Man City defeat shows Arsenal are not mentally ready to fight for the title

Just to save you some time, no I’m not going to be positive about an 11th straight League defeat to Man City.

I will be negative regarding 4 games without a win where again we struggled to register that many shots on targets.

I will also not be pressured into changing my belief that mentally sustaining a title challenge is a step too far for Arsenal.

I think this defeat, not mathematically but mentally, knocks us out of title contention.

That’s not an insult to the Gunners, it’s a reflection we have the youngest squad in the division, and respect to the standards Pep Guardiola has set.

I feel some of my peers have lost sight of this; getting over the line in the Prem takes a special mindset..

The Champions have a dressing room full of talent who know how to get over the line, and that was evident in the second half.

We never truly kicked on after Saka’s penalty.

Gooners can’t blame a refs decision or VAR this time. One gave us a spot kick, the other overruled one that went against us.

How conspiracy theories will spin that I don’t know?

The reality is too many players are crippled by fear. The majority of these players couldn’t handle the pressure of a top 4 race so asking them to a year later cope with a title race is simply asking too much.

It’s zero coincidence that the first two goals we conceded came from defenders giving the ball away, not the first or last time they would do that.

That’s simply the occasion getting to the players.

The timing isn’t random that a Martinelli and Odegaard have gone off the boil.

Not a mystery why defenders are now being bullied.

It’s not a shock that Eddie Nketiah isn’t consistently scoring.

Again it’s not an indictment on the striker to say he’s just not good enough for the level we aspire to be.

Some Gooners will be positive for the sake of it, not that it has any bearing on the results.

When we were knocked out of the FA Cup some celebrated that we kept the deficit low and that somehow a 1-0 loss was a warning to the side that won that tie?

Some fans arrogantly dismissed the Cup as a trophy we know longer needed to concerns ourselves with.

How has being knocked out of that competition helped us at all ?

Performances at Goodison and home to Brentford were ignored because we were top of the table.

No doubt now I will read how we would have taken this scenario in the summer?

As our title bid dies before we even reach March we will then remind ourselves that top 4 was the aim.

I understand why it seems harsh to write us off the title.

Our fate is in our own hands , win every game we are Champions.

Yet it’s not the recent results that are the issue but the performances.

It’s four games on the trot now where we have struggled to make chances. You can’t just turn that on and off.

We look tired, a lack of imagination, players going missing.

For months this young group have been told how special they are while Man City have been criticised, some even saying Haaland has made them worse?

So imagine the mental impact to wake up and see that same Man City above you .

I have always agreed with Gary Neville that this title race could get away from Arsenal very quickly.

Do I see this group with the leadership to now go to Villa Park and win in must-win conditions?

Not really.

Can they go to Anfield, the City Ground, King Power, Saint James Park and handle pressure where even a draw is a bad result.

Where’s the evidence to suggest that?

Some readers will call me names yet it’s up to the players to prove me wrong and they haven’t.

If the pressure is too much now, why would it be any different come May ?

Let me stress, we have had a great season and Mikel Arteta has improved us.

Yet the second half on Wednesday proved we are not ready mentally to be Champions



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  1. Yes, Arsenal are definitely not mentally-steady enough to be a title contender in the most competitive football league in the world

    They can win against some big teams, such as Man United and Spurs. But EPL is like a long world-class marathon and only the elites can endure such pressure for a ten-month period

    However, there is still a very short time to fix the problems. If Arteta is really smart, he would’ve learned how to beat Aston Villa from Man City

    1. What is all this fuss about not having mentally to win epl? I do not question the mentality of this players. They took the game to City and lost to a team of better quality and best league coach in the world. They weren’t afraid to play City from what’ I watched yesterday. This season, no team has won possession against MCity squad dept and quality bech is the issue. Arteta also need to learn a few tricks to win “dirty” A loss is not a good reason to fault their mentality they are still in contention for the title.

      1. I mean their mental endurance to maintain their league positions in 45+ tough games

        All big EPL teams including Man City had the mental breakdown this season, but they had it at the beginning of this season and are currently having an upward trajectory

        We’re having it in the middle of the season, which is dangerous if we don’t steady the ship as soon as possible

      2. Okay, some want
        1. Sack the coach immediately
        2. Bench Ben for Tomi, now bench Tomi for Ben
        3. Pay 80M GBP for a back up to Partey
        May I ask Dan
        1.who lost majority of those 11 games to City?
        2. Did we, get spanked like the bygone years?
        3. Did we not attack? Had Eddie been 1 yard closer, we would have scored. Had it not been a misplaced pass, we would not have conceded. Did we not take the game to them?
        4. Did not they apologize for the Bee’s fiasco? Or else we would be top by 2 points clear on top.
        Disgusting read!

