Without Alexis and Koscielny, we fell to a miserable defeat at the Bet365 Stadium at the hands of Stoke City at the weekend, forcing thousands of Arsenal fans to boycott Match of the Day.

After a goalless first half, new Stoke signing Jese scored after a decent move which pulled our already out of position defence from pillar to post, the Spaniard putting the ball across the hapless Cech to take the lead just 90 seconds after the break.

We coulda, woulda, shoulda had a couple of penalties, and also had a goal disallowed after Lacazette’s sweet finish, but we couldn’t break down a resolute City defence, with their keeper having an absolute blinder.

As we chased the game, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi came on but did nothing at all to help the chase for an equaliser.

We HAVE to pick ourselves up for a visit to Anfield this weekend and then our next away game after that is champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the side who tore apart Spurs at Wembley yesterday, and between those two precarious away games, we also have a home game against Bournemouth and our first Europa League game.

4 defenders on the way out?

This season could be off to a absolutely terrible start if we fail to get anything out of our first 3 away days and/or drop points at home to The Cherries piling the pressure on our already-under-fire manager. With two more defeats on the road, should we beat Bournemouth at home we could be looking at just 6 points out of a possible 15 – not the form of a side who were supposed to be chasing the league this season.

I hate to be so negative, but things are looking very much like they did last season right now. We just have to hope the return of Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny can stabilise the squad and give us more options to help Wenger find the right blend before we lose yet more ground on the league leaders United who seem to be flying out of the blocks this term.