The defeat was the latest in what has been a miserable month for Arsene Wenger’s side. Since Danny Welbeck’s dramatic winner in added time against leaders Leicester on February 14, Arsenal have won one of their subsequent seven games, and that was away to Championship side Hull in the FA Cup.
One point out of nine in the league after defeats to Manchester United and Swansea have all but ended Arsenal’s title hopes for another season. They are out of the FA Cup and their Champions League season will be over on Wednesday when they travel to the Camp Nou, trailing Barcelona 2-0 on aggregate.
With the pressure off them in Spain, I expect Arsenal to put in an inspired performance and possibly win the match, yet lose on aggregate. The kind of glorious failure that Arsenal fans have became used too under Wenger.
But why is that? Why cannot Arsenal handle the pressure and expectations of being title contenders?
It is the latter that is the most difficult to understand. Between Per Cech, Per Mertesacker, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez they have four players who have won 7 league titles, 2 Champions Leagues, a World Cup and Copa America between them. These are players who are used to winning. So why do they fold under the pressure at Arsenal?
Eventually the blame for another disappointing season in North London has be placed at the feet of Arsene Wenger.
Wenger cannot claim that the big money teams have bought the season, especially if Leicester and Spurs finish ahead of the Gunners this season.
Season after season Arsenal wilt under the pressure of expectations. They are always contenders until we get to the money part of the season and then Arsenal fade away.
And the blame for that has to Arsene Wenger’s. This is not a young team that is not used to pressure and winning. Wenger has players who have won the biggest honors in the game. Players who have withstood the pressure on the biggest stages and delivered. For them to struggle to recreate that for Arsenal is a telling sign that they are not being prepared right by the coaching staff.
There is a growing segment of the Arsenal fan base who would like to see Arsene Wenger be fired at the end of the season. Do you think he should be? And if he was to step down, who is available that could come in and replace him?