Do Arsenal REALLY still bottle it when pressure is ON?

When Arsenal took apart the Liverpool side of Brendan Rodgers that has been feted by the English media for their surge up the Premier League table after a shaky start to the season, it highlighted our own surge and the way that Arsene Wenger and the players have answered a lot of our critics and suggested to the fans that the Gunners have finally got a squad capable of winning the title. Or have we?

Serial Arsenal and Wenger critic Adrian Durham has written in the Daily Mail to suggest that our recent run of 15 wins from 17 games only goes to highlight his point, that the Gunners are great when the pressure is off but prone to fold like a cheap suit when it really matters.

It is no surprise to hear this sort of Arsenal bashing from the blatantly biased hack and I think he writes half his twaddle just to get an extreme reaction, but has he got a point on this one? Durham points to the fact that our run of form came after it was clear that Chelsea were running away with the title and also that the two games we lost were the two that really mattered, the first leg against Monaco and the north London derby at Tottenham.

So there is his point, as well as the fact that we only have one FA cup in the last nine years and no title since 2004. Here’s mine. All the Arsenal and Wenger critics conveniently forget that the club has been run on a shoestring budget in the last decade and lots of clubs that have spent much more have done much worse.

Durham also conveniently chooses to ignore one very crucial match, away to his beloved Man United in the FA cup. I seem to remember only one team bottling it at Old Trafford Ady boy. And finally you have the effect that our injury crisis has had for the last two years. When Arsenal fans mention it we are making excuses but when other clubs lose one or two key players it is a disaster and nobody expects them to win. Maybe this is because our injury problems have become so commonplace that everyone is used to them.

I think Durham is barking up the wrong tree here. Wenger has been under severe pressure many times just to qualify for the Champions League and have often looked like we would fail but the Frenchman and his Gunners have always stepped up and done what clubs like the spuds and Everton would love to achieve.

But there is only one way we will see the end of these accusations and that is to win the Premier League again or the Champions League. What do you guys think?

Tags durham Monaco tottenham Wenger


  1. No. We bottle it when the pressure is off.

    Monaco at home vs Monaco away is the prime example. Not much pressure at home, immense pressure away. Results speak for themselves.

    FA Cup Final last year. Didn’t turn it on until we were 2-0 down.

    FA Cup Semifinal last year. Had to rescue it from a championship side after going 1-0 down.

    Top 4 last year. Got smashed 3-0 away to Everton, then won every game until the end of the season, once Top 4 was out of our hands.

    Even this year, we were awful, but going into the home stretch of the season the club seemed to realise what was at stake and turned it on.

    Makes me worry about the FA Cup again this year, and whether we’ll continue winning now the Top 4 is pretty much sealed.

    1. Accidental dislike. It’s a combination fo terrible injury history and not turning up until there is pressure. 40% of lost points were in the first 8 games of this season, there is little pressure at the beginning and we also had injury issues to good players. Again, our from has gotten really good now that we have players back but also top 4 was on the line.

    2. _____Off Topic____
      There is something about Welbeck that I like, though sometimes I wish I could give his head a hard knock when he fluffs very good goal scoring chances. I think Welbeck will become a very good striker. When he plays, you can feel his passion and notice just how hard he’s trying to make things work. He may score no goal, but his presence is not something the opposition can be comfortable with.

      Welbeck is a good dribbler and physically very well built. But one feature of his that really thrills me is his pace. When he is on the run, you may not notice just how fast he is, unless someone else is running alongside and you see him outpace the person. For his size, I think he is pretty fast.

      Welbeck has one problem: FINISHING. I hope he works on that aspect of his game. Honestly, I really don’t like everything he does in a game, but I do have faith in him (that’s really hard a thing for me to say about a person/player). When he plays badly, I will criticise him and point out his errors, I may even use some harsh words on him, but deep down I pray the light in him shines out exceedingly in no distant time.

      1. Giroud did it, and man how much i hated him for wasting all the chances, so Danny will become good aswell. Welbeck is Walcotts one ticket flight out from Arsenal.

