Quite why United felt it necessary to confirm his announcement before the end of the season is unclear, given that everything was going so well before then. His permanent appointment has coincided with another dismal run of performances.
While most Gooners would’ve bitten your hand off for a draw in advance of last week’s encounter, there was no escaping the huge sense of disappointment, coming away from Wembley, having failed to capitalise on such a prime opportunity to silence our increasingly noisy neighbours.
I’d love to be able to blame our humiliating annihilation on the numbskull responsible for dressing us in a green kit, upon a grass pitch, but frankly that’s a feeble excuse. Saturday’s demolition served as a timely reminder of the enormity of the task facing Unai Emery.
An emphatic first win of the New Year does not definitively prove there is a bright future for Arsenal without Alexis Sanchez but manager Arsene Wenger confirmed his players had been destabilised by the uncertainty over the Chilean’s transfer to Manchester United.
“We’ll be punished if we play like this on Saturday.” It’s not often the crowd at the Emirates grumbles in agreement, but that was the general sentiment in N5 just before 9pm last Wednesday.
We’ve all nodded along sagely to warnings that Double Gameweek players don’t necessarily outscore their single-fixture counterparts, but it takes a week like this to make us actually believe it.
The hierarchy at Arsenal is reportedly prepared to make star striker Alexis Sanchez the highest paid player in Premier League history by offering the Chilean an astonishing €300,000 (€353,000) per week to stay at the North London club.