There were not many Arsenal fans who really believed that we could beat Man City last Wednesday night, but we all fully expected the team to bounce back and take all three points against a Brighton team that hadn’t won a game all year and hadn’t scored a goal for six hours before yesterday.
We seemed fully in control, without scoring, in the first half, but once Pepe put us in front it looked like we would kick on and win the game, but how wrong were we? Not for the first time this season have we thrown away a lead, but we were hardly even surprised when Maupay scored the winning goal for the Seagulls in the dying seconds.
Mikel Arteta was very annoyed after the game and made it clear who was to blame. “Obviously after a defeat you want to put the next result straight away to winning.” he told Arsenal.com. “I think we did a lot of things today to win the game comfortably, but we haven’t competed like you have to compete in the Premier League. We gave first goal away and we lost a few important duels afterwards, so I think it’s all our fault.
“Not about the characters, it’s about how you compete in a Premier League match and it’s for 100 minutes in this case. It’s for every ball, it’s for every action and the moment you lose attention, the opponent is going to punish you. It’s not the first time it has happened and if you want to win football games consistently at this level, it’s a must and it’s a non-negotiable.
“I think they competed for large parts of the game, but in crucial moments when you don’t, you pay the price and that’s it. It’s all my fault obviously because I’m the one that has to make sure they do.”
He seems to be facing an uphill battle to get the team prepared for Thursday’s game at Southampton, and is aware of the task ahead. “Absolutely [it will be hard to do]. I think when you lose two games in a row that hardest thing to do is to lift the players up and believe again in what we are doing.
“The context of the last game against Man City and this one is completely different. I am much more upset today because I know the accident that happened against City but the accident today was provoked by us and it’s unacceptable.”
Thursday’s game is another away fixture, and as we have failed to get three points on the road for 8 games now, stretching back to December 9th, how can the players or fans have any confidence at all of winning at St Marys?