Is Arsenal’s mentality crumbling under the pressure?

When you watched how we played at Goodison Park was it that much of a shock to suggest there would be a hangover this weekend?

Having seen the majority of this squad mentally not able to handle the pressure of a top 4 race last season, is it outrageous to think that it’s asking too much for the same group to be able to cope with the pressure of a title race?

I been hurt too many times and burnt before. Take the emotion out of your point of view and Arsenal have a reputation for choking when it really matters.

It’s too easy to accuse the likes of myself of being negative or Gary Neville of having an agenda.

Yet, taking away any bias, is it unreasonable in the run-in to think Man City having a dressing room of experience, of knowing how to get over the line, will give them the edge in the run in?

Some Gooners are too precious. It’s not an insult to the Gunners to come to that conclusion. It doesn’t take away the brilliant progress they have made this season.

Many (including myself) predicted we be in this position but asked now how I think we will handle the run in, I can’t ignore our reputation of mentally crumbling when it really counts.

If anything it’s a reflection on the standards Man City have set in the last 5 years.

To be Champions, they have recorded point tallies in the high nineties, put together sequence of victories up to 14, handled playing every few days in the knowledge that even a draw would be viewed as a defeat.

This notion that pundits are simply picking on us is childish.

Man City have a recent  history of winning, we have a reputation for going missing when it really matters.

If your life depended on naming correctly this seasons champions, there is no point lying that you would ignore those two facts.

That’s how Gary Neville comes to the conclusion that City could still retain their title by a comfortable margin.

He watches football every week for years and has seen the Gunners get themselves on a mental slippery slope, unable to arrest the slide.

He felt it was in our DNA to drop ‘silly points’ and for two Saturdays in a row we have.

Thankfully Man City didn’t take advantage.

Because he’s played the sport, he knows what April and May does to the mind, how it separates the winners to the nearly men.

He worked for a manager who said he ignored the table this time of year.

Sir Alex only cared that his teams were in contention because he knew come ‘squeaky bum time’ the experience his men would have over others would be vital.

So for the second  Sunday running we hope for a favour elsewhere. If we get that favour it will be a mental blow to Man City going into Wednesday.

Our comfort comes from the fact that something isn’t quite right with Man City this season, which is why if we finish 1st it will be because they don’t put enough pressure on us.

If we get to April and the gap is three points, they have the advantage and Pep knows it.

I don’t see City winning at the Emirates in midweek.

That’s not where I worry.

I worry at your Villa Parks, Anfields, Saint James Parks, City Grounds, when Arsenal have to go to tricky grounds and cope with must win situations.

Last two weekends have reminded me of 12 months ago.

I just think mentally we are not quite there yet.


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  1. Probably, this happens every year around this time, it is in our DNA maybe.

    It is just as assured as aging every year.

    Let’s see if they prove me wrong.

    1. As I was checking my predictions yesterday I came across yours, sws. Did you really think we’d lose 5-1 at home? I’m not holding out much hope of a home win on Wednesday on that basis. What with a comprehensive performance in the first half by City against Villa just now, then I just might hide behind the sofa midweek. 😢

  2. The way we play football is fine but like last season, it is harder to play technical football under pressure. The more the season goes on the more the pressure will increase. We play one way and one way only, it requires a lot of accurate passing and every player on song. If we cant vary it and we cant alter the way we play now and again, it will get harder. Plus lack of rotation is great but it also is tiring and when players are asked to come in, they are not fully tuned in. Are we crumbling under pressure? Too early to say but we are wobbling and certain players have dropped their standards.

  3. What history of crumbling under pressure?

    We haven’t been in a title race for at least 12-13 years, so what are you actually using as “history”?

    1. Well last year was in the past and we missed top 4 yet we had it in our hand. I.e. History

      Emery when we had top 4 in our hands and we crumbled the last fee games, since this was in the past.i.e. History

      Here is extra t from Google for you as you may not be familiar with the word: history
      Learn to pronounce
      See definitions in:
      the study of past events, particularly in human affairs.
      “medieval European history”
      the past
      former times
      historical events
      days of old
      the old days
      the good old days
      time gone by
      bygone days
      the before times
      days of yore
      the olden days
      the eld
      the future
      the whole series of past events connected with a particular person or thing.
      “the history of the Empire”

        1. What are you talking about??
          In 15/16 we were third with 10 games to be played in the season and we finished 2’nd. Hardly crumbling under pressure.
          In 16/17, we were 6’th with 10 games to go, and we finished 5’th.
          If that is your evidence, maybe you need to define evidence rather wasting time on a needless definition of history.

