It’s time to take another trip down memory lane and for this entry, we aren’t going all too far into the past with a look at Arsenal’s game against Newcastle United three years ago. At this point the ‘Wenger Out’ chants weren’t quite as loud as they’d get in a few months time, but still, they were pretty notable. The Gunners had an uneven start to the season with one win, one draw and one loss, and while Newcastle certainly posed a threat to them, it was seen as a very winnable fixture.
Handed the advantage
Just 15 minutes into the game their task was made a lot easier when Mitrovic received a red card for a dangerous challenge, but even then, Arsenal failed to create all too many chances of note. In a game where the Magpies registered six yellow cards as well as the red it genuinely felt like the Gunners weren’t going to be capable of making anything happen, despite the game literally being handed to them on a silver platter.
The first 45 minutes caused a lot of stress and worry for Arsenal supporters who had seen this kind of performance too many times before, but thankfully, they were put at ease early into the second half when an unconvincing Coloccini own goal gave them the lead. From that point on they just seemed to sit back and wait for the result to come to them, in arguably one of the most uninspiring Premier League victories of all time.
Poor old Magpies?
It didn’t help that Newcastle didn’t even register a single shot, but somehow, they were still given plaudits for their determination at the end of the game. When you consider just how poor they were that should tell you a lot about how Arsenal played, and to be honest, that sums up what the mentality was like throughout the club.
Everything felt depleted and that’s not how a football team should be run, especially one at the top like Arsenal (or at least, pretending to be towards the top). It’s almost baffling, in a way, that it took another two and a half years for something to be done about Wenger, because the cracks were already starting to show. Of course, there’s always a chance that Emery could go down the same path, but the early signs are a little bit more positive.
What’s your favourite memory from the 2015/16 season?