        1. Couldn’t agree more.
          I think some may not be mentally ready to actually see Arsenal are improving on all accounts, and if we don’t quite beat them this year, it is only a natural thing. After all, we were 24 points behind them last season.

        2. Who lost majority of those 11 games ……Arteta I think ?
          Did we get spanked ? Well yeah they scored three goals at our ground like most years

          Also …..who said he should get sacked ?

          I simply said we mentally can’t win title this season.
          That’s currently being proven ?

          1. Nothing is being proven, that is your problem.
            It is a fact, we have not performed well in 3 games.
            You are just guessing it is a mental problem, but you have no proper knowledge, just a theory.
            The reasons could be multiple, and could also just be a natural dip in form, as every team experiences, including the champions every year.

      1. I beg to differ, he’s smart enough to be the coach of EPL’s second best club as on date, earning millions unlike you. Where are the “smart” Coaches gone? -Lampard, Gerrard, , Poch, Tuchel. How are the brilliant coaches preforming? Potter, Klopp?

      2. Yes Arteta must be the dumbest manager in PL. But that would mean we have one hell of a team, when they can be level with Man C with a manager like that.
        Luckily, we could easily replace him. Seems like we have so many smart candidates on Just Arsenal. 😉

    2. For me, it has nothing to o with us not being mentally strong enough. We don’t have the squad depth and as result, we have to play the same players over and over again.

      We were without our two most important players (Jesus and Partey) and we failed to bring in adequate cover for those two players. Other players like Martenili and Odegaard are starting to look a bit jaded.

      If you look at our results over the last two seasons with and without Partey you will realize how big a mistake it was that we didn’t stretch for a top-quality DM last summer and this January. If we fail to win the PL it will be because we have no adequate back-up for Partey and put our faith in Nketia once we knew Jesus would be out for a long time. Two mistakes.

  2. I beg to differ its about recognizing and adapting to tweeks and formation changes during a game small example, in the second half Pep had his players use one or two passes to get the ball in our half when they lost it they pressed us hard but guess what we kept on trying to pass ourselves out of trouble instead using the long ball to exploit their lack of defensive players in the final third if I can call it that. We need to evolve and do it quickly the premier league is unforgiving just look at Liverpool you don’t want to get caught in a rut

  3. So when will they be?
    City didn’t wake up and started winning title it all started in a season..
    It’s the clubs fault for not adding the players with the required talents and mentality to help the team.
    And arteta’s inexpensive always shows up at important moments of the season, doesn’t help the team too
    We are level on points with City
    It’s in their hands now, our game in hand means nothing to them as long as we are still going to visit etihad so it’s all city’s title to lose
    we start all over again…

    1. Tomiyasu, Tierney, Trossart, are good enough to rotate players with he also spent 35m on viera you can’t just freeze players out and suddenly you want them to perform magics when called upon, he did same last season and is repeatedly doing the same thing this season I have never seen a team win the league with just 11players playing every week, involve other players to freshen things up so when need comes for them to contribute they will be upto rhythm…

      1. At a point Nelson came from the bench to score two goals and make an assist when xaka came out injured, it shows in that match that Nelson could have done the job and given xaka a deserved rest, but it was only injury that forced his hands, viera can in, in the absence of odegarrd against Brentford away and played a good game also scored. Yet he was frozen out after when odegarrd returned, knowing when a player deserves a rest and when other player are ready to contribute is a thing about arteta that he refuses to learn, game after game it’s Trossart for martinelli when nkettiah does nothing, no tweaking does the same thing over and over, so predictable, if he keep this up then we will have to wait a very long time to win the league.

        1. That’s exactly Arteta’s problem. He is stubborn to change. Some of us here in JA had consistently pleaded with him to rotate his players and it fell on the deaf ears of Arteta. He can still perform wonders with the present squad. Managing his squad is a challenge. No team can win EPL with same set of players no matter how wonderfully gifted they may be. He won’t learn his lessons just yet. Come Saturday, he will still play same players. Who wanna bet?

  4. That’s the Mr. Dan many of us have come to know…imagine a scenario where you are proven to be correct? I wonder how thankful you’ll be.

