West Brom’s Darren Fletcher has highlighted Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny as the two Arsenal players who were trying to sort out the shambles we call a defence.

Forewarned that the Baggies would be dangerous from set-pieces, Arsenal nevertheless conspired to conceded two that way anyway.

Losing Cech to an injury compounded what was already a dodgy display, as Fletcher explained to Alan Brazil on talkSPORT this morning. “The old school leaders are falling out of the game, there’s no doubt about that,”  Fletcher said.

“Petr Cech was a blow for them because he was trying to organise at set-pieces and Laurent Koscielny is not your typical leader, but he was trying to rally the troops. 

“I think they’re stuck in a rut just now, that result in Europe was disappointing and sometimes you get stuck in this little rut and you’ve got to group together as characters to get out of it. 

“I’m sure they’ll give it one last push to get in that top four as they always seem to do, they always seem to make it.”

While Arsenal are renowned for finishing strongly to secure a top four slot ahead of Tottenham, this season it seems like it could finally be out of reach.

A string of tough fixtures await after the international break and before the end of April Arsenal will have played Manchester City and Leicester City at home as well as a trip to Spurs. United, Stoke, and Everton all have to be played in the final month of the season making this quite possibly the toughest top four chase of Wenger’s reign.