      2. Good post. Not ashamed to say I have a soft spot for Welbeck. I am not going to say anything about his finishing or whether he should be in the 1st X1 etc but am convinced he is a spectacularly good player to have in your squad. And what makes it better is that he has a hugely admirable personal quality that means he will make the most of being a squad player without belly-aching about it. LVG was obviously looking to make his own personal statements when he took over at OT and DW was a victim of this. By all accounts and by general consensus SAF would have NEVER sold DW to anyone. Regarding his pace – I think everyone has noticed and I can only assume DW hasn’t done his sprint tests at Arsenal yet because I refuse to believe Walcott, Bellerin, Chamberlain or anyone else would be passing him in any sprint over say 40-50M. Those other boys will do him on the “0-60” but in terms of flat-out cruising speed DW is majestic.

        Last thing, and I have said this elsewhere, but if DW is deployed out wide, then we need to judge his goal scoring accordingly. There is a temptation because he is a recognised CF to judge him differently. Just to add some perspective here are some career goals/game stats for some of our famous wide boys. Appreciate they are bare stats and there are discussions to be had etc and not suggesting any are better than others, but revealing in some ways nonetheless in terms of what we should realistically expect:

        Pires: 0.33
        Ljungberg: 0.22
        Overmars: 0.28
        Nasri: 0.22
        Hleb: 0.08
        Oxlade-C 0.11
        Walcott: 0.25
        Welbeck: 0.26
        Alexis: 0.47 (wow!)

    3. That is the point.. When the pressure is on we bottle it and then when it looks like a toll order we then play with this “GOT NOTHING TO LOSE” attitude..

      Look at those small clubs we struggled with in the Semi and finals of the FA cup. Had that been Chelski, City, United, Liverpool etc we would not have come back..

    4. Spot on imo. AD is a prize twat at the best of times but Monaco at home was probably the best example of a game this season with little or no pressure. The pressure was on in the return leg where we had to score 3 goals or go home. Spurs game is no more pressurised than any other PL game, especially away from home. Since when has having to win nearly all your games without slip ups just to qualify for UCL not been a non-pressurised situation?

  2. No he hasn’t got a point. We have had a great season and haven’t had any dreadful displays that I can think of off the top of my head apart from Monaco. We have beaten City and Liverpool comprehensively and will qualify for the champions league without having to play extra games to get there. Does seem that the media have something against us. This bellend and Michael “sicknote” Owen seem to criticise us any opportunity they get. Still can’t get over Owen saying that Sterling is better than Özil, quite incredible.

    1. No dreadful displays this season other than Monaco? The season didn’t start in February, it started in August. Dortmund Away, Hull at home, Leicester away, Tottenham home and away, Stoke away, Liverpool away, Anderlecht home, Southampton away and Swansea away. All awful performances.

      1. @Mick The Gooner

        Well said. It’s amazing how quickly people forget such a big chunk of the season early on, just because we’ve been playing well of late. Arsenal have been in excellent form recently, but we have been poor for the majority of it.

        1. “A great season”.

          How is being second (currently) in the PL and being dumped once again out of the UCL before the serious business starts a ‘GREAT’ season?

          Winning either the PL or the UCL (or better still both) would warrant the season being labelled, GREAT. Not this..

          1. I’m comparing to last year and the embarrassment we suffered at the hands of the rest of the top 4. We haven’t had any performances like that this year. We may have been sub par but we haven’t been that bad since.
            And yes this has been a great season; we will not be finishing fourth like we always do. We have a team that looks cohesive and has found ways of grinding out results which we haven’t had for years. Alexis Sanchez has been quality this season and has transformed us. The emergence of Coquelin. Özil finding form again. Giroud finding himself. There are many positives to take from this season with little negatives. If we build on these positives next season with a couple new, quality signings, we will be ready to mount a serious challenge.

            1. Finishing above 4th is by no means certain, but we’ve definately been better than last year. I wouldn’t say it’s been a great season. It’s been a great second half of the season, bar Monaco, but an ok season overall. It’ll be a good season if we get the FA Cup again. It’ll be a decent season if we get second, less so if we get third, but both of those finishes will be improvements on last season.

              1. All very good with many positives however IMO great like the word genius is well over used.

                It’s been a better season and will stretch to good but great it is not.

