Arsenal couldn’t have started their campaign in a worse possible manner than losing to Premier League new boys, Brentford on Friday.
After all the buzz around their new signings, the Gunners were expected to beat the Bees in their league opener, at least.
They could hardly have asked for an easier opening fixture than that game, especially with their next two league matches coming against Chelsea and Manchester City.
That loss against Brentford shows they are not yet prepared for the challenge ahead as they look to break back into the top four.
Arsenal fan columnist for The Sun, Mark Irwin, claims that their loss against the Bees is not a big surprise because they have been on the decline for the last few years.
He insists they are not in crisis just yet, but the results from their matches against Chelsea and Man City will expose them once again.
“Arteta will argue otherwise. But it has reached the point where he can no longer give an honest answer to his critics because the truth would be too brutal and too damaging for the club to stomach.
“Their level could be crudely exposed again in their next two Premier League matches — against Chelsea on Sunday and champions Manchester City a week later.
“Arteta cannot admit that, yes, the club’s transfer policy has been a disaster for the past five years.
“Nor can he confirm he did not fancy most of the overpaid but underachieving players he inherited from Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery.
“Which is why his claims that he is looking forward to having a sell-out crowd back at the Emirates should be taken with a massive pinch of salt.
“Because if his team perform as poorly against European champions Chelsea as they did at newly promoted Brentford last Friday, there will be nowhere to hide from the wrath of the fans.”
Mikel Arteta knows he can only have so many excuses and this will be an important season for his Arsenal future.