Normally in football it is better to play in front of your own fans than to play away, but the situation is not that simple for Arsenal, as the Emirates stadium is not exactly known for being an intimidating place for other teams to come to and the Arsenal fans can be somewhat less than vocal.
A quick look at the stats for Arsenal in 2016 suggests that home is not really where the heart is for us, with five of the seven defeats we have suffered this year coming at the Emirates. The only two away games the Gunners have lost since the turn of the year were at Man United in the Premier League, where we seem to have something of a curse or mental blockage and against a brilliant Barcelona in the Champions League.
Compare that to the losses at home against the likes of Swansea and Watford and a problem starts to emerge. That problem could get worse this weekend if we carry on the recent form and fail to perform against Bournemouth and that is why I feel it is so important for us to get a good start on Sunday, just as Carl Jenkinson spoke about in an Arsenal.com report.
The right back said, “At Manchester United we especially didn’t start at our best and [against PSG] similarly. It is something we have got to be aware of because it has happened a couple of times lately.
“You can look at it as a tough night, but it is always going to be when playing a top team. I think we played well, the head to head rule is very frustrating, I’m not a fan of that and I think it is a shame. I think we played well and it is unfortunate that we didn’t hold on to the win but that is life.
“To go behind against a team of this calibre and then to come back, we have got a lot of character in this squad and we are showing it time and time again and on another day we win tonight, so it is frustrating but that is football.
“It makes a big difference, not just at this level but in the Premier League as well. You look at the stats and whoever scores the first goal, they generally go on to win the game. We have let that drop a bit lately and if we get the goal first, nine times out of 10 we win and we need to get back to doing that.”
I also think it is vital for Arsenal to get the fans going early on because we are not a happy bunch right now and there will be groans and moans if the team struggles on Sunday. That will not help the players, of course, but it is only natural, so can we get back to the fluent football we all love and which we all know Arsenal are capable of?