  5. Remember we have basically used the the same game plan with basically the same eleven for more than 20 games its obvious that a sly fox like Pep could nullify us, damn even Everton at the foot of the table nullified our attack, we need some new ideas and quick I don’t buy into this mental mambo Jumbo

    1. Either Arteta lack that ability for new ideas or doesn’t have that much quality players to implement his new and different ideas..

  6. For Dan Smith
    You may be right but it is a little too early to make that judgement as historically we have always had a bad month (sometimes 2 months). I wish to see how we play in March.

    1. On another night ,NOT missing our two best world class players & NOT gifting them two goals & letting them off the hook with NOT finishing 3 v.good chances we would have beaten them hands down.We battered them in the first half & they edged it late in the 2nd.1-3 flattered them.
      If they had been missing DeBruyn & Haaland.Don’t think they’d have won.But they have a billion plus squad to call on.We don’t There will be few twists in this race yet to come.Shame on the author & the Bedwetters on here.

        1. I have to agree. Yet another disgracefully negative article from someone who is supposedly an Arsenal fan.
          Yes, we have lost but the fact remains that there are many games left and it is still all to play for.
          We have beaten almost all the other top teams in the league this season. Are we supposed to ignore all those other wins and performances?

        2. What world are you living in…
          We are one of the team with least injury, injury is part of football and shouldn’t be an excuse especially when it’s only few players missing

  7. Why am I not surprised Dan?

    The way I see it its not that Arsenal does not have mental strength to challenge, its that everyone is cheering for Arsenal to fail to keep up with the tradition of bias against us.

    Just cant wrap up my head on why Arsenal fans are joining in on the fun.

    1. While other fans are so high in the clouds while we winning they forget to come down to earth to reset when results don’t go our way

    2. So you think we lost at Goodison , drew with Brentford and lost to City because of a bias by a few strangers ?

    3. HH
      What do you want to read mate ?
      That we were fantastic yesterday ?
      That Martinelli was brilliant ?
      That we have played great in the last 4 fixtures ?

      1. How about you use your writing skill to inspire fans to get behind the team now that we have the best title chance in years?

        How can the team have mental strength when their own fans let alone others have been sceptical even when we had 8 points gap?

        1. Have you asked yourself why fans feel that way ?
          Have you not noticed those fans are being proven correct ?
          There was a great atmosphere at the Emiraites so dont think team can hide behind lack of support
          You don’t truly think a title race is impacted by online opinions do you ?

  8. Spot on. Every older fan I’ve spoken to since last night agrees – we are still nowhere near good enough to challenge City. Unfortunately for the game, that may not matter, as this result, if EPL have their way, effectively hands the title to a team few Arsenal fans would want to see win it. As for the rest, in fifty years of watching Arsenal, I’ve seen the ‘couldn’t beat eleven dustbins’ collapses too often to expect us to do more than desperately try to keep Spurs and doubtless by April, Liverpool, from snatching fourth place from us. Upcoming games don’t suggest any relief, and emery feels he owes us one, so the poor run will continue into games far harder to win. I can see a few here asking the same question I have for eighteen years now, when will the club stop buying in ‘luxury’ forwards and wingers, and start buying in proven quality in central defence and defensive midfield? Xhaka, bless him, was having his best season, but he ain’t it. Until the management do that simple thing, start doing what all title winners build from, a solid defence, rather than attack being the um, best form of defence, we won’t sustain a challenge. As for the daft idea, pushed by younger fans, pundits and to their shame, the post EPL, FA themselves, that ‘cups dont matter’, here’s rio Ferdinands take – ‘alex ferguson taught us that all trophies matter, and we should be up for, and challenge for them all. Every cup, every title. Cups he said, lay the foundations for winning the league’. But what would alex ferguson know, eh? If I’m proved wrong I hope everyone points this post out, and tells me how wrong I was. Trust me, if that happens I’ll be too happy to care. Unfortunately, experience tells me I won’t.

    1. Just like to echo your thoughts regarding the need for defensive solidity if we are to win the EPL.Maybe you need to be old to recognise this Fathomer?

      1. Very possibly. Not only that but pundits talk so much utter rubbish it’s no wonder younger fans think simply doing x,y or z will solve long standing issues. I have never, to date, seen a league championship winning side without a top class defence and defensive strategy. Admittedly 70’s and early 80’s liverpool took it way too far and worked on simply boring teams into submission, (as did George in the end), but the basis of success is built at the back, then topped off with quality finishers.

