Hailed a ‘tactical genius’ for starting Lacazette and Aubemayang in the same starting XI, cheers quickly turned to jeers for Arsene Wenger, as his team succumbed 2-1 against Newcastle at St James’s Park.
Rafa Benitez is a formidable foe, even with his cut-price team assembled in the north-east. In fact, you could say the former Liverpool manager has all the credentials necessary to be Arsenal’s next boss. After all, few managers can say they’ve won the Champions League with as much style as Rafa.
This brings us to Arsenal’s chances of European success. With Wenger at the helm, the chances of winning the Europa League appears to be as remote as Pluto’s proximity to the Sun.
To continue the analogy, Arsenal’s defence has looked frozen to the spot on so many occasions that it is hard to imagine Wenger’s Arsenal ever lifting a trophy again. Even the once infallible Petr Cech seems intent on gifting opponents goals these days, so shocking are Arsenal defensively. Porous is not the word. Sieve-like would insult sieves that are not as full of gaping holes as Arsenal’s defence.
Meanwhile, the midfield offers little to no protection, so indisciplined are they. Arguably, Arsenal’s defensive woes originate in that area of the field, as opponents are given more time and space on the ball than they need to hurt the Gunners.
Arsenal’s only hope in the Europa League and the Premier League, where finishing 6th is hardly assured, is that its strike force is on song. As long as Arsenal’s forwards can manage three goals a game, maybe the elusive European trophy can be won by Wenger. However, most will consider this prospect to be extremely optimistic after yet another away defeat.