That was a disgrace of a performance last night. It was an example in arrogance and this morning I am still pretty raw with rage from what I saw last night. Because what I saw was an Arsenal team that broke one of the fundamental laws of any kind of competition:
Never underestimate your opponent.
Those Arsenal players did exactly that last night. Arteta has to hold his hands up a little because he will have been giving instructions on what he wanted to see, but the players take 90% of it, because what us Arsenal fans were treated to was an utter garbage performance.
It was abysmal.
Arteta named pretty much a full strength team and as the game kicked off and we started to control possession, you wondered what had happened to this team that scored eight goals in just under a week. There was no intensity, there was no drive and as for the passing, it was like watching an under-12 side. Balls sprayed out of the pitch for throw ins from Mustafi, Luiz, Xhaka, etc. Players like Özil meandering about the pitch offering little creativity. Bellerin looking like he’s wading through treacle. Saka not driving beyond his man.
Don’t even get me started on Lacazette. Although I’ll probably come back to him because we have a big problem there.
It was abject. It was lethargic. It was the epitome of a team thinking “did the job in Greece lads”. As I’ve said already – disgraceful.
I have no idea why the mentality was this way, but it was clear we just wanted to contain them all night, but what really worried me was players holding on to the ball that little too long. Bellerin, Pepe – who had twinkle toes until it came to end product – but especially Xhaka. It was just so weird. I watched Saka make three runs that Xhaka normally splits a defence to find, but each time he checked and played the ball sideways. I have no idea why. His vision is such that there’s no way he wouldn’t have seen that, yet he didn’t want to risk it, for some bizarre reason.
The mental fragility of this Arsenal team is laughable. Olympiakos are not good. They are not strong. Once again we played an opponent where our gift was goals for them. How can you have an unmarked 2metre high centre half just run in a straight line for the first goal? Horrible defending and a complete lack of accountability at the back. Then, for the winner in the last seconds, David Luiz undoing all the good form of late with more clownish defending to let the Greek forward just jog his way through. Abysmal. Abject. I’m running out of adjectives to describe what I saw yesterday. All I’ve got left is bad.
So bad. But just ‘bad’ alone doesn’t describe Alexandre Lacazette. The man was a joke yesterday. He didn’t run channels, he didn’t hold up the ball, his passing was poor, he missed sitters, it was the kind of performance that make me hope Nketiah bags a hat trick on Monday and never loses his place.
And this has been like this for a while now. He was terrible on the away leg. He’s been missing chances for months. Quite simply he hasn’t been good enough and one of the many reasons for the malaise at the club. He was asked about promises by the club to let him go to a Champions League club in the summer. Eh!?!?! He’s a big reason why Arsenal won’t get Champions League this season. His form has contributed to where we’re at and the only way he’ll be picked up by a club in the Champions League is if he goes to somebody like Olympiakos, because none of the big teams would have him, not on the form he’s had this season.
I’ll not dig him out any more though. I’ve made my feelings clear and yesterday’s performance had so many more badness from so many more players against a team who, if I’m honest, shouldn’t make it beyond the next round. They’re pretty poor and have been gifted a game from a bunch of unprofessional idiots who had the jitters all night. Just look at Xhaka’s pass and then Leno’s idiotic decision not to go long for Olympiakos’ winning goal. It was pathetic. Just like the performance last night.
Arteta has the job of picking his team up for the Monday night game but, if I’m honest, I don’t really care right now. The FA Cup won’t be won by this team, not when it wilts like it did yesterday, because there are too many other better teams in the competition.
This season is well and truly over now. I can’t wait for the summer. Hopefully it will give the manager the chance to can some of these idiots currently taking home seven/eight figure salaries a year.
Catch you tomorrow.