Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace felt like more than a damaging defeat in their top four hunt.
It felt like the beginning of the end for Arsene Wenger.
[ MORE: Fans confront Wenger, players ]
The Frenchman, 67, seemed genuinely lost for words after the game as he refused to comment on his future with his contract set to expire this summer and still no decision has been announced by himself or Arsenal’s board. The delay is clearly having an impact on his players, while the fans vented their anger throughout the defeat and after it too.
With reports stating a two-year extension is on the table for Wenger to sign, the defeat at Palace not only put a huge dent in his hopes of leading the Gunners to a 21st top four finish in a row but also proved just how much of a rebuild is needed if he stays. With a failing squad, plenty of uncertainty about the manager and players staying on and extremely unhappy fans pointing fingers at Wenger and the board of directors, this has become one of the most volatile periods in Arsenal’s history.
With Arsenal closer (in terms of points gained) to Crystal Palace in 16th than Chelsea in 1st place, many more damaging stats emerged from the loss. This was the first time under Wenger that Arsenal had lost four-straight PL away games and also the first time they have been 14 points behind north London rivals Spurs in the standings since 1963.
What perhaps hurt more than those damning statistics was the fact that many of his players appeared to wave the white flag and his captain for the night, Theo Walcott, admitted that Palace’s players “wanted it more” and that they had let down both their manager and the fans.
No matter what happens in the coming weeks and months regarding the futures of Wenger and star players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, the defeat to Palace will go down as one of the worst performances in their Premier League history under the Frenchman.
Arsenal have now lost five of their last eight games in the Premier League and a bad situation continues to spiral out of control.
Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.
[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]
Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.
The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.
Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.
Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.
Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).
Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.
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Santi Cazorla hasn’t played a match for the Gunners since suffering a gruesome Achilles injury back in October 2016.
[ MORE: No World Cup for Spanish Chelsea trio ]
And unfortunately for the Spaniard, Cazorla won’t feature for Arsenal again after six years at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal released a statement on Monday revealing the veteran midfielder won’t return to the club in 2018/19, which isn’t unexpected given the extent of his injury.
In his time with the Gunners, Cazorla made 180 appearances in all competitions for the club, and helped Arsenal win two FA Cups.
Cazorla was also a member of the Spanish national team squads that won back-to-back UEFA EURO competitions in 2008 and 2012.
Wolfsburg managed a 1-0 win (4-1 on aggregate) over Holstein Kiel on Monday in the second leg of its German promotion playoff as the Bundesliga side kept its place in the top flight.
Robin Knoche scored the game-winner in the second leg, which ensured Wolfsburg’s stay in the Bundesliga ahead of the 2017/18 season.
The hosts boasted a number of quality chances in the first half, including David Kinsombi’s close-range shot that tested Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels with a save, however, Holstein couldn’t break through.
U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks went the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg, after the 25-year-old made nine starts this season for the German side in league play.