Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Champions League - Paper Round: Wenger out of a job?

This morning's papers make dismal reading for Arsenal fans after their Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich.

 Out of the FA Cup - Out of the League Cup - Out of title race - Almost out of CL - Should Wenger be OUT OF A JOB? Oliver Holt: The righteous anger of Arsene Wenger gave way to something more poignant at the Emirates. Outraged by newspaper headlines on Monday, he was humbled in front of the fans who once adored him. Sure, the supporters grew angry now and again at the impotence of their team against the might of Bayern Munich. But they have been angry for so long here that it is almost as if they are burned out with it. This is becoming a place of constant sorrow and the mood towards Wenger at times during this 3-1 mauling felt dangerously like pity. The Sun - Kiss good Bayern to another season Steven Howard: The loyalists still preach the Wenger mantra, that Arsene still knows best. But the once great man looks to have run out of both ideas and inspiration. It happens to them all — even the mighty Brian Clough. Even the best have a shelf life. So in many ways this was the result Arsenal Football Club probably needed. To show them exactly where they stand in the grand scheme of things. The Times - Arsenal left with no way back Matt Dickinson: We came to the Emirates Stadium wondering if this might be a watershed evening in the decline, and fall, of the Arsene Wenger empire. But that would load the occasion with historic significance when this, depressingly, was just more of the same. Terrible defending, an absence of leadership (the admirable Jack Wilshere aside), a team without a striker. So far so predictable. When the supporters have seen it all against Bradford City and Blackburn Rovers, it was hardly a surprise that Bayern Munich should brutally expose all the same fragilities. Daily Telegraph - Down and out Paul Hayward: Bayern are a pretty good approximation of how Wenger would probably like Arsenal to look, but in the same domestic league there would be 15-20 points between them. Jack Wilshere was one of the very few who carried the battle to Bayern in a way that Tony Adams or Vieira might have recognised. There was no turning point, no relief for Wenger and very little hope of Arsenal overturning this deficit in Bavaria, unless they can summon the spirit of Chelsea in last season’s Champions League final and somehow treble it. As Wenger himself said: “Let’s not hide the truth." The Guardian - Wenger concedes trophy hopes David Hytner: Jack Wilshere stuck to his task impressively, never hiding and always seeking to push his team. There was the creation of a couple of half-chances before the interval and he inspired a little more in the second-half. Even to the last, he gritted his teeth, burst into the area and forced Neuer into a rare safe. This, however, was Bayern's evening. They were too good for Arsenal. The worry is that Wilshere might be, as well. Independent - Don't blame Wenger James Lawton: (The possibility of a recovery) was put to the sword when Bayern’s marvellously fecund striker Mario Mandzukic ran beautifully to deliver a third goal. On the touch-line, Wenger sagged again. He had talked of the mental strength of his team and their deep-seated ability before this trial and no doubt he will walk again to create something from the debris of defeat. It is a forlorn task for a great football man for whom the weight of pressure had reached still another level.. Daily Mail - Hurtling towards oblivion Martin Samuel: Only seven clubs have overturned a first-leg home deficit in the Champions League, and a two-goal margin gapes like a chasm. Arsenal require a backs-to-the-wall performance as great as anything Chelsea pulled off last season; greater, really, considering Wenger’s team need to reverse not just form, but recent history.

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