    2. whoever says arsenal bottle it when there’s pressure is clueless. typical pundits talking ish.

      we bottle it if we have no pressure, which is also not quite true bc we have the best record vs lower-tier teams

  3. I think most people would disregard the 9 years bla bla bla (as different players, different times and an economically different situation) and also because there is no quick fix….so it is a cheap shot…no trophies in Nine years, now only one trophy in nine, if we won the prem it’d still be ‘only one title in a decade’. If he wants to keep using this stat to beat Gooners, then it is only time that will end it, or we simply consider we have 1 trophy in 1 year (and hopefully at least 2 in 2 by the end of this season).

    As for the 15 wins in 17 games (given we had such a poor start to the season) it could be viewed from the opposite perspective ie that under pressure the team has performed exceptionally well (let’s face it had early season form continued we would be mid table, certainly below the top 4) yet we have climbed the table to the extent that we now sit 2nd!

    He’s just a sports media ‘shock jock’ who likes to take the contrary line to generate interest. His opinion is hardly worth writing about. This season his ‘accusations’ could be levelled at just about every team including Chelsea who went out of FA Cup and the CL, City who ARE evidently bottling it on every level and Utd who are scraping by with occasional performances but out of all competitions.

  4. Arsenal plays awfull under pressure, without it we become beast. Arsenal problem was always more mentaly then talent wise. We always had the team for glory but some of Wengers desicions made us lose everytime. When sh8t becomes serious, we tend to fakk it up.

    And yea, let us not forget that we are a team who produced more traitors then every other team in the word during the past 10 years.

  5. I do not click on Adrian Durmham newspapers. He writes craps! DO NOT CLICK ON DURMHAM!!! He is SPUD

  6. OT:

    Benteke is dominating QPR and rounding back into hif form a few years back.

    Sherwood is a chearleader DB dressed as a head coach. Total tool

  7. Unfortunately we do.. We are not good under pressure.. Even in games, when a team rushes, presses and closes us with high intensity we seem to look like amateurs..

    I am still skeptical, lets see next season..

    1. Every team cracks when the other team presses, liverpool did against swansea though they ended up winning, man u and against us….

  8. Durham is a complete c..t end of! How this boring waste of space ever got a job talking about football is beyond me he knows zero and just talks crap to get a response i will give him one quote get lost Durham you useless piece of s..t!!!

  9. At first I didn’t know why many commentators were fond of bashing Arsenal until I realised Arsenal’s perceived crime of having brought a French manager who started by winning things to the chagrin of many British fans. When Arsenal started building the stadium and Chelsea was bought by Roman Abramovic the haters got their pound of flesh by labelling Arsenal and its manager all sorts of names such as weak-kneed, wimps, bottlers etc. The truth is Arsene Wenger is a top quality manager who decided to sacrifice winning titles so as to guarantee the club a secure financial future. All the genuine Arsenal fans need to bear this in mind as they criticise Wenger every time Arsenal loses a game. A good number of those baying for Wenger’s blood are not genuine Arsenal fans but fans of other clubs who want to see Arsenal destabilised so that it can lose its consistency in the top echelon of the English game. Unfortunately many of our gullible fans can’t see through these people’s bluff and crocodile tears! Had these people succeeded in their schemes perhaps Arsenal would have dropped out of the top four. To answer the question of bottling it up I would say all this is in the minds of those who are either over zealous supporters or Arsenal’s enemies masquerading as supporters. The main problems Arsenal has been facing are: low budget, injuries and young players all of which were due to the construction of the Emirates stadium. It is now gratifying that Arsenal has now put the stadium behind and is back in the market for quality players. The results of this new situation are already starting to be seen where our team is now showing that it can stand to and beat any team in EPL and even Europe. After here the team can only move upwards and the sky is the limit.

  10. Alex iwobi scored a hat-trick, wilshere played 90mins, diaby and arteta were subbed after an hour……. stoke scored first, Gnabry was particularly lively, diaby got an assist with an inch perfect pass, most impoortantly no injuries from the match!

  11. Flamini ruined our season. Without his stuff ups in 3 early games we would be up there with Chelsea. Everyone knows he’s not top class, why he still gets on the bench is beyond me. Now that Debuchy is recovering we can use Chambers to cover CDM.

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