So I sit here for the 2nd time in a week on a Virgin Train on the way back from the North West to Euston having seen Arsenal go 1-nil up and lose 2-1.
We have now not kept a clean sheet in 12 games in all competitions, and it is costing us big time.
Meanwhile, across the city Chelsea are running away with the league, mainly due to their ability to keep clean sheets. They have now kept 9 in their last 11 league games.
11 wins in a row, their form is scintillating. 4 of their last 6 games have been 1-0. Arsenal have won 1-0 just once this season.
A last minute winner against Burnley with the last kick of the game. We didn’t have to see the game out, the final whistle went as they kicked off.
Our inability to see out a game having gone 1-nil up has now cost us on 3 major occasions.
Firstly against Spurs, 1-nil up, we conceded a penalty and drew 1-1. Then mid week, 1-nil up against Everton. Lost 2-1. Finally tonight (you will be reading this tomorrow so it’s yesterday), 1-nil up against Manchester City. Lose 2-1.
From 3 games which we were in a position to win, we got 1 points. Dropping 8. We are 9 points behind Chelsea.
During the second half, Man City fans mocked Arsenal with our own song; “1-nil, to The Arsenal” they sang. And it bought it home. We can no longer win a game 1-nil.
Attackers win you games, defences win you Championships. I had a debate on Twitter with a fan who told me “clean sheets are pointless, it’s all about scoring goals”. My response was that his comment shows he knows little about football.
The fan in question was American. He wanted us to win every game 5-4. No surprise considering his nationality. He can’t understand the benefit of keeping clean sheets. He probably doesn’t understand the concept of draws either.
Clean sheets are costing us points. When you need to score at least 2 goals a game to win a match you put yourselves up against it straight away. Chelsea have seen out 4 of the last 6 1-nil. That is 8 points gained with just a single goal. They are top because they are not conceding.
A lot of people felt Mustafi solved our problems at the back, and whilst he has been missed for the last 2 games, he has still been part of a defence that has conceded a lot of goals.
If Arsenal are to get back into this title race – and we are still not out of it – we need to keep clean sheets. We need to turn the 1-nil leads we take into 3 points.
Until we can keep a clean sheet, we will not win the league.