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Having been torn to pieces in their humiliating 4-0 defeat at Liverpool, a similar fate befell Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in the post-match post-mortems.
Wenger’s players were variously described as “lazy”, “pathetic”, “arrogant” and “disgraceful”, while the manager himself is under scrutiny once again just three months after signing a new two-year contract.
“Last season, I called them ‘cowards’,” former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said on Sky Sports after Sunday’s match.
“And afterwards maybe I got a little bit of criticism. Maybe that’s a bit too strong and you can’t say that on live TV, but I’ll say it again –- cowards.”
“How can you play like this in a big game for so many of Arsenal’s players?” asked former Manchester United captain Gary Neville.
“Forget not turning up, forget not playing well, but just the general attitude or lack of respect for the shirt from three or four of them in not running back and not bothering is disgraceful.”
Arsenal great Thierry Henry, analysing the game for Sky Sports, confessed: “At one point I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to watch the game anymore. It’s too much to take.”
While it was Arsenal’s defensive shortcomings that were exhibited at Anfield, the player who featured on almost all the British newspapers’ sports pages was star forward Alexis Sanchez.
The Chile international was despondency personified as he traipsed to the dugout following his 62nd-minute substitution.
After the game, he took to Instagram to post a caption-free picture of himself sitting on his haunches on the Anfield pitch and dejectedly gazing at the ground.
Sanchez has been repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester City and Henry said none of Arsenal’s players could be blamed for casting glances elsewhere.
“Everything that you see on the day has been happening for the past 10 years,” said the Frenchman.
“We talk about Sanchez and is he staying, but they are not going to want to be part of this team. That is why players are not renewing their contracts. They can see something is wrong.
“The word I have used for a long time — comfort. Everyone is comfortable at Arsenal. It’s not the same pressure you have at a big club. Everything is… nice.”
The Daily Mirror branded Arsenal “a lazy, arrogant, broken team with no ideas and no hope” and directly blamed Wenger, who last led Arsenal to the title in 2004.
The Sun called Arsenal “lazy” and “pathetic” and said their torment at the hands of Firmino, Salah and Sadio Mane represented “a new low”.
The Times called it “unacceptable, unwatchable, unforgivable”.
35-year-old Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic stated that critics and ex-players, who said he will be a failure in Premier League, will remember his name.
Manchester United’s top scorer this season (Scored 18 goals in all competitions so far) mentioned that he came to Old Trafford and playing in one of the challenging competitions in the world to prove him once again.
He also said if he achieves big thing with Manchester United and bring them to the top, he will feel more than happy.
Ibrahimovic said to Thierry Henry: “I have no problem with the criticism because I went through this my whole career, this is something that triggers me, gives me energy.
“People talking about me, saying: ‘You’re dead, you’re this, that’, ex-players talking, and I don’t even remember them when they were playing. But one thing for sure is they will remember me for the rest of their lives.
“After many years of talks like: ‘He can never make it in the Premier League, he can never make it there’, I had my little adventure going around different countries, and when they felt it was most difficult for me, I chose to come.
“Let’s say a person in my position would take the easiest way, go abroad, make money in China, or the other side and settle down with the career he had, I choose not, I took the challenge, accepted the challenge, and that’s what I chose.
“That’s why I chose United also, in a situation where they struggled for the last four or five years, and if I can finish the task to bring them to the top, I will be more than happy.
“I don’t like the easy task, the easy job, the easy objectives, I always had it hard whenever I went. I needed to do much more than the other ones, and that’s how I see it here, at the age of 35, people said it would be impossible but I am doing what I am able to do.”
“I am working hard, I like the hard work, I am very happy that I am from the old generation, the hard-working generation.
“I believe the new generation, let’s say it’s a bit easier for them, because they get explored in the media in a different way, much bigger, much faster than when I popped up in the football world.
“I met team-mates, played with different teams, and they worked hard to get what they got and achieve.
