It was only a week or so ago that some Arsenal fans were wringing their hands with despair and predicting a collapse of form and results that would see Arsenal slide out of the Premier League title race, exit the EFL cup and suffer the usual fate of being runners up in our Champions League group which would see us knocked out in the first knockout stage.
Thankfully it has not worked out that way for the Gunners, although we were dumped out of the league cup by the Saints. After moving up to second place in the EPL table and pipping PSG to the top spot in Europe, things are looking a lot better, but I think that the pendulum of confidence may just have swung a bit too far the other way.
We have the usually negative and pessimistic Charlie Nicholas telling Sky Sports that Arsenal are now a match for any team in Europe and that it should not really matter who we get in the draw for the next round, which I must say appears to be a bit over the top.
The former Gunner said, “When Arsenal are a club with fluency and momentum, they are as good as anybody.
“They’ve beaten Barcelona in the past and they can beat any of the top sides, but can they do it consistently. It’s looking as if they are much tougher. They are much more up for the fight and it is all good news for Arsenal.
“Arsenal have got their swagger back and were in the groove. He didn’t score tonight but Alexis Sanchez, alongside Mesut Ozil, was absolutely fabulous to watch.
“The players that came in also did well. Lucas Perez got a hat-trick, Alex Iwobi scored, Kieran Gibbs basically got three assists and Rob Holding also played well at the back. So it’s all good news and a happy December so far.”
So far it is, but I do not really agree that Arsenal are in top form, as the scorelines against Basel and West Ham at the weekend were a bit flattering. I think we should also remember that our current position looks good but would not have done if PSG had not fluffed their lines so badly. In the game that we really needed to play well in, against the French champions, Arsenal were poor.
We were lucky to get the draw against Man United at Old Trafford as well, so all this talk of Arsenal suddenly being world beaters is a bit premature to my eyes. Yes it is encouraging that we got through the November slump without too much damage and are looking better again, but don’t you agree that we have a long way to go before the Gunners are firing on all cylinders?