What happened with Arsenal in Wenger`s 1000th match

By Jayanta Oinam | Updated: Apr 01, 2014, 13:42 PM IST

Jayanta Oinam

The stage was set for Arsene Wenger, but instead, there was Jose Mourinho, conducting the orchestra as Chelsea humiliated Arsenal in London, at Stamford Bridge.

When Wenger led his Gunners for the 1000th time, everybody acknowledged his long association with one of the best known football clubs in the world. Fans all over the globe appreciate his vision and purpose and of course, the frugality imbibed in the London club in an age when the sport is becoming the favourite pastime for billionaires.

Hiring, firing at will, et all.

But when the packed-crowd applauded the 64-year-old before the kick-off, it was good enough a focus ahead of one the best known derbies in the world. Then as things would have unfolded, it proved a premature celebration for the touring party. As Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho later said, the match was “resolved” in the first 10 minutes.

The Portuguese did try enough to avoid smirking whole 90-odd minutes, probably trying to show his respect to the man he once called a `specialist in failure`, or to a fellow manager who is leading a group of professional players for the 1000th time. However, it wasn`t his fault the famous grin finally arrived in his post-match interview.

Resolved, it was such a pity and the former Real Madrid manager deemed it fit to mention that, that it “was the most important match of the season for Arsenal”. But just another important one for the Blues. And in it, Arsenal failed. It pretty well summed-up the widening gap between these two sides, and in between a couple of clubs thrown in.

It seems, Arsenal are not just good enough to win any silverware, with this squad. Sunday`s defeat at Stamford Bridge was the telling point of a campaign going awry after initial promise. The 0-6 drubbing from Chelsea was, in fact, yet another meek submission to one of their title challengers this season, if at all Wenger`s men were ever considered one.

Earlier, Arsenal conceded six goals to Manchester City and another five at Liverpool for a combined total of 17 goals in just three games against the three teams above them. Another startling fact is, they have conceded just 17 to other 17 teams in 27 games.

In a day, when Liverpool fought from a goal down to beat Cardiff City 6-3 with Luis Suarez scoring his sixth hat-trick of the season, Manchester United getting better of West Ham United thanks to a brace from Wayne Rooney including a wonder-goal a la Beckham, and the other `noisy` Manchester side routing Fulham 5-0 with indomitable Yaya Toure scoring a treble, Arsenal failed to find any leader, on or off the field.

The sending off of a wrong man in Kieran Gibbs for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did divert the focus from a utterly lacklustre performance, thanks to the match referee Andre Marriner. But overall, it was such a poor display of football from the Gunners that there wasn`t a single clear goal scoring opportunity for them.

It is another story that Wenger took full responsibility for ruining his own historic day. He rightly admitted that it was “not a nice experience” to “go into a big game and it is over after 20 minutes.”

History. Tradition. Pride. They all need refurbishments from time to time. However, the Halloway-based outfit has been treading a hollow path. Their last title came way back in 2005. And it seems, it doesn`t seem they will lift one any time sooner.