Let me stress there were plenty of positives for Arsenal fans to take from our performance on Saturday and in general the progress under Uni Emery has been evident. What I didn’t like was the attitude of certain gooners on social media who were bordering on arrogance. It supported my view I expressed earlier in the season that there are fans who are cheering change for the sake of it, convincing themselves we are moving in a certain direction when in reality, things change yet stay the same.
Many on YouTube were demanding an apology from Paul Merson, who long held the view that Liverpool would put 3-4 goals past us. Everyone knows the Sky pundit has the habit of over emphasising his point. What he was trying to explain is we don’t have the defence to win the big matches. Making out we proved our point suggests we won. Celebrating a draw at home is something you expect from Spurs supporters.
Indeed, this group of players have yet to change the perception others have. Apart from his last two years, Arsene spent over a decade getting us in the top 4 by beating everyone else, drawing to our top 6 rivals at home, losing to them away. How did a 1-1 draw this weekend at the Emirates change that?
One fan explained it was because this time last year we didn’t have the mentality to respond to a Liverpool if they scored first. That gentlemen casually forgot that we came from behind to get a point in the very same fixture? Didn’t we also get a draw at Stamford Bridge last season, a venue we lost at this year?
The worst arrogance I heard was Manchester United being dismissed as merely competing for a place in the top 6, while we are now in the dizzy height of challenging for the title. This is in a two-week period where one Manchester club has opened a gap over us, while the other one has closed it. But apparently gone are the days when our ambition was just fighting to be in the top 4……. We are fifth?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting a negative spin on a positive 90 minutes but the only time we have proven our critics wrong is when we are winning these types of games. The only person who pointed that out was …. Unai Emery himself. That at least is refreshing to hear.