You know how they say “it was over before it started” — this match was about as close to that as a game can possibly be. Manchester City scored in the 1st minute, again in the 15th minute, and a third time in the 40th minute. But honestly, you could tell in the first five minutes that Arsenal were outclassed. Manchester City cruised to an easy win at the Emirates. Arsenal are beyond broken as a club.
It’s the same things over and over again. This team cannot defend. They don’t mark tightly enough. There are acres of space in the midfield and between the lines. It doesn’t take footballing brilliance to score. The Gunners concede on basic pass and move plays.
To make matters worse for Arsenal, Sead Kolašinac, the only healthy senior left back at the club, was forced off due to injury. Bukayo Saka came on in his place but that cannot be a long-term solution. The best the club can do is hope Kolašinac’s injury isn’t serious. Otherwise, it’s either David Luiz in a back three or Zech Medley at left back. Big time yikes.
If this dumpster fire has a silver lining, it’s that Arsenal periodically look at least semi-competent on the attack under Freddie Ljungberg as opposed to the complete mess they were before. It’s not a coincidence that the Gunners’ semi-resurgence on offense has coincided with the decision to make Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pépé regulars in the starting lineup. If some good comes of this lost season, it will be largely in the form of the experience gained by the next generation of players at the club.
And so we march on. The Gunners are next in action on Saturday away to Everton. Will Freddie Ljungberg still be the manager? Who knows. I’ll stand by my pre-match prediction that if Arsenal lay an egg against City (which they did), there will be a new bench boss before the January window opens. But at this point, what would that accomplish?