If Arsenal “bottled it”, it wasn’t at Anfield, but it was on Merseyside

So, some bookies are now making Man City favourites to reclaim their title, which hasn’t been the case for many weeks.

I’m surprised by some of my peer’s reaction to us drawing at Anfield, where Liverpool’s home form and our decade long record at the stadium suggested that a victory was unlikely.

Some in the media have used the words such as ‘bottling it‘. Yet can winning 7 and drawing on Merseyside out of your last 8 fixtures truly be ‘bottling it?’.

The irony is if we ‘bottled it‘ anywhere it’s when we lost at Everton, were held by Brentford and failed to show up for the second half against Man City.

The irony being; readers who were upbeat about those sequence of results seemed to have gone the other way about a 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

It seems some Gooners got humbled at the weekend, no more talk of ‘when and not if ‘we ended our title drought.

It’s almost like some of my peers woke up from underneath a rock and realised how hard it is to finish about Man City. Pep Guardiola has set such a high standard that a draw can feel like a defeat, that you have to be immaculate in the run in, that one slip up can cost you everything.

The Champion’s current winning sequence is 9 consecutive wins, and on paper have an easier run in then us. Even their trickier away matches at Brighton and Brentford could be their last two at which point our fate could be sealed.

To be fair, the likes of Gary Neville warned us this is what happens this time of the year on the blue half of Manchester.

Our destiny though is still in our own hands. If we win every match from now till the end of the season, we will be Champions. Six victories and 2 draws (as long as one is at the Etihad) would also be enough. Given that we still have to visit Saint James Park, that’s not ideal.

Last Sunday simply confirmed what we already knew that the probability is that we have to get a result at the Etihad, and I don’t mind that. We have waited nearly two decades for this moment, so it’s not meant to be easy. Most moments that are worthwhile are not meant to be.

Yet some of our fanbase keep trying to find an easy way to navigate past Man City and none exists. Hence why Jurgen Klopp only has one winners Prem medal despite recording points totals in the high nineties.

The latest theory I have heard is that we can still top the table even if Man City beat us on the 26th of April if we improve our goal difference.

You can get odds of 11-10 for the Gunners to win the Prem, but I can only imagine what you would be quoted for us to do that on goal difference.

Our rivals are currently 5 goals better in that criteria, so I have listened to some supporters implore Mikel Arteta to tactically go all-out attack at West Ham and at home to Southampton.

How arrogant!

Of course, two clashes with struggling sides could indeed lead to wins by big margins, but we are not in a position where we can take anything for granted. Win our next two and we go to Manchester at least 9 points ahead. I’ll bite your hand off for two scrappy 1-0 wins.

If anything, Man City are more likely to add to their superior goal difference. When’s the last time they failed to at least score 3 in a game?

Meanwhile if they could hand pick an opponent this weekend it would probably be Leicester, without a win since February.

Plus, if City beat us that again impacts on the goal difference column.

  • City are 5 goals better than us in terms of goal difference having played a game more
  • On paper they have the easier run in – play mostly sides in the bottom half of the table
  • If they beat us at the Etihad, logically that would improve their goal difference

So sorry Gooners, there’s no avoiding this, no getting away with it.

We want to finish above City, we are going to need a result at the Etihad.

We won’t be winning the Prem on goal difference!


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  1. When some of us say there is and always has been an agenda against Arsenal from the media, refs and surprising some of our fellow fans we are told we believe in conspiracy theories.

    Yet the truth is obvious for everyone to see.

    Now here is the funny part..

    Everyone has taken a draw at Anfield where Liverpool fought for their lives and it took a great help from the ref to secure one point as a loss to Arsenal.

    Everyone reaction is that we lost that game and Liverpool won 1 point.

    That is a huge respect to us without naysayers realizing they are giving it!

    1. I think people are just disappointed that we blew a 0-2 lead..

      Before the match I was more than happy to take a point, but knowing we lead 0-2 the match.. It does feel a bit of bittersweet. But I’m not panicking at all.

      Bigger picture-wise, we are still ahead, and if we win our next 2 matches we’ll be 9 points ahead of Man City when we face them. Still ours to lose it. Man City has tough away matches to Everton, Brentford, Brighton and Fulham while we have City, Newcastle, West Ham and Nottingham. They’ll also most likely advance to the FA Cup final and CL semifinals.

      Could go either way..

