By Michael Clements
Sometimes we can all be guilty of looking past teams that sit bottom of the Premier League table, and it's easy to do, but we forget that this is a league of just twenty teams - twenty quality teams that have earned their right to be in that elite group. Leicester sat in 20th place before Tuesday's game, 25 points behind The Arsenal.
I've always had a soft spot for Leicester City. I think it all began back in August of 1997 when we managed to scrap for a 3-3 draw at their place. Dennis Bergkamp scored a hatrick that day, and not just any hatrick. I've always wondered if that performance by Bergkamp would have been more appreciated if we had won the game, but what a classic it was. Take a look for yourself here.
Now, I only caught the second half of the match due to work and the five hour time difference here in Michigan, but the highlights suggested we had a decent, albeit routine first half. A nice defenders goal from Koscienly put us 1-0 up, and a nice rebound goal from Walcott got us to 2-0. We are The Arsenal, however, and if there's a way to make it difficult for ourselves then we'll find it.
Walcott said it best in his post match interview, saying;
"I'm not going to lie, the performance wasn't the best at times, but we got the 3 points... A scrappy game at times, but the 3 points is very crucial."
Can't argue with that. Glad Theo got a solid performance, and a few games under his belt now suggests that he's fast approaching something close to his best form. He's a very intelligent player, perhaps not something he was guilty of when he first joined us 9 years ago, but give him a healthy season and I think he'll be right up there with the Sanchez's and Cazorla's of this team. He's 25, so he's certainly not a youngster anymore, but he's got another 3 months to make that starting position his and continue where he left off in last years' FA Cup...
Liverpool managed to beat Sp*rs in the last minute, which now makes 2nd though 7th in the table very, very tight. just 7 points separate Man Shitty, Southampton, Arsenal, Man United, Scum and Scummer. Should make for a stressful, yet rather entertaining business end of the season.
Our focus shifts slightly as we host Middlesborough at the Emirates for our FA Cup 5th round proper. Similar to Tuesday's matchup against Leicester, it's a game we really should be winning, but you also have to assume that Wenger will rotate the team, but hopefully just very slightly. We've really got no issues with fatigue or players who are being overplayed, so for the most part Le Boss has the pick of the squad for Saturday's matchup. I half expect to see new boy, Gabriel get the nod, but you also wonder if the BFG is going for some sort of record to play in every single game this season. The other interesting decision will be whether Szczesny get's a start in goal or if we continue with the impressive Columbian. I feel for the young Pole, but when you play at this level you can't look for sentiment from the manager, and he'll have to work very, very hard to get his place back.
While the Leicester game may not be one to watch again and again, it was a solid 3 points. Hopefully Ramsey coming off after just a few minutes on the field is just precautionary, the poor lad doesn't deserve another injury. FA Cup time this weekend!
Up The Arsenal!