Although he was swift to retract the comment made about Rafael Benitez’s team, in light of the fact that they’re tied first for the Premier League at the moment! Nevertheless, many players would agree with this Aston Villa midfielder that visiting the Emirates seems to hold little fear for visiting teams at the moment, something which hasn’t always been the case.
The Guardian reports that Steven Sidwell, an ex-Arsenal player, has claimed that he and his Villa team-mates went to North London on Saturday afternoon in a confident mood. Never mind that the Midlands team had lost their previous two matches against Middlesbrough and Newcastle, he reckons that Arsenal just aren’t in the same league as Chelsea and Manchester United, something it’s hard to disagree with right now.
“You look at the top four and you come to Arsenal thinking you can pick up points,” said the Arsenal youth-team graduate who excelled on his latest return to north London. “You look at the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United and they don’t drop many points because they are more consistent than Liverpool and Arsenal. Saying that, Liverpool have been far more consistent.”
Arsenal have already dropped eight points at home this term in an arena where they were unbeaten last season and Sidwell continued: “I believe you play Arsenal home and away and think you can get a result. It’s not necessarily that you can bully them. I don’t think they take their chances as well as Manchester United or Chelsea. Those two are more clinical about putting their chances away. You can get points at Arsenal. And, to be honest, they didn’t really have that many chances against us [on Saturday].”
Indeed, it’s very much a case of Jekyll and Hyde with Arsenal at the moment, with a 2-1 win over Manchester United giving the impression that they were still in the title hunt, but this latest result indicating that they will not be winning the Premier League this season. But we should also be giving high praise to Aston Villa, a team who arrived with a gameplan which was executed perfectly at the Emirates.