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.
The most-improved player award isn’t always the most coveted of titles, ranking somewhere above ‘clubman of the year’ but well below the more meaningful individual honours; but for two players at Sunday’s North London derby it is a story worth telling.
Tempting and easy as it would be to write off the chances of either of these London rivals in next month’s Wembley final against Manchester City, there will still be a worry in Pep Guardiola’s camp that Arsene Wenger is not a spent force yet.
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.
I never fail to be amazed by our seemingly infinite capacity to sell ourselves the starry-eyed promise of a different Arsenal narrative, but such is the masochistic curse of the travelling Gooner, writes.
Arsene Wenger’s EFL Cup gamble backfired in spectacular fashion last night as he made 10 changes to an Arsenal side that was comfortably beaten by Southampton, who made it through to the League Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1987.
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.
While myself and a substantial number of Gooners might well concur with the sentiments expressed in Saturday’s vague and decidedly futile protest, the somewhat embarrassing and decidedly schizophrenic scenes during our encounter with Norwich felt like a sad indictment of our modern day, social-media obsessed “supporters”.
Arsenal were hoping for a miracle last night but it failed to materialise as Barcelona powered to the Champions League quarter-finals, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger conceding the Catalans “have two or three players who transfer normal life into art”.