Should we come up short in our title bid, was a dreaded “blip” to blame?



Today in Arsenal’s history: the start of the 49

By Nitram

If Arsenal are to fail in their bid to win the premier league, some comments from our nosey neighbours got me to thinking, where DID it all go wrong?

The accusation is that we ‘blew’ the title with our recent defeat against Aston Villa, but I don’t agree.

Losing a football match is not exclusive to Arsenal, especially to a team as good as Aston Villa. Manchester City have also lost to Aston Villa this season, albeit at Villa Park. 


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 36 26 5 5 88 28 60 83
2 Manchester City 35 25 7 3 87 33 54 82
3 Liverpool 36 23 9 4 81 38 43 78
4 Aston Villa 36 20 7 9 73 53 20 67


On their day Aston Villa are a very good side. They are almost certainly going to finish 4th. Poor teams do not finish 4th in the PL.  Okay we would rather have not lost, but these things happen. But lest we forget, that is our only League defeat of 2024.

Since the turn of the year, we have dropped just five points. That is quite remarkable, and I think if we do come up short it would be totally unfair to blame it on that one defeat in 16 matches, especially when Manchester City have dropped six points since the turn of the year, drawing three matches I’m sure they would also of rather not dropped points in, but again it happens.

As such, I believe these accusations of ‘blowing it’ in the final straight are well wide of the mark. Man City and Arsenal have gone toe to toe since the turn of the year and whoever wins it will deserve it.

So, if Aston Villa are not to blame, who or what are to blame?

Could it have been one of those dreaded ‘blips’ Tony keeps talking about?   We did most certainly have one, but crucially it was just the one. But here’s the thing. Manchester City also had a blip, and what’s more it was around the same time as Arsenal’s. Here’s how they compare:

Arsenal’s “blip” came between match week 15 (5th December) and match week 20 (31st December) when we did the following:

Played five, won one, lost three, drawn one.  Four points from a possible 15, dropping 11 points.

Manchester City’s came between match week 12 (12th Nov) and match week 17 (16th Dec) when they did the following:

Played six, won one, lost one, drawn four, for seven points from a possible 18, dropping 11 points.

In short, one ‘blip’ each, and each costing 11 points.

It seems the dreaded ‘blip’ will not be to blame should we end up in 2nd spot.

So, if we can’t blame a ‘blip’ who or what can we blame? Where did we lose the title, if indeed we do?

Well, actually it’s quite hard to nail it down. Possible contenders are the loss at Newcastle and draws with what we now know are quite poor Chelsea and Tottenham sides.  But no, not for me.

Personally, I think it’s the two points we dropped in the 2 – 2 home draw with Fulham.

We utterly dominated the match with 71% possession, 19 shots to 8, 11 on target to 3.

I think the concession of that late goal, with Fulham down to 10 men, is what has cost us the vital two points that could be the difference between winning and losing the Premier League.

Those pesky Cottagers have got a lot to answer for, unless of course they can do us an enormous favour on Saturday morning when all will be forgiven!

2 Replies to “Should we come up short in our title bid, was a dreaded “blip” to blame?”

  1. I agree with you on all points.
    Taking a longer view, I find it interesting that we are now down to talking about single game loss of points and not about multiple periods of drought like we’ve had before.

    So the team is maturing, the experience is starting to show, confidence levels are higher and recruitment is making a good team better. Looks like the next years will be interesting.

    And still, there are 2 more games to play for Arsenal and 3 for City. Anything can happen as we saw it. I would put my money on a goal in added time on the last week-end to be the finally deciding goal….

  2. I believe that referees and VAR have been a factor, most notably at Newcastle, allowing their goal despite handball, offside, a foul on Gabriel and the ball having been out of play to start with. Similar first goal scored by WHU at Emirates, after ball had gone off the pitch.

    Having seen the majority of games, I would identify the loss away at Fulham as the only one in which we were not the better team and deserved to lose.

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