            1. You are telling lies.
              15/16 we were leading fter 22 rounds, and already after 3 more rounds played, we were down to third. So if that is your evidence it is basic BS.
              The fact, that we went from 1’st to 3’rd just after the halfway mark, bears absolutely no evidence about mentality.
              In 16/17 we werent top 4 anytime in the last 10 rounds. So there is no evidence there either.

    2. Hmmmm last season when we blew top 4 ?
      Went to Palace lost 3-0 then 2-1 home to Brighton , then 1-0 Saints
      Then we needed 3 points out of Spurs and Newcastle away , didn’t show up …..lost 3-0 and 2-0

      Uni Emery season we also blew top 4 and lost 4-1 in Baku

      Season before that didn’t show up in Carabo Cup Final

      Season Leicester won title , we beat them and then lost 3-2 to man United and 2-1 home to Swansea

      So just a few

      1. So you basically just rustle up a few things and determine it is because of mentality?
        Didn’t you attribute our miss out on top 4 also to “giving away players” and not replacing them in January?

        In Arteta’s first season we won the only trophy, we actually had a chance to win. Maybe it was because of a great mentality???

        1. No you asked mate of examples of when we have fallen apart due to our mentality
          you have been given them
          Winning the FA a season we finished 8th , our worst finish in 25 years ?
          No not great mentality

          1. It is your invention, to attribute some selected results to mentality, and then call it history, while you leave out other results.
            It is basically without any substance, just as your “finished 8’th is”.
            The basic fact is, if you attribute one thing to mentality, you might as well attribute winning the FA Cup to having a winning mentality.

            1. No you asked
              What history of crumbling under pressure ?
              So I named some
              After 28 games last season we were in 4th, 6 point ahead of Spurs ….we bottled it
              Loseing 4-1 in a cup final is bottling it
              That season Uni Emery had 4th in hands and then lost 2-1 at home to Palace and drew 1-1 with Brighton
              That’s bottling it

              1. And your missing point dude
                It’s not the results why I’m worried about the mentality ,it’s how we are playing and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we play like that as the pressure increases
                Ramsdale making mistakes
                Suddenly we are weak defending in the air
                Martinelli going off the boil
                Odegarrd been quiet
                Eddie’s not scoring
                In other words , players are finding pressure too much

  4. We sit 6 points clear, but we are the ones crumbling under pressure🤣🤣🤣🤣.

    Fans are just being too emotional.

    Yes, it hurts to lose points, but enough with the negatives already.

    We didn’t even play badly. But whenever we drop points the whole play is condemned by fans, I wonder why.

    The other team had 11 players too and didn’t come to watch.

    The reason fans get so worked up is because of the entitlement mentality a lot of them carry about.

    1. You seem to have forgotten City have yet to play Villa. If they win that, it’s down to three with one game to come on Wednesday! A city win sends us to 2nd. maybe we should be laughing at you for not looking at the bigger picture?

      1. Yeah, well it is about if’s and but’s.
        The bigger picture is also:
        If we win the next 2 games, we are 9 points clear at the top with the same number of games played as City. And that is providing City beat Villa today.

    2. But alan when does that run out
      Now your say it’s three point
      Then your say it’s joint points
      Then your say we are only three points behind
      Then your say we would have taken 4th
      Point is we have missed a chance this week by not showing up

  5. I really cannot argue with all that has been said here and neither can I argue with history. But I would like to ask you all a question, what if Ivan Toney’s goal was correctly ruled offside as it should have been and the match ended 1-0 in Arsenal’s favour, would you all still have written what you stated above? I leave you to answer privately to yourselves or publicly on this chat forum. Thank you.

    1. If the “foul” on saliba hadn’t been called and Brentford had gone in front in the first half, who knows what the final score would have been.
      To answer your question, I think many would have looked at the performance and still said there’s reason to be concerned, but at least we’d have a win under our belts and a bit more breathing space going into the city game. It might have been the start of a return to form… But it didn’t happen
      Now I’m just hoping that the motivation of the city game will be enough to snap us out of the poor form we’ve shown in these past two games.

