Create

UEFA Champions League 2016/17: 5 things we learned from Arsenal’s hammering in Munich

Wenger has been at Arsenal for over 20 years

Wednesday night was another disastrous European evening for Arsenal. The Gunners look set to exit the Champions League before the quarter-finals for a seventh consecutive season after a poor display saw them lose 5-1 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

After Arjen Robben gave Bayern the lead with a magnificent strike, Arsenal responded with Alexis Sanchez pouncing after his penalty was saved by Manuel Neuer. The German side however took over after half-time, with Robert Lewandowski’s header quickly followed by two strikes from Thiago Alcantara, before Thomas Muller effectively finished the tie as a contest late on.

Also Read: UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal, 5 Talking Points

Here are five things that we learned from the game in Germany.


#1 Arsene Wenger’s time in charge of the club is coming to an end

Arsene Wenger will undoubtedly go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest managers. In 20 years at Arsenal, the Gunners have finished in the top four 20 times, won the title thrice times, going unbeaten in the 2003/04 season, and won the FA Cup six times.

Also Read: Arsene Wenger claims decision on Arsenal future will be made before end of season

However it is coming to a point where Wenger is no longer moving Arsenal forward. They look set to go a 13th consecutive season without a Premier League title, and it will be another season where they fail to mount a serious challenge in Europe’s elite club competition. The Frenchman’s team selection and tactics were widely questioned after the game in Munich, where his side were totally outplayed in the second half.

Wenger has been a huge asset for the both the club and the Premier League, but it may be time for him to step aside and give someone else a chance to take Arsenal forward.

#2 Mesut Ozil isn’t effective in big matches

Ozil fared poorly again in a big game

It seems unfair to pinpoint Ozil, but for a man who cost so much money and has so much quality, he doesn’t do enough in big games. His record in big games, especially those away from home, is very poor, and he was far from his best in his home country on Wednesday.

He missed a huge chance with the game at 1-1, but his work rate was the main issue. The German constantly appeared sluggish his movement, and failed to close down Arjen Robben before he curled home the opener.

Arsenal’s record signing attempted just 20 passes, the same amount as Bayern ‘keeper Manuel Neuer. Not good enough for a man who cost £42 million.

Both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez were visibly frustrated by Ozil's disinterest in closing down the opponents, something that has also been seen regularly in recent league games.

#3 Arsenal lack leaders

Arsenal capitulated in the second half against Bayern

Up until around the 50-minute mark, Arsenal fans would have been pretty happy with proceedings. Level at 1-1, Arsenal looked in a pretty comfortable position, but that all changed when captain Laurent Koscielny went off injured.

Kieran Gibbs took the armband, and from that point the Gunners fell apart at the back. They conceded three goals in ten minutes, and were all over the place at the back. A lack of leadership is not a new problem for Arsenal, with many believing that they never properly replaced Patrick Vieira.

There are very few players in the squad with any captaincy experience, and it became clear that when they were 4-1 down there were no natural leaders on the pitch.

#4 Philipp Lahm is retiring far too early

Lahm has announced that he will retire at the end of the season

Not many players can claim to have had the same level of success as Philipp Lahm. The German full-back has won countless titles in Germany, the Champions League and the World Cup, yet he will hang up his boots at the end of the season at just 33. On Wednesday night, he was one of the best players on the park.

He has clearly lost none of his talent and still possesses the ability to influence matches. Given the amount of energy that the Bayern Munich captain showed throughout the 90 minutes on Wednesday, it certainly seems that he could have three or four years at the highest level left in him.

#5 Bayern Munich are serious contenders for the Champions League title

Bayern have a quality squad that could go all the way

Bayern have gone slightly under the radar this year when discussing potential Champions League winners. Carlo Ancelotti has faced criticism in Germany at times, with many feeling that his squad is not playing as well as under former boss Pep Guardiola. Yet, with Barcelona seemingly heading out of the tournament, it certainly could be Bayern’s year.

They tore Arsenal apart with ease in the second half – that too with the likes of Jerome Boateng and Frank Ribery out with injury. The return of Boateng will certainly improve the side defensively, while with Bayern already looking dangerous going the other way, the return of Ribery could make them a formidable opponent.

Quick Links

Edited by Staff Editor
Be the first one to comment