Mathieu Flamini has challenged Arsenal to beat Manchester City in their upcoming match this Saturday.
Arsenal have tasted humiliation one times too many this season against title rivals, conceding an embarrassing 17 goals in three games against City, Liverpool and Chelsea. These defeats have left a bad taste in the mouth and what otherwise would have been considered a decent season, challenging for the title along with a serious cup run, has now become a source of frustration for fans and team members alike.
Flamini is also feeling the sting of recent defeats and has urged his team mates to react on Saturday.
“That’s going to be a big one,” he told the Arsenal website.
“We want to do well, especially after the big loss against Chelsea. We want to prove that we’re one of the big teams in the Premier League.”
“I was coming back and I think the keeper kicked the ball onto my leg and it was an own goal.”
“Of course it is very disappointing because it was a difficult game. We conceded an early goal, we didn’t play a great first half but we were trying, trying, trying,”
“But we played a great second half because we came back winning 2-1 until the end and then we were unlucky on the second goal.”
“We wanted to come back for the fans, especially because they have been behind us since the beginning of the season and especially after the 6-0 defeat against Chelsea. We wanted to react to give them a positive game but unfortunately we conceded at the end.”
These are admirable words from Flamini, but ones we have heard before. It will take an actual show of mettle on the field to convince the fans now that this team isn’t just an average one. After losing so scandalously to Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester city in the first leg last year, the fans will be justified if they have given up hope on the team.
Lose tomorrow and no one will take this team serious again no matter what they say. And to make it worse, a defeat to Manchester City tomorrow will put out chances of finishing among the top 4 in serious doubt as both Everton ( who are 6 points behind us but with a game at hand ) and Spurs are breathing down our neck.