Today’s game is as much a test of our title credentials as it is a test of our mental strength… of course mental strength is one of the things that win you titles…
We don’t have to look to far to find cases of strong teams failing to win against considerable weaker opposition (Stoke city vs Chelsea)… but the criteria for making that judgement of which side is strong, and which side is weak go beyond mundanely staring at the league table and drawing an inference.
You have to take other stuff like the side’s manager, form, injuries, atmosphere (both from fans and within the players), and things I don’t even know, into account.
That said, there is still no reasonable explanation for Stoke beating Chelsea… it hasn’t happened since April 1975 in a league game, and there have been fourteen of them in that time … and I’m pretty sure no one saw it coming.
This is why football keeps us on our toes… why we love it… why we watch it… because it’s hardly an exact science, and thus, full of surprises.
Arsenal now have a chance to go 7 points clear, building a nice gap, and the only thing that could be an obstacle is mental strength.
We face Everton at the emirates… we have the better squad in my opinion (that’s why were in the champions league and they’re not, they never are), we have the better manager, our form is great, we’re not doing badly in the injury league too; but still Everton could win, and that makes no sense, until you take the invisible mental side of it all into account.
We are humans and as such subject to emotions. Arsenal have a difficult but important point to prove; that we can keep our head when it matters… That’s the stuff champions are made of.
The main title rivals have dropped points this weekend and that could affect the players’ psyche in different ways… will they relax a bit, knowing they have got some breathing space, or will they play as if their lives depend on it, knowing that a win will make them even more comfortable… this is something that can only be viewed in retrospect.
Sitting here facing my laptop, I can’t say which of the above Arsenals will turn up tomorrow…
Lest we forget however, we have been remarkably consistent this season, dispatching the lower table clubs without breaking a sweat, while the likes of Chelsea and Man city have severely struggled against the same opposition.
So why did we perform so poorly against Manchester united… mental block because of our history with them??? That’s a question for another day…
In summary, the manager has a tough task of keeping the squad firmly focused as the season unfolds… let’s not get to January in 1st position and then ask ourselves “now what?” let’s finish the JOB.
Sagna is still out, so Jenkinson has another chance to show he can be part of this team in the long term.
There are no new injuries, and I expect Arsene to field the same side that defeated Cardiff last weekend with Giroud, Gibbs, Arteta and co coming back into the starting line up…
I know we have Napoli coming up, but first things first…
I’ll like to see what I feel is our strongest squad at the moment…
Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs Wilshere Arteta Rambo Ozil Cazorla
We know Everton will be tough, but if we play how we know we can, then we should beat them… Comfortably I dare add.
Can’t wait… COYG!!!