EXCLUSIVE: Ray Parlour on what Arsenal will be thinking following Aston Villa defeat


EXCLUSIVE: Ray Parlour on what Arsenal will be thinking following Aston Villa defeat

Arsenal suffered a devastating loss against Villa
Arsenal suffered a devastating loss against VillaProfimedia
It was an enormously disappointing weekend of Premier League football when looking at it from a Liverpool or Arsenal perspective. And rooting for Arsenal, Gunners legend Ray Parlour wasn't best pleased with his former club on Sunday afternoon.

"I thought they were pretty much in control in the first half, and I thought Arsenal played very well. It looked like they could go on and win the game in the second half, but to be fair to Aston Villa, they came out and had a game plan and they executed it perfectly," Parlour states in an exclusive conversation with Tribalfootball, paying his respects to Unai Emery's men while looking at this as a wasted opportunity.

"Credit to Villa, but Arsenal will be so disappointed because after seeing Liverpool drop points, it could have been a two-horse race with Manchester City, but now obviously City are in the driving seat again.

Premier League table
Premier League tableFlashscore

"I'm looking at them thinking, can they lose another game? I'm not too sure. It's a bad weekend for Liverpool and Arsenal, and Guardiola will be thinking, 'Well, that was a nice Sunday afternoon, not even doing anything'.

"I've been in the same situation sometimes when you're hoping other teams do you a favour while you're not even playing, and at the end of the day, you're thinking, 'Well, hello, we've had a great result today'.

"That's exactly what Manchester City fans and players will be thinking. Our two big rivals for the title losing and we're just sitting here having a nice Sunday lunch, a few beers and everything's gone really well for us."

Mikel Arteta stated after the Villa defeat that Arsenal "have a beautiful opportunity that hasn't happened for this club for 14 years to go to the semi-finals of the Champions League. It cannot come at a better moment", and Parlour is in full agreement with the Gunners gaffer.

Arteta was dejected after their loss
Arteta was dejected after their lossProfimedia

"The most important thing for Arsenal now is how you bounce back from a disappointing result. I'm sure this morning they're at the training ground, perhaps having a little bit of fun and they'll sit down with the manager and go through what happened on Sunday. And then you've got to reset," says Parlour, once again talking from his own vast experience.

"In the Invincible season, we got knocked out of the FA Cup on a Saturday against Manchester United. Then we lost to Chelsea on the Wednesday in the Champions League. It was all going disastrously wrong in one week. And then Liverpool on the weekend, we were 2-1 down, before Thierry Henry scored a hat-trick and it was unbelievable in the end.

"Every one of those games in that week could have turned the season for us. You've always got to try and be positive and what an opportunity to go to Bayern Munich and get a result," tells Parlour, who, while remaining cautiously optimistic on behalf of the Gunners believes a thriller is due at the Allianz Arena.

Arsenal head to the Allianz after a draw in the first leg
Arsenal head to the Allianz after a draw in the first legProfimedia

"This is going to be a hell of a game because it's all about Arsenal bouncing back. Bayern Munich are a little indifferent at times, but Bayer Leverkusen have won the league so Bayern have all their eggs in one basket.

"I thought there was a little bit of a nervous charge over Arsenal in the first leg. I thought Bayern had that little bit more edge and a little bit more belief. Sometimes it's nicer to go away from home and there's pressure on Bayern Munich now.

"After they got the 2-2 draw at the Emirates their supporters will expect them to be big favourites to go through. But I've got a funny feeling Arsenal could turn it around."


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