There’s a saying that people don’t ask for help until they hit rock bottom. Well, hopefully, Arsenal is at that point. If the club is not there yet, it’s going to get very ugly in north London.
Early signs are worrisome. Two games, two losses. Zero goals scored, four goals conceded. It’s the team’s worst start to a season in 118 years. Mikel Arteta is under serious pressure. A resounding victory over West Brom sure did help, though.
Of course, the press and the pundits love to pile on and with the Internet and social media, it’s even easier to rip a team to shreds for a bad start. Yes, things do look bad, but this is only after two matches. Just two out of 38 total.
During the Premier League era, the Gunners have started two other seasons with two losses to open a new campaign. As we all know it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. As a fan, I am indeed frustrated and disappointed at how hard Arsenal has fallen. To all of a sudden become the ‘banter’ club among rival fans, hurts. However, it’s a bit premature to judge a team based on just two matches.
Arsenal: 8 poor starts to the season and the results that followed after Mikel Arteta oversees dreadful opening to 2021/22 Premier League
I decided to look back at Arsenal’s worst Premier League starts. Rather than judging the team after only two matches, I’ve used the team’s point accumulation through September to determine bad starts in past seasons. These slow starts will include where the team stood at the end of September and where they would eventually finish.
Arsenal is currently in a sad state, but things can turn around. For example, back in 1988/89, the Gunners accumulated just one point through September under George Graham.
The club lost its first three matches, drew its fourth, and lost its fifth. It wasn’t until October 1 that the team won its first game. It’s hard to believe, but Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season.
Here’s a look at Arsenal’s worst starts to a season in the Premier League era:
1. George Graham and the inaugural season of the Premier League
The 1992/93 campaign was the first season of the newly named English Premier League.
Things got off to a bad start as Arsenal lost on opening day to Norwich City 2-4 at Highbury. The club then lost again away to Blackburn 1-0 three days later.
George Graham led the Gunners to the club’s first victory on matchday three with a 2-0 win at Anfield.
Despite losing its first two games, Arsenal ended September ninth in the table with 14 points. The club went on to finish with a less than impressive tenth place finish.
In the end, the season wasn’t a total disaster as Graham’s side won the League Cup and the FA Cup. Both trophies came at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday.