Arsenal and the Nightmare on Hornsey Road
If you die in your dreams, you die in real life.
It was a Nightmare on Hornsey Road.
Arsenal's Champion's League dream of advancing past the Round-of-16 for the first time in half a decade is dead and buried barring a miracle.
The Gunners were apathetic and comatose against AS Monaco, crumbling on the big-stage once again, destroying the hopes of their fan base, and the respectability of their manager in the process.
The big freaking German needs to be shelved after his performance.
His decision making, lack of lateral movement, and clumsy play out of the back warrants time on the bench to ponder if he really has the motivation to continue playing at the highest level. Gabriel Paulista deserves a chance in the team, immediately, to send a message if nothing else; and although Laurent Koscielny was hardly any better than Mertesacker on Wednesday night, the modern game requires more athleticism to compliment decision making and reading of key situations.
Mertesacker has neither these days and his inconsistency is killing the team.
Their may not be a common tongue shared between the Brazilian and the Frenchman, but they have to move forward by speaking the language of football, surely this is better than giving Mertesacker a run out verse an Everton side that is enduring an alarming slide towards the relegation zone, and will be out to further hammer the nail home into the Dial Square coffin.
Right now Per needs some time on the sidelines, and work on the training ground, to prove to his teammates and coach that he still has the will and drive to continue.
This is hardly the first embarrassing performance from Mertesacker this season, but it ranks even worse than the match at Stoke City, considering the stakes were so high.
Die Mannschaft's world cup winning defender committed egregious errors verse Monaco that played a major role in the horror show.
Per Mertascker has to be benched.
The German playmaker failed to delivery by every stretch of the imagination.
Ozil can no longer be considered a world-class player as it would be a misnomer.
He is underserving of that title when the data proves that time and time again he cannot delivery against top-level competition. There is no work-rate, no tactical acumen, he does not defend, putting others at risk, floating around the pitch with a narcassitic body-language that insists he is god's gift to football and his Arsenal's teammates should feel lucky they get to play with him.
Newsflash for all the writers who have been praising Ozil since January: he's been playing well verse crap teams and has yet to put in a big performance for Arsenal when the chips are down.
Carlo Ancelotti let Nemo go for a reason.
There is determination and dedication missing from the German's game and he continues to to fail to live up to his moniker of Club record-signing.
Is it any wonder that Wenger is so reluctant to spend big on players who he himself has not nurtured, developed, and mentored through their teenage years?
Ozil is the new Francis Jeffers.
Mesut would surely turn his nose up at such a nauseating comparison, but right now his price-tag-to-positive-impact ratio is a similar albatross that Wenger will wear for the reminder of his Arsenal tenure.
Despite all the research by spectacle wearing, pocket-protecting metric's gurus, their vaunted algorithms, and advice from scouts and former trusted Club legends, the greatest managers of all-time make mistakes on purchasing players.
Buying Ozil is turning out to be a tragic slow-moving train, heading downhill, for a collision with very minimal return on investment.
He looks destined to be Wenger's biggest-ever blunder in the transfer market.
The Columbian shot-stopper can't be shouldered with too much Thursday morning armchair blame.
That being said, he didn't get down well for the first shot, and although the close range effort from Dimitar Berbatov offered little reaction time, it was hit pretty much through Ospina rather than to either side of him.
Overall, it was not a good outing for the Cafetero, and it only further complicates matters at the Emirates.
Wenger will once again have to decide if Ospina or Wojciech Szczesny is Arsenal's number one.
In keeping with the recent trend of more and more Spainish speakers joining the Gunners, making a move for Guillermo Ochoa makes a lot of sense. Although he's currently behind Malaga's legendary Carlos Kameni, and not seeing much playing time, his performances in Brazil still resonate for fans of the beautiful game, and at a relatively 'young' 29 years old, Memo would bring great shot-stopping ability, well-traveled experience, and quality distribution that could spark Arsenal's lethal counter-attacks.
He'll probably be available on the cheap this summer and that will no doubt interest Wenger.
It's a real pity that after winning 8 of 10 games this calendar year in the build up to Wednesday night's catastrophe, the Professor is now faced with two major personnel decisions.
Dropping Mertesacker for Paulista is necessary, and supporters must hope Wenger has the gall to follow through.
Making the decision on who starts in goal verse the Toffees is tougher one, as it would be a bit harsh to drop Ospina, but ultimately his less than sterling performance contributed to the nightmarish meltdown in North London.
It won't be a fun few days in Hertfordshire for anyone.
Wenger has unfortunately found himself in an all too familiar quagmire, forced to rebuild the confidence of his troops after being so utterly disappointed and humiliated by his team's lack of professionalism, discipline, and desire...