Surmises confirmed, hearts broken, dreams shattered and the team booed off – it all happened for Arsenal in their opening fixture of the 2016/17 season as The Emirates Stadium went from being a place basking in the joy of Theo Walcott’s redemption to a crematorium full of people in mourning, watching Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool rip them to shreds in a turbocharged fifteen-odd minute spell.
And so it was pretty clear that it was one of those days when it wasn’t just going to rain for Arsenal but lash down, only to sink Arsene Wenger’s side deep into the dreaded sea of trouble, frustration and disappointment. So much for the Frenchman’s faith in his raw, yet finely talented youngsters in a high-profile game.
It wasn’t always a part of the script that Wenger so confidently wrote with Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as its protagonists, but the ugly vagaries of the Premier League made all of the Arsenal boss’ belief look silly, very-very silly, leading to the same old questions about a redundant transfer policy as well as a chunk of supporters walking right out of the stadium to make it all uglier than Whistler’s Mother. Now that’s some ugliness.
But is it all actually as terribly complicated for Arsenal as some of the reactions from a section of fans suggest? In all fairness, it’s not, not by a long way. Needless to say, a 3-4 defeat to a nearly full-strength Liverpool side isn’t that shameful at all, or of such an extent as can have a telling influence on the rest of the season, so to say the season is doomed is totally stupid in nature, not to mention precipitous.
As Wenger has maintained for more than a couple of weeks now, Arsenal still are in the market for at least two players, one of which may be Shokdran Mustafi if the media reports are to be believed in. That, combined with the fact that Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud will soon be fit, is all that Arsenal need to be more optimistic and prepared for the upcoming fixtures. Mind, Arsenal aren’t a million miles away.
Even the defeat the other day had a few positives. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was unbelievably good from the moment he came on while Santi Cazorla’s two assists in his 30-minute stay showed that he’s nearing his best and is ready to be a starter after being fully fit. Surely, it’s not all doom and gloom.
For now, Arsenal (and the fans too) must avoid panicking in the wake of the result against Liverpool. It’s only the beginning of the season, so to get behind the team rather than exacerbating the situation (which would only be an overreaction) won’t do any harm.