- A broken club! Abject Arsenal ruthlessly exposed by Man City and De Bruyne10:47 | 16/12/2019
The Gunners are actually getting worse following the sacking of Unai Emery, as Sunday’s demoralising loss to the Premier League champions underlined.
Photo by Getty
This was a game that ended as a contest after just 90 seconds.
As soon as Gabriel Jesus was allowed to ghost through the Arsenal defence and cross for Kevin De Bruyne to score, there was only going to be one winner.
It ended 3-0 but, i,n truth it could have been anything. City didn’t even have to get out of second gear.
Last season’s title winners were in cruise control and it was yet another panful illustration of how far behind England’s elite Arsenal have fallen.
They sit seven points off the relegation zone and, with two away games coming up at Everton and Bournemouth before Chelsea and Manchester United visit the Emirates, things could look very bleak at the start of 2020 for the Gunners.
A season that started full of optimism has now descended into catastrophe and the most worrying aspect about it all is that you sense there is still worse to come.
There is no head coach, the squad is a mess, confidence levels are at rock bottom and, defensively, Arsenal are as bad as they come.
We’ve seen this season that influential fan groups have joined together to ask owner Stan Kroenke, ‘We care; do you?’ On this evidence, the answer is no.
The fact Arsenal sacked Unai Emery three weeks ago and haven’t even started interviewing for a possible successor sums up the problems at the club right now. Where is the planning? Where is the leadership?
For any big organisation – sporting or otherwise – to be successful, those in power have to be strong and decisive. At Arsenal, however, the ownership is rotten to the core.
Freddie Ljungberg has now taken charge of five games. He’s won one, drawn two and lost two. There has been no improvement, aside from that nine-minute burst at West Ham.
Arsenal head to Everton on Saturday, pitting them against a club who also have a temporary boss in charge. Duncan Ferguson has taken four points from his two games at the helm of the Toffees, inspiring a win against Chelsea and a draw at Old Trafford.
Everton’s players have looked re-energised under their new coach; Arsenal, meanwhile, look as lethargic as they did under Unai Emery.
The way Fernandinho was allowed to walk out of defence and slip the ball through to Jesus in the build up to De Bruyne’s opener inside two minutes summed it up. There can’t be an easier team to play against than Arsenal right now.
City didn’t even have to break sweat. They just sat deep, waited to beat the press and then broke quickly, destroying the home side at will.
Raheem Sterling added a second on 15 minutes and the brilliant De Bruyne made it 3-0 just before half-time. Only a magnificent save from Bernd Leno denied the Belgium international a first half hat-trick.
At that point, you thought Arsenal would at least come out after the interval and show some fight, but they didn’t. In fact, they mustered just three shots in the second 45 minutes, none of which were on target.
The frustration in the stands was there for all to see and Mesut Ozil bore the brunt of it when he was substituted 20 minutes from time. Just as they did for Granit Xhaka two months ago, the boos started to ring out as Ozil trudged off the pitch slowly to be replaced by Emile Smith Rowe.
Unlike Xhaka, Ozil at least managed to stop himself from telling the fans to ‘fu*k off’, but he did rip off his gloves and kick them up in the air before taking his place on the bench.
It was yet another incident which perfectly encapsulated where Arsenal right now. From top to bottom, the club feels broken. It is going to take a brave man to come in to try and fix this mess.
Mikel Arteta is one of the leading candidates to be that man. But as he sat next to Pep Guardiola and saw first-hand just how bad things are at his former club, he must have thought he would be far better off staying exactly where he is.
And to be honest, who would blame him?
Source – Goal.com
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