Few expected anything other than defeat for Arsenal when they lined up against Bundesliga high-flyers Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last month, however the way in which the Gunners capitulated to the German side surprised many. No problem though, they would surely salvage some pride from this two-legged affair in the return match and whilst few expected them to claw their way back into contention after going 5-1 down in Germany, many believed that they could at least manage a win.
Clearly these optimists are now disappointed and following another 5-1 defeat to Bayern, the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger has increased.
The Gunners boss was far from pessimistic about his side’s performance last night, claiming that they produced a performance “with spirit and pride”. Unfortunately we saw little of that and whilst the hosts looked solid enough in the first half, they capitulated fully after the break with Laurent Koscielny’s sending off clearly playing its part in the defeat. Wenger himself maintained that his side gave what was expected from them and he was far from critical of their performance after the final whistle, saying:
“We produced a performance with the spirit and pride we wanted. After that the story finishes badly. We were really unlucky because it was a 100% penalty at 1-0 in the first half on Walcott. In the second half the ref killed the game. He was very, very powerful for Bayern. Lewandowski was offside and it was not a penalty and, on top of that, he gives us a red card that kills us completely.
“Bayern are a good side but they can say thank you to the referee for the decisions in the second half. It leaves me very angry and frustrated. Even more so because we are in a difficult period. It is absolutely unexplainable and scandalous. I will take a lot of criticism but it doesn’t change my mind. It doesn’t make them right. The players have not let me down. The referee has let us down.”
Nevertheless the bookies are now growing increasingly confident that Arsene Wenger’s time at the Emirates Stadium is drawing to a close with Betfair going 5/1 that he will prove to be the next managerial casualty in the Premier League. The leader in this market remains Middlesbrough’s Aitor Karanka at 4/6 odds-on, however Wenger now finds himself second in the betting as Arsenal’s season goes from bad to worse.
Next Premier League manager to leave – Best odds
4/6 – Aitor Karanka
5/1 – Arsene Wenger
8/1 – No manager to leave
10/1 – David Moyes
16/1 – Walter Mazzarri
33/1 – Sam Allardyce
33/1 – Marco Silva