Our wins against Chelsea and Tottenham were a real turning point for this young Arsenal team

It’s been 2 decades since Arsenal were last Champions.

I have memories of a young Nasri, Fabregas, Van Persie, Wilshere, etc, being top of the league in March screaming out for leaders to help. The club was unable or unwilling to bring in experience.

I have witnessed youthful squads in run-ins being crippled by a fear of failure.

I have been haunted by the Birmingham League Cup final which led to our whole season falling apart.

I have been scarred by teams overcome with anxiety.

I’m tired of listening to ‘what if’s’.

I’m impatient being asked to be patient.

A generation brought up on zero ambition.

Not just given scraps for my money but told I should be grateful.

My peers were brainwashed by buzzwords and misled by what progress means.

That’s why last week was a turning point. No matter what happens in the next month, mentally it was a huge moment for this group.

First of all, don’t underestimate the significance of the result within the history between Arsenal Vs Chelsea. The heaviest we have ever won this Derby.

The biggest compliment I can give the last two performances is that we treated the occasion like it was any other game. Like it was a routine match on a casual midweek or weekend under the floodlights.

If you were an alien who purchased a ticket with zero knowledge of the sport you wouldn’t know that the Gunners were under immense pressure with zero room for error. One mistake essentially could end our campaign.

Whisper it quietly, we played like a team who were enjoying the moment. Which it’s how it should be. Don’t worry about how bright the lights are, how wide the stage, don’t consume yourself with what happens if you fail.

Embrace how close you are to immortality, be excited that you can write yourself into history, consider when you dreamt of being a professional that these are the matches you went to bed imagining.

As recently as the visit of Aston Villa, these players have not done that.

For three seasons in a row, we have frozen in March to May. That’s the perception of us within the footballing community. Arsenal FC – beautiful football but when it matters will go missing.

Not criticism, a reflection of where one of the youngest squads stand. As Thierry Henry and Fabregas have said, the only way you get that knowledge is by eventually getting over the line. The first time we do that the easier it will become. If the Kroenke family keep this team together (big if) it will happen for us.

That’s why the last two Derbies were massive. Physically and mentally we didn’t look tired like we did at Wolves. We didn’t over celebrate or get over emotional. We took this in our stride, like this is now our usual environment where we belong.

That’s why our 5-0 and 3-2 win is more significant than the short term of this title race. As much as Aston Villa was like a movie we have seen before, this was hope that the story can one day be different. Evidence that Arteta himself is learning. Proof of maturity from 12 months ago.

Gary Neville gets a hard time from our fanbase but to me he simply tries to stress how hard it is to get over the line, something some Gooners take for granted. 12 months ago, he commented on how we were ‘over celebrating’ and ‘using up too much emotion.’

I don’t know if I agree with that, but at the Lane, I noticed each goal was met with a muted response. Our players would get in a huddle with Ben White and Declan Rice in particular instructing their peers to keep their heads. A sign we have all grown up.

Our strength of mind wasn’t perfect. I can’t say that when Raya is passing the ball to the opposition, and we are conceding a penalty. Yet in the last campaign we panicked at 3-1 / 3-2 and drop points. Outside of individual errors we actually managed that second half well. How many saves did our keeper have to make?

Havertz’s game management was exceptional, holding up play, winning free kicks, etc.

All I ever ask is my team leave it all on the pitch.

After that, I can’t really ask for anything more.

Two of our best displays of the campaign when the stakes were at their highest.

A huge turning point for this team


Tags Chelsea tottenham turning point


  1. I commented on the last post but would kike to add
    We are not the finished article by a long but if we keep going and Learning then we will be a beast of team to play against home and abroad

    This has proven one thing and that we are a more mature side then last season
    We are seeing out games when we are not out our best
    Seasons gone and we would ha e dropped points
    Imagine what we will be like next season if we keep growing a d learning
    20 years of hurt and this season we are taking the champions all the ways to the end
    We still have a shot of being champions even though we need city to draw or lose in the last 4
    Boys, manager and club the fans have given me so much pride back over the last few seasons…Well done everyone
    Let’s take max points from the last 3 games and if city win all 4 then they will deserve it but let’s make them work for it
    Onwards and upwards

    1. Good post AB, but I disagree with you on one point and it is a MASSIVE point.
      We have seen Everton and Forest lose points for breaking the rules and I believe they involved three instances.

      City are currently being investigated for 115 instances of breaking the rules and are delaying the process of answering them by employing the best legal brains their oil money can buy.

