Posted on January 27, 2016 by ADMIN

Arsenal MUST bounce back against Southampton to maintain title challenge

Arsenal need to bounce back against Southampton by RJ

It is difficult for me to hide my disappointment after yet another defeat against Chelsea who seemingly have our number. For a team that have put themselves in a wonderful position to challenge for the Premier League, it was yet another performance that makes me wonder if Arsenal really have the mentality to go the distance. The game presented a wonderful opportunity for Arsenal to make a real statement of intent and dominate a game we were predicted to win on Coral against a side that have spent the majority of the season in turmoil. Despite being on top for 70 minutes after Diego Costa’s goal and the decisive red card for Per Mertesacker that really left us in the lurch, I never felt there was the cutting edge and spark in our attacking forays to make the all-important breakthrough. It extends our winless run against the Blues to nine league matches which will probably provide the critics with more ammunition to suggest that Arsenal do not deliver against the big teams when it matters, but it is how we respond to adversity that will define our season.

Good teams have the resilience and drive to bounce back from defeat, and while I do not doubt that Arsenal have the quality to do so in our next game against Southampton, it is these sort of games that may prove just how much we want it. 1987 was the last time that the Saints took three points away from Arsenal in our own back yard, but three straight victories, including the recent 1-0 victory at Old Trafford against a beleaguered Manchester United, is evidence, if needed, that Ronald Koeman’s side should not be taken lightly. They pose a significant danger at this stage of the season when every point is crucial, especially when you consider that January was generally a poor month for Arsenal. Two points from a possible nine for the Gunners may actually make the visitors good value for what some would consider another shock result on the road, but questions of “are they the betting flavour of the month though?” and “will Southampton continue their march up the table next month?” can be instantly put to bed on February 2nd if we deliver the sort of performance that I, and every other Arsenal fan, know that the team are capable of when everything comes together.

Twelve years without a league title is too long for a team with the quality we have possessed ever since 2004, but we have seen Arsenal implode before during the business stage of the campaign. Being in a great position does not guarantee that we will finish the season as champions, especially with Leicester opening a three-point gap at the summit. The Chelsea defeat has once again raised question marks over Arsenal’s mentality in big games when they are expected to dominate and control; we have to stand up and be counted for, not blame officials, injuries or other players for our own downfall. Some may say that Arsene Wenger does not have it in him anymore to deliver success at Arsenal, but I believe we should not jump to conclusions and think that we do not have the stomach for it when there are still fifteen games to play.

We should not forget that Southampton turned us over on Boxing Day with a humiliating 4-0 defeat that really brought us back down to earth after the Manchester City victory that created a four-point gap between the two title contenders. That advantage has quickly disappeared through our inability to hold onto the lead at Liverpool, and failing to end the hoodoo Chelsea hold over us. I do not believe it is all doom and gloom, but we need to see a big reaction against Southampton in order to stay firmly in the title race.


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19 thoughts on “Arsenal MUST bounce back against Southampton to maintain title challenge

  1. mark

    I think a reality check is in order. We are NOT the mighty Arsenal who deserve to win every game, we are in a tight league.

    Yes it would be great to win our next game, and yes it should be our aim, but you can only do your best on the day. I would like to see a bit more tactical astuteness from our esteemed manager, and I suspect we will win.

    The real issue is how the hell are Leicester STILL top of the league?????

    Answer me that one!!!??!?!?!?

    1. Fab

      we’re very good tactically but physically we might be the poorest team in the league. the likes of Everton, southsumptom, Chelsea, stoke and Swansea took points from us not because of the tactics but the physical battle they impose to us and we can’t learn.

      1. Twig

        The likes of Gabriel, El-Nenny, Giroud and Iwobi should allow us compete physically with other sides. Not to forget Welbeck and Coquelin who are returning from injuries…

      2. GoonerLad

        Welbeck, Cazorla and Coquelin can handle the physical battle in midfield but the problem is that they’ve all been injured. Blame the manager for not bringing in players capable of retaining possession and stopping counter attacks, why he believed Flamini was the answer is beyond me.

  2. Just another gooner

    i can see light shining out of lap post is it finally that potential wenger told us he had?

