Another one bites the dust

After Arsenal Wenger’s surreal send off, was last nights result really a surprise?

I said after the game against Burnley that it was all a little off, the massive goodbye, when there is still two games to go.

It was compared to having a leaving do on a Monday at work, and then still having to see out the rest of the week in the office. Seeing those soon to be ex-colleagues that you slagged off after one too many Carling’s.

Another away defeat, our 54th this season, alongside the 360th red card under Arsene Wenger would have been a fitting way to end his time at the club. But then we still have another game to go.

3 more sleeps till Santa Wenger’s last day.

I imagine the away trip to Huddersfield will be just as surreal as the last week or so.

Even before yesterday, Arsenal could finish no higher than 6th. no lower than 6th. It is probably why Mesut Ozil decided not to play again.

The German midfielder is set to miss the rest of the season with a back injury. That will mean he has not started 27 out of 60 games this season. Even the most loyal Wenger / Ozil defender would agree that being paid a reported £300,000 and starting just 55% of the games is not right.

The fans who go in through the gates, or pay for their TV subscriptions, are being robbed. Maybe Ozil’s new deal should have had a lesser salary and bigger appearance based incentives – like what the club want to do with Jack Wilshere (who has started 29 games this season).

Wilshire incidentally was missing last night, but unlike Ozil he had a decent excuse. The birth of a baby daughter. Congratulations to him, and I imagine this is the reason for the huge recent contract breakthrough.

The run of 0 away points in 2018 continues. It is a run that ultimately cost Arsene Wenger his job.

As an away scheme member, it has been tough going away this season. With the huge amount of Sunday kick offs, and just 3 wins. It has been a struggle to keep going. Hopefully the new manager will revitalise everyone – players and fans.

Last night was like so many other away games this season – a match where we were on the wrongside of poor referring decisions.

It has been the story of our season, especially away trips.

Stoke, Watford, Southampton and West Ham spring to mind. 4 games where poor refereeing decisions directly cost us point. 8 in those games alone.

There have also been countless other decisions that luckily did not cost us.

Last night, Konstantinos Mavropanos was unlucky to be sent off, and it certainly was not a penalty. When decisions  happen that early

“I disagree with the red card because Holding would have caught this ball. [Mavropanos] was not the last man,” Wenger told Standard Sport.

He added of the second half penalty won when Henrikh Mkhitaryan brought down Demarai Gray: “The penalty is a very creative, imaginative aspect from the referee. We watched it again, it’s a nice dive but it’s not a penalty. “[Mkhitaryan] plays the ball.”

Even Wenger’s critics will struggle to disagree with his judgement that the referee affected the game.

So one game to go. That is it. Then it is over.


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