There does not have to be any specific reason for the poor performance put in by the Arsenal players in the north London derby defeat at Tottenham yesterday I suppose. It would not be the first time that the Gunners had played poorly in recent years, by any stretch of the imagination.
But it was unexpected in a way. For one thing a local derby brings the best out of players, at least in terms of effort. And for another, we had been on a good run of form recently and had put the big game away day blues behind us with the win over Man City, so we all expected a lot more from Arsenal at White Hart Lane.
I have two theories which might account for the disappointing display. One is the kick-off time, that dreaded 12.45 on a Saturday that has always seemed to produce a bad game from us lately. The 6-3 loss to Man City and the 5-1 loss to Liverpool both came from early Saturday games. Wenger was asked about this before the game and played it down but nit is becoming too regular to be just a coincidence.
But with us not playing since last weekend and not having to travel for, it is hard to accept why this would make any difference. However, because of traffic issues in London, the Arsenal team arrived late to the ground so maybe we were just a bit unprepared.
The other possibility is that this was Wenger´s 700th Premier League game as Arsenal boss. The last big milestone that Wenger reached was his 1000th game in all competitions and that was the trip so Stamford Bridge last season, a truly terrible display which was our heaviest and most painful defeat of the season.
What do you think Gooners? Coincidence?