Why is Arsene Wenger still at Arsenal
Sometimes it is a vital trick to remember the good and beautiful in life and to forget the bad and ugly. The football teacher Arsène Wenger made use of this psychology on Tuesday evening, which might bring him a reasonably quiet night. His bad luck was that he was watched by many people in his job as coach of the glorious Arsenal FC - and they did not want to forget the bad and ugly at all. On the contrary, they no longer felt like throwing a thought at the good and the beautiful.
Arsène Wenger was responsible for the second 1: 5 against FC Bayern Munich within three weeks. 2:10 in the last 16 of the Champions League. An English football club had never experienced such a disaster in a knockout round of a European competition. When asked for his opinion, Wenger said: "Tonight we showed what we wanted: an achievement with the right attitude and pride."
He wasn't even wrong about that. For 54 minutes, his team surprised the favorites from Munich with hearty offensive football, courage and beautiful moves. Arsenal were leading 1-0, and although the deficit from the first leg was still large, there were signs of an honorable exit. Too bad that 39 minutes (36 plus three minutes of stoppage time) followed, in which Wenger's Arsenal FC was blown away like a badly built bird's nest in a storm. Or like the newspaper The Times wrote: "Wenger built a team out of straw instead of steel."
Fault? For Wenger it was mainly the referee
Sure, it was a little unfortunate that one scene changed the whole game: Laurent Koscielny's foul on Robert Lewandowski and the subsequent double punishment with penalty and red for the defender. Koscielny had to get out injured in the first leg shortly after the break and personally won the duel against Munich 2-1. Without the French, Arsenal then scored a fabulous 9-0 in both games.
The 1-1 draw with Lewandowski's penalty kick pulled the plug on the hosts. While her coach was arguing with the fourth referee outside, everyone on the field lost their heads. Confused, the Londoners tried to just somehow continue to play forward while they stood in line with the opponent's counterattacks like police officers waving through the traffic. Bayern ran so freely towards the goal, as you rarely see in professional football. And in the class of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, Douglas Costa, Lewandowski or Arturo Vidal, the goals inevitably fell.
Wenger, however, did not want to measure himself and his players against the last 39 minutes. And certainly not to speak of mistakes. The referee was to blame. Greece's Tasos Sidiropoulos might have given Arsenal a penalty before half-time when Xabi Alonso played Ball and opponent Theo Walcott in the box. The referee might have waived the red card for Koscielny before the 1-1 draw. These attitudes can be represented as a loser coach. "I'm very angry, very frustrated. That is absolutely inexplicable. It was scandalous," said Wenger steadfastly. But is it wise to hold the referee solely responsible after a 1: 5? Hardly likely. Especially not in England, where the code makes it mandatory to take responsibility for one's performance.
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