When Arsenal finished 4th, they celebrated in the dressing room, sharing photos with social media.
Piers Morgan mocked the celebrations as ‘part of the problem with this club, Man United would never commend such an achievement’.
Even our own player Szczesny admitted, ‘We celebrated like we won the Championship, which was a bit weird when you consider our ambitions at the start of the season.’
That was in 2013! 9 years ago!
When you consider how our players now react to beating Wolves, it’s fair to say that in a decade we went round a long roundabout and ended up back at the same destination.
Whatever the result on Wednesday It wasn’t going to dramatically alter our hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. Our destiny remains in our own hands and those below us who have played more games have shown nothing to suggest they can put any kind of consistent sequence of results together.
Yet to be a big club you have to think like one.
A big club shouldn’t tolerate how far we have fallen behind the likes of Liverpool.
Either Gooners are too young to remember when Arsene Wenger was mocked for ‘only’ finishing 4th or our fanbase have been worn down into accepting the bare minimum.
I read an article earlier in the week about how Arsenal are now a team who are unlucky to lose to Man City and Liverpool.
Which is …. a lie !
We lost 5-0 at the Etihad, 4-0 at Anfield.
In 4 encounters with Jurgen Klopp’s team this campaign, we still haven’t scored.
Yet we pat ourselves on the back for one time against the Champions when we led for a while.
Like some supporters will now hide behind the fact we held Liverpool till after half time.
It’s like fans who are meant to love Arsenal are patronising us inadvertently.
It’s okay to be in a moment of our history where we acknowledge the top two in the division are better than us. It’s never okay to accept it.
The Gunners used to be renowned for, if nothing else, being able to make chances. The moment we went behind against Liverpool, you never felt like an equalizer was realistic.
The fact that Arteta is bringing on Eddie Nketiah for Lacazette sums up our lack of fire power and again begs the question why we gave Aubameyang to Barcelona?
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that two strikers out of contract in the summer are not prolific when the evidence was there to see in the first half of the campaign.
Wolverhampton, Brentford, Leicester, and Watford are fixtures we should be winning. The true test is getting over the line in the big games when the pressure is on.
Anfield, Old Trafford, Etihad, Chelsea at home, the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup third round, too many times this group of players don’t show up.
Which makes sense, we have the youngest squad in the topflight and it would be understandable if they lack the mentality to handle the big moments. We simply lack the leadership in key moments of matches.
Yet with a trip to the Lane and the Bridge still on the horizon and United coming to the Emirates, Arsenal might still have to handle squeaky bum time to fulfil their aspirations.
It’s not the manager or players fault about how low Arsenal’s expectations have fallen. Whatever happens there has been progress this season.
Yet Liverpool again reminded us that we are a long way away from challenging for the title.
For the third time this year they beat us comfortably. That should never be accepted at Arsenal.
In 2013 we used finishing 4th as a blanket to cover our eyes from reality. The reality being that we were no longer fighting for the major honours.
A decade later, let’s not make the same mistake.
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