Etihad Stadium Arsenal’s Ideal Building Block

Nine Premier League matches, no wins.

Add to that an aggregate score of 17-7, and this is how it looks for Arsenal since they last beat Manchester City just before Christmas in 2015. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud did the damage on that day, with Yaya Toure netting a consolation late on.

Players and managers have come and gone since but collectively it has been resounding failure in the top-flight whenever we face the Citizens. The last four meetings have a total aggregate score of 11-1. No need divulging who for.

As bad as that record may be, it’s also somewhat forgivable given City’s recent dominance of the division. Far from acceptable, the disparity between both sides during that time lends a helping hand.

What is (far) worse is the sickening journey the fans have been on since we played City at their home in January 2015. Arsene Wenger plumped for pragmatism over idealism on the day, with the approach bearing fruit as Santi Cazorla and Giroud secured an excellent 2-0 win.

70 months later, 28 matches on, Arsenal have not won an away Premier League fixture against a ‘big six’ side. Diddly squat. Nada. Sweet b***er all.

It doesn’t get better, either.

The Gunners have kept just one clean sheet – a 0-0 draw at Chelsea in 2017  – during this barren, excruciating spell, and have secured just ten points from a possible 81. Apologies to all reading as there is no doubt at the point you’re having traumatic flashbacks to some of the classic thumpings Arsenal have been on the end of. There is a heavily stocked smörgåsbord to choose from.

Mikel Arteta has since instilled more grit and resilience into the side, bought better players and lifted confidence levels, but the record still stands. However, victories away from home against City, Chelsea and Liverpool have been forthcoming in recent times.

Primed and ready, the relentless suffering that’s taken place over the last five and a half years needs to come to its slow-burning-already-set-the-house-on-fire eventual demise. Right back where it all started would be a romantic setting to lay the first building block of the restructured foundation Arteta has assembled.

Agony such as that felt at Anfield, White Hart Lane, Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium buried deep into our psyches, banished to the history books.

Next: Partey Versatility

A fresh start for a fresh team with fresh vivification.