Only two English clubs have got in to the last 16 of the Champions League this season. Strangely, both of them are by common consent in the shit.
In Arsenal's case the merde has been passed by the management. It is no longer enough for the Wenger loyalists to lob insults at the board like so many Rory Delaps.
Enough is enough, Arsene. Pretty just won't do. The Milan defeat was a bloody awful yardstick for how low football's professor of philosophy has sank. There are many reasons why Arsenal are so poor but as ever the standout one (I use the word standout in an ironic sense as it's really just an illiterate American version of the word 'outstanding') is that the players are crap.
That's crap in comparison with their recent predecessors. You look at Chamakh, a bench-warmer whose only contribution to North London life has been an alarming rise in the sales Stupido Hair Gel. Arshavin, less a footballer these days than a Tzu-Tzu hamster. Walcott, all the assets, but put him within twenty yards of a net and he displays all the composure of a schoolgirl in a snake pit.
But the clown prince of all that it is cack about Wenger's half-arsened squad is Johann Djourou.
I'm versatile and consistent. Shit in every position.
Djourou resembles a heron chick. Crap hair, no coordination plus - and here's where the comparison founders - a new three-year contract.
If you truly want to understand how many marbles have tumbled out of Wenger's bonce in the last three years, there's your test-case. Djourou couldn't defend a night-club door against some uppity eight-year olds, let alone a six-yard box.
The only reason it's still possible that Wenger might maintain a presence in next year's Champions League is because there's a tall, increasingly pale centre-forward bailing 'em out each week. The reason Robin van Persie looks quite so wan at the moment is cos the whole club is clutching on to that particular straw so tightly there's barely only blood circulating around his body.
He is the magnificent oak that has sprouts from a sea of manure. The idea that he'll be there next year is laughable, unless Wenger can (a) unlock some funds and (b) dare to spend it. The rationale for keeping the moulah down his sophisticated French pantalon seems to be less about a club philosophy and more about fear of failure.
Eden Hazard - which once referred to the serpent that whisperecd in Eve's shell-like - could have been an Arsenal player if Wenger had been self-assured to insist on the cash being stumped up. As it is he'll go to Barca, or Real, or Spurs. Yes. Spurs.
Instead you get the likes of Gervinho - he of the forehead so bulbous you have to assume he gets around using inbuilt sonar (if you listen closely you can hear a series of rapid clicks as he approaches the opposition penalty area) - and he's just another speedy headless chicken. The idea that the return of Wilshere, good as he is, will herald a better season is optimistic and unfair on the player.
Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas continues to crouch uncomfortably on the touchline like a constipated fox terrier as his team play a brand of football that wouldn't look out of place in a Mack Sennet short.
AVB endures another torrid post-match interview
Certainly there are plenty of comic turns to enjoy. David Luiz looks more and more like one of the brooms out of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Only this broom has a mind of its own.
Ivanovic reminds me of an easily duped heavy in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. ('Derrrr! Where'd he go? Where'd he go?') And Chelsea fans watch Fernando Torres like a nervy banker watches the trade figures, desperately hoping to see the green shoots of recovery and finding a big fat nothing staring them in the face.
Even the bright spots Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge are beginning to dim like child's sparklers into the mist. Mata was withdrawn at half-time against Brum despite being the only creative influence on the park. Sturridge insists he's fine playing right wing which is a bit like a horse insisting he loves his concrete yard when just over the road there's acres of lush pasture.
Meanwhile some of Chelsea's second-half improvement is being put down to a rabble-rousing bit of oratory from Didier Drogba. Having watched the interview with DD on the Beeb website you can understand why he might command a room with more authority than the bearded Portuguese pigeon currently in charge.
The Chelsea job comes with a lot of baggage. AVB's appointment has always looked like Abramovich has hired a Mourinho who listens. What it looks like he's got is a Scolari with an eating disorder.
The thing is I like AVB. He has dignity, even if it has been trampled underfoot by a squad of disniterested players who all seem to be gagging for a nice big cuddle with Guus Hiddink. I've no doubt that Hiddink will be driving up the Kings Road after defeat in Napoli and that Villas-Boas will become the latest expendable casualty of Roman's Masterplan.
I'm sorry to see Mick McCarthy get the boot by the way. Maybe Curbishley wil revive them enough but a realistic person would tell you that Wolves have been infinitely better with the Barnsley bruiser at the helm.
And I'm sorry to see Neil Warnock back into management so swiftly. He's working for Ken Bates. Like Piers Morgan hiring Kelvin Mackenzie. Hopefully they'll lay into each other like Chisora and Haye neither of 'em will come through it.
'Good to see you back at Chelsea. I thought you might be wanting my job. It's available'
At present Monsieur Wenger is far more likely to disappear without a trace. And I'm not sure that that wouldn't be the best thing for all concerned. Being second best is begining to take its toll.