You could see it on the faces of the Arsenal players like Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez last night in the home game against our perennial pains in the neck Swansea City, as chance after chance went begging and the passes started to go astray as well.
At first it was frustration and then exasperation, disbelief and finally despair and resignation that absolutely sod all is going right for the Gunners at the moment. To be fair to the players, this has been going on for some time now, starting with the game again st Liverpool at Anfield when we scored three goals but conceded a last minute equaliser.
That was the last game in which Ramsey or Giroud scored and despite creating plenty of chances and dominating most of the games since, the results have just refused to go our way. After the poor performance and defeat to Man United at Old Trafford, we needed a response and for a while it looked like we would get it.
But once again things went against us and that undeserved Swansea equaliser just sapped any growing belief from the Arsenal team. After that it seemed as though we played with hope but no belief. Speculative long balls and passes did not come off and even the great Ozil’s radar went off kilter.
I firmly believe that Arsenal’s belief would have grown and we would have gone on to add to Campbell’s excellent opener if the referee had blown for that foul on Ozil in the build up to Routledge’s goal. Instead it was the visitors that gained belief while we were quickly losing it.
The problem is, though, identifying the problem does not solve it, so how can Arsene Wenger instill belief and morale in the players when everything keeps knocking it out of them? A good win would probably do it, but if we are playing more in hope than expectation, how is that confidence boosting win going to come?