Hopes of a new chapter in Gunners lore dashed by opening-day loss at Brentford

Arsenal’s hopes of starting a new chapter in their history this season suffered a shock opening day defeat away to Brentford.

Arsenal’s hopes of ending their trophy drought this season took a major blow last weekend when they were beaten 1-0 to Brentford at The Emirates, a result that proved too much for Arsenal to overcome.

For all Arsenal fans, yesterday’s 3-1 defeat at Brentford was a disappointing start to the new season, and was the perfect way for the Gunners to start their campaign. Not only did it end with the Gunners recently-defunct dominance of the league, but it also saw a piece of history go to Chelsea, who became the first side ever to start a Premier League season without a win. Furthermore, the match also marked the first time that Arsenal lost to a team in the Championship since losing to Stoke in the 2007-08 season.. Read more about premier league and let us know what you think.

LONDON, United Kingdom — Except for Arsenal, the opening of a new Premier League season is accompanied with a feeling of renewal and optimism.

Brentford, a west London enclave without top-flight football for 74 years and eager to fill their new stadium for the first time, epitomized that excitement and expectation. To add to the excitement, fans were allowed to return without capacity limits for the first time, cramming 16,479 fans into this small but comfortable stadium bordered on three sides by railway lines.

And how Thomas Frank’s staff handled the situation admirably. Sergi Canos calmed any concerns with a 22nd-minute shot past Bernd Leno, before the hosts extended their lead 17 minutes from time with a goal from a throw-in that exemplified how they out-fought and out-thought opponents who should have known better in an emotional 2-0 victory.

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“We’re just a bus stop in Hounslow, yet we’re top of the League,” Frank summed up the David and Goliath atmosphere thereafter.

The most damning part of this is that there wasn’t much of an upheaval in the first place. Brentford sources were quietly optimistic all week that they could defy their underdog reputation and create a stir, aware of Arsenal’s long-standing soft underbelly.

What does it say about the Gunners that they were shown to be so spot-on? It’s clearly too early to call a team in trouble after the first game of the season, but this outcome reflects an incomplete summer rather than 90 minutes.

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Even if it was unfortunate that both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were unable to play due to illness, and key midfielder Thomas Partey was unable to play due to an ankle injury, there are still questions to be asked about a process that allowed a 20-year-old, Folarin Balogun, to lead the line on his debut in such difficult circumstances.

Balogun has the potential to be anything, but he isn’t quite there yet. Neither were Arsenal, despite the fact that this was such a crucial game given the club’s fragile mood, Mikel Arteta’s attempt to implement a culture shift, and a fixture list that pits them against Champions League winners Chelsea and Premier League winners Manchester City before the end of the month.

Instead, despite having Ben White, their £50 million centre-back, and Albert Sambi Lokonga, their £17 million midfielder, on the pitch, this seemed all too familiar: weak at the back and sterile in attack.

All night, White and his defensive partner Pablo Mari battled. As Arsenal struggled to demonstrate any continuous offensive cohesiveness to push their way back into the game, their third summer acquisition, Nuno Tavares, made an unsuccessful late substitution cameo. They fired 22 bullets, but just four were on target, demonstrating the desperation on display.

In their 2-0 defeat at Brentford on Friday night, Arsenal looked weak defensively and seldom threatened going forward. Getty Images/Shaun Botterill

Bukayo Saka, who was cheered on from all four corners of the stadium after missing the game-winning penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy, provided some new energy as a second-half replacement to complement Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney’s flashes of purpose. Arsenal’s greatest chance of improvement remains to be that trio.

Meanwhile, Willian, who earns £100,000 a week, was nowhere to be seen, while wantaway midfielder Lucas Torreira used the half-time break to tweet a photo of himself and his family at a Madrid theme park on social media. Arsenal may be a bit early to be on the roller coaster, but they are.

Calum Chambers, perhaps an unusual choice at right-back with Hector Bellerin still at the club and on the bench alongside Cedric Soares, was beaten too easily by Canos, as was Leno at his near post. Leno, remember, is the only senior goalkeeper at the club after the Gunners sent Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa last summer and Mat Ryan ended his loan spell by returning to Brighton & Hove Albion.


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At the very least, Leno needs more competition on this evidence, especially after being crowded out to concede the simplest of goals that killed the contest. A long throw-in from substitute Mads Sorensen reached the near post where Ivan Toney pressurised Leno and Chambers to force the ball on and Christian Norgaard nodded in his first goal in English football.

Despite the fact that the club is ideally searching for a creative midfielder, a backup goalkeeper, and a striker with less than three weeks remaining in the summer transfer season, Arteta struck a disgruntled figure throughout and maintained they would not panic in the market.

“My emphasis is on the players we have,” he added, “trying to get the most out of them, get the best out of the squad, and find a way to win football matches.” “We have a very clear idea of what we want to do, what our strengths are, and where we can grow, and I don’t believe today’s performance contradicts what we already believe.”

The issue is that you aren’t demonstrating anything different. And the time is ticking away.

Arsenal’s new season began on the wrong foot on Saturday, as the Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Brentford in an uninspiring opening-day fixture. The result was a major disappointment, given the Gunners’ impressive early-season form last year.. Read more about chelsea and let us know what you think.

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