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Arsenal prove credentials

Gunners build huge momentum

By | 30th October 2011

Fresh off their 5-3 triumph over a highly rated Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge, the early-season talk of Arsenal as overmatched and immature may now be in need of a fresh reconsideration.

Manchester United gave every Gunner the pain of endless scorn and ribbing following their 8-2 collapse against the champions, and early moments of dramatic heartbreak still linger in the club without influential Jack Wilshere and adjusting to deadline-day additions.

But in the wake of their inflictor’s own horrific display against flying leaders Manchester City, the Premier League’s propensity for competitive football, which has been ridiculously overemphasized via the glorification of Sky Sports coverage, is indeed looking like an actual competition as opposed to that on offer in La Liga.

Robin Van Persie’s hat-trick denies Chelsea, who were in impressive form previously, a win for the second week in a row, and Arsenal have capped off a solid month of October which saw them 5 of 6 in all competitions, stretching their vein of good form to unbeaten in 8 of the last 9.

Andre Santos has shown a knack for important goals, and fellow new addition Mikel Arteta is clearly relishing playing in a team that matches his great talent.

Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny have also been on top of their game in important matches, and Theo Walcott’s display against the Blues will surely remind some fans why his omission from England’s World Cup squad still baffles the mind.

But at the Bridge, Robin Van Persie was again Arsenal’s hero, notching a brilliant trio of goals to bring his total to 8 in 12 matches this year, all in the league or Europe.

The captain carried his side the way few strikers can, and reminded both his club and the world of his importance in the wake of his recent contract speculation. Chelsea still lie third, four behind United and nine behind City, but Arsenal are just three points back in seventh ahead of next weekend.

Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson will still primarily view each other as the current competition for which side of Manchester this year’s league trophy will reside, but Arsene Wenger seems to have steadied the ship at his own club at least, and reminding everyone why his side has constantly been in the top four, despite their lack of silverware.

Wenger’s Gunners sit atop their Champions League group on the back of their dramatic injury-time victory at the Stade Velodrome.

Tottenham and Liverpool will provide a stern test based on early results, and the visit of Manchester City to the Emirates in the Carling Cup quarter-finals will show just how close to sliverware can get in search of the elusive trophy.

Nevertheless, Wenger’s club, philosophy, and his charges have again started to resemble not merely one of England’s average, but one of country’s best.

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