  9. Our current form is down to two things: Shaky defense and a really poor striker. These are all fixable. Eddie misses a free header then two minutes later Tomi needlessly gives away a goal. We miss another chance then Gabriel gives away another goal. Xhaka wastes another chance and after few minutes it’s 1-3. There’s a trend here that can be fixed. We WILL GET BETTER DAN.

  10. Chelsea further inflated an already overinflated market, so it was always difficult for teams looking to add quality. We had to bite the bullet and spend over the odds just this once because it was evident that the team was short of quality in midfield and attack. They went for the cheaper option, and now it’s coming back to bite us. What was evident from last night’s game is that Man City will drop points at some time, so it’s not all doom and gloom; however, we have to get out of this funk we have been in since the F.A. Cup game. When all is said and done, though, I don’t think Arsenal will ever win another league or champions league title as long as the Kronkes own the club. I hope I am proven wrong, but I can still remember Stan saying he never bought Arsenal to win trophies, and that’s just part of the reason for my pessimism.

  11. Lots and lots of short “stabbing” sentences Dan, many of which I accept and agree with.I would however take issue with your suggestion that poor results against Everton and Brentford have been ignored.Certainly not by many of the regulars on JA.You are correct in raising doubts as to the mentality of some players to win the battle before them, but the mentality issue, applies also, in my opinion to the Manager who has never been under such pressure as the man in charge.Our performances against Everton, Brentford and City have to me highlighted the individual, and collective failings of our back four who are the primary reason for our recent failures.Despite this fact, Nketiah is fall guy for the fury of fans, although we all recognised his status as a back up for Jesus at the beginning of the season.Nketiah has started every match since Jesus was injured, and in common with Martinelli, is it any wonder that signs of physical and mental fatigue are evident.Compare this with City who had a World Cup winner sitting on the bench as a back up for arguably the best striker on the Planet.If any blame is to be apportioned, our Management team should not be immune from criticism as I for one, cannot understand why they have spent 30m on Veiria when cover for Partey and Jesus was badly needed.As it is, momentum is now with City and Arteta now faces the biggest challenge of his short Managerial career to re-energise his players for the battles ahead.He simply has to show more trust in certain players by rotating more even if that means breaking up, or changing entirely, our centre back pair.

  12. Where is the evidence Dan?

    What about United at home, scoring in the 94 th minute?

    What about spuds home and away?

    What about liverpool, chelsea, Brighton, Brentford away, palace away?

    It’s easy to focus on the last three PL games, but you are ignoring what went on before for some unknown reason.

    I don’t know if we will be good enough to win the PL, but I do know that being negative all the time, won’t change anything.

    If, at the end of the season, we have qualified for the CL, then we will have had a great season, but if we don’t, then kronkie will be asking some very awkward questions… meanwhile, as we do at The Emirates, get behind the manager and players.

    1. When does realism become ‘negativity’? When it comes to football fans. Arsenal fans of a certain vintage have seen this too many times before to feel even moderately optimistic. Frankly, the current side, with its frail defence and poor defensive cohesion as a side (a decade long issue) I have even less confidence than sides past. If the current sides problems could be solved as easily as suggested, then why haven’t they done it? Because they either can’t see it, still, or cant see a way ‘too’ fix it.

      1. Frail defence? We have the second best GD in the PL and far better than the third placed team who, I think, are Newcastle.

        We’ve only lost THREE games and yet you say we have a “frail defence”?

        What’s missing is the input of Jesus and, last night, Partey.
        As someone above said, take Haaland and De Brona(?) out of their team and then see the difference.

    2. Are you suggesting that we should get behind them sheepishly without pointing out where don’t get it? Our problems as a team are so glaring. We are lacking in some areas and our coach is not helping matters. Having a team without depth is enough reason to rotate players as this will give confidence to back up players and protect main players from avoidable injuries. You don’t spend money on players only to keep them on the bench, Ken1945

      1. What!!! City are champions because they have a a SQUAD of players, while MA is building his on squad and it takes time.

        I agree he let players go without replacing them, let players go for peanuts and let players he shouldn’t have, but that’s water under the SNP bridge.

        He has got us challenging for the title and no. one expected that. Make changes if required (Tierney for example) but not because you have players sitting on the bench who cost xyz!!

  13. I wondered when someone would chuck in the “mentality” cliche.
    Arsenal has been performing well beyond expectations, and that we’re challenging for the PL title this season is unexpected and worthy of fairer criticism when we get beaten by probably the best team in the world right now and lose a couple of games we should justifiably have won including one in which we were mugged by a VAR official.
    I assume we still employ a psychologist, so any “mentality” issues will swiftly be dealt with.😁

    1. Have you ever played football? Beyond a park knock about? If so you wouldn’t have posted such a comment. Even at junior level a team that lacks strong characters and a winning mentality struggles. It is not, as the saying goes, rocket science.

