LONDON. — A night of humiliation for Arsenal. Utterly shameful. Unai Emery was appointed the club’s new manager to clear up the supposed mess left behind by Arsene Wenger.
On this evidence, the Spaniard hasn’t even found the hoover yet.
After nine months in charge, it’s hard to see where true progress has been made under Emery.
They are still weak in defence, underlined by the way Stanislav Dragan was allowed to head home BATE Borisov’s euphoric winner in a Europa League match on Thursday.
And not for the first time this season, Arsenal, worryingly, lacked invention in attack.
After a season that started so promisingly, Emery’s first season in charge is in danger of imploding.
Indeed, Arsenal should count themselves lucky they have next week’s second leg to dig themselves out of this gaping hole.
But they don’t deserve a second chance after this lifeless showing lacking any semblance of integrity.
Clubs the size of Arsenal don’t lose to sides like BATE. Well, apparently, they do. What’s more they only have themselves to blame.
The Europa League has taken on huge significance for Arsenal – not that you’d know it by this pathetic display.
Reaching the Champions League remains the be-all-and-end-all for Emery.
They’re a point behind Manchester United in the race for fourth place in the Premier League but the way Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side are hurtling along, at least domestically, you can’t see them relinquishing their grip on the final Champions League qualification slot.
With that in mind, Emery fielded a strong line-up here in Borisov — Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan included from the start.
The bench wasn’t bad either — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Denis Suarez and Lucas Torreira all on stand-by if the going got tough.
That didn’t matter a jot. They could all have been playing at the same time and it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference.
On that note, a penny for Mesut Ozil’s thoughts on Friday morning?
Yet again, there was no place for the German, the club’s top-earner left back in England despite completing two full days of training after missing Saturday’s win over Huddersfield through illness.
The Stats That Shame The Gunners
£135 000 — The cost of the entire BATE Borisov XI, less than the £350 000 that Mesut Ozil pockets every week at Arsenal
ZERO — Knockout matches BATE had won in European competitions before their 1-0 win over Arsenal on Thursday
63 — Days that BATE last played a competitive match before Thursday. Their league season does not start until next month.
2009 — The only time BATE defeated an English club, in a group game, beating Everton 1-0. Shkodran Mustafi, who played for Arsenal on Thursday, made his only appearance for Everton that evening.
16 — Shots attempted without scoring
TWO — Wins for Arsenal from their last nine away games — against Huddersfield and Blackpool. — Daily Mail