The vultures have been waiting for Arsenal to slip up ever since Mesut Ozil put pen to paper on the £42.5million deal that instantly transformed them into title contenders.
As a result there will be criticism after their 1-0 loss at Manchester United, but neither side should be overreacting based on the result.
The league-leading Gunners’ price of 7/2 to win the title is still as tasty a bet as ever, while there are enough signs of improvement to suggest David Moyes team are contenders at 5/1.
Knackered by a tricky run of fixtures, Arsene Wenger’s side were also hampered by an ill-timed bout of sickness.
Despite the 1-0 loss, Arsenal have had an undeniably excellent last 10 days, beating Liverpool at home and Borussia Dortmund away before the trip to Old Trafford.
Their exertions in Germany undoubtedly took their toll, especially on ever-presents like Olivier Giroud, and the illness that spread through their camp before the Manchester United match was another factor in a slightly jaded display.
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney continue to impress, notching 12 goals and six assists between them in the league this campaign.
For all of Arsenal’s tiredness, it still took a terrific header from Van Persie to pierce their defences, with the Dutchman glancing in Rooney’s corner.
That combination will beat plenty of teams by itself, and the Gunners can be reassured by the fact they had twice as many shots as United, as well as 60% possession at Old Trafford, and could easily have pinched a point.
As for the Red Devils, they might be relying heavily on their strikers, but given the quality of the deadly duo, that could prove enough to sustain a title bid.
Arsenal are still two points clear at the top of the league and will have been warned off complacency.
The weekend’s results might have cut the Gunners’ lead at the head of the table to two points, but they were far from the only top side to fluff their lines this weekend.
Wenger will be delighted to remain six points ahead of Manchester City, as well as four clear of Chelsea and five United.
Those three teams are likely to represent the main threat to their title challenge and Arsenal have a well-timed international break to enjoy their advantage over the chasing pack while rejuvenating themselves.