Morning all.

I think I’ve just read more negative headlines about Arsenal in the hour than I’ve seen throughout the season so far. Basically, Arsenal have bottled a great opportunity to win the Premier League for the first time in 126 years. Yet there’s still seven games left to play….

Mikel Arteta on whether the pressure of the season has played a part today. (Sunday)

I would say yes. If I see a team from the beginning playing like that, when I see a team playing with that flow? And at two-nil, that’s certainly not the pressure. We misunderstood what the game required in that moment.

However the players and staff at Arsenal try, they’re not going to be able to avoid all the negativity in the media and maybe that’s not a bad thing because there’s nothing sweeter in sport than to prove the doubters wrong.

I think it’s kind of disrespectful to West Ham and Liverpool to almost suggest they had no right to fight back from trailing a football match. I know in both games we gave them a bit of help but if that had happened back in September, such disparaging headlines wouldn’t have been written I’m sure. Just as I doubt Bukayo Saka would have been racially abused on social media had his penalty miss happened several months ago.

Being top of the League in September, January or March, doesn’t mean the title is won, just as being bottom in January, doesn’t always mean a club is going to be relegated. Sky Sports might like to produce stats from history to suggest otherwise but the fact is, until mathematics say otherwise, anything in football is possible.

Mikel Arteta on the importance of the last six days in the title race…

I have no idea, I didn’t have an idea seven weeks ago, twelve, for what is going to happen in three weeks, my biggest task is, go again and train really well, and on Friday play at the same level that we played the first 30, 35 minutes against a team that is fighting for their lives, or against a Liverpool team but do it for a longer period and kill it.

As said before, we’re bound to be disappointed by what’s happened in our last two fixtures but considering we’re still in with a chance of winning the League in April, I find it really hard to be too downhearted.

There’s ‘talk’ about Chelsea sorting themselves before next season, Man Utd, Liverpool and Newcastle being stronger, even Brighton, Fulham and Totts but I think whoever writes such stuff is forgetting that Arsenal too will be much stronger. We’re where we are without help from officials, without the financial clout Champions League awards and without owners who are prepared to spend money they really shouldn’t be spending.

Arsenal will be playing Champions League football next season regardless of what happens between now and the end of May which, according to many footballing ‘experts’ is required if a club is to attract the best players so in theory, Arsenal should be buying big in the summer. I jest of course because one only has to look at Brighton’s transfer policy to see that really good players don’t have to cost the earth. Arsenal’s transfer needs is a debate for another day though.

For now, the focus is on Friday and the game against Southampton. Anything other than three points and I think any slim hope we might have of pipping City to the title, will be gone. The Emirates and with 60,000 Arsenal fans behind the team, I think we’ll be ok…

Catch up in the comments.