We wrote last week about Arsenal’s familiar woes – an inability to turn dominance into points.
This week, things have got a whole lot worse.
Whilst last week’s loss at Stoke will have been disappointing, it’s the sort of thing that can happen, even to the best sides.
The Potters are a notoriously difficult side to break down, and their aerial threat, combined with ferocious support and a team that works hard together makes them a potential banana skin for most sides in the Premier League.
So, if we’re being generous to Arsenal, which I’m rarely minded to do, last week’s result can be written off.
Not so the Gunners’ 0-4 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool.
This was something different.
In truth, Arsenal have struggled defensively for a long while, since Sol Campbell moved on, Kolo Toure lost his sparkle and Ashley Cole decided he wanted a lot more money.
But make no bones about it, this was a new low.
“My Chelsea and Spurs supporting friends feel SORRY for me, man!”
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) August 28, 2017
When Wenger signed a new deal in May, it was supposed to signal a new beginning for the club.
Perhaps the Frenchman would loosen the pursestrings, perhaps he would set his team up to play in a slightly more pragmatic fashion.
Perhaps he would actually teach them to defend.
Whatever we thought we going to happen in this new era of a new Wenger contract, one thing is absolutely clear – nothing has changed, and if anything Arsenal are going backwards rather than forwards.
Liverpool are a potent attacking force, but they are far from the best side in the division, and yet they made sport of the Gunners, knocking in four goals and utterly humiliating them.
✅ Thrashed by LFC
✅ 16th in PL
✅ LFC bid for Lemar
✅ The Ox to Chelsea
✅ Alexis transfer request
Arsenal fans right now: pic.twitter.com/KnxWTkSzZe
— SPORF (@Sporf) August 28, 2017
Dissenters here may point to the fact that Arsenal have traditionally started slowly and improved in the second half of the season, and this may well be the case again this year, but it scarcely matters.
Wenger’s side are now so far behind the might of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea that they have no chance whatsoever of winning the Premier League.
(You can quote me on that: none whatsoever.)
Which means that it matters not whether or not Arsenal start poorly and finish well or vice versa, it’s going to be another frustrating season to be an Arsenal fan.
Sure, they might win the FA Cup again, and maybe the League Cup too, but for Arsenal fans who lived through the Invincibles era, and saw Wenger take the club to the pinnacle of world football, it must all be getting a bit depressing now.
In my view, Wenger took on a new contract because he wanted to end on a high; he didn’t want Champions League qualification failure to be his legacy.
On present evidence that’d have been a better place to leave it than what may follow.
This Arsenal fan’s description of Mohamed Salah is gold😂
(🎥 ArsenalFanTV, YouTube) pic.twitter.com/pKrgydiJni
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) August 28, 2017