Why Arsenal bottling it is all down to mentality

Arsenal have a great chance this year to win the Premier League and, they don’t come around very often do they?

If you’d have asked any Gooner at the start of the season whether Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City would be off the pace come March they’d have told you to stick it.

But unfortunately for many an-Arsenal fan, that harrowing prediction has become a reality. Harrowing? That doesn’t sound right?

But yes, even with all those teams off-the-pace, Arsenal still haven’t got the firepower to see them over the line and charging to the Premier League title. Plucky Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur lead the way and they are gaining ground on the Gunners as they slowly fall away.

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What motivation though- their greatest rivals and a team that they recently beat in front of them, but no, they’re still losing ground.

Defeat to Manchester United was a particularly bitter blow to their hopes on Sunday- especially considering Louis Van Gaal’s extremely depleted looking line-up.

But his kids did what they were asked, with the likes of Varela, Rashford, Fosu-Mensah, Lingard and Januzaj all provided when they were called upon on the day.

Arsenal’s stars? Went missing.┬áIt was a game they had to win – their supporters had travelled in their thousands with the taste of revenge and the Championship on their lips. It was a perfect day for a win – everything was in their favour and they were favourites, big time.

But again, Ozil and co. couldn’t deliver. Walcott gave a whimpering performance that warranted his substitution on the hour whilst Welbeck (who admittedly is still coming back from injury) and Sanchez struggled to create against a peppy and excitable United side.

But in a game where Championships are won and lost, pep and battle shouldn’t stand for anything – quality and conviction should and Arsenal completely lacked it. United’s teamsheet wouldn’t have looked out of place on an FA cup fourth round tie, let alone such an important Premier League game but it was Louis Van Gaal’s men that came and saw the game out.

Why Arsenal’s players didn’t see this as the single most important game in their season, arguably in their last five seasons I don’t know. That win would have done so much for them, and with Leicester dropping points in the week, it would have done them the world of good.

They need that killer instinct back – that mindset that ‘We don’t care how we’re going to win, we’re just going to get three points’.

But that Arsenal side doesn’t look like it could go to Stoke City on a rain-fuelled night and get a 1-0 win with Koscielny scoring the winner with his knee in the 88th minute.

That’s what champions are made off. They don’t mess about – they get results on the pitch, by whatever means possible and do the business. Would Henry and co. have fluffed it on Sunday?

It’s worth a thought.