Arsenal were simply irrepressible during the month of March, winning all of their league fixtures and also progressing to the semifinals of this season’s FA Cup after seeing off Manchester United at Old Trafford. Going out of the UEFA Champions League on virtue of away goals would have hurt the Gunners, who put in a splendid effort against AS Monaco in the second leg of the tie. Arsene Wenger, too, would have been happy with how this month panned out, but what will he have taken away from his side’s displays?
A lethal striker can win you games singlehandedly
Olivier Giroud was in supreme goal scoring form during March, when he averaged a shot accuracy of 66.5% and scored 5 goals from 15 goal attempts in the 4 Premier League games he played this month. He also scored a goal against AS Monaco in the Champions League, meaning that he got on the scoresheet in all games except the FA Cup quarterfinal clash against the Red Devils. With the likes of Alexis Sanchez and even Danny Welbeck struggling for form, it was important from Arsenal’s perspective that Giroud scored the goals, as the lead striker in the side.
Arsenal seem to be peaking at exactly the right moment
For the first time this season, the North Londoners managed to win all their games during a month. The home win over Everton set them up nicely, and Wenger’s wizards haven’t looked back since then. They did face a couple of scares in the away games against Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United, but you are going to have such fixtures over the course of a Premier League campaign. Towards the end of the game against the Magpies, you could sense a few tired minds and legs in that Arsenal camp, so the international break may have come at the right stage too.
The real test is yet to come on the Premier League front
Take nothing away from Arsenal’s solid performances and the consequent results they managed during March, however, 3 of their 4 league opponents were teams from the bottom half of the table. Wenger’s men have historically proven their ability to dispatch the mid and lower-mid table sides, so it probably wasn’t a major surprise to see Arsenal win all their games and continue to sit pretty in 3rd place on the league table. The month of April will give us a better idea of whether Arsenal, who face fellow Premier League heavyweights in Liverpool and Chelsea at the Emirates, have made progress from their recent seasons. That is going to be the real challenge.
It will be critical for Arsenal to carry on from where they left off before the international break, as they face Brendan Rodgers’ side once Premier League action resumes. Regardless of any future propositions, though, it has been a superb month for Wenger’s side that played a silky brand of football in all their games and was rewarded with nothing less than deserved results.