mr Wenger, but it never felt like this.
8-2 at Old Trafford, 6-3 at the Etihad, but at least we tried to attack.
Drubbings at Anfield – simply blown away.
Never like this, never with this regularity.
We had so many squads in the last decade where you could question the type of personality we were buying. Not like this, not this often.
Not where you could review our entire 23 player squad and argue we don’t have a single leader.
Believe it or not there is a way to lose 5-0 with pride. Norwich would have put more heart into getting thumped.
Don’t let anyone tell you that being down to 10 men made that second half acceptable.
The saddest part?
I’m quite sure a few of the more senior players were not part of the group who apologised to the travelling gooners.
Maybe readers can confirm that for me?
Anyone who still can’t see how backwards we have gone since Mr Wenger left; I simply don’t know how much more you need to see.
This is our worst start in the prem era.
Easily the worst mentality.
Apart from Tierney, not one leader
Be kind in the comments