It was a game that proved the pundits right about Arsenal not having the mental strength to win the EPL title.
A story all Arsenal fans have watched over the years with different actors. A story which has made our rivals brand us with the movie title “12 years a slave”.
It was simply a typical Arsenal performance. A performance in which one goalscorer theatrically leapt into the air to celebrate an equaliser aganist Bournemouth. BOURNEMOUTH OF ALL CLUBS.
The other slamming his gloves into the turf in frustration at yet another missed opportunity in a title race still there for the taking.
A point from yesterday’s game left Arsenal in their comfortable fourth position, 8 points behind the leaders Chelsea and 2 points above Tottenham who are in fifth position. A win for Tottenham against Chelsea would see Arsenal drop down to fifth position.
You can forget the money or the trophies, it is the difference in attitude between Alexis Sanchez and his teammates that will see him leave Arsenal. And it’s begining to show as the season reaches its tipping point.
Even in the win over Crystal Palace at the weekend, Sanchez couldn’t help wearing his heart on his sleeve, couldn’t help showing everyone in the Emirates how much he wants it, how much he wants more from this season and from those around him.
Body language like that has become more quotidian this year for a man usually so positive in everything he does. Clearly he deserves a tilt at the title, a chance to decide the biggest games and the destination of the Premier League.
But as he ponders what’s next, with his next contract – the most important of his career still undecided, it’s looking more and more like he is being held back by a team still stuck in a perpetual cycle of mediocrity.
Olivier Giroud running to the fans in ecstasy, displaying a choreographed celebration of his scorpion goal after his 92nd minute equalizer wouldn’t have helped matters.
As far as Eddie Howe’s Cherries have come – and they really have and were worthy of at least a point after a brilliant performance on Tuesday night – Arsenal should be getting maximum points against them.
If they want to end their infamous 12-year title drought they have to be winning against them.
To celebrate a last-gasp equaliser isn’t criminal of course. To do it like that is.
A visibly incredulous Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain knew the score, screaming at his French teammate to return to the centre circle and chase the winner that would have truly capped a real title contenders’ comeback.
But him and Sanchez are too few in a team and a squad happy to just do ok.
And that will be the thought nagging away at the Chilean as he decides on his next move.
Not the riches on offer in far flung places, not the guaranteed silverware available in others.
It’s that attitude that ‘ok is good enough’, that ‘fourth position is good enough’, that a draw at Bournemouth, no matter how dramatic, is good enough that will see him walk away if he does indeed choose to.
And if he does decide to leave, would any Arsenal fan in their heart of hearts really blame him?