Arsenal faced an uphill battle in the second leg of their Champions League tie against Bayern Munich and it was never likely that they would make it through. However, the fashion of their defeat on Tuesday underlines the problems facing the club at the moment. The Gunners lost 5-1 to the German giants for the second time in three weeks, despite leading the contest at half-time. A red card to Laurent Koscielny quickly led to their collapse and the 10-2 aggregate loss is the largest that an English side has suffered in Champions League history.
This was always going to be a tough tie for Arsene Wenger’s men, as they were once again drawn against one of Europe’s super clubs in the first knockout round of the competition. However, to lose as convincingly as they did raises questions. Given the finances available to Premier League clubs, the Gunners should be competing to win the Champions League, something that they are a million miles away from doing. It is the fact that they didn’t even give Bayern a serious test that is the concerning part of this round of 16 tie. Arsenal need to make changes to ensure next season isn’t as big a failure.
The pressure on Arsene Wenger continues to grow and last night’s defeat could spell the beginning of the end for him as manager of Arsenal. It is time for the club to move on as the Frenchman has simply been left behind by the game. His team played well in the first half, but it was too little too late and the collapse in the second half is deeply troubling, even if they were down to ten men. Instead of shouldering the blame for another embarrassing defeat, the Arsenal boss blamed the referee.
“The penalty and red card are absolutely unexplainable and scandalous,”
“It’s irresponsible from the referee. It leaves me very angry and very frustrated.”
Although many believe that the Frenchman has a case, these comments show that the pressure is getting to him. He is doing anything he can to deflect the attention away from him, but it is unlikely to work. Regardless of the decisions made by the referee, Arsenal shouldn’t be losing 5-1 at home against any opposition. Wenger needs to take his share of the blame as the collapse after the red card was concerning. The Arsenal manager is beginning to look and sound like a broken man.
It was one of the worst nights of Arsenal’s recent history and the actions of Alexis Sanchez won’t have won him any fans. He was seen trying to cover a laugh on the bench after he was substituted in the second half. The Chilean is clever enough to know that there are cameras on him at all times which makes this indefensible. There have been a number of occasions of Sanchez publicly showing his anger, but they are the sign of a winner. This is just disrespectful to his team-mates and the supporters that had paid to watch the match.
He has been a great player for Arsenal and this season has been his best since arriving in England, but he needs to leave at the end of the campaign. No one player is bigger than the club and Sanchez is beginning to become the main focus for the media. He needs to be moved on, as he is offering more problems off the pitch than solutions on it. Although he may believe that he is too good for the Gunners, he has played his part in this embarrassing 10-2 aggregate defeat and he needs to acknowledge that rather than laughing on the bench.
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