Many people have many personal reasons to explain why Arsenal came off a badly-beaten second best to Leicester last season, but I am personally very interested to listen to one of our players giving their opinion, especially when it is the supremely consistent Nacho Monreal.
At times, the Gunners looked invincible, especially when giving a masterclass to teams like Bayern Munich and Manchester United, but then at other times we get beaten at home by a second-string relegation-threatened Swansea side. So how do we explain the anomaly? Nacho thinks that sometimes Arsenal simply don’t have the hunger.
He explained it like this: “Overall it’s been a good season but we are left with a feeling that we could have done more. If we had been more consistent, we could have won the League. Unfortunately, a couple of months ago we had a slump and lost a lot of points. We lost our edge and the chance to go for the title.
“All things considered, it has not been a bad season but we are ending it with a bittersweet taste in our mouths. Our aim is to win, of course, so if we don’t win anything, we have to be self-critical while remaining ambitious.
“Our biggest regret, of course, is not winning the title. It has been an atypical year. No one expected Leicester to achieve what they have. They have been the most consistent team in the League for the whole season. Inevitably we end up thinking that if only we had been more consistent, if only we had not dropped points in certain matches, we could have won the title, but things have turned out as they have.
“Primarily we need to be more consistent. We are a team that is ambitious, that wants to win, that has a real hunger to win but we can change from one day to the next into a team that lacks those qualities. We must be more consistent and fight for everything from the first minute of the game until the last to ensure we get those three points. We have to improve. We’ve got a lot that’s really good. We have quality players but at times we are a bit complacent and maybe do lack that hunger.”
So we know we lack consistency, but how do you make up for a “lack of hunger”? Is it the manager that fails to get the team to follow his orders? Or do the players lack a leader on the pitch to get them motivated?
Why are Arsenal always an “If only..” team?