You could hear an audible sigh of relief in a great many pubs in North London as Liverpool s unbeaten run ended in dramatic style to a dynamic and driven Watford side.
The runaway premier league leaders Liverpool had the gunners invincible record in their sights and were hoping to add to their 44 games unbeaten in what has become a fabulous season, but they fell five short of equalling Wenger’s 2003/04 side.
The record had assumed a hugely unreasonable significance in a season that has been crammed full of huge disappointment and is merely a way of wallowing in past glories rather than focusing on new ones.
Not really given the side’s current circumstances.
The record is a reminder of two things for me personally.
Firstly, it reminds me of how the side failed to kick on from there and that it was the most notable and probably the last major achievement of the Wenger era.
It was the beginning of the end and has subsequently become a millstone around the neck.
Secondly, it highlights the obvious decline in the club from top to bottom and the lack of ambition to maintain success.
Had Arsenal looked long and hard at themselves in the mirror, they would have planned for Wenger’s exit and had a transfer strategy in place to replace the world-class players who decided to move on to fulfill their own goals.
49 games unbeaten is a remarkable achievement and had Arsenal not been cheated and physically abused at Old Trafford that figure could have been untouchable.
Referee Mike Riley also had a starring role in the proceedings that October day and one could have been forgiven for thinking he was on the Manchester United payroll, such was his generosity to the home side.
For the purists, it was a brutal mugging of an artistic Arsenal by a Neanderthal( Manchester) United which was to become a blueprint for other clubs on how to nullify the class and style of the gunners with brut force and ignorance.
Moving on, the fact that Liverpool came so close means that a club will eventually equal and probably surpass the record.
What Arsenal need now are new targets, new records, and more success.
Memories are an indication that the present isn’t up to much and the future is uncertain.
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