Lack of leadership has cost us by Dan Smith
So, Arsenal look set to miss out on the top 4, after predictably they showed weak mentality just as the pressure became too real.
Only a lack of leadership can be the reason why, for the second game running, we showed a lack of appetite even though so much was at stake.
I was one of many gooners who forecasted this months ago.
I was told I had an agenda, was called negative and even more personal abuse was thrown my way for foreseeing what was obvious.
Evidence was there in December and January that this squad is capable of not showing up for the fight. Think back to Goodison Park and the City Ground.
Despite knowing this, the priority in January was to slash the wage bill.
That’s why you won’t hear me blame Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah for our lack of firepower because they had shown in the first half of the season, they were not prolific enough (they have scored one penalty between them in the League this year).
The club’s answer to that was to give Aubameyang away without bringing in anyone better, as saving 300 000 pound a week was more important than giving our team the best possible chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
I always said I would hold my hands up and say Arteta had done an incredible job if he were able to get us back into UEFA’s elite competition while saving money.
I was impressed how our manager had been able to make us weaker in the New Year and yet have so many fans thinking it was a good idea, even when Auba started scoring for Barcelona.
That’s why we had the ridiculous over the top celebrations when beating Wolves and Aston Villa because the Spaniard was starting to think the Gunners actually got away with their lack of ambition. That somehow, we might finish above the likes of Spurs and Man United without a prolific forward.
In the end it caught up with us. There’s no way anyone can tell me you wouldn’t at least have wanted Auba as an option on the bench this weekend?
It’s not just Auba though.
Clearly Pepe is another talent who, instead of being trained and coached to be better, has just been discarded.
He’s got two attackers who will be free agents this summer ahead of him in the pecking order and no matter how long their goal droughts, he can’t get a start.
If I was the Kroenke Family, I would want to know why they invested 70 million on a player who can’t start even when we struggle for goals.
Yet they created an environment where a rookie boss believes it’s okay just to wash hands of talent and not get the best out of the resources he has.
Win our game in hand and we are joint points with Spurs who we still have to play so our destiny is still in our own hands.
Yet 4 out of our last 8 fixtures are against those in the top 7, 3 of which are away.
There is nothing to suggest we have the mentality or leadership to win at the Bridge and the Lane, both of which we may now have to do.
Video – Mikel Arteta post-Brighton “It’s time to criticise ourselves”