Layth Yousif's Rewind column – Why Spurs defeat proves Wenger must go as top level decline continues
PUBLISHED: 10:43 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:43 04 May 2017
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Read Layth Yousif’s latest hard hitting Arsenal Rewind column as he pulls no punches about Arsene Wenger’s decline...
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Only one man stood in front of a rout and that was Petr Cech. His superb shot stopping on display in the miserable display on Sunday was the only highlight – if a goalkeeper’s performance can ever be a highlight.
If it wasn’t for him Arsenal would have lost by four or five. Whether that is good enough to be first choice – for league games next season – is a moot point but it was good to see his reactions as good as they have ever been.
Get Your Coat
The decline in Arsenal performances has been evident over the last few months culminating in the awful 3-0 loss at Crystal Palace. Three wins in a row at Boro, Wembley and the late win against Leicester have masked that decline and fall.
But when Wenger opted to play 3-4-2-1 on Sunday you feared the worst – not because the system is flawed because it’s not it. It’s just that Spurs play it so much better, have better players in the right positions and have all the momentum.
So for Arsenal to have triumphed on Sunday would have required a herculean effort – which simply didn’t happen.
And whose fault is that? The buck stops with the manager.
Yes, we know he cares, Yes, he’s given his life to the club. Yes, the personal abuse is unacceptable. But Arsene, the time for you to step aside to give another manager a chance to reinvigorate this great club of ours has come. Because the club has ceased to progress anymore on the pitch.
It is riven by factions off it, and the players, good as they are, were second best to everything on Sunday – which suggests Spurs also wanted it more – meaning you cannot motivate your troops to the highest levels and standards in the biggest matches anymore.
It’s been Groundhog Day for the last decade and people are hugely frustrated. The club is about to drop out of the Champions League places for the first time since Tony Blair became leader, and there are a lot of questions about players coming to the end of their contracts.
Sunday’s performance really had the end of an era feel about it. The team looked jaded – a word Wenger used after the first humiliating 5-1 defeat in Munich. But why? Because the manager is not as good as he was and change must occur to reinvigorate the club on so many levels.
Nothing lasts forever, and the time for change is now. It has to be.
Otherwise the future looks bleak in terms of challenging for top honours. Which was the reason we were given for leaving Highbury. Otherwise we might as well have stayed at our ancestral home and not won anything bar two FA Cups in 11 years.
There is no magic moment when Arsenal lose to Spurs.