Wenger gets thrashed for Arsenal misery in Munich

Sports | 17 Feb 2017

Former Arsenal players were brutal in their criticism of manager Arsene Wenger following the Gunners' latest Champions League humiliation.

And media were no less scathing of the 5-1 thrashing at Bayern Munich.

Just a few days after defending his former boss by saying it was "too soon" for Wenger to go, Martin Keown, a center-back in all three of Arsenal's Premier League title triumphs under the Frenchman and now a TV pundit, pulled no punches. It had been a clash of "men against boys" with Arsenal "outclassed, outplayed."

He said of Wenger: "This is his lowest point ever. Twenty years and Arsene must be considering his future now."

Another former defender, Lee Dixon, said he felt Wenger's demeanor has finally changed following years of defiance in the face of failures.

"He just seems so low," Dixon said. "I think he's realizing that with this team he's getting no response from them. They're not doing themselves justice or him."

Ian Wright, a former striker, let the expletives flow in a rant on Twitter during the game. "We are a f*****g shambles," he posted. "At least let it go to the f*****g home leg. Then: "F**k it !!! Not watching anymore."

Former goalkeeper Bob Wilson, a champion with Arsenal in 1971, wondered if the result would "tip Arsene over the edge," adding: "He can only take so much. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Arsene, given the headlines that are going his way, might ... say enough is enough."

Barring a miracle in the second leg in three weeks' time, it will be the seventh year in a row that Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 and the third time in five years by Bayern.

And that on top of their failure to win the Premier League since 2004 and last year's abject challenge when Leicester City ran away to a shock triumph by 10 points.

"Spineless!" screamed the Daily Mail.

"Always the same nightmare," said France's L'Equipe, while Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport called it "a slap in Wenger's face."

In his first eight full seasons with Arsenal, Wenger won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup four times. But in 11 seasons since he's managed to add only two more FA Cup successes.

In Munich, Arjen Robben gave Bayern the lead on 10 minutes with a curling shot from outside the area only for Alexis Sanchez to equalize before the interval. But Bayern hit top gear after the break. Robert Lewandowski scored with a header and then Thiago added two more in a devastating 10-minute spell. Thomas Muller came off the bench to net the fifth.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hailed the impact of goal hero Karim Benzema, after his French compatriot helped the European champions rally for a 3-1 win over Napoli.

"He needed that goal," Zidane said. "But I am happy, not only for the goal, but also for how he played generally."

Toni Kroos and Casemiro also scored.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE



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