By 1970's Gooner
Arsenal have only collected 3 points from the last four games. Draws against Liverpool, Stoke and Soton plus a defeat at home against Chelsea. Its not the form a title winning team is it? There are three main reasons that can explain the recent loss of form. I consider the last one as the most important.
Key players loose form
Where do you start. Mertesacker has been shaky for a long time and this was well exploited by a clever Chelsea tactic of getting Costa to run on his shoulder . In fact the whole team was underperforming up to the sending off.
This loss of form has been evident even in the games we won prior to the Liverpool game. Newcastle were outplaying us at the Emirates but couldn't convert their many chances until Koscienly popped up to rescue us. Bournemouth were only outdone from corners otherwise they were competitive alright.
Flamini, Ramsey and now Walcott have been way below par. The first two in particular have been very poor during this period. Flamini has not been closing down the spaces in midfield and Ramsey has neither been as mobile or accurate with his passing. This significant area of the pitch has been our Achilles heel. Let's hope Coquelin will return as strong as he was before he got injured.
The absence of Sanchez
Sanchez has been sorely missed as much as Coquelin. His runs and dribbles unsettle opponents as they don't know which way he will go. He offers something out of the ordinary but his mobility also offers an outlet for Ozil's innovative passing. And this should not be underestimated.
Lack of confidence in themselves
This lack of confidence has been very evident every time Arsenal have to win a game to keep themselves in contention or even to go top. It has been evident when say City or Leicester have dropped points and Arsenal only have to win to take advantage. They invariably failed every time.
There is an aura of uncertainty in their passing, crossing or in taking chances. It is also evident in their slow starts to games as though they wait to see what the opponent has to offer rather than imposing themselves irrespective of the opponent. This was very evident at Liverpool where they went one down relatively early in the game and also against Chelsea where they were so tentative in the early stages with Chelsea dominating possession and threatening. It was evident against Soton where we wasted a whole half to get into the game! And this was at home!
The players better start shaping up otherwise its goodbye to the title ( to possibly Spurs heaven forbid) and probably goodbye to fourth place.
Now that Coquelin and Sanchez are back we expect better days to come. Let's start at Bournemouth.