Closing in on the top four
A productive day for Arsenal, what with gaining a whole three points in the league, taking us to within a point of the top four (Spurs are just ahead of us, but that gap is closing quickly). Arsène has spoken recently about the need to continue with confidence and a positive attitude in order to make up lost ground at the top of the table, and to say today that he is “proud of the attitude of the team” against Aston Villa is an indicator of our gradual come back.
Cazorla was the big man on the pitch today (figuratively of course), as he scored both goals, very early and very late in the match. Santi has been an interesting character this season, as he has shown complete dominance in some fixtures, while in others he seems to almost disappear for lengthy periods. He’s been showing signs recently of gaining some consistency in his level of contribution, which will be crucial to our success from here on out. He’s one of the few players we have at the moment that is a joy to watch in possession of the ball; his turns and confidence in possession is truly something at which to marvel. I also read since the game that he’s the first Arsenal player since Thierry Henry to score 10 league goals in a debut season. There you go, the more you know.
This kind of win, one where we had three points almost secured only to concede in the second half and run the risk of dropping points, does quite a bit to build character for the players, but support from the fans as well. After today’s performance I feel somewhat more confident in our chances of finishing in at least fourth, but we all know how our moods change with each win and loss of the team.
We’ve got a full week to wait now until we take on Spurs at White Hart Lane, arguably one of the two most important of fixtures of season. Players and fans alike have some time to relax and prepare mentally for next Sunday. It’s an important match since we get the chance to directly take points from the team above us, and oh how sweet that will be.