Arsenal 0-2 Swansea... Arsenal 2-0 West Brom
Discontent reached fever pitch again as Arsenal were outplayed and beaten by an impressive Swansea side.
It took two late goals from Michu to settle the issue but that really didn't reflect the Welsh side's dominance overall. Worryingly, this kind of thing can no longer be called a fluke or an unwanted aberration. I said after the Fulham game at home that teams no longer come to the Emirates with a very defensive gameplan, fearing a hiding. There was a time when coming to Arsenal and playing an open game was suicidal; now it's acceptable and not just for the top sides.
Arsenal looked spent, with the league not even at its halfway point. Arteta and Cazorla played into the ground, Wilshere still playing his way back. Again, serious questions raised about the manager. He doesn't seem to trust Coquelin quite yet, so why the inactivity after Song's departure? Was it really expected that Abou Diaby would stay fit? And even if that happened, would it have really been the answer?
There was a rush early on this season to suggest that Arteta is a superior player to Song, even at the base of the midfield, and that no straight replacement was necessary. This idea now looks a folly. Song may not have been what Arsenal needed to provide real solidity in the centre, but neither is Arteta. Not on his own. And so a notoriously gaffe-prone defence is now exposed again by the lack of protection in front of it.
Arsenal's midfield should be more creative than it is at the moment but another obvious worry is that, when chances are created in greater amounts, there is no Robin Van Persie to gobble them up. When Gervinho is on the pitch, the word 'wasteful' is never far from your mind.
A comfortable win against West Brom provided some respite, but can't be said to have stopped the rot. Arsenal were the better side- our most important players seeming to have benefited from the midweek rest in the Champions League dead rubber- but what chances were created in open play were fluffed, and it took two lucky penalties to turn the game in the home side's favour.