      Imagine if they are found guilty of just 10% of those charges and are deducted points in line with the ones we saw Everton and Forest receive,then The Arsenal, MA, the players and the millions of Arsenal supporters will have been cheated out of TWO PL titles.
      Yet here we are with the establishment twiddling it’s thumbs and expecting plaudits for saying that city will be brought to the tribunal in August, after this season has ended!!
      Of course, city might be found not guilty of any misdemeanours, but due diligence over a three year period suggests this is highly unlikely.
      So to say that city will deserve it, is completely wrong, in my personal opinion.

      1. Ken
        It is such a mess. No one knows if there are coming or going on this.
        I heard yesterday ot was about the lowest clu generating TV sales x 5 which puts a cap on spend.
        Total joke…
        Cheslski didn’t vote
        Both the Manchester clubs voted against
        They said if it went through then chelski would be the only lub to e out side of this
        Who knows but I guarantee another hair brain scheme will be put forward
        As long as we sit at the top table which we currently are then we see what they will try to put in place.
        Down side is the smaller clubs will suffer as always
        Onwards and upwards

        1. Just read that FULHAM have now been fined for breaking the rules AB – I wonder how much money it has cost city to defend this so far?

          IF we find that MA has been robbed of two PL titles, I wonder if the authorities would have the guts to take them off city and award them to The Arsenal?
          Same goes for every trophy they’ve won, IF they HAVE broken the rules?!

          1. Personally I think it ks hard to go back in time
            Makes a mockery of everything that has happened
            Imposed fines or deduction from next season and everyone knows where they are, not half way through a season
            Leicester could be hit with a points deduction for next season even though it happened last season. Joke
            Lunatics running the asylum

            1. If they can deduct points from teams in the relegation zone then they can do it elsewhere. It’s all a form of “going back in time”.

              I understand the delay with City is because with the older rules it was harder to tell if a club has done wrong.

              That’s the line the authorities are plugging anyway. Whether it’s true we’ll probably never know.

              But we hear that City’s reps are not being co-operative, so the old “no smoke without fire” seems to apply. And if they do get them for something, the lack of co-operation will count against them.

              But it’s also difficult to see how they could strip City of a league title and then somehow they keep the next season’s CL win – or even CL place. Those are decisions made by different authorities, so it’s complicated. In that regard you certainly have a point.

  2. Well said Dan!

    Lets see how Villa and the usual suspects for dropped points copes next season when they play every 3days! Lets see how they fare when they face us then when they are jetlagged, fatigued and injury-ridden.

    Another thing, I hope our Brazilian contingents are learning some things this season. Some games just cant be won the normal ways, we need the dark arts in the opponents penalty boxes which are the specialties of our South American lads with their tricky feet and timely sudden loss of gravity.

    I will take 1-0 penalty wins and 3 points over labored 100mins of 80% possession, multiple shots on goals and 0 actual goals in tight matches

    1. @Lupe_Nets
      Had you been paying attention, you’d have noticed that Villa are still playing in Europe, as well as holding down their 4th place position.
      Last season, we played 1 match a week for a good chunk of the season and still bottled it. I guess our lack of experience is to blame for that. Jus sayin…

      1. This playing in Europe has been song so long that People started believing it…
        Villa played on Thursday away at lille and played extra time that doesn’t stop them from beating us at the Emirates
        Man United existed champions league in group stage so did Newcastle how did that improve there league form

  3. “All I ever ask is my team leave it all on the pitch.”
    Completely agree with the article as a whole, but this in particular. I’ve always said I just want the team to challenge for the title and give it everything, and if we lose out, at least we really went for it. Mistakes happen, but they should never happen because of fear or simply not caring enough.

  4. Arteta has done wonders with the first team, or the 15 players he trusts. But he has left the squad to rot and lose value. He is a young manager and has a lot to prove, so he probably is stressed for results at any cost. But for our club to succeed, and be a model when we can generate revenue from sell, we have to use our bench better.

    Get rid of players on loan currently, they are not good enough to increase their value or make to the Arsenal team. Tavares, Lokonga, Tierney, Marquinhos to be exact. Replace them with new young crop of loan players who can come back to first team later.

    Zinchenko, Nketiah and ESR and Nelson need to be looked at to generate funds for new signings. If they are not trusted, why keep them around just for numbers? Rather try other academy kids and replace them with new guys in market.

    If we can get a midfield 6, keep hold of Partey, get a striker and a LB, and few youngsters to go on loan, I would not mind getting rid of all the above players.

    Jesus is another one, but he can be a winger replacement on both wings, so he is probably worth keeping hold of.

    1. 15 plqyers he trusts – but the club’s been shipping players out as fast as they can for years now.

      The rest (the less trusted) are often on the bench, which shows how thin the Arsenal first team squad really is. When you see Cedric there you know there’s still work to be done on the rebuild.

      And how do the club deal with the rest that wouldn’t be “leaving them to rot”? Rotate in sub-standard or recovering players? That doesn’t sound very smart.

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