By Avenell Dave
I turned to my fellow Addict next to me on Saturday and said that this is as composed and confident an Arsenal side as I have seen for the past two years.
Beating West Brom may be one of the easiest wins we’ve seen in a while, but the fact that we approached it with professionalism and energy bodes well for the future.
So often in the past too many players have thought they simply have to turn up to win a game – as happened against the same opposition last season and Hull a year or two before.
We may have lost a little bit of the zest and sparkle that we enjoyed when Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry and others were in their pomp, but the ability to hustle and harry the opposition to the point where they make mistakes is something we should all be pleased about.
As is often said, Barca are a success because they work hard from the front and force them into giving away possession. We seem to be doing the same now.
I’d have liked to have seen Park get a run out towards the end but it’s an indictment of how much Arsene Wenger wants to close games down that he won’t take any risks, however small.
We’ve now had a couple of clean sheets in a row and maintaining that ruthlessness at the back has to be the cornerstone of our campaign.
I’ve got to praise our defence – who have been superb lately.
Aaron Ramsey has benefited from Jack Wilshere’s absence and created a lot of our chances, while Mikel Arteta may not be spectacular but he’s done a lot of the legwork to allow Ramsey to push forward.
I still believe the current squad is probably only a striker light of being serious contenders for the big prizes.
When you look at our bench against WBA, it underlines how extreme the circumstances were that saw us hammered by M*nure earlier in the season.
Players who represented us that day didn’t even make the bench on Saturday.
It’s frustrating that all the sides above us continue to win their games – though I maintain what I said at the start of the season that Liverpool, despite their heavy investment, will still not finish in the top four.
But all we can do is win our games and wait until those above us lose the points that they inevitably will.
We all hate International breaks, so let’s just hope that everyone comes back safe and sound – Norwich away will be now cakewalk.