      1. Errr, it’s not me saying that we don’t have a strong mentality, but the article writer. My point is that he’s using that to unfairly criticize us for a two or three results in what has been so far a pretty good season.

        1. Exactly. Hes also correct. A friend of mine texted me with the following last night – ‘we simply don’t have the composure and mental strength for a title challenge’. This is an Arsenal fan of, like me, fifty years, and a player for twenty years. I trust his judgement far more than Wenger era supporters who’ve never seen arsenal facing relegation, or worse, as in the mid 1980s crushing mediocrity with seemingly no end in sight.

          1. He is not “correct”. He simply shares the same views as you. Your reference to remote history is mostly irrelevant to the current context.
            The team has been almost completely rebuilt in a few years without the same financial clout as some of the other behemoths in the PL.
            This is a young, vibrant team who have hit a bump in the road. We have also just played one of the best teams in Europe.
            The team have shown great fortitude in getting to this point at this stage of the season. This is the first time in years that we have had realistic chance of winning the league and we are currently level on points with MC. We have a game in hand, there are many games to play and therefore we still have chances to overhaul MC.

      2. So Xhaka, Ramsdale, Gabriel, Tierney, Zinchenko and Zaka are not strong characters?

        It doesn’t matter what level of football one has played, as every level has it’s leaders.

        1. Xhaka is having his best season, judged by all the others he’s a disaster waiting to happen. Indeed Tierney, when hes not injured is inspirational, as are zaka and ramsdale and zinchenko. So what? Unfortunately, as a team they don’t have it. If they did we wouldn’t be talking about two poor and one average performance in three games and a terrific position evaporated away to nothing.

          1. So your backtracking on your statement that we have no leaders then?
            I’ve also supported The Arsenal for many years and have seen both sides of the coin.
            What I saw last night, was a team that had two of it’s best players sidelined through injury, yet they still competed with a full strength city… just as they have with every team until the Everton game.

            Maybe we are not good enough to win the PL, but to judge them over the last three games and complain that we haven’t got a defence, is wrong.

            Just take a look at the PL table!!

          2. FATHOMER , I find it difficuly to believe you are a supporter at all, given your “Jeremiah, woe is me” outlook .

            You many well have watched us for half a century , fifteen years less then I have SUPPORTED ARSENAL, but I do not consider the attitudes in these posts of yours, those of a TRUE SUPPORTER, AT ALL!

        2. Ken, from those you mentioned, only zinchenko, xhaka and Tierney have the experience of winning titles (that I’m aware of, anyway) – tierney’s were won against effectively zero competition, and xhaka’s were in the Swiss league, where I don’t imagine the pressure was quite the same as it is here.
          Players can appear and may even be mentally tough, but until they’ve really been through it and succeeded (i.e. Consistently risen to the occasion), we can’t say they are. When players make basic errors, or shrink in the toughest games, it suggests they don’t have the required mentality to win the league. That’s not to say they can’t ever get there, I do believe it can improve with experience.
          That said, it seems very likely Saka has the stuff – he has consistently raised his game when it’s been tough – but there’s question marks on many of the others for now.

          1. Not winning titles, doesn’t mean you’re not a leader does it?
            Frank McClintock was a born leader, but had to wait a long time before he won a title.
            Experience counts and Xhaka, Zinchenko and Tierney all have that in abundance.

            1. No, it doesn’t – but not all leaders are of the same quality… (I know you used the word leader before, but i was focusing on the strong character/mentality side of it – you don’t have to be a leader to have a strong mentality, you do need be resilient to pressure)
              I’m not trying to say these guys are bad or aren’t or can’t be great leaders/characters, I’m just saying they all have something to prove still

    2. Being a cliché doesn’t make it wrong… It’s pretty obvious our performance levels have dropped, it’s not just been decisions going against us, we’ve not been the better side in any of our last four games, two of which we’d expect to beat. It’s a pattern, and given the level of pressure in this game, I don’t find it unreasonable to think mentality isn’t a major issue.

