Football

Arsenal's spirit can win them the Premier League

Olivier Giroud leads a resurgent Arsenal side  (©GettyImages)
Olivier Giroud leads a resurgent Arsenal side (©GettyImages).

This summer marked the first real period of optimism for Arsenal supporters.

Having finally overcome the debt induced by the move to the Emirates stadium, a massive war chest was mooted and the time had come for Arsenal to remerge as a powerful force.

The air was different, there were rumours of big money bids for European heavyweights. Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez, Lars Bender - all where mentioned.

Added to the fact that Arsenal were finally able to hold on to their top performers, the mood at the Emirates stadium was an unusually buoyant one.

First came Yaya Sanago, a youngster who performed heroically during the under-21 European Championships for France.

Then came the tenacious Mathieu Flamini for his second stint at Arsenal. Both players were free transfers - grand total of zero pounds spent.

At that point, those players combined with a few outside signings could really give Arsenal a shot.

Those signings didn't come in and the transfer window neared the finish line.

Paranoia resurfaced for Arsenal fans. The "off goes Van Persie and Fabregas and Nasri" induced paranoia. The Birmingham induced paranoia. The 8-2 induced paranoia.

Then suddenly, a golden ray appeared in the shape of certain German. You could excuse Arsenal fans for frantically pushing the snooze buttons on their alarms, only to realise that the £42.5 million pound transfer was indeed a reality.

Mesut Ozil arrived to hysteria at Arsenal from the supporters, and although he was not a second striker that Arsenal so desperately needed, he was the prodigal son. The next Bergkamp, the chosen one, Ozil was loved before he touched a football for Arsenal.

Five Premier League games, two goals and three assists later, Ozil has his new club top of the table, but is there another reason that Arsenal have been irresistible lately?

There is another reason why Arsenal have only lost one league game and one Champion's League game so far this year.

There is another reason that Arsenal have struck 20 goals in nine league matches.

There is a reason that Arsenal continue to win matches even with keys injuries.

This reason can't be bought, or taught; it is spirit.

Arsenal are truly together for the first time in a while. There are no raging egos, no heads turned, no strife.

No Willam Gallas's and Kolo Toure's to argue, no Van Persie's or Nasri's to jump ship, just a bunch of players committed to the cause, buoyed by a core of players who have developed together.

Aaron Ramsey is inspired - a once forgotten man after a horrific leg break, Ramsey is back with a point to prove.

And he has done just that, evolving in to a potent Lampard-esque goal scoring midfielder.

Olivier Giroud has responded to constant speculation linking the club with other forwards by leading the line.

Giroud has stood up and been more than accounted for, turning Arsenal's January striker transfer hunt from competition for Giroud to back up for Giroud.

Flamini is playing like a man with unfinished business. A man who missed the club, a man desperate to earn back the support of the the very fans who some felt deserted them.

Then there is the English nucleus of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott (albeit injured at the moment), Kieran Gibbs, and Carl Jenkinson. All a year stronger and sharper and aware that the time to perform is now.

They are joined by the underrated but world class Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski who were never really given the chance to perform for an important club in the past, and know that its now or never.

Ozil stepped into a team on the cusp of finally fulfilling their potential.

When was the last time Arsenal came anywhere near winning a match in which they saw a red card?

How about playing solid defensively, keeping their discipline and closing out matches on a consistent basis?

This current Arsenal side fight for each other, they pay just as much attention to winning the ball back as they do to attacking.

And they do it together, in one cohesive unit. They boss each other about, demanding cohesion. As early as two seasons ago, the words dogged, discipline, and Arsenal did not belong in the same sentence.

This season saw a dogged Arsenal side grinding out results away to Swansea and Fulham, rescuing a point from West Brom. Even in games where fatigue play a factor, Arsenal don't look like losing.

Continuing this form will surely continue to yield results and may even manifest into silverware at last.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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