It is going to be a long old run in if everytime we drop points fans and the media act like we are a club in crisis.
We lost to Everton. They played brilliantly. We did not.
There is a reason why only one top flight English side has gone unbeaten in over 130 years, and that is because it is bloody hard.
Two years before we went unbeaten, we won the league and cup double. And some would argue the 2001/02 team was better than the Invincible side.
In both seasons, we won 26 games. In 2002 we scored 6 more, but conceded 10 more. The 2004 side got just 3 more points despite going the season unbeaten.
We won the league in 2001/02 with 87 points. That will probably be enough to win it this season.
That side lost its second game of the season – at home to Leeds United who finished 5th. It drew away to Chelsea (finished 6th) and home to Bolton (16th). We are only 6 games in!
The team also drew at home to Blackburn (10th), away to Sunderland (17th), before losing at home to Charlton (14th).
Two home defeats in the first 11 games of the season. And 6 out of 11 games we dropped points in.
That would become 7 from 12 as we would draw away to Tottenham.
Imagine it Twitter was around then. It would all be #WengerOut and “Henry is not a striker” and “that is why no one else wanted Sol Campbell” and “who is that Kolo Toure?”.
The defeat against Everton was the 4th game this season we dropped points. 4 in 20.
We would then also draw away to West Ham (7th) before losing our 3rd home game of the season to Newcastle (4th).
Three home defeats in our opening eight league games.
Blackburn Rovers would knock us out of the League Cup, dicking us 4-nil. Whilst we would also fail to make the Champions League stages (this was when we had two-group stages).
We would start 2002 slowly – drawing at home to Liverpool (2nd) and away to Leeds. 25 games in and we drew at home to Southampton (11th) – and that would be the final points we would drop all season.
Inspired by Freddie Ljungberg , we would win our last 13 league games and finish 7 points above Liverpool in 2nd place. It was a fantastic run and one which I would be surprised if we replicated.
But the point is that season we dropped a lot of points against a lot of lower teams. 3 defeats at home. Lots of silly draws. And we will got 87 points and romped the league.
We have 18 games left this season, and we will not win all 18.
87 points is now many I think we need. That is 12 more wins and 1 draw.
So even if we get 87 points and win the league, we will drop points in 5 more games. Are we really going to overreact 5 more times this season?
The important thing after a game like Everton is we dust ourselves down and go again.
A few pundits have said “that is the blue print to beat Arsenal”. But the way Everton played is the blueprint to beat any time side.
We are not the first team to lose a game to a lower team that turn up motivated, defend well, stick to a game plan for 90 minutes and score from a set piece. It happened to us plenty in 2001/02.
Manchester City showed on Sunday that they are also not invincible. And they will continue to drop points.
And if City do go on a run similar to us in 2002, and end up with 90+ points, then fair play. I will have no complaints about finishing 2nd.
So let’s stop crying everytime we drop a point or 3. Back Arteta. Back The Arsenal.