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Layth Yousif’s Rewind Arsenal column: Palace debacle shows Wenger has to go

PUBLISHED: 13:09 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:19 11 April 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Read Layth’s latest Rewind Arsenal column where he doesn’t hold back after Monday night’s debacle at Selhust Park.

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First things first – let’s start by congratulating Crystal Palace and their manager Sam Allardyce on a superb performance to beat Arsenal 3-0 on Monday evening. They showed that when a coherent strategy, tenacity, hard work, excellent movement on and off the ball, and team spirit combine good things can happen.

Unfortunately Arsenal showed none of the above in a performance as dismal as any seen over the years. For this experienced Arsenal watcher it felt like the terrible last days of Don Howe’s reign in 1986. And look what happened next back then…

Get Your Coat

It’s been said so many times but Arsene Wenger has been a great servant to Arsenal. And he doesn’t deserve ridicule or abuse. But when your 3,000 travelling fans sing loudly for you to leave – as well as ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ – surely there must be a point when those views are taken into consideration by the top brass at the club?

The team looked listless, insipid and worst of all spineless. At most clubs the dreadful performance at Selhurst Park is the type of offering that gets managers sacked. Of course every team has off days. But there was something rotten in the team that spoke of a far deeper malaise. There was no leadership, no fight, no heart and no idea.

You can accept losing. It’s part of football. You can accept a lack of silverware if there appears to be a plan or strategy to deliver progress and improvement – which doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment. But what you can never accept from an Arsenal team is a lack of bottle. It’s simply unacceptable.

So for the manager to come out afterwards and insist the team created chances – if you ignore the damming stat that they didn’t create a single chance in a thoroughly dispiriting second half – is not only disingenuous and plain wrong but insults fans intelligence by suggesting otherwise.

The fans have spoken. It’s time for the club to start listening to them.

Magic moment

From Monday night? None whatsoever.

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