After crashing out of the Champions League last night at the hands of AS Monaco Arsene Wenger has been given more reason to be annoyed after seeing his side publicly accused of disrespect by the man in the opposite dugout at the Stade Louis II Stadium, Leonardo Jardim.
On a night where the Gunners needed to stop just short of performing miracles to secure a route to the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier competition their fans were left with a bitter taste. Strikes from Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey offered hope that the unthinkable might actually be possible, but in the end overturning a 3-1 deficit from the first-leg proved too much thanks to the away goals rule.
To rub salt into the wounds, Monaco boss Jardim chose not to focus on how easily overwhelmed his side were on the night, instead hitting out at Arsenal for being disrespectful and, according to The Sun, refused to shake hands with Wenger after accusing the Frenchman of doing the same after their first meet.
Jardim hits out
“I think it was disrespectful. Right now we’re celebrating and we think Arsenal did not show enough respect during the first leg.
“I think we deserve this qualification. We managed to take advantage of winning the first leg and in the second leg Arsenal scored two goals. But it is deserved.”
Following their exit Arsenal will now likely focus on ensuring that they can retain the FA Cup. The Gunners will have to beat Championship side Reading if they’re to make it two finals in two years, but given that they beat Manchester United in the last round and Chelsea and Manchester City are already out, they’ve got every reason to be optimistic.
Underestimating a powerful flaw
Of course Wenger will want to desperately guard against underestimating their opponents, which is what they’ve largely been accused of doing during their first encounter with Monaco. On the cards their drawing of the Ligue 1 side looked to have been a blessing, allowing them to dodge superior opposition like Real Madrid and Barcelona, but that may have contributed to their downfall.
Unlike last night, where the emphasis from the off was to press high and attack in numbers, the Gunners were incredibly poor during the first-leg, conceding three and not producing nearly enough to look like they deserved to remain in the competition.
Handing so-called weaker opponents the initiative is something the north London outfit have been guilty of at various stages of the past two years, but they’ll have to cut it out if major silverware remains a staple of the expected diet.
Monaco's next stage
As for Monaco, disrespect or no, they’ll know they were lucky to make it through to the quarter-finals based on last night’s showing. The next stage could well put them against a team possessive of far greater attacking impetus than Arsenal, and so Jardim might want to concentrate on ensuring they don’t let their concentration wander.
Arsenal fans, do you think your side is guilty of disrespecting Monaco? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...