For the Gooners who needed evidence why we won’t sustain a title challenge, it was evidenced in the second half at Saint Marys.
Let me stress, that’s zero disrespect intended towards Arsenal and the progress they have made this season. It’s just a case of Man City setting such a standard that it’s a step too far to keep up. The Champions have raised the bar to the point that you need to be making 90 plus points to have a chance, therefore you can’t be affording to drop silly points.
Our 1-1 draw on Sunday comes under the umbrella of silly points.
The reason why many in our fanbase (including myself) have been reluctant to think beyond securing a top 4 finish was apparent at the weekend. To the team’s credit it’s took longer than expected for the bad habits to creep in.
The fact it took this long is a reflection that, no matter what happens, we have progressed under Mikel Arteta this campaign.
After the Liverpool win, I challenged maximum points out of our next two League fixtures.
Purely because they were the type of away games that we would slip up in over the years. Maybe we would show up with the wrong attitude, get complacent, not physically or mentally be up for the battle.
That’s why the victory at Elland Road was so impressive because we dug deep In a manner not in our DNA in the last decade.
That was undermined in the second period on the South Coast where we looked like the Gunners of 12 months ago.
That it’s taken thus far into a new season for bad habits to creep in, is testament to how focused our manager has prepared his squad every few days.
A point on our travels isn’t the end of the world either in terms of our position at the top of the table or the old adage that if you can’t win the match, make sure you don’t lose it. On previous visits we would have imploded after the disappointment of conceding an equaliser.
Yet with the schedule not getting any easier there were concerning signs.
It was like the first half was too easy and we fell into the trap of going through the motions meaning when Southampton did score, we didn’t have the mindset to find that next gear.
The likes of Jesus, Partey and Tomiyasu looked jaded.
When it came to our subs, Tierney looked a threat on our left but predictably Eddie Nketiah replacing Martinelli meant we had less of a goal threat.
For someone on 100,000 pound a week, I as a supporter should not be feeling our firepower reduces when he comes on.
As I forecasted when he signed a new contract, we are paying him a lot of money to score against the likes of Zurich and Bodo.
My bet that Aubameyang will score more League goals than Eddie remains likely.
There’s zero points sticking up for him just for the sake of positivity. You don’t become a better fan for blind loyalty.
If the Kroenke Family do not invest in a striker to back up Jesus, it will cost us, maybe even top 4.
It’s disrespectful to Pep Guardiola and the standards he set to say this Arsenal team can compete with his team.
In a few months’ time we will laugh at the notion it was even suggested.
After we conceded we didn’t manage a shot on target. That would never happen to City.
A few of our key players are not going to the World Cup so a rest might come at the right time.
3 games in the Prem before the tournament kicks off.
3 games to hold on to our lead.
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