Why Arsenal won’t fade this year DN
Many pundits (and quite a lot of so-called Arsenal fans as well) are fully expecting Arsenal’s title challenge to fade in the next month or two, and the club will end up in a fight to remain third or fourth in the table. In their defence they will point to the many times in the last ten years when we have been leading the table in Jan/Feb only to slip away at the death.
But Arsene Wenger is convinced that this season is different, because in previous years the squad was unsettled by the al the upcoming transfer rumours as they were being poached by other clubs, or ‘tapping up’ as he prefers to call it. “What is different is that at that time we were losing momentum.” he said in the Independent. “This time it’s the opposite. We are chasing and gaining momentum. We had two difficult games recently, but overall the psychological situation is quite different.
“Also we were very young at that time, with the famous incident with Gallas at Birmingham. And the mood of some players was more to get the next contract somewhere else than to win the championship, because at the time we had to sell our players. When we went into April some of the players were tapped up to go somewhere else, and it was difficult to maintain the focus.
“Now we have not that problem at all. All the players are focused and want to win and have great solidarity. The psychological situation is completely different today than it was in 2010.
“This is a team that is very hungry, yes. This team wants to do well and is very conscientious. We have a job to relax them a little bit. I think it’s certainly top, top spirit-wise. In 2010 I would say we lost it because the spirit was not exactly what it should be because of individual tap-ups.”
“I read many things which are not completely verified by the statistics. For example, there is a perception that Arsenal fades in March and April. But if you look over 20 years we have always finished stronger in the second part of the season. It is true we have lost once or twice the championship, but you could say that about Man United as well, and any team.”
So in 2010 it would appear that he is blaming Barcelona (and Fabregas) for losing us the title, but surely and even better chance was two years ago, and I don’t remember selling any of our big stars in that one, do you? Van Persie was our last big loss, and that was the season before….