Chelsea Football Club was transformed on Saturday. Stamford Bridge became a sacred temple. The man of the hour, Arsene Wenger, was led up the stairs and showered with praise. Like any proper Aztec ritual, the ceremony ended with the subject’s heart ripped out in front of the screaming masses.
To say that Arsenal was thrashed, humiliated, bamboozled, steamrolled or deep-fried in Saturday’s 6-0 loss would still be an understatement. Arsene Wenger entered the game, his 1,000th in charge, full of praise from the entire soccer world. He left it bloodstained and battered by a Chelsea side that dominated every phase of the game.
Look, not all of this is Wenger’s fault, After all, a red card was accidentally given to Kieron Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain by referee Andre Mariner. Arsenal could have used a defender more than The Ox by that point, but the team was already 2 goals down when this happened.
Is Arsenal battle ready? It seems like every game against the top clubs produce heartache for the Arsenal. We all know that Wenger hasn’t beat Jose Mourinho, a man that seems ready made for top matches, almost like he was born for it, but how about the other top squads? Besides a 2-0 win against Liverpool at the Emirates, the team has not been able to beat any of its fellow competitors for the league crown. That includes the 6-0 stain to Chelsea, a 6-3 loss to Manchester City and, for good measure, a 1-0 loss to a Sir Alex Ferguson free Manchester United. Losing to United, that’s bleak right there.
I will give them this, the two wins against Spurs are actually impressive, but the club needs to be able to consistently find results against the top teams, without getting shellacked.
I’m not sure that Wenger can still inspire that result from his squad. Just one look at the players on Saturday seemed to show a level of apathy. Where was the “win one for the gaffer” spirit? None of the players seemed to care that their boss was having the biggest day of his considerable Arsenal career. Under their watch, his day slowly became a nightmare of epic proportions. If relationships were cool before that game, I don’t think Wenger will be able to keep the dressing room sharp.
Is it time for a change at Arsenal? I’m a huge fan of all that Arsene has brought to the game, but he is starting to show he may be a relic. His midfield is cluttered and highly stylized, with players that can’t stop the counter. His striker selection is barren, as is his trophy case. His big signing of the summer is inconsistent.
He may have just celebrated 1,000 games at Arsenal, but it’s unclear how many more games Arsene Wenger will have with the club he has been at for so long.