I know I should be over it by now but the 6 nil loss to chelsea has ramifications that go way beyond just the loss of 3 points. The only word I can come up with to describe the way we played in that game and the other two heavy losses is ‘irresponsible’.
GoonerB and others have commented on how our performance against Swansea was evidence of the psychological effect on the team of such a heavy defeat. The games immediately after our other two drubbings were also drawn – so the loss of 3 points becomes 5.
But beyond the fact that it is a graphic illustration of our vulnerability against top sides, there is a more potentially damaging effect to these losses. We’ve conceded 17 goals in 3 games to Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea (a net loss of 13 goals). Our goal difference is currently 19 whereas Everton’s is 16. They are 6 points behind us with a game in hand. If we lose to City by just one goal and they beat us at Goodison, we would be equal or behind them on goal difference – that could cost us 4th place.
Everton are a team in the ascendancy and Arsenal are a team whose confidence is in shreds, and that in part is of our own making. It would appear that at no point in those games did we consider damage limitation – no, we continued to play into the opposition’s hands and they continued to punish us.
The game against City is not just another 3 points. It’s our last chance this season to show that we can man up and go toe to toe with a top team and not capitulate if we go behind. A big loss to City and our season will be in freefall and Everton will be favourites to grab 4th place and Champion’s League football next season.