It seems this young Arsenal side has learned to ignore any pressure from Man City

If Arsenal were feeling the pressure of the title race it wasn’t apparent on Sunday, as they took a stroll along the River Thames and produced one of their most dominant away displays of the season.

My stance on who will be Champions in May has long been that; if your life depended on it, you would still make Man City favourites. That’s not a reflection on us just respect for the standards Pep Guardiola has set. He has a dressing room full of winners, who know how to cope with ‘squeaky bum time’ and get over the line.

We have the youngest squad in the division, whom the majority found the race for top 4 too much to cope with 12 months ago.

Even in recent games when we have been winning, we have had to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Aston Villa and Bournemouth. The likes of Gary Neville think that’s not sustainable.

Yet this weekend, where there was every reason for the occasion to be too much for us mentally, we made this 3 points look like our easiest we picked up this campaign.

Technically every fixture we chalk off, the closer we get to the finish line, in theory the test of our character should increase?

This was game 27 so just 12 to go, we had watched the day before our gap be reduced to just 2 points again.

Man City won at Selhurst Park just how Champions should, finding a way to win.

With trips to the Etihad (where our record is terrible), Anfield (equally shocking) and Saint James Park (we lost on our last visit) the Gunners need to go to those grounds with a minimum 5 point advantage.

That’s what was in our heads as we showed up at Craven Cottage. Or what should have been on our minds.

If we thought this would be a tough London Derby, we were completely wrong.

We respected that Fulham had only lost three league matches at home, but that was never an issue.

The assumption that in 8th place our hosts could play with freedom was not the correct assumption.

Either that ‘pressure’ doesn’t exist, or it inspired us yesterday. It won’t go unnoticed on the blue half of Manchester how straight forwardly we handled an occasion which should have been more complex.

Maybe we have a reputation now where, like previous eras, we defeated the opponent in the tunnel?

Either way the Cottagers gave their supporters nothing to cheer about, meaning the away section got out their song book for the afternoon.

In a blow to Fulham and Palace next week, Eddie Nketiah won’t be available till after the international break. His injury has allowed Arteta to further trust Trossard in the false number 9 role where he interchanges with Martinelli. The Belgian became the first player in Prem history to get a first half hat trick of assists in an away encounter.

This was so straight forward (on a day it shouldn’t have been) that the biggest threat to ourselves were ourselves  Would we get complacent?

That will be the biggest danger when we face Palace. Next Sunday we face a team who hasn’t had a shot on target in 3 consecutive matches. That’s who stands in our way from making City play Liverpool 8 points behind us!

I would say that pressure is quite big, but going off this weekend, what pressure?


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  1. Dan, we did bottle it last season with that young team, but you are forgetting four things:
    Trossard – Jorginho – Gabriel and Zinchenko.
    There are your experienced heads, two of whom come from city’s winning squad, one from chelsea’s and a player, in Trossard, who has found another level regarding his football.
    Such clever signings by the club.

    I agree that the 8 point gap would be such a positive one and I’m hoping that city will have a much harder game than us in our respective European campaigns.

      1. No Dan it is 11 games to go. Try elementary counting and see: 28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38.
        I hope this settles the debate.

        1. He was talking about the match against fulham before it started in the article.. so it’s obviously 12 games with the fulham game.. Dan is right, maybe you should try elementary reading comprehension

        2. This is what I wrote
          This was game 27 so just 12 to go, we had watched the day before our gap be reduced to just 2 points again………

          So at that point we had 12 to go

          Made your look silly

        1. Pam Oh dear! Are you not bright enough to understand that Dan was plainly writing retrospectively! in other words, he referred to the very recent past.

          And in the recent past there were, as he correctly stated, TWELVE games to go.

          Anyone who simply cannot understand that OBVIOUS CASE is not very bright at all!!

        2. Pam let’s try again …..

          This was game 27 so just 12 to go, we had watched the day before our gap be reduced to just 2 points again.

          Made yourself look silly

  2. Our record at Anfield and Etihad doesn’t bother me a bit this season. I think it’ll be very close, we’ll just need to make sure we finish our chances. IMHO, that was the reason we lost to City at the Emirates, Failing to convert our chances.
    The reason I’m not not bothered is because this season our boys go away to go attack on the front foot.
    The reason we’re the best away team in the league is simply because teams are so delusional thinking they could play and come at us in front of their home fans and this works to our advantage.
    Nothing works better for this Arsenal than an opponent that wants to come at us.
    They all got picked apart. The only home team that was wise enough was Everton and Sean Dyche applying a low-block at home, giving us no space and chances on the ball.
    The rest that were bold enough to face us heads on all got picked apart.
    I’m counting on that at the Anfield and Etihad.
    I’m not saying we’ll go walk those two on their grounds, but I’m saying we have the chance to come out of those games with 6 points or 3 points at least, we’ll have enough opportunities. I hope this time around our core players are fit for the city game.
    They will be playing our strongest team this time around with Partey and Jesus involved.
    It’s looking good.

    P.S I think the reason we’re not that solid at home is because we get too emotional and play with too much emotions in front of our fans. So we are usually careless and less conscious. The amount of clean sheets away compared to the Emirates says a lot.
    Now that we’re on the business part of the season, the boys will need to learn to bottle their emotions on the pitch because the small teams will be desperate to get results, and we have to play with clear heads and same focus with which we do away.
    There will enough time to celebrate together at the end of the season.

  3. There is every possibility of getting points at Liverpool and Etihad. My worry is always on the so called “small” clubs. Let’s just be focused and win our winnable games. We can be sure of celebration come May.

  4. Guys relax….. The league is ours . Man City is under pressure now, the football we playing and the player’s who came back from injuries, i think we stand a great chance

  5. I agree with the above posts which see the ease with which we attack when away compared to those teams who shut up shop when they come to us. I foresee a rattling good and very open game at Anfield and at City and give us a good chance of getting results at both . Likewise at Newcastle.

    But the lesser teams at home will be more difficult to score against. And we are more vulnerable defensively when at home too.

    Football is constantly FULL of shock results and we are wise not to forget this truth!

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