ARSENE WENGER had this canny knack of getting some big results when he really needed them.
And Mikel Arteta, it appears, looks to have a similar ability to get himself out of a tight situation just when Arsenal’s fans are beginning to lose the plot.
Wenger was in charge at the club for 22 years and there were a few occasions, particularly in the final few seasons when things were in danger of getting really sticky. And then the Frenchman sorted things out.
A run of seven Premier League games without a win, along with unrest in the dressing room, has seen things turn sour for Arteta – and resulted in many of the club’s supporters scream for a new manager.
But what a remarkable week Arteta has enjoyed. Three games, nine points, two clean sheets and eight goals. For the time being at least, Arteta has shut some of the moaners up.
The 3-1 win over Chelsea was impressive, the 1-0 victory at Brighton was solid and now this, a complete battering of Sam Allardyce’s West Brom by four goals.
This terrific performance away from home also included a couple of truly outstanding goals.
As they entered into this season, with the FA Cup final success fresh in their minds, the first few months came as a shock to Arsenal’s supporters. The team were clearly not as good as they had thought.
Equally, despite their dodgy patch in the League, Arsenal are not quite as bad as many have made out.
Best of all, players like Kieran Tierney have led the way and others, such as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have followed.
You would not want to be in a trench alongside some of Arsenal’s players, particularly the high-earning, more experienced ones.
But TIerney is the sort of fighter you would want in your team – and what a great example he is proving to be. And for £25million, a relative bargain.
He followed on from his recent good performances with a fine display against the Baggies, and remarkably, the Ice Man from north of the border even wore a t-shirt during the warm-up.
While the conditions were freezing, TIerney’s opener will have warmed the hearts of all Arsenal fans.
For Tierney, it was only his second goal for the club as he only scored against Watford last term.
But this was really something special as he tormented Darnell Furlong, beating him twice, before switching the ball to his right foot and pulling out a surprise by bending the ball around Sam Johnstone.
The second goal was out of this world. It was like watching Arsenal 17 years ago, when they were not only invincible but also irresistible.
West Brom were cut to threads again. Saka played a part in the stunning move before receiving a selfless pass from Emile Smith Rowe to walk the ball into the net. Already, this is an early contender for goals of the season.
Alexandre Lacazette seized onto some poor defending by lashing in the third. And the French striker took just another four minutes to make it 4-0 when he used a knee to turn in another good cross from Tierney.
Now, Arteta has the chance to get some real momentum. Arsenal begin the defence of the Cup against Newcastle on Saturday.
After a League match with Crystal Palace, Arteta has another contest against Newcastle. Arsenal could win all three.
While a Champions League bid may be a little optimistic, at least the most pessimistic supporters must accept a relegation fight is not going to happen.
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