Gunned down! Sportsmail lists the key dates that have led to Arsenal's disastrous start

By Dan Ripley for MailOnline

Arsenal's defeat at Tottenham on Sunday was the latest in a long line of setbacks that the club have faced since the end of last season.

As the Gunners continue to misfire, Sportsmail chronicles the timeline of how Arsene Wenger's team have gone from one disaster to the next from the pre-season mishaps to the embarrassing defeats.

I didn't see it: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (right) reacts during the defeat at Tottenham

I didn't see it: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (right) reacts during the defeat at Tottenham

 

June 4: It was minor news when Jack Wilshere picked up an ankle knock in England's 2-2 draw with Switzerland. So minor he was able to complete the full 90 minutes.

But instead of making an expected full recovery in time for pre-season, it was the start of an injury saga that will likely continue until at least February.

Pastures new: Gael Clichy led the Arsenal exodus

Pastures new: Gael Clichy led the Arsenal exodus

July 4: The first of Wenger's regular starters to leave over the summer was Gael Clichy, who joined league rivals Manchester City in a £7million deal.

Although the loss of the left-back was a minor blow, it highlighted thoughts of a perceived lack of ambition amongst the first team at the Emirates Stadium.

July 31: Wilshere lasts just seven minutes in a friendly against New York Red Bulls, limping off after suffering further damage to his ankle. The club expect him back for the start of the new season.

Back home: After months of speculation, Cesc Fabregas finally joined Barcelona

Back home: After months of speculation, Cesc Fabregas finally joined Barcelona

August 15: On the eve of the new campaign, Arsenal finally let their grip loose on Cesc Fabregas, allowing the midfielder to move to Barcelona for £35million following the Catalan club's relentless two-year-pursuit of the 24-year-old.

The timing of the move was damaging for the Gunners as they had just two weeks to find a replacement before the closure of the transfer window.

August 16: Just a day later the Arsenal exodus continued, with Emmanuel Eboue agreeing terms with Turkish side Galatasaray.

The right-back became the third first-team player to leave the club during the summer, with his replacement coming in the form of the young but raw Carl Jenkinson, who signed from Charlton Athletic for £1m in June.

Thumbs up: Samir Nasri followed Clichy to Manchester City

Thumbs up: Samir Nasri followed Clichy to Manchester City

August 20: Following a draw at Newcastle in their opening Premier League game, Arsenal's first match since Fabregas's departure saw them slump to a 2-0 home defeat against Liverpool.

The game marked the full debut of academy player Emmanuel Frimpong, but despite showing promise the midfielder was sent off after 68 minutes following a rash tackle on Lucas.

With the numbers game in their favour, Liverpool scored twice in the final 12 minutes to condemn the Gunners to defeat – it marked the last appearance of Samir Nasri in an Arsenal shirt…

August 24: …because four days later he was off to Manchester City. The midfielder had been a star for Arsenal in the previous season, but the lure of following in the footsteps of ex-Arsenal team mates Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor and Clichy to the high resources and ambition at the Etihad Stadium proved too tempting.

Writing's on the wall: Arsenal suffered their biggest Premier League defeat at Manchester United

Writing's on the wall: Arsenal suffered their biggest Premier League defeat at Manchester United

August 28: Arsenal's season had gone from a challenging task to a rocky start in a couple of months but after 90 minutes at Old Trafford it turned into absolute carnage.

The Gunners were thumped 8-2 by Manchester United – handing the club their record Premier League defeat and piling pressure on Arsene Wenger to spend money in the transfer market.

Jenkinson became the third Arsenal player to be sent off in as many games following the dismissals of Gervinho at Newcastle and Frimpong.

A day later, Armand Traore – a starter at Old Trafford – was sold to QPR as Wenger sought to shake up a squad that had declined in quality and had its confidence shattered.

Having had all summer to find replacements, Wenger left it until the final three days to start his procrastinated search.

August 31: Arsenal were the stars on transfer deadline day, with Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Yossi Benayoun joining Park Chu-young, who had signed a day earlier, at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal's summer spending took them over the £50million mark for the 11 players they brought in, but the sale of key-men meant the Gunners operated at a summer profit of over £20million.

Concern: Arsene Wenger looks on as Jack Wilshere limps off against New York Red Bulls

Concern: Arsene Wenger looks on as Jack Wilshere limps off against New York Red Bulls

September 4: Three days after being given the all clear to resume light training, Wilshere is ruled out for a further three months after 'pushing himself too hard' in his comeback.

September 6: Two days later, Wenger receives another injury blow when centre-back Thomas Vermaelen undergoes an operation on his achilles that could keep him out for up to two months.

September 13: Arsenal are denied a morale boosting win in the opening game of the Champions League group stages at Borussia Dortmund, after an Ivan Perisic's wonder strike two minutes from time cancelled out Robin van Persie's opener.

September 17: The Gunners then crash to their third defeat in four league games after losing 4-3 in an astonishing encounter at Blackburn.

The misfiring Rovers were 2-1 down at the break before storming into a 4-2 lead with Marouane Chamakh heading a consolation strike with five minutes to go.

The game highlighted serious problems in the Gunner's defensive ranks with the hosts having only five shots on target compared to the Gunners' 16.

Only two teams in Premier League history had conceded more than Arsenal's 14 goals in their first five games, as Arsenal continued their worst ever start to a Premier League season.

All Rover the place: Arsenal players look on after Blackburn take the lead

All Rover the place: Arsenal players look on after Blackburn take the lead

September 26: Wilshere's injury nightmare hits a new low after an operation rules him out of action until February.

England boss Fabio Capello had already questioned Arsenal's handling of the injury, pointing at the club's decision to let the 19-year-old rest and not treat him in the summer.

White Hurt Lane: Bacary Sagna broke his leg in the defeat at Tottenham

White Hurt Lane: Bacary Sagna broke his leg in the defeat at Tottenham

October 2: Going into the north London derby as clear underdogs for the first time in Wenger's reign, Arsenal slump to a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham with another poor defensive display only covered by some superb shot stopping from Wojciech Szczesny.

More bad news came in the shape of an injury to Bacary Sagna, with the defender ruled out for three months after suffering a broken leg.

It leaves the Gunners with just seven points from their first seven games – forcing Wenger to admit the league title is already out of reach.


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