Arsenal’s hopes of earning a berth into the quarter finals of the Champions League is all but over after the Gunners’ succumbed to an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the 1st leg of the Champions League Round of 16 encounter at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
The Gunners did play well in the first half and had managed to score the all important away goal through Alexis Sanchez after falling behind early to an Arjen Robben screamer.
However, Arsenal simply capitulated during the second period and quick fire strikes from the likes Robert Lewandowski and Thiago Alcantara as well as a late goal from Thomas Muller meant that Arsene Wenger’s men ended the game at the wrong side of a 5-1 hammering.
There was understandably a lot of reaction to Arsenal’s terrible performance on the night and manager Arsene Wenger bemoaned the fact that his side could not maintain their concentration in defence following the departure of Laurent Koscielny from the pitch through injury.
He said, “It was a strange game, because I feel in the first half we played quite well. We had some good chances just before half-time. After, we got a few blows - the first to Koscielny, and then we conceded two goals in minutes 53 and 56.
“On the second goal we were really [let down] because it was a corner for us, we had five players in the box and there were two balls on the pitch when they started again. The real problem we faced was after the third goal, because we lost our organisation and we looked mentally very jaded. From that moment on, the last 25 minutes were a nightmare for us because we looked like we had no response.”
Following the game, there has been pressure heaped upon the shoulders of Wenger once again and former players Lee Dixon and Martin Keown both admitted that their former manager is currently considering his future at the Emirates Stadium.
"It saddens me to see him like that, I know what a winner he is," Dixon told ITV Football. "That level is not good enough, the team are bereft [of ideas]."I look at that team and I see a nice team - that's not what wins you championships. I think he realises, he seems so low. This team is getting no response from him.
"It's so obvious that they fight for so long and then they lose inspiration. He owes it to himself to change that. It is he who will pull the rug from under his own turf. I think he thinks it's time [to go]. I've never seen him like that before."
Keown added by saying to BT Sport, “I feel for Wenger. It’s almost embarrassing. They were outclassed, outplayed. This is his lowest point ever as Arsenal manager. He must be considering his future.”
Meanwhile, celebrity Arsenal fans Ian Poulter, Piers Morgan, Matt Lucas, Jake Wood and AP McCoy also expressed their dismay at Arsenal’s terrible performance through social media website Twitter.
Manchester United legends Rio Ferdinand and Roy Keane also had their say and unsurprisingly, they were not left impressed by Arsenal’s display, with the duo questioning the players’ weak mentality.
Ferdinand said, “Now is not the time to go but I will be surprised if he is here next season. I didn’t see 5-1 at half-time. Bayern went into overdrive. They looked spineless. There was no fight or aggression. You want to see fire in their belly and that’s the most disheartening thing for me.”
Keane told ITV, questioning Gibbs being handed the captaincy: “You need to be organised at the back. When you’re 2 or 3-1 down, you need to take your medicine and stay in the game. When I see Gibbs with the armband on at the end of the game, you’re in big trouble.
“If he’s your captain, your leader, the guy who’s going to bring everyone together, you’re in huge trouble. Bayern weren’t at their best – they didn’t have to be – because the goals Arsenal gave away were schoolboy stuff.”
Bayern legend Olivier Kahn also seemed to be surprised by Arsenal’s meek surrender during the encounter and stated that he has never seen any team play so badly against his former side, before questioning Wenger’s influence on the team.
Kahn said, “I’ve never seen a team play so bad. Bayern played a team so catastrophically bad without the ball The players were so passive, especially Özil. It’s as if they don’t take the coach seriously anymore.”