All Arsenal fans are ecstatic that we beat our upstart neighbours Tottenham very easily yesterday at the Emirates, and with a performances that looked like we really could compete with the best when we play at the peak of our powers.
We are now sitting in 6th, but just 4 points below Man United in 2nd place, which is quite amazing considering how badly we have played at times this season. But this sublime win will not get us up into the Top Four until we have fixed our disastrous away form. It is the elephant in the rom at the moment, and yesterday Arsene Wenger tried to justify it by blaming ‘other factors’ for the defeats.
Wenger said: “I feel we had a very good game at Manchester City and I analysed it very well, it was a very tight game. We had a few away games where our performances were good but, when you lose, people always go to definite conclusions without going further into any analysis and we were not as bad as people said, we have 22 points today. We are a few points short, but if you can analyse the games I can show you why.”
Wenger says we have 22 points, but what he doesn’t say is that 18 of those points have come by winning every single home game, but we have only gained FOUR away from the Emirates! One of those was an excellent draw at Stamford Bridge, and we got 3 points in the destruction of a dire Everton side, who immediately dropped into the relegation zone and sacked Ronald Koeman after the game. Every other game has been a defeat, at Stoke, Liverpool, Watford, and Man City. We may look like world-beaters at home, but unless we can stop our inferiority complex when we go out of our comfort zone we seriously have no chance of finishing in the Top Four at all.
This problem must be addressed before next weekend in fact, as we are away at little Burnley. This game would normally be considered to be a pushover, but don’t be fooled. Burnley are only below us in the table on Goal Difference right now. They beat the Champions Chelsea in the first game of the season, their loss at home to West Brom the following week is still their only defeat at Turf Moor in this campaign, and their only other defeat was at Man City! In fact in their 5 home games after the West Brom loss they have only conceded one solitary goal. Do not think we are being back to being Top Four contenders after a home win, let’s wait and see if we actually perform away from home before we get carried away.