I imagine Arsene Wenger feels like Colonel Custer , riding up to the ridge of the Little Bighorn , only to realise the enormity of the task ahead.
The Gunners slumped to a fourth loss in a row in all competitions as they were beaten 2-1 by the Seagulls on Sunday and the defeat leaves Arsenal 13 points outside the top four and puts more pressure on Wenger.
Arsenal’s disintegration has been astonishing. It has not only destroyed their faith in the manager and themselves , but it has eroded their normal attacking flair. They suddenly seem to be a team submerged in mediocrity and are clueless of how to address the decline but rather more worrying was Wenger’s almost comical naked analogy which claimed his players were ‘ completely naked.’
His comments started off routinely enough , when he said
“It’s difficult at the moment for me to get into any negative assessment. The team needs more support at the moment. Tough, objective judgement as well. but when you struggle for confidence it’s difficult.”
Then the conversation took an unusual turn when he added
“When you have just the trousers on it’s easy to take them trousers off as well. When you’re naked completely you have to find a shirt and try to put it on again and then you’re dressed normally again. “The environment around the team is always to put them more down.”
There were no doubt a few raised eyebrows and memories of Eric Cantona’s trawler and seagull analogy came readily to mind.
Perhaps it was just confusion , a heat of the moment thing or as a result of yet another damning loss but some may conclude that the normally rational and articulate Frenchman is starting to lose his grip due to the intense pressure he is under bringing him to defend and articulate his teams recent horrific set of results by using a naked analogy.
When the United legend Eric Cantona was facing 120 hours community service for mistakenly kicking a rowdy supporters head instead of a ball , he announced.
“When seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea,”
he said darkly before striding out of the press conference.
Pressure is a strange thing , perhaps it happens to everyone or perhaps it’s a French thing