By Michael Clements
Seven League wins in a row. Ten goals in ten games for the Handsome One (not to be confused with Pires, the Dreamy One). Twenty goals in Alexis' first season at The Emirates. The list goes on and on and it's stunning, yet not surprising how good this teams form is right now.
Nobody can be faulted for going into the Liverpool match feeling confident after the news that Skertle and Gerrard would both miss the game through suspension, while Sturridge was a big doubt, even with the media trying their best to raise doubts over our ability to dispose of the 'big teams' at home. I don't think anyone expected such an emphatic win as we put four quality goals past the scousers, but it was very well deserved.
Liverpool is a weird one though - they pull off a couple wins in the league, Brendan Rodgers gets new teeth and a fake tan and suddenly they're the dogs bollocks. How about we stand up and applaud the team who's currently on a scintillating run, with the best form in the Premier League by a mile. It's a shame Chelsea ran away with it so early because we could (and should) be sitting here talking about how we are battling for the title. While it's not impossible, it's really not very likely. The Russians from Fulham just don't look like they are going to drop enough points, even if we did continue this run to the end - which, by the way, I don't see why we can't.
Our remaining games are quite interesting indeed;
Burnley (A), Chelsea (H), Hull (A), Swansea (H), Man United (A), Sunderland (H) and West Brom (H).
Chelski's last few games consist of;
QPR (A), Man United (H), Arsenal (A), Leicester (A), Crystal Palace (H), Liverpool (H), West Brom (A) and Sunderland (H)
Not too far apart in terms of challenge, although I do think Chelsea's schedule looks a touch more tricky than our own. Arsene Wenger's first full season as Arsenal boss saw his team overhaul an 11 point lead by Manchester United to win the league. Granted they had a few more games in which to achieve this feat, but it's certainly not impossible. The FA Cup, however, is a must. If Liverpool do manage to get past Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa, I think our 4-1 victory will provide a massive mental boost if we meet them in the final.
Let's say we finish the season behind Chelsea. This momentum that we're building, and the new players we've implemented into the squad this season is invaluable. Alexis has become one of the best players to don an Arsenal shirt in years while Ozil has really stepped up his game this second half of the season and really seems to be enjoying his football. Giroud, while critics will constantly tell you how shit he is, has proven that, when deployed correctly in the right system, can be a phenomenal striker. Cazorla is, well.. Santi Cazorla. He is just immense, and I hope he sticks around another couple of years. Coquelin is a fairytale of sorts and has really established himself as a key player in the middle of the pitch. Hector Bellerin is something nobody expected - the signing of Debuchy was a perfect replacement for Sagna, yet Bellerin has stepped in due to injury and, at 20 is something to drool over with regards to his and the clubs future.
I don't think there have been and real disappointing performers, but one or two have perhaps not continued to impress as much as others. Mertesacker, one of my favourite Arsenal players. He's big, he's German, and he loves Arsenal Football Club. This season, however, has not been his best, nor has it been his worst though, and I just hope he can end the season with a dominating run that we're used to seeing. Szczesny has been given a bit of an ego-check by the boss after a few shaky performances, but I certainly don't think his time as the Pole in Goal for Arsenal is done. He's young and insanely competitive, something he showed last season when Fabianski threatened his starting spot. Aaron Ramsey is perhaps my biggest personal disappointment. I love the little Welsh bastard, and he looked so fucking good last season. He is still a quality midfielder, but I just wonder where those glimpses of absolute genius have gone. The Welsh Jesus did simplify his game before he hit that red hot run of form last year, so perhaps a little coaching is all he needs.
Right now it's a grand time to be a Gooner, so let's enjoy it. Burnley should we three points, with our only obstacle being our own motivation heading into the game. Then comes an FA Cup semi-final against Reading, and then a very, very interesting matchup against Chelsea at The Emirates.
The snow is gone, the sun is shining again and Arsenal are winning. I've got goosebumps just thinking about these next eight (or nine) games. Let's get stuck in and do this thing!
Come On You Gunners!!