Lethargic is probably the best word to use to describe Arsenal’s performance on Sunday.
We looked tired, off the pace. We looked like a team who had played Monday, Thursday and then Sunday. A side that had played a European away just 60 hours before the kick-off in South London.
Having won 11 in a row, fans left the ground with a feeling of frustration and annoyance that we did not make it 12 in a row. It was a natural feeling after Arsenal were 1 up with just 10 to play. But having seen the side lose 11 away games last season, the disappointment in a draw just highlights how optimistic fans have become under Unai Emery.
It was a very sloppy display by Arsenal, and in days gone past we would not have even come away from Selhurst Park with a point.
The first half was typical of a lot of first halves under Emery.
The one criticism that you would put against the Spaniards time at the club so how poor we are in the first half. The statistics are quite startling:
There are two schools of fault.
The first is to praise Emery for changing things, and turning tough positions into victory – something we were not doing last season. The second is to justifiably question why we have led a Premier League game at half time yet.
Slow starts will eventually catch up with you, and instead of finding yourself drawing (or 1 down) at half-time, you will find yourself 2 or 3 down, the game gone before any changes can be made.
Despite this criticism, there is clear progress at Arsenal.
A few media bods have jumped on a 2-2 draw away to Palace to shout “Arsenal were never quite as good as those wins suggested” Almost celebrating Arsenal slipping up as they are aware that negativity about the club creates the hits – a successful Arsenal team does not make for good advertising revenue.
The reality is, Arsenal fans – and the management- knew things were not perfect. No one attempted to paint us as being flawless. We all know a time would come where the winning run came to an end. And that happened at Palace.
The criticism the club has had over the last 24 hours for the draw is a bit OTT. It is almost like journalists have taken out 3 months of frustration that we were winning.
Instead of being on a 11 game winning run, we are now on a 12 game unbeaten run – the longest current unbeaten run in English football.
We sit in 4 place after 10 games.
When Emery took over from Arsene Wenger, we all would have agreed that 4th after 10 games; 4 points off top would be a successful start to the new era.
We are on the coat tails of the title race and have one foot in the knock out stages of the Europa League.
The press will try and paint things differently to what they are. They will attempt to knock us off our perch. To present us in a negative light.
No Arsenal fan expects the club to win the league this season. our title challenge will depend more on if Manchester City run away with it again. What we expect is for us to be in the race for 2nd or 3rd. A top 4 finish will be a good season.
We will drop points, home and away, throughout the season. But so will Tottenham (lost to Watford) and so will Chelsea (drew with West Ham). Man City have drawn against Wolves this season – highlighting that no side is perfect.
A draw away to Crystal Palace is not a bad result.
Arsenal will look to continue their unbeaten run against Blackpool on Wednesday.
Hopefully Emery looks at the Palace game and understands that some players were jaded. with a huge game against Liverpool coming up on Saturday, anyone in line to make the starting XI should not be involved in the League Cup.
On a final note, we at She Wore would like to send our deepest condolences to the families, friends and those connected to Leicester City Football Club and the Srivaddhanaprabha family.