There is only one thing worse than being a US fan on the eve of the World Cup, being a US fan who fell in love with Arsenal during the Invincibles run. Damn. That was such a different Arsenal. This past weekend’s performance pretty much summed up Arsenal’s performance in the Prem this season (as well as the last few) a steaming turd.
Don’t get me wrong Arsenal started off the match on the right foot by grabbing the first goal at St. James’ Park (shoutout Santiago Munez). Great ball from Mustafi to a darting Aubameyang who then played a lovely cross to Lacazette for the finish. Crazy to think that was the first goal the Geordies let up at home in four months. Arsenal continued to press Newcastle and had a decent opportunity for another but Aubameyang decided to be selfish and not lay the ball off to Iwobi who was lurking at the top of the box. Yes, the ball did hit off the defenders hand. Yes, the defenders arm was in an unnatural position. Was it a penalty? Absolutely not. The defender, in my opinion, was close enough that it was rather the ball-to-hand not hand-to-ball, which for all you couch referees out there, IS NOT A HANDBALL.
It was from that point forward that Arsenal looked like they have for pretty much the entire season, with the exception of the Europa League. Arsenal had the chances to score but could not finish. Wenger brought in two strikers who haven’t been producing at the level required, and unfortunately sold Giroud a striker that did produce in his five years with the club (100 club goals in five years is not a bad mark to hit).
Missed chance after missed chance and Newcastle started to press Arsenal’s back line, which has been below average all year long. All it took was one ball over the top to Gayle, who easily beat Mustafi for pace, and then a quick touch to Yedlin out wide who then played a dime ball into Perez and beat an aging Cech to his near post. Take nothing away from the finish by Perez it was brilliant, but Mustafi gets beat for pace and then gets beat the spot at the near post? It’s outrageous.
I have no clue what the hell Arsenal was doing on the second Newcastle goal, Monreal heads the ball straight up and not a single Arsenal defender attempts to attack the 50/50 ball. Again Mustafi was caught with ball watching and allowed the Newcastle player to head the ball to the middle where no one picked up Ritchie and he was able to find the back of the net. Again a lack a pride in defending cost Arsenal a draw but there is no excuse for not finding the back of the net with the amount of chances Arsenal created.
I told Young Leg, a gambling man, that he should have taken Newcastle to win over the Gunners. Yes, Newcastle had not beaten Arsenal in thirteen matches but I just had a feeling that Newcastle, especially under Benitez, were a different animal. Not to mention that the team looks like it does not draw inspiration from Wenger or any of his staff.
I have been a #WengerOut man for the past couple of seasons. Yes I get the whole “he made Arsenal into a consistently dominant team” but what has he done for me lately? Oh he won a few FA cups. So what? The FA is not what it used to be, the Premier League and Champions League is what defines managerial success for big time clubs nowadays and Wenger has not produced in those two competitions. Last year he failed to qualify for Champions League, this year he looks like he will fail to qualify for Europa League based on points earned. Would I love to see Arsenal win the Europa League? Hell yeah. Do I still want Wenger gone after this season? Abso-friggin’-lutely. Wenger is at the point in his managerial career at Arsenal where he either “dies a hero, or lives long enough to become the villain” and by god he is the damn villain at this point. Is Arsene Wenger an Arsenal Legend? Yes. 100%. But goddamn man it is time to move on before he runs this club into a consistently mid-table side, because no superstar will come here anymore, and he is not keeping up with the likes of Guardiola, Klopp, Conte, and Mourinho. Hell Conte will probably be sacked at the end of the year because Chelsea’s board is all about winning. Arsenal’s board on the other hand, is Silent.
To chat shit about Wenger in or Wenger out find Tyler on Twitter @tybond16