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.
After describing how proud he was of his Tottenham Hotspur side’s performance in a one-sided north London derby, Mauricio Pochettino was asked whether Chelsea’s victory at Everton earlier in the day meant there was an underlying feeling of disappointment in home dressing room at White Hart Lane.
Usually I’d be positively bristling with anticipation at the prospect of getting round to the Arsenal, in the gorgeous spring sunshine, following the comparative purgatory of a fortnight’s international break.
Theo Walcott’s epiphany, 10 years after first arriving at the club and at the grand old age of 27, that he is a winger not a striker inspired Arsenal to a Champions League victory over Basel and, coming just three days after a fine victory over Chelsea, has raised levels of positivity at the Emirates to new levels.