Arsenal fans are known for being a vocal bunch when it comes to criticising their club. Having endured over a decade of disappointment in the Premier League and perennial mediocrity in the Champions League, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of sympathy for their plight.
As the Champions League kicked off again in earnest for the Gunners, it was a trip to the stuttering Paris Saint-Germain that got the ball rolling for Arsène Wenger’s side.
Full of optimism following the signing of Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Perez this summer, fans had hoped that perhaps this year, Wenger’s twentieth in charge at the Emirates, would be different. This year might finally be the one when their heroes banish the demons of seasons past.
Alas, it took a mere 42 seconds tonight for the Arsenal faithful to taste that old familiar sting of disappointment. An Edinson Cavani goal inside the first minute and fans’ optimism quickly turned to disdain.
Disdain for Wenger and his team selection that saw Perez, Xhaka and Giroud all start from the bench.
Once Arsenal went behind, the flood gates opened.
I'm so pissed bruh! Wenger really knows how to smash one's expectations.
— Golden boy 🤴🏿 (@OVOwn_) September 13, 2016
Wenger could have 10 strikers at his disposal and still would play Alexis as a No. 9
— Madiba (@melusim_) September 13, 2016
If we started with this lineup then it would have been a totally different game. Wenger picked the wrong starting lineup completely
— Mason (@TL_Mason) September 13, 2016
Even if we win id be booing Wenger out there he's been letting us down in various ways the last few years. Hate him now can't stand him
— Supra* (@suprazeez) September 13, 2016
One of the worst hours of football in the recent Wenger era.
— Sam (@samuelJayC) September 13, 2016
Ultimately, Arsenal rescued a point via a late Alexis Sanchez goal but if it weren’t for the heroics of goalkeeper David Ospina and PSG’s inability to finish in front of goal, Arsenal might well have been staring at the prospect of a drubbing by the home side.
All in all, it was a lucky escape for Wenger and his charges. A point won rather than two lost.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena