I have to give Arsene Wenger his due here, because his was one of the few voices of reason to be heard after Arsenal outplayed and beat the club that most in the football world see as the biggest obstacle to Arsenal winning the Premier League title this season.
So while most of fans and many former Gunners in the football media were getting very excited about our win over Man City and talking about it being a major stepping stone to the trophy in May, the manager was quick to play it down and see it as just one small step.
In fact, Wenger suggested in the build up to our defeat against Southampton that there was a danger of being too confident after a big win. As reported on the Arsenal website he also spoke about the players needing to keep in mind the painful feelings of disappointment that a defeat brings as well as the elation of winning.
The Frenchman said, “The confidence following a victory like the one against Manchester City increases dramatically. What you want to maintain is the urgency and remember how much a defeat hurts. That balance between confidence and urgency has to be right.”
I don’t know about you guys but to me that sounds as though the boss was half expecting us to come a cropper after the highs of beating Man City, if not as soon as Boxing Day then at some point. One thing is for sure, the players will not have to think hard to remember the pain of losing now, but will it ensure that we put this latest loss quickly to one side?
Come on gunners! Lets get it together tomorrow at the emirates by taking all 3 priceless points against bournemouth! Coyg!
Against southampton plain and simple “we didint turn up”!
Arsenal have been performing at a high level for over a month; keeping their Champions League dreams alive and overcoming a massive injury list to stay second in the table, but at some point, the bill for that strain comes due and it did in spades against Southampton.
Just as the win over Man City didn’t make Arsenal favorites for the league title anywhere other than the bookmaker’s parolor, the loss to Southampton doesn’t make them any less likely to win the title anywhere except the bookmaker’s office.
The simple truth is, Arsenal are playing without Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshire, Santi Cazorla, and Francis Coquelin. That’s four of eleven starting players including the club’s best attacker (Sanchez) and the club’s best defensive midfielder. Mathieu Flamini has done really well since Le Coq was hurt but he cannot play 90 minutes against top opponents game in and game out. He’s just not good enough any more.
Arsenal are also missing Danny Welbeck, Mikel Arteta, and Tomas Rosicky. Welbeck was a massively important substitute and rotaiton starter before his injury, Arteta and Rosicky both offered important quality off the bench and rotaitonal quality against lesser sides. Missing seven first team players would sink most clubs. If you removed a club’s top scorer and or its best player from most Premier League teams (Aguero from Man City for example) you’d see a massive effect. Man City were missing Aguero and Silva and look how out of sync they seemed. Arsenal are missing three or four starters and one or two often used substitutes and they are dealing with it pretty well.
The match versus Southampton was a painful game to watch. I turned it off after the second goal. Arsenal were given a major boost when Southampton had a goal waved off, but instead of being energized by the escape, they crumbled. This game looks like the stress of their injuries is finally taking its toll. It is easy to get down on the club when you get a horrific result like this, but it happens. Even to good team, it happens. Even so, historically Arsenal have not done well away to Southampton and Koeman got his tactics spot on while Arsenal lacked the energy to overcome the invigorated Saints.
The truth is, this was a must win for the Saints but for Arsenal after beating Man City and a loss by Leicester to Liverpool, a not very important game for Arsenal. Going top would have been nice, but Leicester won’t be in the top four come May while Man City, Arsenal, Manchester United, and the effervescent Tottenham probably will be. No disrespect to the Foxes but they are one injury or one player defection away from a long, hard fall.
Jack Wilshere is not a starting eleven player,he’s a typical over rated english player who’s always injured the player we miss most is Coquelin we’ve won 10 out of 13 games he’s been in and lost 6 out of 15 which he’s not played in!
Apart of some poor ref decisions , we still have these fragility inside us and not even Petr Cech could do something about it. Lack of ball pressure and team initiatives have kill us. OK, fix it and keep on moving. No time for further damnation. The team should bring back our title credential tonight nonetheless. If Leister slip the way again ( and they look like it) we’ll be on top before January. COYG!!!!!
What the hell is the point in Wenger talking about the team been overconfident if he cannot drill that fact into the players and put some fire in their belly?…..lets just stop will all the silly excuses,Arsenal did what they do best at Southampton and that is bottling it, its what we do, what we are known for and we don’t disappoint
Well like someone here rightly said, we blew the opportunity when it mattered most like we usually do. We have enjoyed a good run and a big win against mancity but Southampton exposed the obvious weakness in our team. The excuse of our a long list of injured players doesn’t just cut it for me. It’s not like its the first time we are hit with this magnitude of injuries. It has now become a constant for us every season so we should have been prepared for it. But unfortunately, as usual Wenger did nothing, now he will have to panic buy substandard players in the winter window to cover up. When quality players like Wanyama and Krychowiack were available during the summer. Well, let’s hope that ManCity will beat Liecester and gift us the opportunity to beat Bournemouth and go top.
The moments of blip happen to every team. I remember recently Barcelona lost 4-0 (or 4-1) to what would be considered low calibre opposition. You can’t win all games. What matters most is how quickly you recover from such a loss and bounce back. I am very confident this loss has energised Arsenal to bounce back and regain lost confidence. If some complacency had creeped into our players the loss was a very good wake up call. It might also be necessary to rest some players who look tired like Mertesacker and Flamini for the game against Bournemouth. They could start on the bench and might be recalled if there is need.