Arsenal’s brilliant win over Stoke yesterday was exciting and exhilirating, and has put us in with a small chance of still making the Top Four, but only if Liverpool fail to get a win either against West Ham today or against Middlesbrough next weekend.
Maybe Hector Bellerin already knows the result of this afternoon’s Liverpool game, or maybe he was just a little too excited after yesterday’s match. When the Spanish defender was asked on Arsenal.com if our win put added pressure on Liverpool, he replied: “It doesn’t matter, we’ve got to focus on ourselves. We’ve got two games left, with one of those in hand, so we’ve got the best chance of getting there.”
He obviously didn’t realise that we have now played the same amount of games as Liverpool up until today, or he is predicting that Klopp’s team will slip up today, or maybe he was just getting excited about our chances of still playing in the Champions League next season? When asked if we hadn’t given up on Top Four, he said: “Definitely. That’s something this team has. We have a lot of heart, a lot of character and, even though in some games it may not look like we’ve shown it, the team really wants to be there and we’ve shown that here.”
Many Arsenal fans question why Arsenal don’t show the same desire in every game of the campaign, instead of resurging when the Top Four is at stake, and Bellerin sort of answered that when he asked why we finally got a result at Stoke. He said: “We knew that we were playing for our lives really, so any result other than a win wasn’t good for us. We knew that at the start of the game, so we knew we had to win no matter what. I think the team did really well. We had loads of chances, it was important to get them in and I think the team did really well.”
Yes the team did really well, but why weren’t we ‘playing for our lives’ in earlier games like Watford, Crystal Palace or West Brom? Was it because we thought our Top Four place was already certain by then?