If Arsenal are in crisis then it is of concern that Arsène Wenger appeared to have so few answers in response to his team having been comprehensively dismantled by Swansea. Two goals from Michu flattened the home team, leaving Arsenal 10th in the table as Michael Laudrup's side inflicted not only defeat, but the ultimate insult – using the Wenger style of play to do the damage. It all adds up to Arsenal's worst start to a season in 16 years, and the Frenchman's worst at the club, too.
In a small dark room under the stadium Wenger was harried by questioners. The environment matched his mentality, battening down the hatches. Noncommittal in his answers he frequently shrugged his shoulders and began his sentences with: "I don't know." Asked why the home form in the league had been so abysmal – only three wins this season – he said: "It's difficult to put the finger on it."
What is it that makes Arsenal play so badly at home? Is it the fans? The unrest? The protest that took place outside the Emirates on Saturday? "I don't know, I don't know," said Wenger quietly. "You look at the moment with the uncertainty amongst the fans, not complete confidence we will win the game, but has it an influence on our performance? I don't know. I feel we have to look at the solutions from inside and not to expect too much from outside."
As Arsenal fans left the stadium many hurled abuse. Does it hurt him to know how some fans feel? "No, I focus on my job, honestly. I want our fans to be happy and to be over the moonbut I cannot say it affects the way I feel. I feel I have to focus on the job and see how we can sort our problems out."
Does it affect the players? "Maybe, but we had a lot of experience on the pitch today, we cannot say we were very young – Arteta, Cazorla; Wilshere's young but he can deal with that; Walcott, you cannot say any more he's a beginner; Podolski, Gervinho, they're all experienced."
Does he worry that Arsenal could develop a fear of playing at home? "Well we have to make sure that doesn't come in." Does he suspect there are signs? "No. I believe at the moment we cannot be satisfied with the quality of our game. At the moment that is more important than that psychological side."
Wenger also admitted that the board has money to spend on players come January, but his insistence on finding solutions on the inside and not looking elsewhere is the crux of the fans' frustration. Again he was asked, would he make signings in January? Again a vague response: "Until January there are a lot of important games so we'll decide that in January. At the moment we have to find solutions before January."
In his programme notes, though, Wenger had eulogised over Swansea's three bargains from La Liga – Michu, 11 goals in all competitions now and a steal at £2m, Pablo Hernández and Jonathan de Guzman. Wenger described, with envy, the kind of scouting network needed to recruit at such prices, renewing his argument for home-grown talent paired with affordable buy-ins to run the ideal club.
But is the reality finally catching up on that utopian vision? Is Wenger as confident as he ever was about being able to take the club forward? "Yes," he said, "of course. But if you ask me always about my future I can only give you one answer. I always respected my contracts and that's it." With three more home games this month, he will need to find answers, and fast.
Arsenal's chairman Peter Hill-Wood, meanwhile, is recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack following a bout of pneumonia. The 76-year-old, who has in charge of the club since 1982, is said to be recovering well.
In contrast to the Gunners' current problems Swansea's manager was buoyant, undefeated in seven games. "We know it's a good moment and you know sometimes when you're in good moments you think you can beat everybody everywhere," said Laudrup with Swansea having also beaten high-flying West Bromwich Albion in midweek.
"Obviously we know it will not happen [continuing unbeaten], we will lose games and we will also have days where we play bad but when you're in a positive moment like this – we lost only to Man City 1-0 in the last 10 games and we've played a lot of good teams, so we just have to maintain and extend that moment.
"That's very important to keep on going because you know suddenly there can come bad moments. We already know that this season because after a great start we had three consecutive losses, but we bounced back and that showed a lot of character."
Man of the match: Michu (Swansea City)