Arsenal lost to Man City by the exact same scoreline as when beaten by Pep Guardiola-s side last Sunday, but Arsene Wenger believes that it was our best performance of the season, but City were even better and certainly more confident. “I felt it was a game of top intensity physically.” the Boss said after the game. “I think we produced our highest physical performance of the season and Manchester City did as well, by quite a long way. Physically, the two teams gave a lot.
“I knew that the first half could have been difficult for us because we came out of Sunday’s game with a low confidence level. They came back with a very positive mindset and that’s why they took advantage of every defensive weakness we showed in the first half.
” At the end of the day, I must say we lost against a top-quality team who at the moment are the best team in the country. On top of that, the combination of their quality plus the fact that they’re high in confidence and we’re low in confidence played a big part in the game tonight. After that, in the second half we came out and dominated well in the first 20 minutes. We needed the penalty to go in to get a bit of momentum, so that was the killer of the game after that.”
So our lack of confidence right now comes from having lost 3 out of our last 4 League games, not to mention the Cup Final and the embarrassment of losing to Ostersunds, so how can Arsenal get themselves out of this slump in confidence going forward_ Wenger continued: “It’s always dangerous but you earn it by putting the effort in and staying together in the moments where it’s very difficult.
“You go up by stairs and come down by the lift. That’s what confidence is. That’s what you have to show, that you have the level to be at Arsenal Football Club.
“When your confidence is not at the best, the first thing that goes is your fluidity in the movement, the spontaneous side of the game. You could see that tonight. I don’t deny their quality because they have top quality, but we’re going through a difficult patch at the moment. That’s part of football as well unfortunately.”
Arsenal have been going ‘through a difficult patch’ for most of this campaign it seems, but at least we had maintained our confidence for our home games. If we lose that as well now, I can’t see us getting out of our malaise any time soon.
But we do have a run of 7 League games ahead against ‘easy’ opposition, so maybe we still can make up the ten-point gap to Tottenham if we win every single one of them.
But that seems extremely unlikely at the moment, doesn’t it?