  3. SoOpa AeoN

    it would be an eyesore watching fLame being bossed by wanyama in the midfield……Hopefully we’d have Le-coq back in action against the saints

    and there’d be no Per vs Mane/Austin/Pelle……..Hurray!!!!!

    1. SoOpa AeoN

      not to mention “Long” with bags of pace….

      And one more thing i just want to see happen is EL-neny make his Debut!

      1. Mick The Gooner

        Flamini is a workhorse and always has been, but against Chelsea you could see that his legs are now going with age. He’s never been a great technical player, or very good with positioning and decision making. His stamina always made him an OK squad player, and now that’s leaving him.

        If Wenger doesn’t throw Elneny on in this match, it’s really start to raise a few questions – why does he continually buy players that he doesn’t think are good enough to get into our best 11?

        Perhaps circumstances have prevented Elneny playing so far, but you could still ask the same question with Gabriel. Why did Wenger buy him if he doesn’t think he’s good enough to be first choice over Mertesacker? Surely when you buy players, the first quality you look for is someone to improve the team… Now I do rate Gabriel, and I do think he’s better than Mertesacker, but the question remains, why did Wenger go for someone that, in his eyes, doesn’t improve our starting 11?

  4. French

    So my local team LA Galaxy just signed Cashley Cole. That gives them Keane, Gerrard, and Cole now…not exactly Arsenal heroes there…not sure how to feel about it.

  5. Mick The Gooner

    Why won’t Arsenal win the league?

    Only one team in the last calendar year has stopped Manchester City from scoring at home. Everton, a couple weeks ago.

    Arsenal, on the other hand, haven’t scored at home in these fixtures over the past year:

    Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
    Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool
    Arsenal 0-2 West Ham
    Arsenal 0-1 Swansea
    Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland
    Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

    Not good enough I’m afraid.

  6. Fatboy Gooney

    We have only beaten Southampton once in our last five meetings and that victory was a 1-0 score line at home.

    The last time we lost to them at the Emirates
    ( our own backyard) was in last season’s league cup ( 1-2 )

    In our last 5 meetings:
    We have scored 4 and conceded 10 goals against Southampton. ?

    And someone recently suggested in their article,
    That ‘Chelsea were our only Burger King,
    Oooops!… I meant .. Bogey team!
    ( This burger ban, is getting to me… “Cough” Admin ?)

    We’re gonna need a mighty bounce to get back to winning ways against this genuine Bogey team, On Tuesday night!

    1. GoonerLad

      This is what I was saying about us not being worthy of being called a title winning team, the fact teams like Stoke, Southampton and Swansea know what it takes to beat us is what makes it embarrassing when we can’t get a win. If we had the mentality and desire to win the PL we wouldn’t have repeated the same mistakes which allowed these teams to comfortably gain points from us.

  7. JAmerican

    I have never given City a compliment but damn! Watching the Capital 1 Cup semifinals and they are displaying a true champion mentality against a very good Everton side. From 3-1 down to 4-3 up on aggregate, something I’m afraid Arsenal cannot or haven’t achieved in a long time. Now a days when we go down a goal 90% of the times we lose from being unable to turn it around, even with 11 men on the field. Aguero who is shorter than Everton’s entire back line manages to score a class header, yet we depend on Giroud only to do that. Something is not right and both manager and players have to take responsibility…

    1. JAmerican

      Yep thumb me down if you like, unless you’ve been proud of the results this season alone:

      Arsenal 0 West Ham 2 (What a season opener)
      Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0 (Lucky Pool didn’t score)
      Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0 (Mourinho still walked away undefeated)
      Arsenal 1 Spurs 1 (Dropped 2 pts after coming from behind “AT HOME” to them)
      West Brom 2 Arsenal 1 (Joke)
      Norwich 1 Arsenal 1 (Even bigger joke)
      Southampton 4 Arsenal 0 (Better off with a forfeit)
      Liverpool 3 Arsenal 3 (Still pissed)
      Stoke 0 Arsenal 0 (I remember the days when we use to trash them)
      Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1 (Without Jose)

      Could there be more suffering yet to come???
      Then you wonder why Arsenal and bottlers are usually used in the same sentence. Best chance yet to win the leagues in GOD knows when but for some reason we’re just allergic to 1st place.

  8. summerbreez

    If my memory is correct we lost 7 matches last season so we are not looking good as we already lost 5

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