“I don’t want to say it’s totally different, but I don’t see the same hard-working thing today when I see the new generation, because like you say, when I come I like to work hard, and when I work hard I am satisfied.
“I know I am doing something good, but for myself, not for somebody else to say: ‘Oh Ibra you are working hard’.”
Arsenal fans received their Christmas present from Emirates Stadium after the nail biting clash against Manchester City.
The complete Arsenal team yet to come due to few injury blows, but the replacements and Arsene Wenger’s change of game plans worked well.
Mesut Ozil assisted the two goals for the game and German player created most of the chances for the Gunners this season. He got the Player of the match.
Jamie Carragher on sky sports: “Yes, just. It’s the injuries that are going to be the problem for them, how quickly they can get these players back.
“But the four-point cushion they have got, and the way the other sides are playing, they are just favourites. They’ve got to take advantage of it now.
“For Arsenal now, I said before the game this was one of the biggest league games they’ve had for years, and probably for years to come.
“Beating big teams has been a massive problem for Arsenal over the years. I wouldn’t necessarily say Arsenal have gone to a different level this season, it’s more that other teams have dropped off, and Arsenal have maintained their level from the last couple of years.
“But they’ve got to take advantage of other teams dropping off because these teams next season will be back and better.”
Thierry Henry also praised his former team for the complete game they played against Manchester City.
“It’s perfect Arsenal in a way,”
“In the beginning they were very passive. You could see Ozil and Giroud getting frustrated with the team because they were not pushing up with them.
“But the next thing you know, from the chance that [Kevin] De Bruyne missed, they find themselves 2-0 up. A year ago they would have been losing that game.
“They couldn’t beat big teams like that before. And it was almost in an unlike Arsenal way: Defending well, being tight and counter-attacking. We saw that against Bayern Munich. We saw that against Man United.”
Only sad part of the game is Petr Cech ends his 169 clean sheet run.
Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry had an interaction with Facebook fans along with Cesc Fabregas.
Both ex-Arsenal team mates met the fans for Q&A session in London. Fabregas admitted that Chelsea’s poor run is on players not with Manager. Chelsea beat by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
In post-match interview Jose Mourinho said players betrayed his tactics and his game plans. Chelsea board held a meeting after this humiliating defeat and Mourinho’s tenure in Chelsea under threat.
But, Fabregas agreed that players must take responsibilities for Chelsea’s present form and results.
He said: “We will all have to take responsibility. If you are a big player and paid like a big player, you must play like a big player and behave like a big player,”
“I am not saying you can’t have a bad season and bad games. We all have big players and small players, but the attitude must be spot on. We must always be at the top of our games, even when it’s not and not the behaviour that we are seeing right now from every Chelsea player.”
Spaniard also stated: “Confidence is important until a certain point. At the end of the day, as a player you have pride. We cannot win the Premier League right now, but we must do better,”
“Right now is not the time to think of where we might finish, we’ve been saying it almost all season.
Henry joined with Fabregas and mentioned the same point with his perspective.
“People are having a go at Mourinho, whether you like him or not, that’s a different story. People are saying: ‘Did he lose the dressing room? Did he not? Is it the tactics? Is it the right players? Is it [Kurt] Zouma? Is it [John] Terry? Should he start with this or that?’
“For me, Chelsea having a bad season is finishing fifth. But they have lost nine games so far, nine games. I never thought I would be saying that and we are not even half way through the season. I just don’t get it.” Henry told.
“The doctor situation, Mourinho with the referees, I always try to defend players to an extent, but I am sorry with the quality in that team, whether you play 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 4-5-1, how can you not beat Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, and it’s no disrespect to any of those teams, at your place at the very least.
He added: “It seems like it’s difficult for them and yes, you can have a go at the boss, but I also think you can have a massive go at the players at the moment.
“Both of them are in a situation that I don’t know what it is like because I’ve never been in that situation like that. Cesc said it, we had bad seasons at Arsenal, but we managed to finish high up. But I think it is time for the players to be professional about it, where is your pride?”