- Arsene Wenger's men failed to consistently challenge for the title since moving to the Emirates.
- However, they came close on a couple of occasions, one of them being the 2010/11 season.
- Then Arsenal blew a chance to close the gap to United by letting a 4-goal lead against Newcastle slip and Gael Clichy insists that was due to a lack of spine.
Arsenal have received criticism of a soft underbelly levelled at them a lot down the years and former left-back Gael Clichy believes that was the difference between challenging for top honours and being 'also-rans'.
"We could go anywhere and play anyone off the park then all of a sudden we could crumble in just a few minutes. We were young, we had plenty of talent but people were talking about what we were missing and maybe that was a bit of experience," he told Premier League Productions.
"We had that team but even today’s team they have that quality to score four goals in 10 minutes," Clichy added. "Don’t ask me why Arsenal have always been able to do this but they can also even today concede goals for fun."
"That was one of our weaknesses of the time, the long ball, the set pieces and getting physical," he continued.
"I’m actually shocked nobody reacted [to the Nolan-Szczesny incident]. Okay, Kevin did something wrong and someone should have seen it but we should have been there for the goalkeeper.
"But that shows you what type of team we were, an amazing team but we lacked character if you want. Even with a lead of three goals, we could feel the fans pushing and the second goal I could feel that it was going to be difficult to win."
The incident Clichy is referring to was Nolan trying to wrestle the ball from Szczesny's arms after the goalkeeper claimed it. Referee Graham Poll later admitted it should have been a second yellow for the Newcastle man.
The draw itself is up there with the most disappointing results. We are pretty sure it's the biggest in-game lead lost to date. And though Clichy probably has a point overall, we are a bit surprised he speaks out in such a disrespectful fashion about his former club. After all, he was part of that squad too.