Arsenal finally won in the Premier League for the first time in 10 matches (for most fans it has felt like 10 years) after they came back and beat West Ham on Monday night.
It was a great victory for the Gunners and it was caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg’s first win in his new role in his third match after Unai Emery was sacked. What was so gratifying was that Arsenal went in at half time 1-0 down and were yet again booed by their fans. But in the second half the tide swayed and West Ham were exposed for the poor side that they have become and Arsenal won 3-1.
There were personal victories also for the likes of Mesut Ozil who showed why he was once hailed as one of the best players in Europe. And then there was Nicolas Pepe who has been mostly quiet this season after his £72m switch from Lille. But he scored from open play- his first for Arsenal and the Gunners ended the night on a rare high.
Arsenal have now climbed to 9th place and are 7 points adrift of 4th placed Chelsea, whilst that is still a gap, it doesn’t seem like an impossible one to fill. As for West Ham the defeat has left them down in 16th place and they are just 1 point from the bottom three after losing 4 of their last five games.
This was a massive victory for Arsenal because from the last 10 games they had only picked up 11 points. The question now is, will this victory be a turning point in Arsenal’s season, or is it just a small speed bump in the road?
It’s so important now that Ljungberg and Arsenal can go from this result and build on it but the Gunners have quite a few tests coming up this month. It all starts later this week when the club take on Standard Liege away from home and they will need a win there to be certain of qualifying for the Europa League knock outs. The week has started off well but if it ends with the club out of Europe, this West Ham victory will be soon forgotten.
On Sunday is the big match- at home against Manchester City. Whilst City look out of the league title now being 14 points behind Liverpool, any dropped points here would certainly confirm that. The statement in beating City though would be massive for Arsenal and could signal an official recovery. After that game Arsenal have two tricky away encounters to Everton and Bournemouth. The Gunners finish the year off with a London derby at home against Chelsea.
Then there is New Years Day when Arsenal will take on Manchester United at the Emirates. This is a big month then for Arsenal and it will be very interesting to see if the club can build on this victory over their London neighbours. What they won’t be able to do is keep their eyes off the ball.
How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.