A month ago, Liverpool were flying and Arsenal were on the brink of implosion

That game at Anfield was the end of Arsenal FC. At least, that was the impression you got from the reaction to the team’s performance and the way they so predictably yet so infuriatingly surrendered to a 4-0 defeat.

Gary Neville was frothing at the mouth on commentary, angry on behalf of the watching Arsenal supporters. Ex-Arsenal players rounded on the club, the manager and the players.

Fans all over demanded sweeping changes just four days away from the end of the transfer window.

The season, as far as everyone was concerned, was over after just one game.

Football, though, is a game of cycles.

A team’s fortunes can rise or fall at any given moment.

Few managers understand this better than Arsene Wenger, who has been through enough crises during his stint as Arsenal manager to know that collapse is further away than some say it is.

Even in the face of yet another horrible away-to-the-big-boys defeat, he just about kept his head and got Arsenal back to their stable ways. The game was, in his opinion, played in “special circumstances”, and wasn’t representative of Arsenal’s quality.

A month later and it seems Wenger may have been right.

Arsenal had an easier set of fixtures to come and restored balance to the starting line-up.

Wins against Bournemouth and West Brom in the league helped Arsenal climb the table, a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge helped heal some of the wounds inflicted at Anfield while progress was made in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup.

September had its dodgy, at times comical, moments, but proved once again to be a very kind month to Arsenal.

In contrast, Liverpool have hit a low ebb in their fortune cycle.

People were purring over their attack during that 4-0 win.

Exciting individual talents like Mane and Salah were tearing defences apart and devastatingly quick counter attacks left some giddy but there was a resounding crash back down to earth a week later in Manchester.

That game, too, may have been played in “special circumstances” – as much as Mane kicking someone in the head can be considered a freak accident, anyway – but Liverpool went down 5-0 to City. Draws against Sevilla and Burnley followed, before they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Leicester.

They just about beat the Foxes in the league days later, before labouring to another draw, this time in Russia against Spartak Moscow.

Amusingly, the contrasting September form of both teams was marked by the sale of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Since the midfielder/winger/full back/bench sitter joined Liverpool, they’ve won just once in seven games.

Arsenal, on the other hand, won six out of their seven matches. Liverpool’s problems extend far beyond Chamberlain, but it’s almost as if Arsenal sent them a bad luck charm, and charged them £35m for it.

The lesson to be learned here is that the football season is a long one.

Come the end of October the two teams could be in completely different positions again; Arsenal may be struggling to collect points while Liverpool could be flying. Such is the way with two inconsistent teams, just about good enough to bother the top of the table but not quite good enough to stay there.

To predict which team will do better, and to claim with any certainty that one is better than the other, is to ignore the blatant flaws they both possess.

Previous articlePremier League fans rate Emirates’ atmosphere as joint-worst
Next articleHIV in 2017 – Who, what and how?
News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,