Where has it all gone wrong for Arsenal this season?

Arsenal's Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona on Thursday marked the latest stage in the unravelling of their season.

Flamini

Source: Getty Images

The as-expected failure to turn around the last-16 tie at the Nou Camp, three days on from the shock FA Cup quarter-final loss to Watford, has left a faltering Barclays Premier League title bid as the Gunners' only chance of claiming a trophy in 2015-2016.

Look away Arsenal fans, here's a look at how things have gone wrong for Arsene Wenger's side this season.

Champions League

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This is the sixth successive season in which Arsenal have been eliminated in the first knockout stage of the Champions League - an outcome that arguably looked probable from the moment they were drawn to face defending champions Barcelona.

They were only able to be paired with the Catalan club because Wenger's men came second in their group rather than winning it. Given that group featured Bayern Munich, it was always going to be tough to try to finish top, but getting things started with hugely disappointing defeats at Dinamo Zagreb and at home against Olympiacos only made life more difficult.

Arsenal's dramatic recovery in the pool then saw them beat Bayern - but they could not repeat those kind of heroics when it came to tackling Barca in the next round, going down 2-0 at home and 3-1 away.

Domestic Cups

Having gone all the way in each of the last two seasons to claim their only silverware since 2004-05, the Gunners have found plenty of comfort in the FA Cup in recent years - but that came to an end on Sunday when Watford triumphed 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

Certainly, it was a surprise result. But it was in keeping with Arsenal's recent form, with them having won only once in their previous six games in all competitions. And their efforts in the fifth and fourth rounds at home had given indications they could be vulnerable to an upset; a 0-0 draw with Hull - who they subsequently beat 4-0 in the replay at the KC Stadium - and a narrow 2-1 win over another Championship side, Burnley, respectively.

They had also already fallen victim to a considerable giant-killing earlier in the season when their Capital One Cup run came to an end in round four, second tier Sheffield Wednesday seeing them off 3-0 at Hillsborough in October.

Premier League

Arsenal started the calendar year top of the Premier League table and being tipped by many as favourites to become champions. Now, with nine games to go and them having suffered a major collapse, it is questionable whether they stand any real chance.

After a 1-0 victory over Newcastle on January 2, Wenger's side won only two of their next nine top-flight games, and the point secured last time out in the derby against Tottenham was their first in three matches.

The Gunners are third, six points behind second-placed Spurs and 11 adrift of leaders Leicester, with both the latter pair having eight league fixtures remaining.

Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Everton on Saturday - and they will head there looking to fight back against suggestions their season is already over.

Ian Wright, a star of Wenger's early sides in Arsenal's Highbury days, now sees little prospect of the Frenchman staying if the Gunners finish the season empty-handed, and believes most fans also want him to go after almost 20 years in charge.

Wright told BT Sport: "Especially with how it's going with Leicester and Tottenham above them and Arsenal coming out of the Champions League and FA Cup ... if they finish third or fourth again, I think the natives have turned and there's more there who want the boss out than want him in.

"I'm not sure if he will still be there in the summer, if they don't win the league.

"It's a very tough one for me, but I think change is a-coming.

"At some stage it's got to happen and I think something's got to happen this season with what's happening with Arsenal, especially if they don't win the league."


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4 min read
Published 17 March 2016 at 9:17am
Source: PA Sport