Last week, I asked if Arsenal had what it takes to beat Stoke and keep their title dreams alive. In a month where we play Stoke, Everton, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham, I pointed out that the only must win games from those were Stoke, Everton and Tottenham. Stoke and Tottenham represent league games we need maximum points from to keep in touch with the top of the table, and we need to beat Everton to stay in the FA Cup.
Bayern Munich is a massive ask, and in the games against Chelsea and Manchester City it would not be a disaster if we drew those matches.
And I emphasised that it was vital that Arsenal started this run of games with a win against Stoke, otherwise it would start a “downward spiral of results” and if we couldn’t beat Stoke, then we’d be in a position where we’d need to beat Chelsea and City, which would be huge asks.
But yesterday, Arsenal were limp and in one disastrous afternoon took themselves out of the title race. Most of you reading this will comment that I’m not a real Arsenal fan, I’m overly negative and just scare mongering. But you have to look at Arsenal and face the facts.
We’ve won 2 out of the last 6 league games. That is not title winning form and we failed to beat the worst Manchester United team in 20 years, were humiliated at Anfield and threw away the lead at Southampton.
The fact is we’ve seen it all before. I have to say that Arsenal have been phenomenal this season and done so much more than I expected – I don’t think any Arsenal fan would have thought we could seriously fight for the Premier League title. But the turning point in our season was not buying a striker in January. We had to rely on Sanogo in the Champions League, and Giroud hasn’t got any real competition. Liverpool have Sturridge and Suarez, City have Aguero, Dzeko, Negredo and Jovetic, and even Manchester United have Rooney and Van Persie.
Even the most optimistic Arsenal fan cat expect is to win the Premier League now. There comes a point in the season where you need to win a game to stay in the race, and for us that was yesterday.
And worse of us still, with Liverpool jumping ahead of us to 2nd place, and with Manchester City with games in hand, it will be tough for Arsenal to turn things around and finish in 4th place come the end of the season.