Arsenal’s 5-2 win over arch-rivals Tottenham is exactly what the club needed days before a crucial Champions League group stage match against Montpellier.
Scoring five goals, regardless of the Gunners’ man advantage, shows Arsenal’s critics that Robin van Persie’s goals from last season are being shared across the pitch while Arsene Wenger’s summer signings are finally starting to find their feet.
Tottenham exposed the cracks in the Arsenal defence early on, but there’s no doubt that winning against a team who recently beat Manchester United at Old Trafford is only going to increase the confidence of everyone at the Emirates.
There is no hiding behind the fact that Arsene Wenger’s side still look fragile at the back. Tottenham’s opening goal was a prime example of how Arsenal’s defence has worsened since their successes at Anfield and the Etihad earlier in the season.
73 per cent of the goals Arsenal have conceded this season have been in the first half. The obvious lack of concentration is something which assistant manager Steve Bould insisted on resolving during pre-season and following the superb defensive displays against Liverpool and Manchester City, it looked like his advice had paid off.
However, defensive lapses have crept into Arsenal’s last recent games. Kieran Gibbs’ injury seriously affected the backline, with replacement Andre Santos appearing to be out of his depth in vital matches against Manchester United and Schalke.
The return of Jack Wilshere to this Arsenal side has been underestimated. His superb technique and elegance on the ball is something which Spurs midfielders Tom Huddlestone and Sandro couldn’t deal with today.
Everything about Wilshere is admirable; his passion, enthusiasm for the game coupled with his low-centre of gravity and ability make him one of the best young midfielders in Europe.
After not playing a competitive game for 17 months, he’s quickly fitted into the Arsenal midfield and already shown great understanding alongside Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla.
Wilshere’s return is a massive boost for both club and country – it’s fantastic to see him back.
Theo Walcott is in superb form right now and looks like he’s playing for that big-money contract. Whether he signs it at Emirates Stadium or elsewhere is a question set to be answered in the coming month.
He’s been involved in 13 Arsenal goals this season, scoring 8 and assisting 5 – more than any other player.
Walcott said he deserves a run in the starting eleven and on his current form it’s hard to disagree with him.
His finishing, vision and technique have all improved and he’s a player who will most likely come back to haunt Arsenal if he leaves.
Message to the Arsenal board: sign him up before he goes elsewhere.
Giroud getting goals
Summer signing Olivier Giroud has now scored five goals in his last five appearances for Arsenal and is another player who has hit form at a crucial time.
He faces his former club Montpellier next week knowing that he could help Arsenal qualify for the Champions League last 16.
Giroud has quickly silenced the doubters who questioned whether he would settle into English football after a goalless first few games.
The French international has all the attributes of a top striker and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Wenger’s summer signings can genuinely help Arsenal push on for honours this season. Consistency is the key.
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