ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has been left puzzled by his side once again failing to turn up in a big game after they went down 6-0 at Chelsea.
The heavy defeat on Saturday lunchtime ruined Wenger's 1,000th match in charge and severely dented any title ambitions, with the Gunners now down in fourth place, albeit with a match in hand on the leaders.
Wenger's team appeared to have learned no lessons from their 6-3 defeat at Manchester City earlier this season or the subsequent 5-1 mauling at Liverpool – where they trailed 4-0 inside 20 minutes – as Arsenal were torn apart by Jose Mourinho's rampant Blues during a blistering opening spell.
The French coach is expecting a response against Swansea tomorrow but admits he needs to get to the bottom of why the players again failed to deliver a big performance.
"We felt we prepared properly, but we did not turn up, so it is puzzling," Wenger said.
"This is puzzling because we were shocked and knocked down basically without feeling you have had a chance."
While Wenger has been left to scratch his head over the sequence of heavy defeats, Gunners central defender Per Mertesacker has a theory.
Saturday's 6-0 thrashing followed a worrying pattern, with the 6-3 loss to City and 5-1 hammering at Liverpool also coming in lunchtime matches.
"I don't know why, but it looks like we don't fancy early kick-offs away," Mertesacker said.
"It looks like we are going to have to apply to the FA to not play at 12.45 away."