I was as proud of Arsenal on Saturday as at any point this season.
Like when we went to Anfield, I questioned did we have the mentality get a result?
Did we have enough leadership to cope at the moment we experience any adversity?
Would Arteta learn from previous errors?
As well as we played, it doesn’t change the fact that the moment we conceded a penalty we didn’t have the maturity to cope with the situation.
Lacazette as captain tried to compose his peers but the majority lost composure.
While great to see so many care about the badge you can’t get over emotional to the point it impacts your thinking.
Even if you think Xhaka didn’t foul Silva, you dust yourself off and tell yourself it’s still 1-1 with half an hour to go. That’s what a team of leaders would do.
You could even argue Martinelli would have not missed an open goal if he was calmer.
It was 2 mins between the spot kick and us going down to 10 men.
In that time Gabriel managed two yellow cards, one for needlessly trying to mess up the penalty spot.
While he sarcastically applauded the official it would be wrong for him to not take accountability.
The majority in the Emirates directed their frustration towards the referee and while we can debate the consistency of the usage of VAR, it would be doing ourselves no favours not to admit we show naivety too often in the big games.
A red card at Liverpool, a pointless penalty at Old Trafford now these key moments on New Year’s Day.
Both positive and negative, this 90 mins summarised where this group is at.
Tactically we had a plan, the players were willing to fight, Partey produced his best ever performance for us.
Make no mistake, there were plenty of reasons why the team deserved their standing ovation.
Yet ultimately, we witnessed why we won’t finish in top 4.
In the crucial moments of matches and seasons we lack game management.
While our youngsters learn, they need help from senior players.
We just haven’t got enough of those senior players to get us over the finish line.
I said I would hold my hands up if I saw progress and indeed I did.
Yet I also saw why this team isn’t ready to take that next step.
Not enough leaders, not street wise enough and mentally weak…
Be kind in the comments.