Arsenal FC and the Blame Game

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Jul 26, 2014; Harrison, NJ, USA; New York Red Bulls defender Ambroise Oyongo (3) leaps over Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin (39) during the second half of a game at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls defeated Arsenal 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Arsenal managed to turn a golden opportunity into a nightmarish scenario in the first leg of their last-16 tie with Monaco. As the Gunners imploded in the cathedral that is the Emirates, the Twittersphere exploded (as it always does) and the blogosphere followed suit. The same storylines were trotted out.

“Wenger can’t win the big games.”

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“Arsenal have a glass jaw.”

Storylines don’t spring up out of nowhere, no matter how much we wish we could claim that with any real seriousness.

Yes, Arsene Wenger tends to lose big games. Yes, Arsenal are too easily knocked out of physical matches when the first twenty minutes don’t go their way. Monaco’s manager, Leonardo Jardim, said that Arsenal displayed a tendency to start brightly and fade in the second half. He was right and wrong.

Arsenal did start brightly, but that only lasted a few minutes instead of the majority of a half. Amidst the rage at rolling over at Monaco’s feet and disappointment that despite a clearly favorable draw, the Gunners appear to be on their way out of the Champion’s League, the normal engines flared to life. Who can we blame? Whose fault is this?

Let’s talk about blame. Let’s talk about fault.