Morning all.

Two games, 2-0 up and looking really good but both ended in a draw. Why, I’ve no idea but in both fixtures, the opposition seemed to have a lightbulb moment. At Anfield, the crowd responded after Alexander-Arnold and Granit Xhaka had their spat, yesterday, a lapse in concentration from Thomas Partey, a missed handball by David Coote and VAR before a clumsy ‘challenge’ from Gabriel on Paqueta which having watched several times, I still can’t see any actual contact, gave West Ham a way back in from the penalty spot. They took it and with it, the London Stadium came alive. As did David Moyes team.

Before Benrahma tucked his spot kick past Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal had looked shaky. David Coote threw us a lifeline when at 2-1 up, he awarded us a penalty. A penalty Bukayo Saka fired wide. Within minutes, it was 2-2. We hung on for the point.

West Ham weren’t suddenly brilliant though, no more than Liverpool were last weekend but instead, Arsenal seemed to go from being in control into panic mode and with it, passes were going astray, we were losing challenges and forgot how to play the kind of football which got us to where we are right now.

Mikel Arteta made changes with Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey, both booked by Coote, for Jorginho and Leandro Trossard. Little changed. Before the final whistle went, Eddie Nketiah, Fabio Vieira and Reiss Nelson were on the pitch too and whilst the former played a couple of decent crosses into the box, nothing came of them. What could and should have been a final 10/15 minutes of pressure on West Ham’s defence was little more than a slow buildup fizzling out to nothing.

Of course it’s disappointing to end up with just a point after taking a two goal lead but doesn’t that say a lot about the progress we’ve made over the last year or so. Mikel Arteta hasn’t suddenly morphed into a bad manager and nor have any of our players suddenly become rubbish.

Gabriel Jesus:

We know our strength, we know what we can do. Where we want to attack the opponent, in the first 10 to 20 minutes we did so good, after that we dropped our level and that obviously cannot happen if you want to fight for the title. It started from like 5 or 10 minutes before the penalty, because exactly after we scored the second goal we stopped. As a team, it’s no time to blame, as a team we have to raise the level again and come back to our principles and like I said win the games, that’s the only way we can arrive next month and then fight for the title again.

Why though, why did it happen? That’s something only the players and Mikel Arteta can work out and hopefully resolve as the last thing any of us want to see is our season end with a bad run of results to gift City the title. It might help if Gabriel Jesus could stay on his feet a bit more instead of going to ground when an opposition player gets anywhere near him. Love him, but he’s not at City now.

Is it more than a coincidence that since William Saliba has been missing, Arsenal haven’t looked as secure at the back? Rob Holding, whilst not to blame for anything much really, probably doesn’t  bring the calm and control to our defensive unit which the Frenchman does. Thomas Partey, the usually mr dependable, was off his game yesterday, Granit Xhaka was virtually anonymous and Martin Odegaard went from brilliance to Sunday morning passing levels in a flash. Even Bukayo Saka looked like he’s was playing on a ploughed field. Seven days between matches sounds ideal but I bet footballers prefer to play every 3-4 days because of the momentum it brings with it. It’s us who think they can’t cope, not them.

Let’s talk about substitutions. When things aren’t going to plan, many of us look to the bench for solutions I’m sure. Our bench yesterday was: Matt Turner, Eddie Nketiah, Jorginho, Jakub Kiwior, Fabio Vieira, Leandro Trossard, Reiss Nelson, ESR and Reuell Walters. Apart from Leandro Trossard and Jorginho – our substitutes didn’t have much time to make an impact on the game. I know it’s often suggested on here that Mikel Arteta doesn’t make his changes quick enough or make the right choices but apart from Reiss Nelson’s late late show against Bournemouth, changes haven’t always changed a game. Maybe at Old Trafford they did and we know what happened then.

The title race isn’t over just yet although it’s fair to say that’s it’s advantage Man City but I’ve always believed it’s advantage Man City because of the squad Guardiola has and the experience they have of winning the Premier League. Arsenal need to keeping aiming for gold but if we do end up with silver, it’s going to have been a fantastic season. I just hope we can spring a few positive surprises yet…

Catch up in the comments.