There has not been much Christmas cheer around Arsenal recently with Gunners fans fearing another season of glorious failure.
Arsenal’s first back-to-back defeats in nine months to Everton and Manchester City have left the Gunners trailing league leaders Chelsea to nine points and in danger of slipping out of contention for the title yet again.
The damaging defeats to Everton and City were hard to take especially when Arsenal had the lead in both games, but the manner of the meek surrender in both games has left goodwill in this festive season in short supply around the Emirates.
Arsenal’s tendency to come up short in big matches has cost them over the last few seasons with the Gunners failing to win any of their last 21 games away against their top six rivals and it is that form which will prevent them from becoming serious title contenders.
It is not just at Christmas that Arsene Wenger is seen as a Scrooge type character by the club’s fans with supporters venting their spleens for Wenger to splash the type of cash that their Premier League rivals normally do.
Wenger is reluctant to spend big just for the sake of it and in all likelihood is unlikely to do much shopping in the January transfer window to strengthen his squad.
Wenger’s position has came come under scrutiny as Arsenal tread that familiar path of faltering in the league when everything looks well-placed for a first Premier League title since 2004.
Wenger celebrated his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager in October, but there is a growing number of Gunners fans who want to see the Frenchman leave the club when his contract expires next summer.
However, Arsenal fans should be careful what they wish for and should look at what has happened at rivals Manchester United in the wake of the long-serving Sir Alex Ferguson quitting Old Trafford.
Things could look at a lot different for Arsenal after Christmas with the fixture schedule looking kind for the Gunners with winnable games against Bournemouth, Swansea, Burnley and Watford in the Premier League coming up.
Wenger has rode out the storm at Arsenal for a number of years and he always produces the minimum of finishing in the top four and bringing Champions League football to the club every season.
But the big concern for Arsenal fans is that no manager has contested more Champions League games without winning the trophy than Wenger.
Lady luck has not been on Wenger’s side lately either with Arsenal drawning old foes Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League despite finishing top of their group for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign.
Arsenal have seen their European dreams ended at the first knockout stage in each of the past six seasons and another exit at the hands of Bayern will give Wenger’s detractors more ammunition to call for a change at the top.
It is not just the future of Wenger that will come under scrutiny if results do not improve at Arsenal with key duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil stalling over signing new deals.
The attacking pair are seen as key to Arsenal’s aspirations of future success and failure to keep both of them would come as a major blow to the club and supporters alike.
Failure to tie down Sanchez and Ozil to new deals will send out the wrong signals and if Arsenal find themselves out of contention for the Premier League and Champions League by February they could find it even more difficult to persuade the pair to extend their stays in North London.
Last season was regarded as a big miss by Arsenal as they failed to keep pace with Leicester in the title race while many of their traditional rivals floundered and Wenger will be running out of excuses if he allows Chelsea to move further out of sight during the Christmas period.