The moment Boateng scored the opener on 15 minutes, Arsenal gave up. You could see they didn’t believe in themselves. It doesn’t matter how many times Wenger tries to instill confidence in them by praising their mental strength, they know they’re not good enough and tonight an ageing Milan side proved it with embarrassing ease.
As somebody who pays over a grand a season to support this lot, what annoys me even more than not being good enough is not trying hard enough. The very least us fans deserve (especially the 5,000 travelling Gooners who shelled out hundreds to cheer them on tonight) is commitment and passion from the privileged players entrusted to wear our beloved shirts. But that didn’t happen and unfortunately it’s not the first time I’ve said that this season.
I watched Milan pass the ball around and then through our fragile defence with embarrassing ease. And so did our players — watch, that is. There was no pressing, no hassling and no real effort to win the ball back. Where was the leadership? Why didn’t somebody — anybody — take some responsibility out there?
Here’s the match in a nutshell: a Milan player gets the ball and an Arsenal player stands two yards off him, jockeying but not tackling. The ball is passed to another Milan player and a different Arsenal player stands two yards off him, jockeying but not tackling. And so the cycle continues until Milan play the ball to Ibrahimovic or Robinho who rip our inept backline to shreds.
Nobody got stuck in. Our players went through the motions and frankly, 4-0 flattered us. Our over-paid, under-motivated players were hopelessly outfought and you have to wonder how long this can keep happening.
When we had the ball we passed sideways amongst ourselves 30 yards out, had no idea how to penetrate and eventually the attacks petered out. Pathetic.
Only Koscielny and van Persie offered any sort of resistance. Losing the former with a knee injury is a serious blow as he was the only one Szczesny could rely on to thwart some of the waves of attacks crashing in on him. Captain Fantastic showed some nice touches and flashed a couple of volleys close, but he was starved of service and looks completely wasted in a mediocre outfit like this.
Even the Verminator had a 'mare
We lined up with proper full backs, our best two centre-backs, first choice keeper and first choice defensive midfielder. And still we couldn’t even do the basics right in defence. So if we can’t use injuries as an excuse, why can’t we defend properly?
Because we’re not good enough. We’re going backwards with our ludicrous transfer strategy and Wenger’s increasingly poor decisions both on and off the pitch.
Do you know what, I can’t be arsed to write anymore because it’s the same stuff I’ve been writing all season. It’s one step forwards and two steps back again. Beat Blackburn and Sunderland, paper over the cracks and get some confidence back, then see it all undone by another woeful performance which makes us a laughing stock. Again.
Now we need to pick ourselves up for another tricky trip to Sunderland. After that performance — and with Koscielny already ruled out and Henry back in New York — I’m not very confident.
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