Mikel Arteta finally got his Arsenal players into gear at the end of last season, with the Gunners winning every one of their last 5 games, although it was not quite enough to get us back into the European places where we belong.
But the reason we couldn’t claw back enough points was because of a devastating run of seven games without a win, strangely enough coming after a win up at Old Trafford, which should have been a massive boost to our confidence.
Instead we crashed 3-0 at home to Aston Villa immediately after and also lost at the Emirates to Burnley and Wolves, and our away results were not much better and our 7th game was a 2-1 defeat at Everton, and it looked like we were going to drop into the relegation zone. Arsenal fans were loudly calling for Arteta’s head, and the boss himself was at a loss to understand what was happening.
This is how Rob Holding remembers those dark days…. “We really struggled,” he told the Guardian. “We just couldn’t find the net and were just trying to hold on to games. The best result we were trying to get was a 0-0 because we weren’t scoring, so we were just trying to stop the opposition.
“It was something that followed us around in each game, and it was tough. At times there were real lows around the camp and it was about how we could refocus, and try to go into matches with a different mentality.”
Much was said about our “mentality” last season, but this revelation from Holding just shows how low our confidence was. And it seems to have stemmed from the loss of our captains ability to put the ball in the net. Let’s hope that is now all behind us, and we can carry on the confidence that gave our our 5 game winning streak at the end of the campaign…