  14. We have Players and a manager who haven’t proved they can perform when the heat is on. In fact, they have looked as though they cant. Artetas tactics and style of play looks flimsy as the season goes on. I am disappointed in the lack of awareness and abilty to change something that isnt working and relying whatever on certain players who let him down. Odergaard was invisible last night as he is in many important games and looks jaded. Martinelli has been totally ineffective, looks jaded but starts come what may. We kept Tomi on the sidelines far too long and then expected him to fly out the blocks against citeh. Zinchenko has struggled big style but is a regular and undroppable for some reason. I really dont know what Artetas sees what Viera can do when he comes on, he is invisible and ineffective every time he is on the pitch. I was disappointed in the way we collapsed in the second half, it was very worrying and we just cant execute the plan or tactics.

  15. I’m astounded that last night’s loss has caused so much grief and hand wringing. Heavens above if we spiralled downwards to where Emery left us.
    To have turned round the club to the point we are now is absolutely commendable in such a short time. It was absolutely awful before and now – even with a couple of wobbles- we are joint first. There is the suggestion that this team that we have sung our hearts for are bereft of any bottle or lack a winning mentality.
    Jesus, Partey and Zinchenko are devoid of a winning mentality? Saka who was abused for his euros penalty miss stood strong last night as City took an age to let him kick the goal. He’s a bottler now?
    By all means critique a performance but the doom merchants are at it like a shoal of pirhanas.

    1. It wasn’t the city game that did anything. It was against Everton the warning flag went up. We lost to a very poor team with a new, but obvious in his tactics manager, out hustle us and get the result. We then put in an average performance against the bees, and blamed a classic ‘its arsenal so it stands’ decision for not putting the result beyond doubt. Then, as many of the old hands suspected, they fell to pieces against city as soon as they turned the screw. I’ve seen us do this too many times to ignore the warning signs – we’ll struggle to maintain top four now. As I said above, if I’m proved wrong I’ll be made up. But….

      1. Enough of this “old hands” rubbish!!!
        You think that because your older, it makes you better at judging things?
        We are talking about TODAY and you have no idea how the season will end, just as any fan, no matter what age, has.

        Did you know that we would be in this position at the start of the season?
        Of course you didn’t and neither did anyone else.

        All I know is, the fans haven’t been behind the team like this for a very long time and, what’s made that so? The performance of the players and the manager, because of the consistency and the results…. simple as that.

    2. sue
      oh my words, believe you are wasting your time on trying to understand why the pirhanas have come out to play.
      talk about the team not having the mentality to cope with the pressure i think some so called fans need to take a hard look in the mirror.
      most realist fans on here are enjoying the ride and bar a few results the season has been very enjoyable to date.
      last night result was a downer but we live to fight another day. as i have said 3 times today on here. the league is not won or lost in mid Feb.
      at the start of the season most of us said getting top 4 was an improvement.
      we currently sit joint top with a game in hand
      and the fifth spot being 11 points behind who have played a game more
      City are an exceptional team with an exceptional manager who have vast experience in how to deal with situations. last night for a period they were in a situation. 2nd half they had to change or otherwise they would have been blitzed. MA as most of us have agreed is a young coach learning his trade in becoming a top manager. i am happy with his and the teams progress. we currently have one of the youngest team and manager in the League who are still learning and to date they have managed to still keep learning there trade and get us to the top of the pile . not sure what some of you really expect from this team.?
      to go unbeaten until the end of the season and romp to a 10 plus point gap. that was never going to happen.
      some of you have very good constructive criticism on why it went wrong but some of you are totally blinded by wanting to see us lose or it comes across that way on here
      its been hard enough to watch the Arsenal in past seasons but when we are finally getting it together and playing good stuff we have mindless fools who spout off with no firm foundation to there thoughts.
      as the green cross man once said (if you are old enough to remember) SPLINK – basically think before you cross. i am saying think before you talk!
      onwards and upwards


    3. Some people are being overly negative, I agree, but i don’t think anyone can reasonably deny the side has been fantastic this season and has far exceeded the expectations of almost everyone – making top 4 was what most were hoping for as a realistic aim, so to be in the running for the title at this stage speaks volumes of how far we’ve come.
      I do think we’ll pick up again at some point this season – I believe in arteta’s system and his players abilities – I just hope that pick up happens soon enough to keep this title challenge going!

  16. My impression of how pressure works on the players is that it’s like carrying a weight that gets heavier and heavier the longer you are top of the table being chased, and the closer it gets to the finish line. You need a lot more mental fortitude than I think most people realise to carry that for as long as we would need to to actually win the title. Having such a young squad just makes it tougher.
    To me it makes sense that a number of our players have suddenly dropped from their usual standards in recent weeks – it’s not the tactics suddenly not working, it’s not even the injuries (although having a player like jesus who’s been through all this before would help!), it’s mental fatigue. It’s also one of the reasons signing an older head like jorginho makes a bit of sense.
    I can only hope that dropping a place will relieve the pressure a bit. I think we’d be more comfortable chasing a front-runner.

