In football you win some, you lose some and if you are unfortunate to be on the receiving end of the latter then it is a horrible feeling. The problem is that with Arsenal’s last game, which was a drastically poor 5-1 defeat to Champions League hopefuls Liverpool, it meant so much for the North London side.
A win would have seen the Gunners stay on top of the table, maintaining a two point gap over Chelsea and Manchester City, however instead we have slipped into second place, with Chelsea now on the upper hand and being one point ahead, whilst Manchester City remain just the one point behind in third place after having their own poor result at the weekend, a draw with relegation candidates Norwich City.
The Gunners may just be one point behind the leaders and we may also still be in both the champions league and the FA Cup however the pessimism is slowing increasing for Arsenal fans as the dawn of another unsuccessful bid for silverware seems ever more likely. The problem is Arsenal now find themselves in a tricky position having played arguably one of, if not the easiest, games of this long period of tough games, and we have mucked it up with such a drastic scoreline. To lose by one or two goals would have still meant sorrow in defeat, but at least it would have been admirable and we could have built on what went wrong, however with a scoreline as extensive as this, I feel that the team morale has broken down in both belief from the players and the fans.
Arsene Wenger told the media, “We were feeble in every important aspect of playing at the highest level: concentration, strength in the challenge and naivety. So from that moment on it’s impossible to win a game when you’re playing at that level.
“We’ve been well beaten twice now, and twice with an early kick-off away from home [having lost 6-3 at Manchester City in December]. But we have to ask questions of ourselves about this. Because when you’re playing in a big game and the first two free-kicks go in it becomes very hard, because you have to open the game up and you’ve got more chance of letting in eight or 10 than you have of getting back in the game.
“A successful team responds to disappointment and we will see on Wednesday night. If our confidence isn’t affected too much, I think it will come back and we’ll see a different Arsenal side on Wednesday night.”
It is vital that the belief in the team doesn’t disappear and that the players still think that with all their might they can win the Premier League. They must also be supportive of each other and not let the defeat override their confidence because otherwise there will be a dramatic fall from what was initially so promising in the league. But in a way, the manner of the defeat could help, because it leaves no room for excuses and no choice but to give everything in the next game.
The next game that Wenger mentions is Manchester United in the Premier League. The game would normally be one of the season’s toughest however this time around Arsenal may feel they have a greater chance of winning considering the opposition is in even more of a gloomy state than us. It is absolutely vital that the Gunners win on Wednesday in order to rejuvenate our title bid because if we don’t then I think we can begin to see that 2014 may not be our year. But I have faith in this team and think they will play much better and take the points. COYG.