Monaco thrashed Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates yesterday and here is why it should be a huge worry for Arsene Wenger.
Looking back at the time when the draw was made, Arsenal fans were arguably the happiest lot as compared to the fans of the other two English teams in the competition. Monaco was supposed to be a comfortable pathway to the Quarter finals, after four long years.
However, last night’s performance tells a very different story. One thing that stands out from the game is Arsenal’s worrying decision to underestimate the French outfit. From the onset the Gunners played without urgency and determination. Wenger’s side looked like a team who were confident it would be a walk in the park and were rightly outfought by an inspired Monaco performance.
Questions could be asked about the formation, team selections etc, but in the end it all boils down to how the players respond to the occasion. For a club that has failed to make it to the quarter finals for four years, this should have been a game where one would expect them to go all in. Instead last night was all about lackluster performances, lack of desire, passion and most importantly character.
Arsene Wenger will be undoubtedly the favorite scapegoat in all this, but despite all his flaws, the Monaco performance was a disgrace with regards to how his players turned up. Apart from the likes of Cazorla and Sanchez, the players looked demotivated and overconfident, and that was reflected by the fans, who produced a dull atmosphere all night. Perhaps the reaction would have been better if they were playing the likes of Barcelona or Bayern.
Arsenal have been on a good run of late, however since the defeat to Spurs at the Lane, the gunners have looked a but shaky against the likes of Palace and Leicester towards the closing stages of their 2-1 wins in both games. What was supposed to be a turning point, the Monaco game has proved to be a disastrous affair for the Gunners and with some crunch fixtures coming their way over the next few weeks, it is worrying for Arsene Wenger and the club.
Arsenal will face Everton, QPR, Manchester United, West Ham, Newcastle and Liverpool back to back in the league now. Despite sitting in the third place, the gap between the third and sixth placed side is marginal and one bad performance can put Arsenal’s top four hopes in jeopardy, especially with the likes of Manchester United and the inspired Liverpool chasing them.
Arsenal have a history of struggling against the likes of Everton, United and West Ham and with all those games back to back, along with a travel to Monaco, to overturn the two goal deficit, it does not look good. While it is beyond doubt that Arsenal have the ability to turn it around and finish the season strongly, the character and mental toughness in this Arsenal side points towards a disastrous end to this season for the Gunners.