Arsenal legend Lee Dixon watched his former side get knocked out of the Europa League after a disappointing performance at the Emirates last night.
The Gunners approached the biggest game of the season as though it was a meaningless friendly. We lacked any sort of intensity in the first half and Unai Emery’s men were as comfortable as they could’ve been.
One incident in the first half really annoyed Dixon. Arsenal won a corner and instead of rushing to take it, Martin Odegaard, the £110,000-a-week loanee from Real Madrid, decided to take his time as though it was Villareal who were chasing the game and not us.
Dixon said on commentary for BBC Radio 5 Live Sport: “This game is lacking intensity from Arsenal, they need to get a goal, come on – I understand being patient and playing your game but Martin Odegaard went to take a corner and he walked over.
“Why is he walking over? Get over there and put the pressure on!”
The Insider’s View:
Dixon echoed every Arsenal fan’s thoughts at that point.
It really was a woeful performance from Arsenal. It almost looked like the players didn’t want it enough. Mikel Arteta showed more intensity on the touchline to get the ball back in play than the players did on the pitch.
Things definitely improved in the second half, but Villarreal held on. Emery got his revenge on Arsenal, and that has all but ended our season.
Arsenal are seven points behind sixth-place Tottenham and there are just four games left in the season. Only a miracle now will get us back into Europe, but stranger things have happened in football, and we can only keep our fingers crossed.