By 1970's Gooner
It was a performance that nobody ever ever expected. Having comprehensively beaten Man City at the Emirates one would have expected that the huge confidence gained from that wonderful display would have carried them through against Southampton.
It didn't. And there are three main reasons for this which combined together may explain what happened.
Firstly the players AND management got too complacent. AGAIN. They thought that they were entitled to turn Soton over just because they beat Man City. WRONG.
This over complacency rears its ugly head after a great performance. Remember what happened after we beat Chelsea in the Charity Shield? We got thumped by West Ham the following Saturday in a kind of similar lack of energy display.
Complacency my friends. Complacency. Wenger gets complacent. Prior to the game he was busy talking about being vindicated having not bought any outfield players in the summer. He was basking in his success. He was in a way resting on his laurels...
Even Steve Bould on the bench at Southampton was clutching that tactics book of his which was all rolled up in his fist. It was kind of telling us 'I won't be needing this'. And when he did need it late on in the game he couldn't find the right page to show the Ox!!!! Shows you how ready he was for a fight.
Secondly the effort they put in for the win over Man City must have taken a lot out of the players. This usually would have been overcome mentally wise as the players AND management would have raised themselves up for the challenge ahead. BUT when tiredness is combined with overconfidence it invariably results in a non performance. And this is what we got. Too limp, tepid, lack of movement and an inability to bounce back once they got behind.
The third reason has to do with the performance of the Soton players. They were tactically spot on. They did three things right.
They stifled the space that Ozil usually occupies, double marked the space for our overlapping full backs and exploited Arsenal's static central defence by routing balls for the pacy and combative Long down the channels to chase.
Rest assured that Howe will be studying the tape of this game all day today and yesterday.
All we have to do is beat them tomorrow and go top of the League.