  2. I will say what I’ve said for a million times on this platform. City will drop points even as we would. I’m not scared

  3. If we fail to win anything this season, we blew it when Brentford held us off and when Sporting won the penalty shootout at the Enirates

    I can only hope Man City would focus on UCL more than EPL or maybe Guardiola would be kind enough to give his ex-assistant an EPL title

    Man City showed us again that their attack is still one of the best in the world by trashing Bayern Muenchen yesterday. Arteta, the coaches and the players need to study it, if they want to nullify Man City at their own turf

    1. Bayern were not their usual selves though. They were sloppy. We have a better talent and manager than Bayern today.

      1. Arteta’s tactics are way more entertaining than Tuchel’s. But he still needs to win EPL or UCL, to prove he’s better than Tuchel

    2. GAI
      I dont think one person on here is ever questioning the superiority that city have over all the clubs in the prem
      it been one heck of a ride and experience this season just to keep ahead of them so give credit where credit is due to the team and manager in the manor we have done this.
      we blew with Brentford for the league?
      is that the game when the stood and shouldn’t off?
      if we fail this season it will not be for lack of trying and hats off to any team who catches and passes us as they will deserve the title. for now we sit top of the tree and it is for city to catch us and not us them.
      i find it hard to understand why the doom and gloom after
      Sundays result.
      is it because we lost a 2 goal lead. do you not think Pool have in the locker at Anfield to give all teams a run for there money and get a result.
      it is one point gained and not 3 lost and keeps us 6 in front.
      points on the board count more now then games in hand and anyone who tells you different is lying to you.
      the one good thing i read in your comments is that over the past weeks you have gone from ” we will finish 2nd to if we blow it.
      there still hope for mankind.
      chin up and keep the faith
      onwards and upwards

      1. Alan, we should’ve scored more than one goal against Brentford, because we were very dominant in that game

        Getting twenty points from the remaining eight games will be a herculean task, but Man City will have to divide their focus if they go to the next phase of UCL. I have got no faith, but our players logically should be more energetic than Man City’s

        1. GAI

          i am sure all the teams at some time during the season are saying that
          we should have won that game but the reality is, even if city win there game in hand we still sit 3 points clear of them
          would pep swap places with us right now… you better believe he would.
          i believe we will go to city and at the least come away with a draw.
          93 points get us the title
          we will win are remaining games bar a draw against city and the Toon army sees us take the title
          onwards and upwards Mr GAI

    3. gai, we didn’t blow it against Brentford, Lee Mason was the reason we only got 1 point, when he failed to draw the lines for offside for their goal.

        1. I am not so sure about Brentford. They played really. I cannot hand on heart say that we deserved 3 points that day.
          Like I have stated many times, 6 wins + 2 draws (against Man City and Newcastle) would give us the title as AB has also agreed. At this stage of the season, I could not have asked for a better position. Still very difficult to go unbeaten for the remainder of the season but possible and necessary to be EPL champions on 93 points.
          To do this we need to play KT at LB position more.

  4. Winning on goal difference seems very, very unlikely, as it would mean, we should lose our point advantage on City, but improve our goaldifference comnpared to them. Not happening.
    We are doing extremely well. A huge improvement and 2’nd almost guaranteed to be our worst possible position. All talk about “bottling it” has so far been rubbish.
    Every PL winner, as in every single one, have dips in form, without it being a case of bottling it.
    Many things can happen yet. We may get a result at City, even a win. City may slip up in other games, and the same goes for us.

    1. Agree Anders
      None of us apart from Kev, who appears to have divine powers, knows what the end of the season will bring
      A few weeks ago I thought improving our goal difference was achievable and could make a difference, but City looked awesome last night so appear to be back on track. Hopefully just for the Champions League!

      1. Yes, I am actually happy, they look like advancing in the CL. Can only see it as a possible small distraction for them in the PL title race, and of course also a strain on their players.
        They did look awesome, but then again, no team can play like that every time. As you say, if they do it in the CL, so much the better 😉

  5. Sunday’s result was a disappointment for me because we lost control of the match from manager down to the players.

    2-0 lead, in control, and playing our game in Anfield. Unfortunately Liverpool wrestled away the momentum and we were unable to get it back.

    Honestly the subs were headscratchers, and Arteta waited far too long to sub Zinchenko for Tierney.

