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Arsenal were comfortable at 1-0 up against Watford on Saturday evening. A goal or two more was expected to come by all watching, and the Gunners should walk out relatively easy victors.
Unfortunately, Arsenal looked to have taken a similar attitude after taking the lead. Their one goal lead was quickly perilous, and the supposedly inevitable second never appeared.
The defeat that followed was triggered by the battering ram impact of Troy Deeney and departure of Laurent Koscielny. It was immensely Arsenalish of Arsenal.
Marco Silva’s Watford have been the non-top-six story of the season to date, which only made the apparent complacency from the Gunners more puzzling.
Arsenal fell to defeat, which is nothing new. The manner of it, too, was nothing new.
That’s the most grating thing of all for ever-frustrated fans. Per Mertesacker and Troy Deeney both made comments after the match that confirmed exactly everyone’s suspicions. Even with their recent improvement, Arsenal reverted to their old ways: they crumbled.
Arsene Wenger has seen it all before.
His loyalty to players who let him down has cost Arsenal for years, and his puzzling decision making is only becoming more bizarre. The Gunners and Wenger are stuck together for this season and next thanks to an equally baffling decision to extend his contract last summer.
As good as Watford have been – and they deserve praise for their performance at Vicarage Road – this was about Arsenal. Deeney made it about Arsenal after the match and he was right to do just that.
Flimsy is probably the best word to describe Arsenal’s display.
The same team who were resilient, and unfortunate not to win, at Stamford Bridge, succumbed to a team built on a comparatively minute budget with inferior ability. It was not a harrowing evening, but a sadly predictable, repetitive one.
It’s an episode we have all seen before, but that – if anything – makes it tougher to cope with for all associated with the club. Treading water until a fond farewell can be given to Wenger now looks like the most favourable of outcomes.
Written by Sam Cox
Follow Sam on Twitter @SamRCox_
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