Arsenal had an excellent start to the season, and by the New Year after winning five games out of six they were right behind Leicester and looking like hot favourites to open up a gap on the chasing pack. Then in January the Gunners collapse began. Liverpool gained a last minute draw, Stoke held us to 0-0 and then Chelsea took all three points (as usual) but Arsenal were still in the title race due to our rivals also dropping points right, left and centre.
Early February saw us rally with wins over Bournemouth and League leaders Leicester and we were back on track. Then the great collapse started. The defeat to a decimated Manchester United was hard to take, but the following home embarrassment against Swansea reserves was the final nail in the coffin. The draw at Tottenham and the defeat in Barcelona have seen the Gunners playing well, but there are still not many points forthcoming. The confidence levels this year seem to have dropped away, which is hard to understand after our excellent start to the campaign.
Laurent Koscielny thinks that we now have to try and work harder to get that confidence back, but with 11 points between us and the leaders we are running out of time to regain our mojo. “We are frustrated because the most important thing in a game is to finish with three points, which we have not done [much],” Koscielny said on Arsenal.com. “We haven’t been fighting like we did in the last six months because we lost a little confidence in ourselves and it is harder to win some games.
“We need to come back and help our team-mates with defending, attacking and a controlled passing movement. We didn’t lose our capacity physically or our technique, we just need to do more.
“We also need to come back to our basics, be simple and then the confidence will come back.
“When we get a win, it will be better and after we can play with more confidence, movement and try things we didn’t do before. We need to get back to this and when the results come back, we will be stronger.”
That win will have to come tomorrow against a mid-table Everton, but the Toffees had a confidence boosting win themselves over Chelsea last week and will be keen to build on that. If Koscielny thinks we still haven’t got our own confidence back then tomorrow’s game could be very, very difficult.
So where and how did it all suddenly go wrong?