Search

All Guns Blazing: The stars are aligning for Arsenal, but for how long?

12:10 28 January 2015

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky celebrates with his team-mates (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky celebrates with his team-mates (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

2015 Getty Images

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti ponders what might lie in store for the Gunners in the FA Cup.

Considering Gooners have had to endure a season plagued by injuries, poor form and threadbare squad options, Arsenal now seem to have entered the twilight zone.

There is usually a period like this every season where the stars take mercy and inexplicably align in our favour – usual signs of this include Tomas Rosicky hitting world-beating form, the squad returning to near-full fitness and the team actually pressing and playing with something resembling a plan.

Even so, everything seems to have turned on its head particularly quickly this year. In the wake of the victory over Manchester City, Arsene Wenger suddenly has a plethora of tactical permutations at his disposal and an equal wealth of players to carry them out.

This was clearly evident against Brighton in the FA Cup, where – aside from about three players – we fielded an entirely different squad in a more attacking system to suit Mesut Ozil. The fact that this B-side – if you can call it that – still clicked and dominated for large periods appeared to be just another sign that we are in the midst of our best form for nearly a year.

With the very enjoyable booting that Chelsea and Man City suffered at the hands of lower-league opponents, defending the FA Cup now seems our best chance of a trophy. While there’s quite rightly concern that we mustn’t underestimate comparative minnows like Middlesbrough – even at home – perhaps an equal reserve of caution should be kept for the quirks of the draw. Should we progress, we could easily be given a trip to Manchester United or Liverpool.

Naturally I was as delighted as the next man at finally getting that elusive win against a top-four team, but there was a sense that, when it did come, it would be against City. Strangely, our track record against them in recent years hasn’t been quite as abysmal as it has against United

or Chelsea – even this season, we beat them convincingly in the Community Shield and were unlucky not to win at the Emirates.

Things are swinging our way but there’s every chance that another injury or tricky cup tie could upset the applecart. Should we find ourselves against another big team, it’s crucial that we can show the City result wasn’t just a flash in the pan. As Jose Mourinho can testify, the FA Cup has a habit of spoiling even the best-laid plans.

Follow me @AlexBellotti

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 13:03

With the Gunners’ previous league win against Chelsea coming nearly five years earlier, the omens did not look good ahead of Saturday’s London derby.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Middlesex hat-trick hero Toby Roland-Jones says the squad were always confident in their ability to become county champions this year.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Middlesex dethroned Yorkshire in a thrilling finish at Lord’s to win their first County Championship title since 1993.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Islington middleweight John Ryder believes a strong performance against Jack Arnfield this weekend could yet earn him a third shot at the British title.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Following their encouraging 4-1 victory at Hull, which prompted Betway to lengthen Arsenal’s price to win the league title to 14/1, the Gunners and Chelsea go head to head on Saturday evening in what promises to be another fast and furious contest.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tim Bresnan’s unbeaten century kept Yorkshire on course for a hat-trick of County Championship titles – and all but ended Middlesex’s hopes of snatching their crown.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

As the dual meaning of the club’s name would suggest, Soccerscool FC is based around twin objectives – developing football skills and having fun.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Islington BC’s Borys Feldman maintained his useful habit of edging close contests to seal a place in the London Development Championship semi-finals.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now