When the team news was revealed ahead of the game at Old Trafford I, like every other Arsenal fan – and probably Man Utd fan as well, thought they were there for the taking.
For all of Arsenal’s inconsistent run since November and a string of poor performances, you just had to conclude that they would thrash a United side depleted by injuries, made up of inexperienced and average players, and with players galore out of position.
This was our chance to win for the first time in the league at Old Trafford since 2006. However, again like typical Arsenal we defy the odds by putting in an abject performance not worthy of a club in the top four – never mind a title challenger.
And that’s just the thing, we can no longer be considered as title contenders this season. Which would sound so bizarre if I said that following on from the fact that Arsenal are still above Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
It’s instead Leicester and Tottenham who lead the way and, as much as it pains me to say it as a Gooner, they both absolutely deserve to be where they are. Both teams are set up in the right way thanks to their managers and the players look like they have the desire and determination to carry it over the line.
And even if Arsenal somehow end up winning the league this season, it won’t feel like some great achievement – despite it being the first time in over a decade.
We haven’t been good at all this year. A fact which should be treated as a criminal offence considering all the usual suspects are struggling too. This was supposed to be our year. We had the squad, and we signed Petr Cech – the best goalkeeper in Premier League history. He was our only summer signing for a club that has plenty of buying power.
But we were told by the manager we were fine. Well clearly we’re not. Again, we’ve proved we have a small club mentality that ‘fourth will do’ in the last ten years.
The club have a lot they need to look at in the mirror as well as questions that need answering.
The players don’t look like they’re good enough or want it enough. That’s been the same problem for all those years.
Perhaps the most potent one is “It is Wenger’s fault?” I don’t know the answer to that, but he’s the one common thread …