Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday was not completely unexpected. The Citizens are runaway league leaders in the Premier League and a cut above most teams in England, if not Europe.
People can talk about a foul for the first goal or an offside for the second goal, but in truth, City were just too good for Arsenal and the Citizens were not even at full pelt. The sheer gap between the two teams was frightening for Arsenal and the fans.
Arsenal were always going to be underdogs, but it has got to the point where the two teams look leagues apart in quality. City have spent a fortune, but they have certainly got value for money in the style of play and trophy stakes in recent years.
The Gunners meanwhile have not spent much by today’s crazy market prices. However, the money they have spent on the likes of German defender Shkodran Mustafi and Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, who have both struggled to justify their price tags and places in the team.
Arsenal have been defensively vulnerable in recent seasons, the signings of Mustafi and Xhaka were viewed as ones that would solidify the Gunners backline. Instead, more questions than ever are being asked about the Arsenal defence.
The pair were two of Arsenal’s poorest performers against Manchester City. Mustafi should have been stronger against Sergio Aguero for the first goal and it not the first time his defending has been questioned in his Citizens career.
Xhaka was admittedly up against the best midfield in the Premier League. However, he looked like he was a boy playing against men, which is worrying considering he had such a big reputation before he joined the Gunners.
Not a few players away from the title anymore
A couple of years ago, Arsenal always looked a few players away from winning the Premier League title. It was always a top centre-back, central midfielder or top forward the team lacked.
Now it looks like Arsenal needs a complete rebuild and their odds of 20/1 to finish in the top-four look very fair at the minute. Arsenal are not a small team or club.
However, they are falling behind traditionally much smaller clubs because of poor management and a lack of any real investment in the team comparatively speaking. It looks like Manchester City are majorly on the up and Arsenal on the wane. If big changes do not happen this summer, then things will only get worse for the club from north London.
Did Arsenal deserve to lose 3-0 against City in the Carabao Cup?