I know it’s a bit of a provocative title, but sometimes needs must, boys and girls, because it just feels like where I’m at right now. It’s now two days since we lost to Villa and that sobering and numbing feeling from that defeat is still gnawing away me. This wasn’t where we were supposed to slip up, if we were going to slip up; it was going to be one of those tough away games like Brighton, or the Scum, or at United. But instead we put in the kind of performance against Brighton a couple of weekends back, that had me believing “this Arsenal team are really good. Playing like that at an away ground like Brighton and getting that kind of result? This might be doable you know”.

I didn’t want to say anything on here, because as a football fan I am predisposed – conditioned, if you will – to bouts of superstition and irrationality that means I believe my actions have an impact on a bunch of young men in their 20s and 30s on a football pitch, in some way. So I didn’t want ‘jinx’ the possibility of this Arsenal team going all of the way by saying out loud that after that Brighton game we could go on and win this league. Then on Sunday, after Liverpool’s loss was confirmed, I found myself once again thinking it, but not daring to say out loud. The best I could muster was “just go do your job lads”. And I said it again and again pre game and then to those around me in Block Five as we kicked off. But deep down, deep in the recesses of my mind where only I can hear myself, I believed we could get a win against Villa and this would spearhead our drive to the end of the season and the potential of becoming Premier League Champions. I dared to dream.

So perhaps it is inevitable that the result we got, the outcome in the end, was that we would get sucker-punched by a Villa team who just took their chances, where we did not. And as per usual, the hope post that game came crashing down around me. I was sad on Sunday evening. But I wondered if by the time we did the Same Old Arsenal pod last night (you can listen here if you like), I’d maybe feel a little less down, I’d be able to use it as a bit of catharsis and we’d be able to move on and look ahead to Bayern.

But I’m still a little frustrated and down this morning. Even the prospect of a win tomorrow against Bayern hasn’t been able to pick me up and I am not even feeling the pre game nerves. My overriding emotion is that we have lost momentum and that this is the beginning of the slide.

It’s my Arsenal PTSD. From last season, from season’s past, from many years of seeing us not quite be able to get over the line since I was in my early 20s and we were that phenomenal Invincibles team that looked so magnificent. I’m 41. We won the league when I was in my first year and third year at Uni. So half of my life has been dealing with those nearly misses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky because so many fans go their lives without getting to experience anything like what I’ve been fortunate enough to experience and heck, I’ve been to Wembley and seen us win trophies loads of times. But those big ones, the ones you REALLY covet, they are the ones that have alluded us for the most of my adult Arsenal supporting life.

Which is why I have long since created the slightly ‘glass half empty’ mindset; it’s my way of dealing with the Arsenal PTSD. If you have prepared yourself mentally for there to be a falling down at some stage, maybe it doesn’t hurt so much when it happen, right?

Wrong. Well, sort of. Because it still smarts and I still feel morose like I do now, but I wonder if the reason I’m feeling a little more morose than usual is because I went in to that Villa game thinking we’d beat Unai Emery’s side. My expectation levels had risen and I had the quiet internal belief that it’d be a win today, a win at Wolves, we’d be able to do over a Chelsea team that is like a bag of Revels, then that would leave us on 34 games played and top of the league. I would still have not fancied our chances against the Scum (that game is rarely one we win at their horrible cesspit of a stadium), but at least we’d have gone in to it with ourselves in control and the driving seat. As it stands now, City have control and let’s all be honest here, if there was one team out of the three that you feel won’t be letting go of that grasp, it’s 115 Charges FC.

Which is probably compounding the issue even more, to be fair. We’ve seen Liverpool’s fallibility. Chasing them probably wouldn’t add to the concern that “it’s done”. But with this City team, we know that they don’t let up, regardless of the competitions they are in. They know what it takes to win a treble. They’re on course to do it again and if they do, then it just hits home exactly what we are up against. Regardless of how their ill-gotten gains have come about, if Man City win a historic fourth Premier League in a row, if they do a treble two year’s in a row, they’ll go down as the greatest side of all time. And it’d be hard to argue that accomplishment. And it would sting because this Arsenal team is really good. Good enough to be Champions in most other eras of the Premier League. But in this era, it’s a juggernaut that doesn’t stop and when you add all of that up, it makes it feel like we’ve just lost our last four games to blow the league, not our only one this calendar year in the Premier League.

If you’ve managed to stomach the whole of today’s collection of thoughts this far, I appreciate that and believe it or not I’m not as downbeat in all other aspects of my life other than football!! Life is too short to get too stressed about this stuff for too long, but in the moment and when I am thinking about football that’s just what happens.

Anyway, that’s enough for today. Back to worrying about an upcoming game tomorrow, with the small matter of Bayern Munich in Germany!

Catch you all then. Have yourselves a grand Tuesday – chin up.