It was Arsène Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal and it was supposed to be a joyous occasion. It wasn’t. I’m not sure what it was that possessed me to keep watching the ‘match’ between Arsenal and Chelsea. At 3-0 there was no point. I should have turned it off.
I told myself it was my support for Arsenal as a ‘real fan’ and that I should support my team no matter what. The more likely reason was that, inexplicably, I had some deep lying belief that we could come back from it.
Obviously, we couldn’t. 4-0 down to the league leaders at half time highlighted just how far we are from sustaining a credible title challenge. The same thing happened at Anfield and quite clearly we didn’t learn our lesson.
It wasn’t even a football match. Jim Carrey would struggle to produce a more comedic performance than we did against Chelsea.
Calamitous, shambolic and utterly embarrassing are the only words that can be said about a performance that scarred Arsène Wenger on the day of his 1000th game in charge of Arsenal.
At the end of the season, if we win at Wembley and lift the FA Cup, this defeat may well seem like a distant memory. There is, however, absolutely no way that we can forget it and it should most certainly not be cast aside.
Many people said after our 5-1 thumping at Anfield that we should forget the game and focus on our upcoming matches. Today’s game proves that that is the last thing we should do.
What is the point in suffering harrowing defeats if you don’t learn from them, especially if you expect to win the Premier League?
I, among with many others, have expressed the need to invest in a world-class striker in the summer and we should.
But, on a day like today, any striker in the world would be no more than a spectator witnessing a humiliating collapse against a severe rival.
Our defence looked as if they had never played together. Our full backs were nowhere to be seen and on the rare occasion when Mertesacker and Koscielny actually managed to clear the danger, our midfield passed the ball straight back to Chelsea and allowed them to launch another attack all over again.
What is Giroud to do when every Arsenal player behind him is crumbling and producing a performance that a Sunday league team would be embarrassed with?
Is this harsh? An overreaction? No. It’s the truth. This season has shown that we are in a position to compete for the league again; at least up to a certain point.
But the fact remains; we can’t beat the big teams. I scorned at journalists and pundits at the beginning of the season when they pointed this out, but it’s true.
We have lost 6-3 against City, 5-1 against Liverpool, 1-0 against a struggling Manchester United and before the 6-0 defeat against Chelsea today, we drew 0-0 with them at the Emirates. The numbers don’t lie.
I have absolutely no problem writing this article, damning the performance of a team who clearly didn’t want to be on the pitch at Stamford Bridge.
I’m not going to defend the team today, they don’t deserve it and quite frankly, the fans deserve better. I’m disgusted and I hope the players understand just how much they have let each and every Arsenal fan down today.
Header photo via Ronnie Macdonald- http://www.flickr.com/photos/ronmacphotos/