Gunners revival inspired by inspired by team effort as Arsene Wenger's side go seven league games unbeaten with victory at the DW Stadium
By Alex Fisher at the DW Stadium
Nine weeks ago Arsenal had just lost to bitter rivals Tottenham, the club were 15th in the Premier League and faith in manager Arsene Wenger was beginning to wane amongst supporters. But the results since have seen the Gunners turn their season around, and in some style.
Since losing at White Hart Lane Arsenal have been beaten just once: to Manchester City in the League Cup. They are seven games unbeaten in the Premier League and are the only English club to have qualified from their Champions League group with one game remaining… how things can change!
Many would point to one man as the reason the Gunners have turned their fortunes around, but while Robin van Persie's forms been key, they would wrong to pin all the praise on the captain, for there is a strong cast of quality players contributing to the Arsenal revival.
Yes, Van Persie has bagged 14 goals this season but it is the eye catching performances of Gervinho, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta that have lessened the load on the Gunners captain.
Arsenal's revival has gained so much momentum that on Saturday they were even able to go to the DW Stadium, which has been something of a bogey ground for Wenger's side in recent seasons, and stroll to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Wigan.
In the past two seasons a leaky defence couple with weak midfield performances have seen Arsenal twice throw away two goal leads against the Latics, but this time it was different. Maybe, as Wenger cited in his press conference, it was down to the improved state of the pitch but in truth it was the all-round strength of the Arsenal team that drove them to victory.
Stroke of genius | Arteta thunderbolt gave Arsenal the lead
There were no defensive lapses as in previous seasons, no goalkeeping errors and no untried midfield combinations. Wenger unleashed his best eleven instead and his midfield, marshalled by the excellent Arteta, ran the game as they dominated possession and continued to create opportunities right until the final whistle.
|MORE VAN MEETS THE EYE|
|PLAYER RATING | GERVINHO|
|Never stopped running for his team and with a little bit more luck he could have created a couple more goals. He got himself onto the scoresheet in the second half.|
| PLAYER RATING | AARON RAMSEY
|Strolled through the game, evading the attentions of McCarthy and support Van Persie in attack when he could. He interchanged positions with Arteta well as they took it in turns to surge forward.|
| PLAYER RATING | MIKEL ARTETA
|Seemed to glide through the game as Arsenal dominated the midfield, and he showed what an eye for goal he has as he scored his third goal for the Gunners.|
The 20 year old from Caerphilly is starting to show the kind of form that had everyone talking about him in 2010 before he suffered a broken leg at the Britannia Stadium.
The Welshman was full of running, always wanting the ball and when in possession he can certainly pick out a pass. Ramsey has played in six of the seven games during Arsenal's unbeaten run, and against Wigan he raised his game even further to dominate against the much talked about James McCarthy. The Irishman hardly had a kick.
A solid midfield has certainly helped give the Gunners a base to build from, and Van Persie and Theo Walcott have certainly benefitted from this but the third member of Arsenal’s front three has consistently contributed to the Gunners cause.
Gervinho arrived at the Emirates Stadium having scored 15 goals for Lille last season, and much was expected from the Ivorian, but goals have been hard to come by at his new club. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t take away from the impact he has had for Wenger’s side.
He is direct, full of pace, and he loves taking on his full back and he never stops running… what more could a manager ask for?
Against Wigan it appeared it was going to be another week without a goal for Gervinho, but his hard work and mazy dribbling were rewarded with a tap-in after an hour, after Ali Al-Habsi could only parry Van Persie's effort. It was just reward for the forward.
So while Van Persie is undoubtedly one of the top strikers in the Premier League, and deserves all the credit he is getting for his incredible 11 goals in seven league games, Wenger’s side are far from being a one-man team.
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