  17. 100% agree with article.

    Eddie, I called this guy a championship player and he has proved it over the last few weeks.

    Missing free headers omw

  18. I just want to say that winning EPL is not a wishful thinking. You have work for it. Arteta usually lost ideas under pressure. He is also very stubborn to changes. He is blessed with utility players he can rotate and reshuffle to outsmart other teams. People should stop making excuses for him, after all, he signed virtually all the players in his team. I wonder why someone who under studied PG does not have tactical nuances and plan B formation. Am still wondering why he cannot make prompt substitutions. Still wondering….

    1. who do you suggest?
      i also agree with you on eddie but at the time he was hitting the back of the net
      we will have GJ coming back shortly for the important part of the season
      he will give us energy up top again and we will start to defend from the front rather then the middle or back
      spend 80m plus on a maybe that needs time to settle and hit the ground running and do your money for the summer.
      easy to say on here but hard choice to make when you have to sanction it
      onwards and upwards

  19. Sadly, I agree with your summary of where we find ourselves. The recruitment needs a serious overhaul. Trossard is a good player, as is Jorginho. But buying an off-brand Eden Hazard to “push” Martinelli isn’t the right play here. Jorginho is still a fine player but he needs to play WITH Partey not instead of him. And as much as I like Eddie, he isn’t a striker to win you a league. He’d be great at Palace or similar but we need someone to get 20+ every season. Not his fault, just a reality. And to be honest, the rest of the squad just isn’t good enough apart from a couple.

    1. So can you explain to me how this squad which “just isn’t good enough” have lost just three games, have the second best GD in the league and, until 72nd minute were matching City, who were at full strength… meanwhile we had our two most influential players out injured?

      1. We are overachieving with our current league position given the players we have. Do this: write down 2 best XI teams consisting of Prem players based solely on talent and see how many Arsenal players make the teams. If it’s more than 1 you aren’t thinking clearly. Our team is good but our squad is not and player for player we can’t stand up City, Man UTD, Chelsea… Hell, even Spurs more more outstanding players than we do. It’s just honest critical thinking. These players and manager have overachieved and it’s caught up with us.

        1. We’ve beaten spuds twice, chelsea away, equal with united (VAR and a a dodgy referee disallowing a perfectly good goal apart) and it’s only city, of the teams you mention, who we have lost to…. you know the team that is being investigated for over 100 irregularities!!

          We might not win the PL, but get behind the The team at least.

  20. Ah, all the negative fans are back! We’ve missed you..
    The pressure of being top is gone now, everyone thinks we have bottle the tittle challenge. The hunted become the hunter now, beware.

  21. Oh look, the real Dan Smith is back.

    Mentality had nothing to do with the 2 defensive mistakes that led to 2 goals for City or the chances that Nketiah missed. The 1st City goal was down to an under hit back pass, and the 2nd was down to the trying to play out from the back, you know, like we have been doing all season.

    Of course we can go and get results at those places you mentioned. We went and got a result in N17 after a loss and a draw in our 2 previous games.

    Dan, were you around for the 88/89 season ?

      1. Well you did previously write 2 non negative articles, but it would now seem that the old Dan Smith is back.

        Any chance you could answer my question from my previous post ?

        1. Yeah because I comment on what I see
          We play well at Villa I’ll be positive
          We play how we have in last three fixtures I’ll be my negative

          I was a baby
          Actually my birthday today

          1. I must have missed your positive articles after every win from the start of this season…

            The 88/89 season is very much like this season. Knocked out of both domestic cups in the 3rd round, drawing and losing against teams who we probably should’ve have beaten. With 3 games remaining we lose at home to Derby and then draw at home to Wimbledon. No one gives us a cat’s in hell chance of going to Anfield and winning by the 2 clear goals needed to win the league. We all know how that glorious Friday night on the 26th of May ended.

            What I’m saying is, we’ve always had ups and downs when winning the league. This year, fingers crossed, hopefully will be no different.

            Happy birthday.

