There is no doubt that Arsenal have bounced back from the slump in form that may well have been the final nail in the coffin of our Premier League title hopes for another year. And there is a theory that the reason the Gunners have played better since the defeats by Manchester United and Swansea is that all the pressure is off, but I don’t buy it.
The Arsenal players still have to go and perform on the pitch and there is still the title and the top four to fight for. The pressure and the expectations did seem to be weighing on the players for a while but it could just have been that everything was going against us, including the injury list and the decisions of referees as well as our problems in front of goal.
I think the team just needed a boost. It could have come from a lucky goal or a lucky win but I think it has finally come with the breakthrough into the first team of Alex Iwobi. He seems to have energised the Arsenal fans as well as the team with his performances, as Arsene Wenger referred to in post match comments on Arsenal.com, after another great game saw Iwobi set up the first for Alexis Sanchez before scoring the second himself and getting a standing ovation from the Emirates crowd when he was replaced..
The boss said, “These people have seen many good players over the years and they know straight away when a player has something special, so they acknowledge that. You cannot cheat people. They’ve seen how quickly he’s improved and how well he’s played.
“It’s surprising how quickly he’s integrated into our game. He’s worked with us since the start of the season and he has grown, gained confidence and when he came in he had an impact straight away.
“That’s benefited from the fact that he knows everybody and they trust him as well. I didn’t expect that level of efficiency or impact on the scoresheet.
“Our game had a quick flow with technical quality. We created chances, played well together and overall we dominated all departments of the game. We scored four, didn’t concede, so it’s positive.
“Now we have to find the right mixture between belief and being realistic, focusing on the next game, focusing on the process, and adding that belief. We can still challenge for the title.”
If we do, will the introduction of Iwobi to the Arsenal team be one of the major reasons?