Rewind, August 28 – Manchester United have just beaten Arsenal 8-2, undoubtedly the low point of Arsene Wenger’s career with the gunners. Fast Forward, November 19 – Arsenal have just beaten Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road, coming from behind, as Robin van Persie scores twice.
Since Arsenal’s loss in their North London derby against Tottenham on October 2, they have won five straight Premier League games. They’re back in Champions League contention with 22 points. Not enough to make a run at Manchester City this year, but it seems they’ll be in the mix for a top four finish as usual.
The biggest story is Robin van Persie. We’ve talked about Ronaldo and Messi’s incredible scoring records, took a glance at Mario Gomez. Van Persie is on fire in 2011. This season – 13 league goals in 12 matches, scoring in all of Arsenal’s five recent league wins, a total of 10 goals in those matches. The best came in the hat trick against Chelsea two weeks ago, but two against Norwich are fine as well.
The defense? Still far from solid. Arsenal have conceded almost every time they come out to play. They just score enough. The offense, with the ever dangerous but constantly missing Gervinho, an improved Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey who’s constantly getting better and above all, Robin van Persie, enjoying the best spell of his career. In 2010-2011 he was brilliant when healthy as well, scoring 22 goals in 33 matches.
Wenger has more stability in the back, but it’s still far from rock solid. With a keeper like Wojciech Szczęsny, how can you be? Relying on RVP magic week in and out will eventually result in more than one disappointing result, but Arsenal are back on solid ground, back at enjoying the game and pleasing their fans. Not good enough for a title, but much better than their late summer woes.