It was an all-too-familiar feeling for Arsenal fans following defeat to Manchester United. The time had come for the Gunners to make a statement- United were down to the bare bones and had two days less to recover following a Thursday night Europa League fixture.
Everything seemed to fall into place for Arsenal, surely this was the game in which they could start to improve their woeful record at the Theatre of Dreams - apparently not.
Arsenal were beaten 3-2, a quickfire brace from 18-year-old Marcus Rashford in the first half and a deflected strike by Ander Herrera in the second was enough to condemn the north London side to a disappointing defeat.
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Goals from Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil offered a glimmer of hope for Arsenal but ultimately they came up short. Arsene Wenger's men had lost to a Man Utd side who ended the game having fielded four teenagers and three Premier League debutants.
This result is nothing short of embarrassing for everyone connected to Arsenal, it also begs the question- what next?
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In what is undoubtedly the best opportunity for Wenger to win the Premier League for many a year, similar failings to previous campaigns look set to cost them once more. Here's five reasons why Arsenal will not win the Premier League title:
1. Lack of a Winning Mentality
Probably the most crucial reason - Arsenal lack the mentality of champions. Whether it's down to the lack of characters in the dressing room or the ever more apparent inexperience of title run-ins, Arsenal simply do not give you the impression that they are likely Premier League winners.
Many believed they had turned a corner after a late winner against table-topping Leicester at the Emirates, but the latest defeat sent those same people crashing back down to earth. With Arsenal, it's more hope than expectation, therein lies the problem.
2. Shortage of Goals
Traditionally Wenger's teams have always been full of goals, they are often accused of being 'soft' or 'naive', but the one thing you can guarantee from Arsenal are goals. However, this season this has proved not to be the case as they are currently being outscored by fellow title rivals Tottenham, Leicester and Manchester City.
Olivier Giroud is currently their top scorer in the league with 12 goals, he will need to improve upon that statistic and a few others will need to chip in if they are to stand any chance of winning the league.
Although at present Arsenal's injury situation is manageable, it's not inconceivable that they could lose six or seven key players in the coming weeks. Every season, be it at the start, middle or end, Arsenal suffer some form of injury crisis which tends to costs the team precious points. It's important to be able to rely on key players to play over 40 games a season, sadly the Gunners remain without this luxury.
4. Insufficient Investment in the Summer
It's been well documented that Arsenal failed to sign any outfield players in the summer of 2015. Petr Cech joined from London rivals Chelsea and that represented their only piece of business before the start of the season.
Now, Arsenal have a good squad with some quality individuals, and Cech is a world class goalkeeper, but surely if the ambition is to win the Premier League, two or three outfield signings were needed at the very minimum?
They brought in Mohamed Elneny from Basel in January but it is very rare that signings made halfway through the season make an instant impact - never mind have a say in the title race.
5. No Plan B
Arsenal Football Club is all about attacking fluidity, dominating possession and imposing themselves on the opposition. When everything clicks, it's beautiful to watch, but when it doesn't it can seem tedious, at best.
It's an old cliche but there are games when you're required to dig in and do the 'dirty' side of the game efficiently to collect three points.
Granted, there have been fixtures in which Arsenal have got the job done whilst not being so easy on the eye, but when possession football fails it's often the case that Arsenal fail. The Gunners seldom utilise the strengths of frontman Olivier Giroud, who is perfectly capable of dealing with long balls.
You have to feel for Arsenal supporters, year after year they are subjected to the same disappointment. With the arrival of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City in the summer, as well as the financial power of Chelsea and Manchester United, you worry about exactly when the good times will be back at the Emirates.
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