Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Norwich this weekend was certainly one to forget yet there are positives Gooners can draw from the performance if we look back to last season.
This dross performance is something to be forgotten yet there was a feeling on Saturday evening that we’ve been here before. Indeed, the lack of attacking bite, midfield creativity and defence nous echoed the performance away at Sunderland in the FA Cup last season, where an equally lacklustre Arsenal squad limped out of the cup 2-0 on a dark night in the northeast.
Just like Sunderland, Norwich sat back for the majority of the game and pinched the winner from their handful of efforts at goal. They had no desire to win the game but instead were determined not to concede and were lucky enough we failed to create anything worthwhile in the final third.
Sometimes these things happen and Saturday’s game echoed much the same anxieties that many Gooners felt against Sunderland: a fading title aspirations and an awareness of the clear deficiencies that still remain in Arsene Wenger’s side.
Yet somewhat miraculously after that result Arsenal went on to win their next six games, including that 5-2 spanking of Spurs and almost taking down Milan in the Champions League home leg. The bottle that was absent at the Stadium of Light re-emerged after that humbling defeat and Arsenal got their season somewhat back into shape. With Schalke on the horizon in midweek and plenty of champions league football betting previews tipping the Gunners to struggle, now is the perfect time for the players to demonstrate their ‘bouncebackability’.
Although ninth in the Premier League there is still no reason to panic yet, despite the obvious concern. There is little distance between us and the top four and this defeat is by no means an end to our title ambitions. Just like Sunderland, the Norwich game will hopefully act as a reality check for some players and we can expect an upturn in results over the next month or so.