Arsenal crashed to a mortifying 3-0 defeat courtesy of Crystal Palace last night, effectively ending the clubs Champions League efforts.
The loss was undeniably harrowing for the clubs long term manager Arsene Wenger, indeed, whilst there’s been many moribund moments to choose from over the last few years, the events over the last few months have left fan satisfaction at the Emirates at an all time low.
Indeed SkySports pundit Jamie Carragher pulled no punches when reflecting on the side’s performance, laying into the lack of fight displayed by the players throughout the match, the season, even the last few years. (scroll for the below video)
“The best description of the players was two years ago, from [fellow Liverpool legend] Graeme Souness. He said they’re a team of son in laws,” the Sky Sports pundit said.
“But what father would want his daughter to bring one of them home? I’m serious. Bottling it, cowards, ducking out of challenges. What type of man would you want to bring your daughter home? One of them?”
Whilst picking on Arsenal players is at this stage akin to shooting fish in a barrel, Carra aimed his distaste particularly at the clubs, so called, most valuable assets – Ozil and Sanchez:
“I just think, from top to bottom this club is not right,” he said. “The Wenger talk of staying or going. The contracts with Sanchez and Ozil. They’ve been nothing short of embarrassing since the contract talk started.”
‘We always criticise Ozil, and I’m not his biggest fan. But I think Sanchez has been awful the last couple of months. Certainly not looking like they’re playing for contracts. It’s looking like they’re playing to get away.
“They’re talking about how much the figure is going to be. Arguing about money. Their performances since the talks have been embarrassing. They’re supposed to be the star men of this team. They’ve been bought to take Arsenal to titles, to the Champions League and they’ve been nowhere near good enough.”
“It looks like the Arsenal players have chucked it,” Carragher continued. “Four games on the bounce conceding three in all of them, putting in a performance like that. That’s what it looks to me.
“People always talk about Arsene Wenger, it’s clear the fans are split. I don’t think the fans are split, more of them want change. It’s now looking like the players want change.
“And I’ve always been a massive admirer — I still am — the class of Wenger the way he speaks after a game, before games. But it’s time for a change.
“The club is Arsene Wenger’s from top to bottom, he’s been there that long and rightly so. But now the whole club looks a problem. It looks on the pitch you can see that. Leadership from the top of the club.
“It just seems this acceptance of top four has spread throughout this club. When this man came in it was titles straightaway, competing against Manchester United.
“If they finished second it was a nightmare season to finish second, lost the league to [Alex] Ferguson and United. Now, there’s an acceptance of fourth.
“This thing of losing tonight, where does it leave you for top four? Forget top four, it’s got nothing to do with it in my eyes, in terms of Arsenal. It’s been a nonsense for five or six years. Go for the trophies. Not top four.”
Whilst the performance was poor enough, Carragher’s anger was all the more inflamed by Theo Walcott’s apologies in his post match interview;
“His opening comment is, ‘That’s not Arsenal.’ That is Arsenal,” Carragher said. “That’s four on the bounce. He’s speaking like that’s a one-off. This has been a performance that we see year in, year out from Arsenal. Exactly the same, nothing changes.
“And listen, we’re happy, we like a player coming out on TV. But this thing about ‘Well done for coming on and being honest.’ Shut up talking about what happened after the game.
“And he’s saying from kickoff, ‘We knew straight away they were more up for it.’ How can that possibly be? And ‘This is not Arsenal?’ It is Arsenal. It is. Ten years of it, 15 years of it. Of the same things year in, year out.
“And Oxlade-Chamberlain gave an interview too, after the West Brom game. And if I’m being honest and I’ve seen it before, we think, ‘oh great, coming out and talking and being honest. What the fans want to hear.’ I think sometimes they’re coming out and looking after themselves. ‘I’ll say this, and I was honest.’ Don’t tell me, show me!”