Arsenal on the brink of most predictable failure

Did Arsenal’s defeat to Swansea end any realistic hopes the Gunners had of winning the Premier League? Or were we just foolish to believe they ever had a chance in the first place?

If it wasn’t so utterly predictable, it would probably, actually, be quite funny – unless you’re an Arsenal fan of course.

In my youth, I used to love the first Police Academy movie. I loved the juxtaposition of symbols of safety and security – the police – and utter madcap unexplainably self-destructive chaos.

I even liked the second Police Academy movie, and the third. In fact, the fourth probably tickled me a little on occasion in a kind of a shameful guilty pleasure kind of a way.

But, you know what? They got boring. They got boring because they never changed. And then, after they were boring long enough, they started to get just a little bit cringeworthy. Yes, people who should be better repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot is funny at first, but eventually, you just start feeling sad for the writers and studios locked in some painfully sad mindset that made them truly believe that this kind of nonsense was still acceptable.

Step forward Arsenal, the slapstick comedy cringe-fest of the Premier League.

Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat at home to relegation-haunted Swansea City has left the Gunners six points off the pace, behind rivals Tottenham, and closer to losing a top-four place than they are to topping the table.

Since beating Sunderland in the FA Cup two months ago, Arsenal have played eight Premier League games and won just two of them. On New Year’s Day, they sat at the top of the table, looking down on a Premier League full of teams seemingly desperate to not win it. Champions Chelsea were languishing in the bottom half. Manchester United and Liverpool were struggling to out-perform newly-promoted Watford. Manchester City appeared to have overspent themselves into the abyss between over-confidence and a lack of motivation. The Premier League title was there for the taking. Arsenal simply needed to hold their nerve, reach out and take the silverware. It looked that easy. And yet, they didn’t. Of course, they didn’t. Because Arsenal did what Arsenal do. They found a way to take a position of strength and somehow found a way to start losing. In the ever-changing world of the Premier League, Arsenal are an ever-reliable consistency.

 

That used to be reassuring too, just like those old movies. You knew where you stood, at least. You knew what to expect. They were non-threatening and the kind of nonsense they were going through was quite funny when it was happening to someone else.

But, just like those old movies, Arsenal’s penchant for madcap self-destruction has become stale and boring. It’s the same old jokes, the same old flaws, the same old nonsense plots and stupid mistakes.

 

Has the defeat to Swansea ended Arsenal’s title hopes? I’m not sure they truly had any to begin with, no matter what they led us to believe.

Michael Graham

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