Arsenal’s hot start to the season is the worst in the league in 46 years … but where did the Gunners end this 1974/75 season when they lost 1-0 at home to Burnley!
- Arsenal’s loss to Burnley was their fourth straight home loss
- Mikel Arteta’s team is in 15th place with 13 points from 12 games
- Gunners haven’t started such a bad league campaign since the 1974/75 season
- On that occasion, Arsenal lost 1-0 at home to Burnley and 2-0 at Tottenham
- But where did Arsenal end up and is there a way to recover this time?
Five defeats from the last six and just five points above the relegation zone – it’s fair to say that Arsenal are on the ropes.
Sunday’s shocking home defeat to Burnley – the Emirates’ fourth in the Premier League trot – means the Gunners have had their worst start to a league season in 46 years.
Mikel Arteta’s team is in 15th place and a team without self-confidence is currently dropping into the discipline department.
Arsenal’s loss to Burnley means they have had their worst start to a league season in 46 years
For Gunners manager Mikel Arteta it was a real nightmare this season
Granit Xhaka’s departure cost her a lot of money on Sunday as his irritable grip on Ashley Westwood’s throat meant he saw red – it came just three weeks after Nicolas Pepe’s headbutt against Leeds United.
In fact, it says a lot to look back to the mid-1970s, when Arsenal last plundered domestic lows like this.
Back then, under the direction of club legend Bertie Mee in the 1974/75 season, Arsenal played twelve games without a win in all competitions at the beginning of the season.
Ironically, that included a 1-0 home loss to Burnley as well as a 2-0 home loss to Tottenham in a copy that season.
The bottom that year came 10 years later when a 2-0 loss to Leeds on Elland Road meant they hit the bottom of the old First Division.
Bertie Mee’s Arsenal team also struggled early 46 years ago, finishing last in the league
From November, however, everything turned around when a 3-1 win at leaders Liverpool kicked off the campaign for Mee and his stars, which included strikers Charlie George as well as Alan Ball and Liam Brady.
Club legend Pat Rice, who ended his 56-year partnership with the club in the summer, was part of the squad, as was Brian Kidd, who still works on the Manchester City backroom team under Pep Guardiola.
But that victory at Anfield did not take the Gunners to greater heights. From that point on, results fluctuated and while avoiding relegation it was down to four points, with Luton, Chelsea and Carlisle falling.
As is well known, Arsenal of course never relegated – but the 1974/75 season was one of the occasions when they came closest and finished 16th in the table.
An Arsenal team with striker Charlie George (pictured) underperformed in 1974-75
There was also no cup win to make up for the league disappointment as they were knocked out in the FA Cup quarter-finals by West Ham and the second round of the League Cup by Leicester.
Did Mee face the blow at the end of a subpar season? Not quite, though he didn’t hang around Highbury too long.
After 10 years, including the championship title and the FA Cup, Mee resigned as the most successful manager in the club’s history in 1976 with 241 wins – a record that has since been exceeded by Arsene Wenger.
However, in modern times, patience is much less when it comes to executive losses.
Even though Arteta is only one year on a three-year contract, the Spaniard needs to spark a reaction on his side, pronto.
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not scored a goal in the league’s open game for 3 months
It looks bad for Arteta – the Spaniard needs quick results just one year after his tenure
The fixture list is also far from cake – they chat in the form of Southampton on Wednesday night. Additionally, they won’t be fans in the Emirates as London will be subject to Tier 3 restrictions.
The Gunners then face Everton in Goodison before playing against Chelsea on Boxing Day – an EFL Cup quarter-final against Manchester City lies in between.
Something has to change soon, because Arteta won’t get the same time as Mee 46 years ago. And if Arsenal aren’t careful, they may look behind them with concern before they can start having aspirations in the top half.