Last season, our away days against the big sides was embarrassing and difficult to watch. Going to Stamford Bridge, The Etihad Stadium and Anfield was an experience and games we really wanted to forget. And even at Old Trafford, we only lost 1-0 but it was against the worst Manchester United team we’ve seen in the last 20 years – and Wes Brown and John O’Shea aren’t there anymore.
So onto Saturday’s game against Chelsea. We did well but that’s all we were – good. We weren’t excellent, fantastic or brilliant – things you need to be when travelling to one of the Top 6 sides. Against a lower team we probably could have got something with that performance, but against Chelsea, no chance.
So what is the problem?
It’s a strange one because it seems like a recent problem. Back in the “glory years”, we’d go to Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham and turn them over. And even stranger still, in our barren spell when we had players like Fabregas, Van Persie, Narsi and Adebayor we still managed to beat the bigger teams. We even beat Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge only a couple of seasons ago.
Now however, we just can’t do it.
And I have no idea what the answer is, do you?
Is it our tactics? Is it our formation? Is it the quality of our players? The problem is becoming so endemic that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint what exactly is stopping us from going to a big side and taking points off them.
Out next “big” away day comes on December 20th, when we travel to Anfield, another place where we got humiliated last season. So can Arsenal go there and get a victory?
I guess only time will tell.