  6. There is plenty of time to finish the job and not repeat the mistakes of last year’s crumbling.

    This January we strengthened the team, not decimated for wage savings.

    We stayed top of the league 1st half of the season facing pressure as well.

    It falls to Arteta and the boys now to dig themselves out and turn things around.

    Tweak the tactics and have a plan B for matches like Everton and Brentford when teams park the bus and double up on the wings.

    Drop players who’s form has dipped and give new blood a chance. Tomiyasu, Tierney, and Trossard and not 2nd rate bench players, all 3 are quality and should get a chance now after last 2 results.

    Jorginho is a situational player that can help especially when teams play a low block and h can get forward without worrying about his lack of pace in recovery.

    We have the squad to finish as Champs, it falls to Arteta to manage the squad and have the tactics to get the job done.

    Arsenal have proved their quality in the 1st half, 18 games & 50 points isn’t by accident. Dig deep, find the will, and get the job done.

  7. The second half of the season is decided by the manager. He makes sure his tactics are spot on as the opponents would have studied him during the first half of the season. I think the way the team is playing is down to the manager. A few questions for the manager:
    1. Did loaning Lokonga and buying Jorginho really improve the team?
    2. Wasn’t it necessary to recall Pepe from his loan?
    3. Didn’t he see the lack of experience upfront when he released Lacazette who would have been handy in these situations?
    4. Was it necessary to buy a defender and Jorginho yet fail to up our bid for Caicedo with just 10mil pounds?
    5. Why doesn’t he switch Saka and Martinelli to their natural feet during the course of the game as it looks the opposition is managing them effectively?
    6. Can’t he see that White and Zinchenko are liabilities where they are playing as they never pit in crosses which is an arsenal we must have from the fullback?
    7. Can’t he see that the tactic of Zinchenko moving into midfield has already been studied and is being nullified whilst over crowding the midfield?
    8. If Zinchenko is so good in midfield why can’t he compete with Xhaka for that spot?

    Lastly I would like to say I think we miss a number 10 more than Jesus. We can’t fault Nketiah as he has always scored when given chances. We really miss the Fabregas and Ozil type of player who creates havoc and gives chances to players the whole game. Jesus ends up dropping back as he has no supply of the ball and has no option but to fend for himself. That’s why he doesn’t score many goals. Odegaard is a good player but unfortunately doesn’t create as much as Ozil, DB10 and Fabregas would do. A fully fit Smith Rowe might more suitable to that role. Xhaka and Odegaard roles need players who can rise up when the chips are down but they never do that. They always do well when everyone else is playing well.

    Comparing Ten Hag and Arteta you can see one coach who really changes selection and tactics according to opposition and one who just relies on what has worked before.

  8. Arsenal will win the league.

    The boys are playing so well. Teams are forced to defend really hard against us and there’s nothing more pleasing than that.

    I’ve never had a better feeling about it than now despite the 3 games winless run. Arsenal will win the league if Partey remains fit.

    The Arsenal team is really good and strong, if not the best in the league this season.

    The only thing that will stop Arsenal from winning the league will be injuries to Partey. It will be a great disaster to see Arteta play Jorginho in there.

    The only formidable backup for Partey in that DM role right now is Jakub Kiwior. Arteta must trust him and play him there to give Partey his deserved regular rests.

    If we do not win anything this season, it will be because Arteta muddled up his selections especially in that DM spot.

    This team deserves all the trusts and supports we can give them.

        1. Think our mentality just not strong enough
          When you have to go to Villa park , City ground , Leicester , Newcastle , liverpool and it’s must win , that’s hard
          It’s not a reflection on the team who have done so well but we are just not ready

        2. I don’t think it is conviction as we have played admirably so far in the EPL this season.

          Personally, I think our downfall may be because of a lack of a plan B for games like Southampton, Newcastle, Everton and now Brentford.

          I have said if a team wants to go toe to toe with us I see a very good chance of us winning but if you want to low block, be aggressive and counter we have no options to call upon but rely on Saka and Martinelli to get us out of trouble. Hence why the opposition have now learnt to double up on the wings and be aggressive in the press and so far we have shown just recently we cannot cope or find an alternative to the tried and tested.

