2018 is finally at an end and what a year it was.

Let’s recap some of the standouts from a calendar year most of us are glad to see the back of….

1A

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – MARCH 04: A dejected looking Petr Cech of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at Amex Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

AWAY days

One away league win in the whole of the 17/18 season meant thousands of Arsenal fans spent a large part of 2018 travelling long distances just to be miserable.

Although the first half of the 18/19 season brought improvement in this area under Unai Emery, I’m writing this after we’ve just been tonked 5-1 at Anfield in a display that had all the hallmarks of a late-era Arsene Wenger team.

Everything changes, yet everything stays the same.

Trips away from home, by their very nature, should be tougher than games at home, but a club of Arsenal’s stature should not be struggling so regularly when they leave the safe confines of Ashburton Grove. This seems like a football fundamental all involved in the game should understand, yet we seem to run into problems on the road with alarming regularity, many of which could be addressed ahead of time.

Teams at the bottom of the table can go to places like Anfield and not ship a bucketful of goals. Arsenal can’t and that is a damming indictment of the rot that has been allowed to set in at the club. We still seem surprised that teams might fight a little bit harder in front of their own fans.

Under Wenger last season Arsenal were sixth in the away league, playing 19, winning just four while losing 11. Of course three of those wins came in 2017.

Under Emery, things are marginally better. We’ve already won four league games away from home but we’ve also conceded 21 goals compared to 31 in the whole of last season away.

Admittedly, we’re also scoring a lot more too which helps. We’ve netted 22 away from home under Emery in the league. We only managed 20 in the whole of last season.

For now, we file ‘away days’ under the category of ‘more shit to sort out’.

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