The match at Brighton on Sunday went down as Arsenal’s tenth league loss this season. This is indicative of Arsenal’s season, particularly considering that so many of those losses could have at least easily been draws.
Fixtures such as the 2-1 loss to Watford or the 1-0 defeat to Stoke, both early in the season, both hinging heavily on refereeing decisions, stick in the memory. Of course, had those results been tied, rather than lost, the extra two points gained would have done little to alleviate the tension around the Emirates.
The team would still be six points behind Chelsea, and eleven points from the top four. But racking up the loss on Sunday is significant for Arsenal, as Arsenal haven’t lost 10 or more games in a league season since 2011/12.
A New Record
The only time Arsenal have lost more than 10 games in a league season was in 2005/06. 2011/12 saw the Gunners finish third, behind Aguerooo and Man Utd, while 2005/06 was the year in which Arsenal came so close in the Champions League.
Both of those seasons, while ultimately disappointing, were actually positive seasons for many reasons. 2012 was the year in which Arsenal’s “downward spiral” saw them revive themselves and finish above Spurs once more, and 2006 saw one of the most complete Arsenal performances ever at the Bernabeu.
There are two significant points about Arsenal losing their tenth game this season. One, it is only the beginning of March, with tough fixtures still on the horizon, some which have been banana skins in the past. Even the biggest optimist would agree that it is unlikely that the loss count is going to stop at ten.
The other, more concerning point is that there has been so little for Arsenal to shout about this season. Barring an uncharacteristic run in Europe, it is unlikely that silverware will come to the Emirates this year. Besides an enjoyable victory over Spurs early on, and of course the late Giroud winner in the opening game, there has been little to be proud of this season.
It is for these reasons that it is the last straw for so many fans. Arsenal have gone through so many upsetting seasons, packed with defeats and big losses, but the team were reconciled by superb football or exciting results.
This season, Arsenal have scored only 1.73 goals per game. In only 5 seasons under Wenger have Arsenal managed fewer than this. The lack of goals scored by Arsenal is testament to the high number of losses. Of course they have also conceded too many, but a poor defence can be countered by a strong attack.
Liverpool have conceded the second most in the top 6. But they have scored 15 more goals than Arsenal this season, under Klopps chaotic attacking style. This is why Liverpool are third, and Arsenal are sixth.
The top scorer this season has been Alexandre Lacazette, who has put away 9 in 26 league appearances this season. This is poor, unfortunately, but he has not been helped by the lack of goals coming from players around him. Even Ozil has only notched up seven assists this season, much too low for a player of his calibre.
Unfortunately, Arsenal have had only snippets to get excited over this year. Whatever happens this summer, it is vital that there are radical changes next season. Because its reaching a point where Arsenal are only interesting watch, because of the chance that they might lose.