It wasn’t great
IF you’re being scrupulously fair to the manager you’d say that in nine months we’ve played three major cup games at Wembley and in that time we’ve beaten Man City and Chelsea and lost to Man City and that perhaps a bit of perspective is needed. That’s three more games cup games at Wembley than Spurs have managed since… (you get my point).
But yesterday was really pretty poor all in all. It is hard to think of anything that was good about the performance.
And, rightly, it plays into the wider narrative.
It is a wider narrative that is UNBELIEVABLY tiresome. A couple of years ago I used to say that I wasn’t writing so much because there was nothing really to be said that I didn’t feel I’d said many times before. Now, even that explanation feels tired and repetitive.
Of course, there is no doubt plenty to say about the machinations inside the club that may point to a managerial replacement sooner or later. But on the subject of where we are (or aren’t) going on the pitch, it is so obvious to see: we are on a downwards slope and the manager who led us to so much glory hasn’t put up a proper title challenge in 13 or 14 seasons and is in no danger of doing so any time soon. The wrinkle is that in the last few years he’s developed a quite pleasurable habit of puncturing the league mediocrity with some handsome cup wins. Cup wins that have been absolutely glorious days and the kind of days that certain clubs go many years without enjoying.
But nonetheless, the point remains: there is absolutely no prospect of us challenging for the league any time soon under the current manager. I suppose that for good measure I should probably add that with the squad as it is, there is little danger of any Arsenal manager challenging for the league any time soon.