View From The North Bank: Wigan 0 Arsenal 4
Comprehensive, clinical and clicking into place; this was as flowing a performance as we could’ve hoped for and a good return to winning ways following the jaded performance against Fulham a week earlier.
Although Wigan were poor, that shouldn’t cloud the fact that this is exactly the kind of fixture we’ve fallen foul of in recent years. I’ll whisper it – and please don’t remember it was me who mentioned it – but this Arsenal look like they have some backbone.
We can all recall big players going quiet in these kind of fixtures – away in December, wet, windy, boggy pitch – players in snoods, tights and gloves not really fancying it. Not on Saturday though.
Players know their role in this team and the addition of experienced and calm heads in Arteta and Mertesacker has brought an assuredness to Arsenal.
Four different goal scorers emphasised the nature of this win, and with pundits quick to label us a one man team – as they have done in the past with Cesc and Henry – it’s good for the squad as well as to take some pressure off the skipper.
Gervinho continues to cause problems, running in behind, and once he improves his composure and finishing he’ll become another Wenger gem. And Walcott now has a maturity about his play that he has been often criticised for lacking.
The midfield three continue to purr, whilst the defence looks as organised as it has for a couple of seasons. Although relatively untroubled – aside from a guilt edged chance well blocked by Santos in the opening minutes – a fifth Premier League clean sheet of the season was a big plus for a defence that has been heavily scrutinised again this season.
Vermaelen aside, the majority of Arsenal’s starting XI can now have a well earned rest before Saturday’s visit of Everton, with fringe players afforded the opportunity to impress against Olympiakos in tomorrow night’s dead rubber.
We keep moving FORWARD.
Keep the faith.