Arsenal stuck in self-defeating cycle as they head for Chelsea showdown | Amy Lawrence

The damaging home defeat by Watford has raised familiar concerns about the capability of Arsène Wenger’s side to maintain a title challenge when the pressure is really on

The vast majority of a football manager’s life revolves around dealing with situations that are testing, thought-provoking and demanding but once in a while something magical comes along that makes all the questions and pressures and nonsense they have to deal with in their everyday work seem humdrum.

For Arsène Wenger one of those came along at the beginning of this season when he watched his team produce a blueprint performance. Chelsea were demolished with a swagger, 3-0 at the Emirates, thanks to an impressive demonstration of dashing attacking mixed with rigorous team control. “It’s one of those moments in your life where you think: ‘Today is a great day,’” said Wenger.

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