Morning all.

Don’t you just love it when after a few ‘poor’ results, footballers decide to issue a rallying speech before the next game. This time around it’s the turn of Thomas Partey:

I think everything depends on us – we have to go [to City] with the mentality to play football and plays we know. And, at the end, we have to try and win. We have to approach it as a game in that we do everything that we did from the beginning of the season and I am sure we can win, if we do that. It’s normal that we feel frustrated after Friday as we could have done better. We worked so hard during the week for the game. We cannot put our heads down because now is not the time to drop heads. We have to keep on fighting, we have to keep on pushing and in the end we will get better results.

He’s right of course but it’s what he and his teammates do on the pitch which matters more than words and for most of the season, they’ve been brilliant. During the last three games they’ve been brilliant too but either side of that has been moments of sloppiness which has cost the team points. It happens though, but when a Premier League title is in the balance, everything seems bigger and worse.

Would the “Gerrard slip” be remembered so well had it not cost Liverpool the title, or Fergie telling the world that his Utd team was better than Arsenal and Wenger’s team would definitely drops points in the games in the run in when in fact his own team dropped points during theirs. Against Arsenal, at Old Trafford! There was the “Gallas” season, not because he was remarkable but because he sat frustrated at what he’d witnessed very early in our game against Birmingham in 2008. 2010/11 – Fergie’s lot were 4-2 up against Everton at Old Trafford but ended up drawing 4-4, dropping two points which ultimately allowed Man City to win the League on the final day of the season. The 2016/17 season was on course to be a really disappointing one for all Arsenal fans. Not because top four was seriously at risk for the club but because the noisy neighbours had a chance of winning the League. In the end, they blew it.

I think that if a poll was created and all fans voted, the majority percentage would show that Arsenal ‘should’ have won more trophies under Arsene Wenger. Had football been played on a level playing field, I’m sure we would have but it wasn’t then and it isn’t now. After all, we should right now be going into the game against City with a 7 point advantage, not 5. And yes, those two points could make a huge difference come the end of the season.

2002/03 should have been another ‘double’ season but in the April, we dropped two points against Villa, two against Utd and then three against Leeds at Highbury in May. Ouch! The season was deemed a failure in the eyes of the media.

Arsene Wenger wasn’t happy:

Of course, we want to win the title but I think the most difficult thing for the club is to be consistent and we have been remarkably consistent.  We lost the league to a team who spends 50 percent more money every year – last year they bought a player for £30m pounds when they lost the championship. They will do the same next year and we [have] done miracles just to fight with them.

Well, we know what happened the following year! Whilst I’m not for one suggesting we’ll go the entire of next season unbeaten, we will be better I’m sure. City will spend again, Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and other clubs too but then so will Arsenal and regardless of whether we finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd, the players, manager and coaching staff will be more wise. Just because Mikel Arteta sat next to Guardiola when City won the League, I doubt he had much of a say about the players Guardiola signed or the match day changes he made. It’s easier to make changes during a game when a team is winning than when it’s losing, or just struggling.

When City went to Germany to face Bayern Munich last week, Guardiola had Mahrez, Foden, Alvarez, Laporte, Walker, Phillips, plus a few others on the bench. I’m sure there are many Arsenal fans who love Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Reuell Walters too because there’s an emotional attachment to each but have they really suddenly become our saviours?

It’s different with ESR as he’s already proved he’s a cracking player, Leandro Trossard too so yes, there’s a reason to wonder why neither started against Southampton instead of Fabio Vieira but it wasn’t long ago I was wondering why Gabriel Martinelli was being held back but now look at him. It might be similar for ESR who just needs to come back when he’s 100% rather than for example 85%. Why the Belgian didn’t start ahead of Vieira will always remain a mystery to me.

This Arsenal team might go to the Etihad on Wednesday and win, they might draw but they might lose too. Obvious I know but if there are no mistakes, 100% focus and commitment from start to finish then why can’t they get at least a point? If we’re beaten then so be it, if we finish the season 2nd, then so be it but as Arsene Wenger said back in 2003, we’d have pushed the Manchester club all the way. A club which has spent millions of pounds on getting the best players, sticking their fingers up at the rules along the way, and in all likelihood, will carry on doing the same unless the powers that be stop them.

I know it sounds like I’m accepting failure but I’m not, I’m just a realist. If winning the League was so easy, why is it that Liverpool are the only club other than Man City to have done it since Guardiola assembled his multibillion pound squad?

Catch up in the comments.