Friday, January 27, 2023

3 Talking Points From Arsenal’s Humiliating Defeat Against Bayern Munich

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

Arsene Wenger’s team selection

The biggest question that left Arsenal fans begging throughout the second half and also perhaps after the game was, what should Danny Welbeck do to do start a game? The English forward has been immensely impactful on the pitch whenever he has come on since his return from injury and everyone expected him to lead the attack in such a high-octane game. However, Arsene Wenger still stuck with the inexperienced Alex Iwobi who was shredded into pieces against the massively experienced Phillip Lahm.

Iwobi’s naive approach left Kieran Gibbs exposed and Arjen Robben could get in easily that led to the first goal. Another major selection was the striker’s role up front. The only Arsenal player to put four goals past Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been Olivier Giroud and the manager brought him on in the 77th minute.


Player lacks mental strength

It is easy to blame the manager, who has the job to go out and take everyone’s criticism after a 90-minute shit show by players. But, Arsenal players hardly looked confident at Allianz Arena in the second half. After skipper Laurent Koscielny limped off early in the second half, the team more or less fell apart. The plan to play with a high line went out of the window and Arsenal were seen sitting deep waiting to concede.

We think, although it was Wenger who bought those players and groomed them for long, he is pretty much helpless and his tactics ineffective if the players aren’t giving their all. Alexis Sanchez was often seen urging the forward line to press high and get frustrated with their inactivity. The midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin were invisible as they hardly won any tackles or created chances.

End of an Era?

It looked worse from the stands as the boss kept sitting in the dugout even after going 4-1 down and the winning manager, Carlo Ancelotti, running around the technical area. The manager stated that the squad has lost stability and mentally collapsed during the second half.

The social media and post-game shows are filled with critics asking the 67-year-old to step down after repeated failures over the last 10 years. The team looked clueless in the attacking third with their movement and the manager’s team selection angered the fans even more.

But, to all those criticising him brusquely should remember that he has been someone, who as given Arsenal the ‘Invincible’ stature at his best and top four at his worst. We think he deserves a better sending off.

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