Walcott got on the score-sheet with a fine finish in the match, but Arsenal as a whole were very poor in the first-half and only rallied when there backs were against the wall and there was nothing to lose.
The same could be said of the Manchester City clash where a poor opening half was finally followed by a spirited fight-back lead by Arsenal’s talisman Jack Wilshere.
Walcott is quoted as saying on the Gunners lack of confidence by Arsenal.com:
I think that’s what it is. We’ve got some very good players at this club. I think players are maybe not believing they are good enough. Trust me, I see them every day in training and they should believe that.
We’ve got a great bunch here and we’ve got a great manager behind us. He always puts it on himself and at times it’s unfair on him, because we’re the players that go out there every week and try and win for him.
We need to do it for him because he’s been very helpful for us young players coming through.
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Last year we were so many points behind that no one never thought we would get there.
We’ve got a game in hand but we need to clock up these points fast. Teams get better every year. We don’t want to be standing still. We need to make sure that we’re right up there at the end of the season.
Champions League football and competing [for honours] means a lot. It’s one of the main [reasons] why I signed because I feel we should be there. I still think we will. We’ll be fine.
We just need to not worry about that [the gap to fourth place]. We hope that Tottenham do drop points but we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves. We’ve got a big game on Wednesday and we need to pick up all the lads.
It’s our game in hand and we need to make sure that we get three points. No disrespect to West Ham but we should be winning that.
Personally I definitely agree with the young Englishman. It has been a clear in recent seasons that Arsenal have lacked that winning mentality and it is a trend that is certainly continuing at present.
Sol Campbell summed it up pretty accurately in a recent interview saying:
They’re a great footballing side, Arsenal. They play fantastic football. But it comes down to those final moments where you need leaders. And not just one leader, you need five leaders up and down the pitch. It’s too much for one guy. You need four or five leaders to cement that winning mentality and hopefully make it change.
The ‘one guy’ that certainly comes to mind is Jack Wilshere who has been instrumental to this team since his long awaited return.
Wilshere was screaming at players around to press Chelsea in the first half, but it takes more than one charismatic player to up the motivation of the whole team.
It is hard to pinpont exactly what the problem is; whether Arsene needs to be more motivational before a game, whether the players are failing to motivate themselves, low self-confidence, inconsistent team selection, whether we need more leaders or more likely a combination of all of the above.
You have to agree though that if you were to add all these problems together, the whole would equal more than the sum of its parts and it is quite clear that multiple problems are working in tandem here to create quite a big inferiority complex, which is a shame since I genuinely feel this team can compete.
What do you guys think? Are Arsenal in desperate need of leaders? Feel free to post your opinion below!