Maybe Anthony Taylor is a terrible referee. He certainly made one huge mistake that gave Aston Villa a penalty and Laurent Koscielny a red card later on. And yet Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have only themselves to blame. For playing in the usual soft, predictable way, and for not bringing in the necessary additions their limited and unbalanced squad needs.
The writing was on the wall. Aston Villa are an improved team compared to last season, and with Cristian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor up front, their lightning quick attack and countering ability was too much for the naive Arsenal team, that started with Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky in the middle, while Santi Cazorla came off the bench, although he didn’t do anything worthwhile.
Wenger looked helplessly from the sidelines as his team gave up two penalties that began with huge mistakes in their passing game, which simply calls out for teams to pile on the pressure when Wilshere has the ball at his feet. The youngster might be the “future” of England, but the present shows he’s someone who tries to do way too much on his own, which in the end results too many times in Arsenal disappointments.
But Wenger has his hands and fingerprints all over this early season failure, even if one loss isn’t the end of the world. The players that didn’t come, and the same lineup that has faltered and disappointed so many times in the past. Putting Lukas Podolski on the pitch way way too late to do any good, and continuing to insist that Olivier Giroud (who did score the opening goal) is actually a good enough striker to lead this team up front.
Theo Walcott is wasted on the right wing and it seems Wenger still doesn’t know what to do with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, wasted in a different position each week.
Not too late to save this team from another disappointing season, but it seems that the ego and simply wrong way of looking at the game from their manager is dooming Arsenal to a very familiar season, while their manager and players will probably blame the referee, who did pretty poorly to be fair, in order to hide their own faults.