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Thursday cannon fodder: day after raving

Yesterday’s match was a reminder of all we’d forgotten.

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

It’s the hope that kills you. Every time, you think things with Arsenal are going to be different they just stay the same. We’re Charlie Brown, and Arsenal are Lucy. One way or another, they keep getting us to try to kick that football, and they just keep pulling it away.

Inability to win away? It’s been 26 matches and five years since Arsenal beat a “Big 6” club on the road.

Clownshoes defending? See David Luiz yesterday. He’s literally having one of the worst seasons for a defender in Premier League history.

Mesut Özil drama? He was left out for “tactical reasons” with no additional explanation and tweeted a vague, pro-Arsenal picture and statement this morning.

Contract woes? Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both winding down their deals with little public progress being made on an extension.

It’s the same mistakes on the pitch, the same problems off it, over and over and over again.

To be fair, there’s not much new to be learned from yesterday’s 3-0 loss against Manchester City. Losing two players to injury in the first 25 minutes and having another send off before the 50th throws the gameplan out the window. As I wrote yesterday, Manchester City are very good. Arsenal are not very good. We already knew that.

And not to be entirely dour about the performance yesterday — I saw some things I liked. Before David Luiz blew up the gameplan, I think Mikel Arteta had a good one in place. Arsenal were somewhat holding their own against City. The Gunners didn’t generate any offense but could have if players had picked the correct pass. The side looked as if it had been drilled into a setup specifically designed to get a result against Manchester City, which is an encouraging sign and an upgrade.

Bernd Leno was spectacular. He took a while to get up to speed in the Premier League last season, but he has been consistently great for the Gunners. Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin had solid games. Barring injury, it will be nice to see the intended outside back pairing finally get some consistent time together. Matteo Guendouzi, for a spell, and Dani Ceballos had respectable games as well. There are positives to be taken from yesterday’s loss. Probably not as many as you’d like, but they’re there.

Mikel Arteta has the best attitude for the match: “I want to delete the game from the hard drive. There are a lot of things that happened & there is no point taking a lot of things from this game, just delete. Tomorrow we start preparing for Brighton & that is it.”

Onward and upward.