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Wenger's last days? Why this Arsenal team should be ashamed...

COMMENT: Don't let 'em off the hook. Not after Saturday at the Hawthorns. This lot at Arsenal. They don't deserve any excuses.

Whatever you think of Arsene Wenger. Whatever you think of the self-inflicted uncertainty he's created. He didn't deserve that. He didn't deserve such a pathetic, listless performance from his players at West Brom.

The manner of the goals said it all. Particularly Craig Dawson's double. He simply wanted it more. His opposition, which is a real stretch to claim as much, melted away. The aggression. The desire. The determination to be first to the ball. Arsenal couldn't compete with that. They didn't want to. They simply evaporated. The selfie boys with clever haircuts - something you definitely couldn't level at 'Daws'- just didn't fancy it.

On the same day. Just a few hours later. Sergio Ramos was leading his Real Madrid to victory at San Mames - the home of Athletic Bilbao and regarded among the most hostile stadiums in the game. Suffering from gastro, Ramos defied medical staff, ripping out the IV drip from his arm to make himself available. He of the two Champions League triumphs. He of the time and again late, late winners this season. Nothing was going to stop him making Saturday's game. That's the attitude of a winner. And - as mentioned - an attitude that has seen him consistently produce nigh impossible winners and equalisers this season.

That's what wins clubs Champions League titles. Not what Arsenal served up on Saturday.

The sycophants can't claim this was Wenger's doing. His contract delays had nothing to do with his players ducking challenges. His bizarre pressers won't be causing them to lose 60-40 tackles. The Baggies wanted it more. In every contest. It all came down to desire. And Arsenal fell woefully short.

As poor as Dawson's brace was, they were no isolated incidents. Time and again, Jake Livermore - but particularly Darren Fletcher - won the ball from the feet of Arsenal opposition. It was almost ridiculous seeing Fletcher, whose career was almost given last rights 18 months ago, out-muscling Arsenal players - in possession - to nick the ball away from them. Shielding the ball? It all gets down to how much you want to keep it. And no Arsenal player faced by Fletcher had as much passion to hang onto the ball as the Scot had to take it away.

Four defeats in five league games hasn't been seen at Arsenal since the days of Stewart Houston, some 21 years ago. And it eventually led to David Dein convincing Wenger to quit Japan and take a chance on London.

History could repeat. Wenger stated after the loss that, "I know what I will do. You will soon know". Again - frustratingly - enigmatic, leaving everything up to interpretation and speculation.

But if he does go, don't expect the same surge from this team as Wenger enjoyed some 20 years ago. There's no Tony Adams in today's dressing room. No Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Steve Bould or Ian Wright. David Platt, Dennis Bergkamp... bloody 'ell - why couldn't Bruce Rioch get a tune out of that lot?

A 47 year-old Wenger walked into a skeptical changing room, but also a talented one. And a group with the mentality of winners. You can't say the same about the current squad.

The 'team that never grew up', is an apt title for this generation. But it needs to go further, especially if Wenger does announce the inevitable this week.

This lot. The selfie lot. They deserve to be remembered as the team that shamed Arsenal's greatest manager into walking away.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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