One game at a time
Football fans are really funny and fickle individuals. One minute they praise you for doing well and the next minute, they start writing long rants about how you're bottler.
Arsenal has been in a precarious position for quite some time this season and I have to say, it is sweet how the opposition is rattled. Spurs and Manchester United fans are the most butt hurt of the lot and City fans would have been part of the conversation but there are so few of them, their banter might not be louder than a whisper.
In the past couple of weeks, Arsenal established a healthy lead on second-placed City and throughout that period, we were constantly reminded of the fact that we hadn't won anything yet. This is something we Arsenal fans know all too well as we have seen numerous title charges vapourise in the latter stages of the season.
The opposition spends a lot of time reminding us of all the times we have noted other title charges and to all of them, we say, yes we know. In the same breath, they say things like "this is your only shot, miss it and it's over, rather strange when you consider that the same people already said we'd bottle it.
If Arsenal is not going to win the title as the opposition so confidently say, why do they bother reminding us that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity? I mean, how can you see it as an opportunity when you say we will bottle it anyway?
The answer to the above questions is pretty obvious, isn't it? They're jealous of our current trajectory and they think we don't deserve to be where we are today.
Naturally, football fans will never admit that they're jealous of their rivals. A point that @blanchy proved oh so well in the Hive FPL discord when he said he'd rather be scrapping with Newcastle for 4th than bottle a title charge.
I don't know man, isn't bottling a title charge better than being uncertain about qualifying for UCL next season? Keep in mind that Spurs also have one foot out of the UCL after their first leg loss to AC Milan last week.
I remember all the tweets about Arsenal bottling our "title charge" when we dropped points in three matches and City caught up. The jealous mob were up in arms at the weekend as well, particularly when we were down 2-1 at Villa and as @amirtheawesome1 noted, Blanchy came alive at half time.
The funniest part was the spin Blanchy chose to put on our late comeback. If it were any other team, he'd say it was the mark of champion and a show of character to fight back the way we did. However, it was Arsenal, so a late comeback was a precursor to future misfortune. Hater much?
Haters will hate
Truth be told, I don't expect the opposition to be happy about our current position but one thing I'll not do is give them ammunition to shoot us down. I've maintained that I don't even remotely consider us title favourites and even a twenty-point lead on City will not change that.
I do, however, believe that we have made a lot of progress and the future is bright. We still have a lot of development and growth to become one of the European giants but no one can look at this team and not see that we're on the right path.
Last season, we were a whisker away from qualifying for the Champions League and this season, we are being touted as title contenders. The bookies place us as the second favourite to win the league when last season, we weren't even anywhere close.
Keeping it real
Arsenal fans need to temper their expectations and just enjoy the ride. I understand that fans are eager to see us lifting the EPL trophy but realistically speaking, I don't think we have the facilities to achieve the goal.
Dreaming is free and it is good to believe in the squad but if you let the weight of expectation blind you from seeing the obvious progress the squad has made, you might end up having a sour taste at the end of the season.
I'm not saying I'm settling for second position, I'm saying that the second position is in fact not "settling". Enjoy the ride, take it one game at a time and let's see where this season takes us. Until we meet again, up the Arsenal.
My favourite part is everyone losing their after Brentford as if we didn't draw thanks to a VAR mistake and now they're all assured. Like the whole saga was uncalled for.
It's the short term and fickle nature of football fans.