Was Hull too easy for Arsenal ahead of pivotal week?

By Avenell Dave

Well there was never a worry that this was going to be a repeat of 2008 was there?

Even after going ahead so early, the Arsenal of this season is a very different vintage and one who pretty much always looked in control of the points without ever having to do too much exertion ahead of a hugely important week.

Everton showed against that mid-table side from Manchester, they should not be underestimated and if there is one player that Chelsea have signed in the past few years that I would have loved to have seen in an Arsenal shirt apart from Juan Mata, it is Romelu Lukaku.

But let's think about that tomorrow.

For now, the fact that we could bring in players who may not be considered first choice and still win with ease against a aide who beat Liverpool at the weekend has to be hugely encouraging.

We still have Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain to return of course and it was clear after last night's match that Theo Walcott is still unfit albeit through sickness rather than muscular ability, so that is three players who could prove integral in the second half of the season.

Dare I say that they'll be like new signings?

I was surprised Aaron Ramsey wasn't given a day off but that just underlines how important Arsene Wenger believes the Welshman is to the balance of the side.

What is important to realize is that we could go through the game almost, almost in cruise control. There was no pressure after we scored the first.

How the side reacts against title-chasing sides when the pressure is well and truly on will be the making or breaking of this side.

Everton are always a tricky opponent and while it would be a catastrophe if we fail to get the result we need against Napoli, the City game just a few days later will show the real mettle of this side.

Nik Bendtner may have scored but it doesn't disguise the fact that we still need another forward to share the scoring burden - you only have to look at the embarrassment of City riches to see how short-staffed we are in that department.

We've beaten two sides in five days that we would expect to beat on form and reputation.

Now is the time to prove we can cut it in the biggest games against sides the so-called pundits expect us to struggle in.

A final thought: Manchester United: 12 points.