Last night’s game was a bitter pill to swallow, described by Wenger as his worse defeat, seen by the fans as an abject surrender. We were promised a different Arsenal from the one that turned up at Old Trafford last week, the fans were up for it, the club spent money on providing flags for everyone, and then the game kicked off.
For five minutes we felt something special was going to happen, and then United attacked and scored. Heads dropped and 1-0 soon became 2-0 and with eleven minutes our season had come crashing down. All our hopes were dashed, reality set in, we were never contenders, merely dreamers.
Manchester United put on a master class performance in how to keep the ball, how to create space, how to battle and how to win. We were chasing shadows for most of the game.
The United front three were constantly running into space, tracking back harassing our defenders, whilst van Persie, Adebayor and Walcott were statues by comparison. Park and Rooney were all over the place, whilst Adebayor and van Persie played like strangers. In central midfield Ferguson played three players who competed for everything; they completely overran our midfield, Song tried his best, but one player against three is no contest. Fabregas never got out of first gear. Nasri competed but you can never win a game when only one player out of five attacking players puts in any effort.
At the back Sagna did well, but his crossing was lamentable. It is pointless having players in the middle if you have players who cannot get the ball more than five feet off the ground. Djourou and Toure did well, but as they were only marking Ronaldo, he should never have been allowed the time and space he was given. I feel sorry for Gibbs; it was an unfortunate slip which drained all the confidence out of him. Going forward Gibbs is our best full-back.
On the evidence of our three semi-final appearances this season we are long way behind Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. It is no surprise though as we have been slowly edging towards this position for four seasons now. Success for Arsenal used to be runners-up in the league and a FA Cup win every other year. Now our standards have dropped whereby a fourth place and any semi-final appearance are deemed a successful season.
Arsenal fans want success on the pitch and at the moment we are not achieving this. It is time for the board to tell Wenger that he needs to deliver a trophy next season; in turn the board needs to make available £40 million for the manager to bring in the players to achieve success.
Fourth place in the Premiership is not success.