Yes it was a disappointing night on Thursday when we were destroyed by Tottenham (or was it the referee?) but there has certainly been enough of an inquest into our unusual defeat. It could be considered unusual simply because we were on a winning streak of four straight wins to put us in the driving seat for the Top Four.
But now we all need to forget the North London Derby as we have yet another Cup Final in the Top Four race up at Newcastle. Strangely enough, the Toon were on a 4-game winning streak themselves until coming up against Liverpool and Man City in their last two games. If you look to before their wins, they had also lost to Chelsea, Everton and Tottenham, so maybe they are not so good against the Top Six sides (like Arsenal).
AS Arteta said in his pre-game press conference: “I just look forwards,”
“I said after the [Spurs] press conference, that game was lost, we were disappointed, but we didn’t have any time to recover and we have a huge game to play on Monday against Newcastle and full focus and energy was just on that.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this could be the defining game to decide who finishes in the Top Four, and we must certainly not be feeling too confident. The most worrying fact for me is that before losing (just 0-1) to Liverpool at St James Park, there only other home defeat in the previous 13 home games (stretching to before last Xmas) was against Man City.
It would appear that with the Toon Army behind them they are a formidable prospect at St James Park, so the Gunners will have to be at their very best. We just need Arteta to make sure his team has their confidence restored and play the whole game like they did in the first 20 minutes against the Spuds…
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Video – Mikel Arteta talks about Newcastle, injuries and the Top Four race