Five points from a possible 18. It makes sad reading for Arsenal fans who thought the team had matured enough to avoid this sort of late season capitulation.
The most recent defeat, the 3-0 loss at Everton, is another dent in the rapidly deteriorating confidence of Arsene Wenger’s team.
While it’s true that the long injury list has been damaging at a very important time, it’s no excuse for the lack of fight and maturity shown by the Arsenal players in the recent defeats to Stoke, Chelsea and Everton. In each match, when the going got tough, Arsenal didn’t turn up, let alone get going. In each case, the opposing teams set about making life tough for the Gunners’ midfield, pressing them and not allowing them any time on the ball.
Even so, you would expect players of the quality of Rosicky, Cazorla and Podolski to create more than they did. The truth is though, the only attacking outlet they’ve had recently has been provided by the full-backs, Monreal and Sagna, who was Arsenal’s best player against Everton.
In Merseyside the passing was slow, they were second in challenges and Giroud looked nothing like the imposing target man that he was in the first half of the season. Unable to hold the ball up and feed the surrounding attacking midfielders they seemed lost, in need of a ‘plan b’. When it did materialise in the form of a returning Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain it was already too late.
We have to wonder, what the psychological block is that is preventing them from performing away from home against the big teams. While they have scraped results at home, excluding the comfortable 2-0 win against Liverpool, away they have consistently failed to play anywhere near to their potential.
This season however, can still be a success and an improvement on the last one, if they win the FA Cup and secure the final Champions League spot. Although the latter is now out of their hands they have, on paper, the easier run-in compared to Everton’s.
The real test for the Gunners will be dragging themselves out of this slump and getting firing again. If they can do that, then there’s still hope.