            1. What a glorious night that was, my brother was rushed to hospital with a burst appendix three days before, I went to see how he was, and got his ticket, how the gods looked down on me, is still a talking point even today. And GG was right we could have scored three against them that night. This was the mighty Liverpool in their own backyard and by two clear goals, the same as when we won the PL at Old Trafford, one thing I have grown to love and know about Arsenal is that if there is one team who can do it against all odds is us. Remember the unbeaten season as well…… In the words of Keegan “I would love it, I would love it

              1. A glorious night indeed. Unfortunately I had to miss it, as I had to pay for the family holiday on the Saturday. A mate who I went to the games with went and he never got home till the Monday, due to all the celebrations 😂.

                Sky Sports go on about the Man City Vs QPR being the greatest ending to a season, but without a doubt, it has to be that night at Anfield. Two teams, both going for the League Title, and it was decided in the very last minute.

  22. I’m a bit late so probably everything has already been said either way. I think we all have to make some minor adjustments to what our expectations were four games ago. IAt the end of May it will be the football director, coach and players who will decide the pros and cons of their season regarding where they wanted to be.

  23. Pat has hit the the crux of the matter with the statement that Guardiola has a “change room full of talent”. Anyone who has played competitive sport at any reasonably high level knows that being able to keep strong mental strength, requires a high level of physical fitness. Mental strength drains away in tired legs. “Bottling” has nothing to do with the current situation at Arsenal.
    My criticism of Mikel Arteta would be his failure to give key players a break. Many have played every game, copping knocks and niggles with limited recovery time. Saka for example is getting kicked from pillar to post and many sides have worked out to stop Arsenal you nobble Odegaard..
    This situation has not been helped by resulting injuries to key players. An example would be ESR, who could relieve both Odegaard and Saka in matches, with little disruption to style. Similarly Kenchenko in midfield, Tierney, White and Holding across the backline.
    At this level squad depth (quality) and rotation of players are critical over a long season, competing in multiple competitions.
    So far Arsenal have exceeded most rational supporter’s expectations at the start of the season.

  24. It is healthy to have such debates if they are objective. However this platform has more than its fair share of negative comments. All of a sudden Arteta is the worst manager in EPL, our defence is the most shaky in England, our midfield is not good enough etc! What a miserable way to look at issues! My question is: Where was Man city when Arsenal was accumulating all those points? Had they been on holiday and missed a number of games? Let us learn to put things in a context. The fact is Arsenal has been playing good football and deserve to be where they are. It is true there has been a blip but it is not the end of the world. We still have 16 games to go and there is all to play for. Let us not be despondent. There are still a lot of twists and turns ahead.
    It is in light of the above reasons that I fully agree with the views expressed by Ken1945. We need to get behind our team because it is our unreserved support that will see us across the line. Let us strive on we shall conquer.

    1. Who said Arteta was the worst manager In the PL ?
      From what I read I think some ( not all ) are simply saying we have seen same issues for last 3 games and he needs to show he can change things

        1. Not this season no mate
          As we are mentally not ready

          I don’t see that as the insult some take it as
          To me it’s factual because it’s happening in front of your eyes

        2. I dont think winning the league is the right question. The question is, from now on in can we stage a competitive title challenge? It doesnt matter where city have been for the last 6 months or why we have been so clear. It matters how we do from now, when the proper teams play for the trophies. We are out of both cups so far and quite tamely, we look to be faltering in the league. We need to perform when it counts.

          1. Reggie,It is incorrect to claim that wehave ever been “so clear” We chad, briefly, an eight point lead but still had City to play twice and all sensible fans acknowledge their far deeper squad.

            It has all along been a tight race and still is right now. FAR TOO MANY FANS REACT TOO HASTILY AND GO FROM ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER, SOMETIMES AFTER A SINGLE GAME.

            Wise heads stay cool,and take the long view. They don’t say, eg “4th or its failure” as one fan said last season. Reckon you might know who that was!

  25. Instead of the negative drivel, let’s wait til the end of the season, making assumptions is pretty poor, we have excelled on so many levels and have progressed so far. We forced City to change their tactics, had more possession, and had better chances but we didn’t put them away. If we win the PL, I will revel in the negative posts I have read so far, and enjoy every moment, the amount of humble pie that will be eaten. I ate humble pie over Xhaka, never had I see such a turnaround on one player in the PL ever, he took the moment and proved so many people wrong. Just maybe Arteta and the team will do the same

    1. Your beloved City with the winning mentality just drew at Nothingham forest. They had it in their hands to go top but bottled it. You can go on their platform and drop the same kind of negativity now, or can’t you?

      If it were to be Arsenal, you’d be all over the place beating your chest in excitement that you said it.

  26. The 4-2 victory against Villa is proof Arsenal have what it takes to go for the title, and City dropping points against Forest another bonus

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