Fantastic, that’s just what we wanted.

Normally, a return to action after a heavy loss is the ideal remedy, but the Carabao Cup loss to Manchester City felt a little like the end of an era, a watershed moment.

The manner in which we lost was too emphatic, too bold. There was no argument, no contentious decisions which we could hang our defiancy on.

No, we simply lost to the better team - and now we face them just four days after in the Premier League.

It’s hard to latch onto any positives right now. The Wembley defeat was our seventh of 2018 already. The hardest thing to take about our defeat though? The way we were vanquished - City played around us like we weren’t even there - just like we used to.

Used to. A particular part of our malaise that is hard to swallow is that our stellar play is by and large, a thing of the past. Not to mention the lack of gut-busting effort on what was a special occasion that demanded blood, sweat and tears from every player. This should be a prerequisite for our players, but on the evidence shown on the pitch on Sunday, it clearly isn’t.

So, how do we approach this game?

Hopefully differently to Sunday. The back three may have worked if we had defended well. Our midfield should’ve been able to contain a static Fernandinho and a bang average Gundogan, but Xhaka showed once again he simply isn’t a defensively-minded player - and Ramsey never has been. The Welshman produces his best results in an attacking position, and should be alongside Ozil. Ramsey is good enough to be part of a trio behind Aubameyang, alongside Ozil and Mkhitaryan, and he should be nowhere near central midfield.

Will we change up our approach? What personnel can come in and make a difference? Sadly, no one currently fit can swap one of the eleven that played on Sunday, so how do we take a different tack?

We could swap out Xhaka for Elneny and give us more of a solid foundation. We have Mkhitaryan back in the side after being cup-tied too, so we could see a difference.

What will make the world of change though, is an applied effort. After the shower we all had to endure, we need to see our players trying, putting in a shift to show us that they at least care. On our best day we can beat them - at the very least we need to come closer than we did.

The scary thing is, we will most likely suffer another loss, and it will then be our eighth already in 2018. We will be ten points behind tottenham, and seven behind Chelsea who are in fifth. It will effectively end our hopes of avoiding this being our worst ever finish under Wenger - and one that is far from acceptable.

I told you all there wasn’t a lot of positivity around. Apologies for the morbid nature of this preview. I still think we can win, but only if we are the complete opposite of what we all saw against the same opponents on Sunday at Wembley. We are at home too, which does give us a better chance. We’ve got a good record at home, let’s hope we maintain it.

Predicted Lineup - Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang

Predicted Scoreline - 2-1 to The Arsenal - Keep the faith everyone!