By Avenell Dave
Looking back over the past few trophy-less seasons, there have been a few reasons why Arsenal haven’t lifted silverware.
A card-happy referee in Paris.
A brutal assault on Eduardo in Birmingham.
Too many injuries.
The financial burden of the new stadium.
Project Youth failing as money spoke louder than vision.
But for me, the watershed moment of the past few years has been the attitude of players and their complacency, typified by the home defeat to Hull City a few seasons ago.
We were cruising in that game and somehow conspired to lose and it’s been impossible to defend the team from accusations of being soft ever since.
If you listen to so many of our fickle fans now, you’d think we have won the title.
Those same naysayers who wanted Arsene Wenger’s head a few weeks ago are now lauding it over T*tt*nh*m after their minor blip when in truth, there is still so much to win or lose.
We may have won three games on the spin, improving confidence and our chances of Champions League football next season, helped in now small part to a loss of form by the Ch*vs and T*tt*nh*m’s recent losses.
While I don’t like to focus too much on that small team from down the Seven Sisters Road, the fact remains that apart from the second half against us, they’ve played pretty well in their last three games and their so-called loss of form has been gravely exaggerated.
Likewise, anyone who saw our victory over Liverpool will know that we were fortunate to RvP’s brilliance and could easily have lost the game.
The margins between victory and defeat are huge and while I’m quite happy for the current trends to continue and delight in the fact that it remains in our hands, we have to remain focused and continue to treat every game as if it is a cup final.
Being at home is good for us at the moment and if the fans continue to realise that their vocal support helps the team as much as booing and criticism weakens it, we’ll be fine.
There is little room for error now, so don’t watch tonight’s game thinking it’s a foregone conclusion.
Newcastle aren’t where they are in the table by being mugs.They’ve got a decent goalkeeper, fine strikers and have scored a fair few long range goals this season as well.
Unless we get an early goal or two, I can see Krul having a blinder and we will have to remain patient and disciplined to break them down.
When we’ve won games, it’s often been because we’ve chased and harried teams and that has to continue.
It was fascinating reading the interview in the Guardian with Cesc Fabregas at the weekend where he talked about training virtually every day at Barca.
Some might argue that the Spanish season is far less intense that in England – but the fact is, if you deny your opponents space and time on the ball, you have far more chance of winning it back.
And when Arsenal win the ball back, we have the players capable of hurting the opposition, especially now that there is so much more pace and direction about our attacks.
But everyone, on the pitch and on the sidelines, must not take victory for granted. For that is our greatest threat of all.
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs
Rosicky Song Arteta
Walcott RvP Gervinho