          Found it interesting that $hitting played Silva as a left wing back tonight. Is Pep playing mind games again?🤔

      1. @dan the boys have played well in those 3 fixtures perhaps our opponents need to come out and play a better football than parking the bus….
        I think that’s the way they can only get points from us, if our opponents play freely we would win those games.
        Aside from the city game it’s 50/50

  9. Fully half, at least of Dans piece was him making excuse for his ever present negativity .

    I dont know why he bothers trying to persuade us he is not negative as few believe him. Only when he starts writing positively- instead of one positive piece in a blue moon, which he later boasts about having written- will people change their view of him.

    Essentially I am saying, stop digging Dan!

    1. Jon ……what did you call Xakha when we beat Palace
      So you can be negative when we win !
      I cant be negative when we dont ?

      Hard to write many positive articles based on two performances hence why I focused on City’s situation

      Blame the team for last two performances
      Not going to write we were fantastic just because some fans live a life where sadly they can’t hear anything negative about their team

      When we beat Man U I was positive , Martinelli signed contract – praised owners
      When joregiho – wrote smart buisness

      I react to what I see so if we are poor at Everton I will say it
      If we are bottling title race I will say it

      And to show Jon how much you crave attention i said last week to you
      ‘ Jon if we don’t play well against Brentford don’t click on my article and exspect positivity ‘

      So I admit I’m negative and yet you keep saying your negative
      Yes I’m negative when my team play badly ?

      Essentially I’m saying , stop digging Jon lol

      1. Ps admin will back me up
        I wrote positive article on Balogun
        So In last week I wrote positive article on Balogun and 2 on man city situation but yes when focusing on everton fixture , I was negative because i thought it was a poor performance

      2. Sad to see a clearly bright Gooner write such childish tosh. As I have not the slightest idea what “I once wrote about XHAKA” according to you Dan, and since it is clearly playing on your mind( you having constantly asked me what I said a long time ago).

        It will not worry me one bit as it willhave been true at that time Like many other non Xhaka fans I admitted changing my mind in the light of changing events, as to him form this season.

        Unlike you DAN, WHO NEVER CHANGES YOUE NEGATIVITY, from previous seasons, despiteeus being clear top and a game in hand.Most of us will change with the facts altering.

        But you are unable or unwilling to do that DAN. WHY IS THAT EXACTLY??

  10. It seems we have finally arrived at our come-to-Jesus moment…meaning, the point where we take a fair and honest assessment of Everything Arsenal (at this late stage of the this season) and finally accept that we are not good enough to win the league.

    Everything Arsenal includes:
    – did we do enough in the transfer window?
    – can we integrate the new players into the squad?
    – can we rely on Eddie or do we need a more physical target striker upfront?
    – will our manager learn to trust and use the new players, especially Trossard?
    – does the manager know how to rotate the squad?
    – can we avoid being too predictable in attack?
    – should we just focus on top 4?
    – is the manager really aware that he’s got all the tools at his fingertips to win the league?

    The game against the severely wounded Citizens on Wednesday should provide the final answers.

    1. This is the defeatist attitude of a pessimist. We are still ahead in the league and there are many games to be played.
      Certainly assessments are required but these should be ongoing. The coaching team will need to take stock of the games we have played and prepare the available players for our game against City.
      Even if we lose that game it will not be over! It is not the final game of the season. There are still many games to play. There is no value in wallowing in negativity.

      1. There is good reason for being a pessimist, based on what we’ve seen lately. We’ve been down this road before. Last season we had the chance to gain top 4 but blew it. Ordinary coaches, Dyche, Howe and Frank seem to look like master tacticians whenever they play us – a worrying trend you will agree.

  11. Man, to read comments here is to kill ones joy. I wonder how most of you live your normal lives.

    To many here, nothing this team does is good enough except on the day they win. It just doesn’t matter how they play, if they don’t win they are called all sorts of names.

  12. Kinell, anybody would think that in our previous League winning years our teams have never had a blip 🙄. Even in the Invincible Season we dropped points against teams who people these days would say we should beat.

  13. Let truth be told I don’t see Arsenal losing 5games dis season because our defense is solid.
    Old Arsenal would have loss by now 5 games with about 5 draws do let’s give credit to the team.

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