First things first, I’ll take nothing away from Watford – they’re doing fantastically well this season. But having got that caveat in, I must express the fact Arsenal really should not be going to Vicarage Road and getting beaten.
After a tricky August, it appeared in September as if Arsenal were building up some momentum and getting back into form, and with Ozil and Sanchez benched in the key games last month, for some it appeared as if there was light at the end of the tunnel, regardless of what the star players decide to do next summer.
And then they go and lose at Watford.
As stated, the Hornets are a good side, and nothing should be taken away from them, but let’s not forget that Wenger was given a new two-year contract this summer after failing to land the Gunners in a Champions League spot.
I – like many other football fans – thought that this new contract would surely have to usher in a new era; one where Arsenal finally shed this soft underbelly and start truly competing at the top of the league again.
And yet, eight games into the season and Wenger’s men are already nine points behind league leaders Manchester City.
Can they recover that?
The short answer is ‘no’.
After only eight games – less than a quarter of a season – Arsenal fans know for sure that their side will not be lifting the Premier League trophy.
How the mighty have fallen.
What is perhaps most depressing for Arsenal fans is the comparison with life 10 years ago, shortly after Wenger peaked.
Back then, they had world-class players. They competed at the top of the division. They got far in the Champions League. They were one of the super powers of European football.
— Sun Sport (@SunSport) October 15, 2017
They’re sixth in the English league, travelling to the back of beyond for nigh on meaningless Europa League games and they’ve already consigned themselves to another season without participating in the title race.
For most clubs in the Premier League, the kind of season that Arsenal have had so far would be no cause for concern, but when you consider the Gunners’ recent history, and their deterioration is so clearly demonstrated, you have to wonder how Arsenal fans stand it.
— Transfer Related (@TransferRelated) October 15, 2017
What makes things worse is the fact that there was the opportunity for change.
Wenger could have left last summer, on the high of the FA Cup win, and allowed someone new, with fresh impetus, to take charge.
But he didn’t, and now Arsenal fans have to watch the gradual deterioration continue – as their North London rivals continue to improve in their stead.