Arsene Wenger’s troubles continue to grow as the North London club crashed out of the FA Cup following a disappointing 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Watford at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners were guilty of wasting a number of goal-scoring opportunities in the first half. They were made to pay for them as Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura scored second-half goals to give the Hornets a 2-0 lead.
Danny Welbeck pulled one back for the Gunners in the 88th minute and was guilty of missing an open goal a minute later, but it didn’t prove to be enough, and Arsene Wenger’s side 37-month unbeaten run in the competition came to an end.
Here are the five things we learned from the game from Arsenal’s perspective:
1) Pressure is mounting on Arsene Wenger
There was already a dissent growing among club fans leading to the game. This defeat catapulted the fans’ frustrations to the fore. Even the most ardent Wenger’s supporters are feeling that something needs to change at the club. Meanwhile, the Frenchman has blasted the fans’ dissent as ‘farce’.
2) Olivier Giroud is surely not living up to his manager’s expectations
Many have questioned Wenger’s faith in Olivier Giroud over the years. The Frenchman is no doubt a good striker, but is he good enough to lead a potential Premier League winning side on a weekly basis? He was once again disappointing in the defeat to the Hornets yesterday.
3) Arsenal’s defence was once again culpable
Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney proved too handful and were able to run down the Gunners’ defence on a number of occasions. Both Per Mertesacker and Gabriel looked vulnerable in the centre of the defence, and the Barcelona trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar must be licking their lips ahead of the midweek Champions League tie at Nou Camp.
4) Gabriel was lucky to avoid a red card
Gabriel lunged into a two-footed challenge on Watford striker Troy Deeney during the first half of the game. The Brazilian deserved a red card for his challenge, but referee Andre Marriner, who had the full view of the incident, waved the play without even brandishing a yellow card.
5) Arsene Wenger faces a daunting task of restoring confidence in his team
The Gunners look dejected and clueless at the moment. They still have to face Barcelona and Everton this week before the international break.
Wenger will have to restore confidence among his men quickly; otherwise, they might find themselves competing for a Champions League spot for yet another season.