Saturday, November 5, 2011

Arsenal in Crisis? Crisis Has Been Averted

As recently as one month ago the term crisis was being used regularly by the media in describing Arsenal's start to the 2011-2012 season. Since the team's loss to Spurs at the beginning of October, Arsenal have won four straight Premier League games, beaten Bolton to advance to the next round of the Carling Cup and defeated Marseille at the Velodrome to put the Gunners atop their Champions League group. The only "blemish" in this otherwise winning run was a 0-0 Champions League draw this past week with Marseille at The Emirates. Arsenal have moved up to 7th place in the EPL table and are now level on points with Liverpool with just goal differential separating the two teams.

Rambo gives Arsenal a victory in Marseille
Captain Robin Van Persie has been on fire scoring 8 goals in Arsenal's last 4 EPL games and deservedly picking up the league's Player of the Month award. While it may just be a coincidence, Van Persie's form and leadership have been outstanding since the departure of former captain Cesc Fabregas. It's almost as if Van Persie needed the added responsibility to step in to the spotlight. Whatever the reason, Van Persie and the team are gelling and positivity has returned to the Arsenal camp.

October Player of the Month and the first to
 reach 10 goals this season
Arsenal's 5-3 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend may be remembered as the game where confidence was finally restored to the team. Despite going behind twice to the Blues, Arsenal took control in the second half and shocked Chelsea fans and players alike. Seeing John Terry on his ass while Robin Van Persie scored the second of his three goals was fantastic. Likewise, Theo Walcott's amazing goal saw the speedy Walcott fall down and still run through four Chelsea players to score a wonder goal.

This weekend Arsenal easily defeated West Brom 3-0 despite not being at their best. It could be a coincidence, but with Vermaelen back and partnered with the in form Koscielny Arsenal did not concede a goal. In fact, Vermaelen even contributed a goal of his own.

Arsenal have already played Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool and their upcoming EPL matches are against lower table teams. Meanwhile a number of the current top 6 clubs will be playing each other. If they continue to play as they have been, Arsenal have the chance to continue their upward move.
As for the Mets, the off season is looking dismal as the post Bernie Madoff era continues. With the Wilpons looking to slash payroll and Jose Reyes seeking a big free agent contract, hopes of keeping Reyes in Queens are fading. For all the gory details, check out my latest article at Bleacher Report.

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