Arsene Wenger loves to talk about his side’s mental strength, especially after they’ve clawed back a deficit, but why does nobody ask him where the mental strength is when games start so they don’t get into these positions in the first place?
There’s no denying that this side are slightly mentally stronger than recent Wenger sides. There have been numerous games this season when we’ve grabbed an unlikely draw or win after going behind that we would have lost in previous seasons.
But why are we going behind in these circumstances so often in the first place?
Looking at the entire situation, you have to think that there is some improvement. If we are not losing games we would have lost in previous seasons, that’s a good thing. But going three down to a team like Bournemouth (no offence, Cherries, but, you know….) is not an outlier. What happened on Tuesday night was not something we see once a decade from Arsenal. Or even once every five years. You could almost bet your house on it happening at least once a season at Arsenal, sometimes more.
Last season, it was Southampton, although the Saints were helped by a number of seriously dodgy decisions from the officials. An argument could be made that Michael Oliver did the same on Tuesday night when you consider the foul he didn’t give Arsenal in the lead up to one of the Bournemouth goals, but to blame the officials for the 3-3 would be churlish.
This side is mentally fragile, as most of Wenger’s sides have been since the Invincibles. I’ve lost track of how many years I’ve been begging the club to employ a new sports psychologist.
Rumour is they have finally done that, turning to rugby guru, Ceri Evans, who worked with the All Blacks in 2011 when they won the Rugby World Cup.
Arsenal know there’s a problem, even if Arsene Wenger won’t admit it in public – not that anyone is asking about it.
After all, journalists have much more important things to ask about – like Alexis’s future for the third time this week.