Arsenal travel to Sutton United on Monday night in the FA Cup with Arsene Wenger probably aware that he can’t win no matter what happens.
After the defeat in Germany, the pressure is really on Wenger and his squad. In fact, he’s likely to bring a relatively strong team to Gander Green Lane, desperate to avoid this non-league banana skin.
There should be no contest between the two sides, but we all know that isn’t how football works, Wenger more than anyone. Especially at Arsenal.
So why can’t he win?
Consider the likely media reactions to the following scenarios:
Arsenal win by scoring 6 or more
Expect no praise. Arsenal should win this game by a margin of at least six.
Arsenal win by less than a 6-goal margin
They really should have done better.
Arsenal scrape a win
Total carnage. Broken cannons everywhere.
Some of those headlines would be warranted, but this sort of game has no up side for the Gunners.
They are expected to win, and win well.
Anything less and Pandora’s Box springs wide open again, even with Wenger trying to sit on the lid.