I wrote about the result at Villa Park being possibly a huge one mentally for Arsenal’s young squad.
Lose after the Liverpool defeat and our ability to handle pressure would be questioned. Win and we could go on the international break with some breathing space in the race for 4th.
I think now it’s fair to say that Champions League qualification is ours to throw away.
The highest points Spurs can finish on this season is 78, Man United 77, West Ham 72.
Arsenal’s biggest total is a possible 84.
That means the Gunners, while still with tough fixtures to come, are not in a must-win situation every week unlike their rivals.
The assumption was, out of the clubs named above, was that whoever put a consistent run together would take 4th.
It’s becoming apparent that we might not be put under the pressure I imagined.
In terms of fire power, Spurs and United have better options then us, but you don’t know which version shows up every week .
I can’t see either putting the winning sequence together to put us under threat.
We still have to go the Lane, the Bridge, London Stadium and welcome United to the Emirates, so it’s possible we will drop points but then does anyone take advantage of us.
If no one does that’s not the Gunners fault.
They have quietly ground out wins which have been more about Arteta’s micromanagement then any one individual.
While you can’t ignore the goals Aubeyang is scoring in Spain, our manager clearly has an ethos of not wanting a star name but a team who buy into his vision.
I have always said that if the Spaniard reduces our wage bill in January but still takes us back to the CL without a prolific forward, I will applaud him.
The 1-0 win on Saturday was like our victory at Wolves.
We now can fight away from home and are prepared to try and protect a 1-0 lead.
If you grew up on Arsene Wenger, you were used to bodies flying forward no matter the scoreline.
Of course, we want to play that style again but maybe that was naive in Mr Wenger’s last few years?
Maybe Arteta has realised the sport has adapted and other details matter.
He always stressed that fixing us defensively would be the priority.
I always worried that once we got to squeaky bum time our lack of leadership would cost us. Yet you only get that leadership by winning games like Villa away.
That’s why our coaching staff punched the air.
They know it could be psychologically huge!
Is 4th our to lose?
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PRESS CONFERENCE – Arteta is very happy after Aston Villa win!