At the time of writing this article, Arsenal have not sacked Unai Emery. Just one more check before we move on... nope, nothing.
Okay one last bash on F5... Nope, still there.
After a miserable 2-1 defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League (what a sorry sentence that is), you wonder what more convincing Arsenal’s power brokers need to make the change that a vast majority of the fans - and judging by some of their performances, a fair few of players too - are crying out for.
So to help Raul Sanllehi, Edu and the Kroenke clan to gain some clarity this morning, here’s a useful list:
After last night’s defeat, which means they still haven’t clinched qualification to the knockout stages of this wretched competition, Arsenal have now gone seven games without a win - their worst run since 1992.
There is unavoidable proof that Arsenal are not only stalling, they are getting worse and worse.
They have no idea how to defend.
They mostly have no idea how to create chances.
They definitely have no idea about how to control the midfield.
The style of football and performances are so bad that the Emirates looked about a quarter full last night.
He keeps saying things like “I think today we improve” after losing. At home. To Eintracht Frankfurt. In the Europa League.
Emery admits 'our moment is not good' with Arsenal on worst run since 1992
And when losing. At home. To Eintracht Frankfurt. In the Europa League. Nicholas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette stay on the bench while Lucas Torreira comes on to try and rescue the game.
Because he thinks Lucas Torriera isn’t a holding midfielder.
Because he can’t decide on a formation.
Because the players don’t seem to know what they should be doing half the time.
Because he picked the wrong captain, exposed him to scrutiny, dumped him when his relationship with the fans became intolerable, brought him back last night and then saw Granit Xhaka chuckling away after the final whistle.
Because things are so bad, Ian Wright has had to flee the country to avoid watching Arsenal, sustaining himself on a diet of kangaroo testicles and wichetty grubs. For shame.
And simply because, well, it can and should be much, much better than this.
One last check... nope, nothing.
You'll never win anything with kids
Jesse Lingard - Manchester United
Image credit: Getty Images
From one struggling manager to another, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to give the kids a spin before seeing Manchester United lose 2-1 in Astana yesterday. Well, Manchester United’s U23 team really.
Many of United’s senior players were spared a 6,000km round trip to Kazakhstan with United already assured of a place in the last-32. With an average age of under 23, there were full debuts for right-back Ethan Laird, midfielder Dylan Levitt and centre-back Di'Shon Bernard.
The Warm-Up is all for work experience schemes, but this one ended badly. Jesse Lingard, a teenager in spirit, had United ahead after 10 minutes, before they conceded two goals to lose 2-1. And that after this astonishing miss from Tahith Chong:
Despite the result, Solskjaer was happy enough. And why not, given the result was effectively meaningless.
“I think some of these might benefit from going out on loan,” said Solskjaer. “Of course, they need men’s football and it was a first taste of it for some of them. Some of them are also knocking on the door for us.
“You can see the way we dominated midfield with Jimmy [Garner] and Dylan playing together and it was nice to see them dominating the game. Di’Shon was composed, Ethan was marauding down the right-hand side, particularly in the first half. Some of these have done themselves a good favour.”
A good night for Brits abroad
In the best of the rest, Rangers were first out of the blocks with a 2-2 draw away at Feyenoord to leave them top of their group and requiring only a draw at home to Young Boys in their final group game to reach the knockout stages.
The star of the show was, of course, Alfredo Morelos, who with his 12th and 13th goals of the campaign already beat Henrik Larsson’s record of strikes in a European campaign for a Scottish club. A reminder: there’s still a group game to go.
Meanwhile, Celtic are assured of their place in the next round after topping their group courtesy of a 3-1 win over Rennes.
And Wolves have qualified for the knockouts thanks to a dramatic 3-3 draw in Braga which saw Raul Jimenez, Matt Doherty and Adama Traore fire Wolves into a 3-1 lead before a second-half collapse.
IN OTHER NEWS
Ever wondered what Mike Dean gets up to in his spare time?
Wonder no more...
IN THE CHANNELS
The dictionary definition of ‘absolute scenes’ last night as Markus Rosenberg scored a 96th-minute winner for Malmo.
Some context: Rosenberg was playing his last ever home game for Malmo, the club he joined as a five-year-old.
For the Hillsborough families whose 96 loved ones were killed so horrifically at a football match on a sunny spring day in 1989, a 30-year battle for the truth and accountability has culminated in another outcome they find impossible to accept. They fought for 21 years against the first inquest verdict of accidental death in 1991, finally seeing it quashed in 2012. Then in April 2016, the jury at the new inquests determined that the 96 people were unlawfully killed by the gross negligence manslaughter of the South Yorkshire police officer in command, Ch Supt David Duckenfield, to a criminal standard of proof. Yet now, following a grim, painful trial and retrial at Preston crown court, in which the families accused the judge of not being impartial, the jury at his prosecution has found him not guilty of, in effect, the same offence: gross negligence manslaughter.