Per Mertesacker wants answers.
He probably isn’t alone.
Speaking in the wake of yet another disappointment in the knockout stages of the Champions League after a first leg debacle, the German has called on his teammates to work out why they are so far away from winning the world’s most prestigious competition and has suggested that it has got something to do with their mental preparation.
Far be it from me to tell the professionals what their job is, but that seems like a fairly obvious problem with this Arsenal side which has struggled under the weight of pressure as mental blocks take hold.
It’s also one that has a fairly obvious solution – hire a psychologist! If the club already has one, fire them and get someone better.
The BFG said
“In the first game, we didn’t have that mental level you need to compete at the highest level. That was missing but you could see on Tuesday night in Monaco how good we are as a team and how well organised we can be.
“We need to consider that every day in training and in games, that is why we are so far away from winning the Champions League.
“It is the last 16 and Monaco were underestimated by a lot of people, but they deserved it by playing well in the first leg.
“We had one bad game and that is enough to get knocked out.
“In the first leg, we conceded that late goal which was overall the killer, so it is really disappointing for us.”
I’m not going to go over what went wrong, we all know only too well but when you conced three at home despite having the majority of chances, it’s not just that one goal at the end that does the damage.
If you don’t concede the first two and take a handful of your chances then you aren’t 3-1 down when the late goal goes in.
The trick now will be for Arsenal to pick themselves up and get back to the business at hand – finishing second in the Premier League and becoming the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup.
Thankfully history tells us that picking themselves up is something they’re pretty good at.
Must be all that practice.