So who was wishing for VAR last night then? An offside goal, a probable red card for Fernandinho and decision to be made about City’s second choice keeper after his rash challenge on Gabriel Martinelli. Arsenal v the nine men of City and yes, I’d have backed us to win.
Our goal was excellent, Martinelli was excellent. His pressing, energy and all round play is exactly what Arsenal have been missing all season. When he got the ball, he wanted to make things happen and he did. Another four or five like him and Arsenal might climb the table.
City totally outplayed us for large parts of the game but had it not been for two moments of madness, one within minutes of the game kicking off, the second from our number two keeper, we might not have caved. However, we got spanked in the end.
Runasson was little short of appalling and whoever thought he was the right man to replace Emi Martinez is bonkers. Question marks also hang over the decision not to substitute Martinelli after he was clattered, then to see him reappear after the break was simply ridiculous. Stupidity of the highest order and just as bad as rushing Thomas Partey back a few weeks ago.
A hefty loss against a pretty strong Man City side is unlikely to be the final nail in Mike Arteta’s Arsenal managerial career but sadly, if a few more come his way, I really don’t see how he can survive. After the Chelsea game on Boxing Day, our fixtures are against clubs we really should be beating but if they go badly, I think the club will have little choice but to make a change. If Arsenal drop into the relegation places, this group of players are unlikely to fight hard enough for survival. Not all I know and it’s them I feel sorry for.
Watching Martinelli play with such enthusiasm and determination was a joy, but watching his replacement just go through the motions was painful. ESR showed moments of what he can offer Mikel Arteta’s team, if only the Spaniard was brave enough to pick him more often. Same goes for Balogun, Nelson and one or two others. As we all know by now, it’s the decisions a manager makes which makes him either succeed or fail and at the moment Mikel Arteta isn’t succeeding.
I’ve never been fussed about the League Cup so I’d be a hypocrite to suggest I’m overly fussed about last night’s defeat but there’s a bigger picture and that’s the one which isn’t looking pretty. Of course I hope he can turn things around. I hope his players want to turn things around for him.
I hope we can beat Chelsea on Boxing Day and with it, kick start a good run of results against the clubs who sit around and below us in the League but with each bad result, more pressure builds on the manager. The more pressure grows on the board to make a change.
I can tell you what will happen next time whoever (a new manager) comes in, David Luiz will play well for 10 or 11 games and you’ll go “he’s a good player,” then he’ll start making mistakes because he’ll get bored. You’ll have (Granit) Xhaka and be thinking “wow he’s a good player as well,” he’ll then get sent off. The manager will probably bring Mesut Ozil in and be like “we shouldn’t have left him out in the first place. He’ll do it for a couple of games and then bored as well. That will be the problem with this team. Too many of them no matter what you do will let Arsenal down.
It’s a team full of kidders right now and I feel sorry for the young players. So the manager they either need to stick with him and give him time to get out a lot of the players that are not good enough. I keep hearing about dressing room unrest, I keep hearing about there’s someone in the dressing room giving out information. If you’ve got that, you’ve got major problems, you’ve got no chance. You’ve got to get rid of those players as quickly as possible and it’s not easy to do.
If you get rid of the manager who comes in? Who is out there?
Honestly, I hope the board don’t buckle because I’m still far from convinced Mikel Arteta is the biggest issue Arsenal have. Alison. as Redknapp asks, who is there out there ready to jump at the chance of managing Arsenal?
Anyone half decent would want many players sold I’m sure and I’d imagine that right now, Mikel Arteta wants them out the door too.
See you in the comments.