Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Liverpool is a horrible reflection on how far Arsenal have fallen under Arsene Wenger. The Gunners were thoroughly dominated by Liverpool and deserved far less than what they got.
Seeing Arsenal penned deep into their own half for large periods of the game was a massive departure from the possession possessed Wenger sides of 2006-20011; them being unable to win back the ball and swiftly break on the counter like the earlier Wenger sides was equally disappointing.
Whatever style Wenger implemented, Arsenal were the envy of the Premier League. They were the neutral's favourites and pundits lined down the block to shower superlatives at the latest of Wenger's genius creations. Nowadays, whenever anyone mentions Wenger or any of his players, it is usually followed with a barrage of criticism.
That season Arsenal were quite irresistible in front of goal as an attack augmented by Cesc Fabregas having his best season for Arsenal, an in-form Andrei Arshavin, Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie and Eduardo helped them to score 83 goals. Since then they have not reached a figure anywhere near that total. That fact was not lost on fans and pundits alike as they universally lauded Liverpool and Manchester City for their spellbinding football last season - their thrashings of Arsenal essentially dethroning the Gunners as the most entertaining side in the Premier League.
The popular assumption of Arsenal losing their verve is held up by the declining stats last season. Their average possession went down to 56.7% and although their pass success rate went up to 85.5%, this in essence could be down to making safer passes as opposed to creative passes - a view held up by the fact Arsenal only averaged 13.8 shots per game - the ninth highest in the league last season.
This season Arsenal have ditched the 4-2-3-1 formation in favour of the more attacking 4-1-4-1, as well as 4-3-3 in recent games. It has helped them to retain the ball more, as evidenced with a possession average of 58.9% and pass success rate of 84.8% - the second and fifth highest respectively in the league. The increased numbers in attack has also helped them to register more shots on goal - their tally of 16.6 is the second highest in the Premier League. However, for all their huffing and puffing, they have looked rather lacklustre in front of goal, save for Alexis Sanchez.
It isn't that Arsenal aren't coherent as team, the stats back them up as such, it is that they lack the attacking cast to turn their ball playing into anything tangible. They have gone from having an all star cast that included Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright and Nicolas Anelka in the double winning side of 1998; to the Invincibles of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Fredrik Ljungberg, Nwankwo Kanu and Bergkamp, to just Sanchez in 2014. It was exactly the same last season as Aaron Ramsey was their saviour - a view upheld by the fact Arsenal's title challenge disintegrated immediately after the midfielder was injured. It was exactly the same when Robin van Persie single handedly fired Arsenal to the Champions League in 2012 from the most unlikely of positions.
It is a slide that Wenger has overseen and shows no sign of slowing down with him at the helm.
*Statistics from WhoScored.