Letting a win against Swansea slip away with a Mathieu Flamini own goal in added time days after losing 6-0 at Chelsea was bad enough for Arsenal. But Paul Scholes, who has always had a reputation for being quiet and unassuming when he wasn't letting his football do the talking, made sure the realities of the situation were not lost in the wave of disappointment that has washed over the club.
Serving as a pundit for Sky Sports, the retired Man United midfielder was asked what he made of Arsenal's miserable week. "Um, probably a typical for Arsenal really," Scholes said with his monotone drawl. "The capitulated at Chelsea and it seems to be a similar theme that seems to happen when they play the top teams. [...] For one reason or another, their players just seem to go missing. [...] It seems like they go on the pitch with no discipline." This was Scholes just getting warmed up.
Former teammate Gary Neville sat quietly as Scholes continued, "There's no discipline, there's no leaders with them. There's no Patrick Vieira, there's no [Tony] Adams, there's no Martin Keown. [...] It's Arsenal fans you feel sorry for. They seem to get the same thing every year. Maybe a little hint at the title for a few weeks and then they go Chelsea, they go to City, they go to Liverpool and they just...just do nothing. Fans expect Arsenal to be going for the league trophy — I know they're in third or fourth or whatever they are, but they're a million miles away in my eyes."
Scholes wasn't exaggerating about Arsenal's record against top sides. In the last five years, Arsenal have just one win, one draw and 13 losses against the top four, giving them four points out of a possible 45.
For one final blow to the already broken heart of Arsene Wenger, who has always taken so much pride in his youth development, Scholes added that midfielder Jack Wilshere "doesn't look an any better player now than when he was 17." Wilshere is now 22 years old.
Who knew Paul Scholes could make Simon Cowell look like a mincer of words?
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Paul Scholes