Arsene Wenger has admitted that Manchester United’s early demolition of Arsenal’s defence was still lingering in the minds of his players during their 1-1 draw with Southampton on Sunday.
A couple of early mistakes at the Emirates saw Jose Mourinho’s race into a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes before ultimately claiming a 3-1 win.
And Arsenal’s complete lack of mettle was there to see once again at St Mary’s as Charlie Austin rampaged through their defence to put Southampton 1-0 up with just three minutes gone before spurning anther glorious chance minutes later.
Speaking after the game, Wenger noted that the image of Jesse Lingard ripping through his back four continued to haunt his players on the South Coast.
“Last week had an influence on today’s game – it took us time to get into the game again,” he said.
“I felt that the Manchester United game was still in the heads of our defenders. That’s why sometimes it’s not too good to talk about a problem because you create even a bigger one.”
If this comment doesn’t typify Arsenal as a club, I don’t know what does.
While most clubs would learn from their mistakes and make extensive efforts to address them, Arsenal just pout and moan about how tough things are for them, using past failures to contextualise the present.
And that is the very essence of Arsenal in 2017, and indeed Arsenal since about 2007: an inability to break the cycle of their own obvious yet seemingly unchangeable design faults.