    Easy to criticize in hindsight, but doesn’t take a soothsayer to know Zinchenko is suspect at defending, and could cost us when it matters in final moments.

    Hopefully lessons learned, still tops, no room for mistakes now.

  6. Tierney must play at left back against city ok he might not give us the same going forward but at least he can defend we have to stay in the game if we try and go toe to toe with city they will destroy us!

  7. If we “bottle” it, it would be the “first leg” against Everton and Southampton.

    One thing which I noticed was that we did not win the “first leg”.

    Arsenal – 19 – 14 – 2 – 3 – 44
    City – 19 – 14 – 3 – 2 – 45

    It is the “second leg” that we are having a slightly better run than City.

    Arsenal – 11 – 9 – 2 – 0 – 29
    City – 10 – 7 – 1 – 2 – 22

    There could be some hope.

  8. Unfortunately, it does feel like city are hitting form at the right time and it is slipping away from us. We could get a draw or even a win at the etihad, and I’d still be uneasy with our run in. Newcastle away is no different to anfield, and I think Newcastle have a better team than Liverpool atm, and there’s a couple of other games I’d rather not have in our final run of games.
    Sorry to sound so down, I just think we desperately needed that win at anfield to give ourselves a real chance. It’s not over, and I hope to be proven wrong (arteta has proven me wrong many times already!), so we’ll see.
    Whatever happens, this has already been a brilliant season – the level of consistency has been fantastic, arteta has proven himself a top manager in my eyes, and many of the players I’d previously doubted have proven themselves also. If we do fall short, I’d say it’s simply because we lack one or two top players to give us a bit more of an edge at certain times. Nothing more than that.

  9. It’s just too early to do a postmortem on
    Arsenal bottling the campaign,

    Eight more games left for us and nine for the Citizens , we won’t win all 8 and neither will the Citizens, there is sure to be more twist before this campaign ends.

    We are still in a very good position with a very hungry and talented outfit

  10. So far this season, Arsenal have drawn 4 games and lost 3 games , with some controversial decisions in at least 5 games, that have caused Arsenal to drop crucial points. Hence, Arsenal lead in the premier league should have been significantly higher by at least 5 to 8 points more than the current 6 points . Arsenal total points should have been between 78 to 81 pts. So, to now claim that Arsenal have bottled it against Liverpool is nonsense. In fact all season, it has been the referees and var match officials (influenced by pundits and commentators to some extent] that have been trying their best to bottle Arsenal. But , what’s to be must be. Can’t stop the rain, Arsenal will prevail.

    1. Don’t deceive yourself about controversial decision coz City got the same fate too.
      Man U vs Man city game is one of them

  11. gai, maybe we should have scored more against Brentford, but that doesn’t take away the fact that we would’ve won the game 1-0 if Lee Mason had done his job properly. Those 2 extra points that he cost us could well see us lose the PL Title.

  12. People have set a higher standard for arsenal this season. Drawing now at Anfield is unacceptable lol. All of the top 5 teams lost there no problem,but arsenal drew there,big problem. That means we are too good this season.

    1. That is what really made me sick.
      Yes Zinchenko shouldn’t have play that game and many sub is wrong or late.
      But saying we lost bcuz we drew the game is funny. Liverpool is a fortress and nobody can boast of winning in that ground in the EPL.
      We’re scared of City and yet City was beaten in this same ground.

      1. Just wondering if the scoreline was reversed and we were 2 nil down and managed to draw, would people still be so down beat . Anfield is no joke this might turn out to be a good point. Liverpool always raise their game at Anfield. Remember what they did to Man United who were on an unbeaten run?

  13. The media and other fans hate Arsenal so much that they redefine the meaning of ‘bottling’. Did Man City won the league because Arsenal drew at a ground where they themselves lost? The media says Man City will win the league if they win all their remaining matches. True, but Arsenal will win the league if they win all their matches and draw at City. Of course, these paid agents won’t mention that. I would say Arsenal stumbled at Anfield courtesy of sudden energy surge from Liverpool players and the referee’s explicit bias towards Arsenal. The only thing Arsenal did not gain was injuries considered the way Liverpool played.

  14. Arsenal didn’t “bottle it”, or to put it another way $hite themselves, but were the victims of a rare case of poor team management, which I’m sure Arteta and his staff have learned from, and were overrun by a rampant second-half performance by Liverpool.
    It happens, but whatever the media suggests, we’re not a “bottling” side.

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