“It was a shot to nothing”
“Didn’t expect a result anyway”
That was the common consensus from the majority. And they are right.
But it is also important that we learn from the defeat against Liverpool. And Manchester City. And Chelsea.
At some point we need to move up to the next level. Away from calling it a project; that we are a team in development.
For now, it is fine. We are a team whose target was to compete for top 4. We are in the race.
But if we want to transition from top 4 contenders to title contenders, we need to begin getting results against City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Those teams comes to Arsenal and do not see it as a “shot to nothing”. They see it as 3 points. Anything less is a failure.
The change won’t happen this season.
Considering how poor we have been and for how long, turning the good ship Arsenal around was always going to take some time.
It feels like we are on the right road. Just at some point we need to find a new gear if we wish to be title challengers.
At the moment we have one of the youngest teams in the league. They were due a capitulation and in the second half at Liverpool it was heads gone.
The game is easy in hindsight.
Mikel Arteta should have probably gone with Kieran Tierney over the inexperienced Nuno Tavares – especially against Mo Salah who is probably the best player on the world right now.
Likewise we probably should have flooded the midfield. Played Ainsley Maitland-Niles ahead Alex Lacazette matching up Liverpool’s midfield 3; with Maitland-Niles also providing extra cover in that wide position against Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
As it was Tavares was exposed on the left and we were over run in midfield. Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi-Lokonga provided no cover and no out ball.
But then had we made those changes and lost Arteta would have been criticised for changing a winning team.
We move on with Newcastle at home up next before trips to Everton and Manchester United.
Whilst a trip to Liverpool at the moment is a shot to nothing, we need to be returning to the north-west expecting wins in the coming weeks.
5th in the table after 13 games. I am happy. We dust ourselves down and move on.