WHEN Mesut Ozil was put clean through by the pass of the game it was set up for him to seal victory for Arsenal.
The shot was tame, goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes saved easily, Watford were let off the hook and a minute later were level from the penalty spot.
Matches in the Premier League are often defined by such fine margins but it highlighted again the soft centre that continues to cause Arsenal problems.
You know that opposition sides now sense that if they put the pressure on they may just be able to nick a result.
It’s a case of Groundhog Day for Arsenal and their fans. We know the side lacks leaders.
We know they need an injection of ruthlessness.
The worrying thing is when Watford drew level you looked for those leaders, but sensed that Watford saw their chance.
But we’ve known that for years now.
They were missing Sanchez, rested after international duty, but despite that you do get they sense that his heart isn’t truly in it anymore.
Speculation of a move in the next transfer window doesn’t help.
And though I don’t think for a minute Ozil’s miss had anything to do with his contract being up, it doesn’t help the overall attitude and feeling in the squad knowing that in a couple of months those two key players can start negotiating to play for another club with their contracts up in the summer.
Two players worth a combined £100million in today’s market are heading out the door for free in two of the longest and potentially most ignominious goodbyes in the club’s history.
That is unless one of the big clubs is so desperate for an injection of talent that they will pay good money for one of them in January.
That in a nutshell is the problem at Arsenal.
By giving Arsene Wenger a new contract in the summer it was made clear to the players and the fans that failure to win the title over the last 13 years doesn’t matter.
Arsenal should have sold them at the start of the summer transfer window, or even six months before that and got in some young hungry players who do want to be there.
Because that is what Arsenal lacks and has done for some time now, any hunger.
They have a manager who put together one of the most awesome sides in Premier League history in the late nineties early 2000’s but with recent sides he hasn’t been able to recapture the winning formula-players with desire, who want to fight until the final whistle, who love the shirt as much as their fans do.
Wenger chose to stay in the summer when he could have left the club with plaudits ringing in his ears.
To have beaten Champions Chelsea in an FA Cup final and so landing the competition for a third time in four years provided the perfect opportunity for him to say thank you and good bye last May.
He didn’t take it, and you knew because of the frustration among some of the fans that Arsenal were only ever going to be one bad result away from a perceived crisis.
Despite the recruitment of Lacazette and Kolasinac, Arsenal weren’t going to have enough to challenge for the title.
But even after defeat at Watford, they can still comfortably make the top four and of course win another trophy.
Let’s not forget they managed to snatch second place two years ago from under the noses of neighbours Tottenham.
Yet it was Spurs who had challenged for the title that season not Arsenal.
Because when the real pressure is on, Arsenal wilt.
It’s not a great situation for Wenger, the club or the fans but sadly some of those fans may have even got to the point where they are accepting that this is Arsenal.
This is just how it is, and this is how it will be.