Liverpool legend Stan Collymore chose a bad time to call Arsenal flat-track bullies. Writing in his column for the Mirror in the wake of the Gunners 6-0 thrashing of Ludogorets, Collymore accused Arsene Wenger’s side – and Mesut Ozil in particular – of being experts at beating the smaller sides and then struggling against the top teams.
Yet when Arsenal came up against a struggling Middlesbrough side on Saturday, a team which they would expect to beat comfortably, they not only failed to win, but came perilously close to losing.
Collymore has misdiagnosed Arsenal’s issues. The Gunners have an issue with concentration, not an issue with beating top teams. Time and again in Champions League groups we’ve seen them stumble against smaller sides. In the Premier League, we’ve seen Arsene Wenger’s men lose titles on the back of dropped points against small teams. The big win against Ludogorets convinced Arsenal they are better than they are once again, and once again they paid the price with dropped points.