It’s the news no Arsenal fan wants to hear as the Gunners travel to face AC Milan in the Europa League’s round of 16 on Thursday facing the prospect of a fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
Not since March 1977 have the north Londoners managed such a dire run of results, when they in fact lost seven matches in succession, all of which came in league competition.
That streak was part of an 11-match winless run for Arsenal, and they would eventually finish the 1976-77 campaign eighth in the English First Division, per Soccerway, as well as reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup and the League Cup quarter-finals.
The writing is on the wall for Arsene Wenger’s side heading to the San Siro on Thursday, where a fifth straight defeat could set them on a path to their European departure, thus ending the club’s hopes of silverware this season.
Worryingly for Arsenal, scoring goals appears to have been the major concern behind their recent patch of defeats, despite the fact they spent a club-record £56 million to recruit striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.
This was the second time in as many transfer windows that Arsenal broke their transfer record signing a striker, and yet they remain the second-lowest scorers in the Premier League’s top six (52 goals), with only Chelsea scoring fewer.
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It also doesn’t help Arsenal’s chances that Milan’s defence is in superlative form of late and has conceded just once in their last eight games. In contrast, the Gunners have let in 15 goals over the same period.
Away form has been a major concern for Wenger’s men of late, too, having lost their last four Premier League fixtures on the road and failing to win any of their last five. With that in mind, the prospect of a trip to Milan is a daunting one.
The Rossoneri have enjoyed a resurgence under former midfielder Gennaro Gattuso of late while Wenger’s reign appears to be wilting to a close, with many of the Arsenal supporters backing his exit sooner rather than later.
Defeat at the San Siro on Thursday will mark Arsenal’s worst losing run in more than four decades, another mark against Wenger’s record and a statistic that will only encourage his detractors.