Arsenal’s Run of Form and QPR Preview
So, we’re going to Loftus Road tomorrow for a match that, while not as challenging as next week’s, can still provide problems. We’re on a fantastic run, gaining seven league wins in a row; if that run continues tomorrow, it will be the best form we’ve shown since the Invincibles season. It’s great to see a piece of information like that, comparing the current side to that heavenly team from eight years ago. Far too often pundits and fans alike highlight the negatives and to read this in a match preview from The Score was delightful, if somewhat small pickings.
Seven games in a row; quite a run for a team whose season was all but over a couple of months ago. Twitter and blogs alike have been highlighting the fact that we’ve been stringing together these results of late because we’ve got something close to our best XI fit and available. No doubt, this has been a major factor in the team’s recent success, but I think the members who have been playing most of the season have stepped up their efforts in the last while. Walcott, perhaps feeling some pressure from the young Ox, has been playing very well in the last month, scoring goals and improving his play on and off the ball. Arteta, while largely consistent, has been brilliant in midfield. He hasn’t been scoring a lot of goals, but he has a way of recovering the ball and breaking up the opposition’s attacking play that I really like. Alex Song has to be one of the success stories of the season. Last year he was somewhat pig-headed and reckless in his play, picking up yellow and red cards needlessly, but he’s more focused now with an eye for a killer key pass like those he’s played into RvP at Everton, Henry v Leeds, and most recently to Walcott against Aston Villa at home. He’s quickly beginning to shine as one of the best contributing players in the side.
These contributions take some of the load from van Persie’s shoulders. Though the Dutchman has been in remarkable form for over a year now, there’s no doubt he can hit a wall like anyone else (he’s not scored in the last two games he’s played, stepping back just a little while others of the team have been scoring goals). Perhaps this break in his scoring routine will make him hungry for a brace tomorrow at uyQPR.
I’ve not been following the Rangers’ season that closely, but they have some big fixtures coming up in the remaining weeks (in April they face United, Tottenham, and Chelsea), which means the pressure is on them to get the points they need to avoid relegation. With 17 losses and only 6 wins already this season, it’s easy to think of this game as an easy one for Arsenal, but I’m never comfortable thinking that way. The players can’t think that way either or they may be taken by surprise. Wright-Phillips and Taarabt have been big attackers for QPR this season, but neither has managed a goal, while Helguson, who has scored 8, is likely not to play due to a groin problem. Something to take advantage of, perhaps.
We need the whole three points tomorrow to maintain our position ahead of Chelsea and Spurs (I’m not even going to consider catching City here). We’ve shown an incredible attitude, ability, and resilience over the last couple of months and it’s vital we keep that going.