Arsenal desperate for good 90 minutes to defeat 'negativity' engulfing club

The Gunners have lost a series of crucial matches

It was straw-clutching time for the red half of north London in the wake of Arsenal's 2-1 derby defeat at White Hart Lane. The dream scenario envisaged aping Chelsea and denying Tottenham Champions League entry next season by winning the competition. But a 3-1 home deficit to Bayern Munich in the knock-out round makes that a 500-1 long-shot even if Arsenal have 10 clear days to prepare for the second leg in Germany.

More revealing was the identity of Arsenal.com's man of the match, as voted for by supporters: Tomas Rosicky, who only played the final 30 minutes. While Carl Jenkinson insisted: "There are 10 games left and there are plenty of points to play for – we've bridged a gap like that before and can do it again," such a recovery seems highly unlikely. "We have to pick ourselves up," added Wojciech Szczesny, but Arsenal, as Andre Villas-Boas observed, are now trapped in "a spiral of negativity".

"We need this breather now," said Per Mertesacker. " We can think about our situation. There is potential but we need to show that on the pitch. We looked good for the first 35 minutes [against Tottenham] but we couldn't manage both situations where they scored. It was very disappointing the way we played after we scored. It wasn't enough, we had to put more in. We couldn't do it and that makes me disappointed.

"We were good in the beginning, but we need to maintain that level and that's what we are lacking all the time, that consistency over 90 minutes – or at least to keep a clean sheet for the first 45 minutes. That was our first target. We switched off, we expected there to be a foul called, but you can't switch off at any time."

Tottenham were not making any assumptions having been caught in the run-in by Arsenal last season, but their caution was studied, as if they were aware of the need to remind themselves it was not over yet even if it felt like it.

"There is still a lot of football to play," said Michael Dawson. "We have got some tough games coming up but this has put us in a good position."

In the league it is four successive wins and 12 unbeaten for Spurs. If Arsenal can catch anyone it may have to be Chelsea, currently enveloped in their own cloud of negativity.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test