Saturday’s 4-2 win away to Aston Villa was a chance for the squad to prove their mettle in the absence of their captain. Players such as Rosicky, Nasri, and Wilshere were given more responsibility in the centre of the park. Yet, what was most comforting was the apparent return to form of dynamic Russian Andrei Arshavin.
A player for whom Arsene Wenger broke the bank, at least by his standards, he has this season looked disinterested and off the pace. Seemingly inconceivable when he first arrived, he has been subject to growing criticism, with some fans advocating his demotion to the bench. His display on Saturday was a return on the faith which Le Boss has invested in him. Lively throughout, he scored the opener as well as assisted on Samir Nasri’s beautifully-taken second. This was a performance which will instill belief both in himself as well as in the minds of supporters. In the coming winter months, it will be imperative to Arsenal’s title challenge that he maintain this form and chip in with goals and assists.
Coupled with the slow return of Robin van Persie, our firepower should only increase as the games come thick and fast. Of course, there are real concerns at the back for a team supposedly chasing the title, but when match-winners such as Arshavin and van Persie are on form, the squad will always stand a chance. If Wenger can also help Theo find his boots, we’ll soon have a plethora of attacking options with which to terrorise opposing defenses. With November just about survived, this next month will really be a litmus test to our credentials. As long as Arshavin is sparkling, supporters should always have high expectations for this team.
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