St Totteringham's Day could be sweetest yet

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Rewind six weeks and, after an abject performance against AC Milan, Arsene Wenger's tenure with Arsenal had reached its nadir, with his suitability for the role called into serious question for the first time in 16 years.

The Gunners were almost pathetic as they succumbed to a far superior Milan at the San Siro in February; losing 4-0 against Massimiliano Allegri's well-oiled outfit.

But their transformation since that day has been quite astounding, with a 3-0 thrashing of Milan in the reverse fixture slotted between seven successive victories in the the Premier League.

Arsenal now reign supreme in north London once again, with the prospect of finishing below Tottenham for the first time since 1995 considered to be almost an inevitability hardly a month or so ago.

The Gunners have been helped by a drastic loss of form by Spurs which, coupled with the own hot streak, has propelled them above their north London rivals into third place.

Last month's Champions League exit at the hands of Milan was soon followed by defeat to Sunderland in the FA Cup hnd ended Arsenal's hopes of winning a trophy for the first time since 2005.

But finishing the season above Spurs against all odds should be considered almost as valuable as collecting silverware.

Prior to the north London derby exactly a month ago, Spurs had a ten point lead over Arsenal, but since then there has been a quite sensational 13 point swing in favour of the latter.

Naturally, claiming a spot in Europe's premier club competition for next season remains a priority for Wenger but, when overtaking Spurs once appeared a faint ambition, finishing above them would represent quite an achievement.

Even at the beginning of the season, the prospect of celebrating St Totteringham's Day appeared to be a prospect out of reach for Arsenal, particularly after the summer departures for Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.

Spurs soon displayed their credentials in the race to be the kings of north London with 11 games unbeaten between September and December; with some observing Harry Redknapp's side could be genuine title contenders.

A 2-1 win against Arsenal was recorded during that three month period, and a genuine power shift between Islington and Haringey was beginning to be felt.

Come the new year, it was fair to say that Arsenal had been written off - and rightly so, you could say - but those who claim to have harboured faith all along will now feel vindicated.

Having been hammered by Milan and then easily dismantled by Sunderland, the Gunners were at their lowest ebb for some time, and Wenger's beleaguered troops looked far from capable of arresting the slide.

But that they have, and they have ascended the Premier League in some style too - scoring 22 goals and conceding six times in their streak of seven straight wins.

Question marks still rightly remain about the strength in depth at the Emirates Stadium, and Wenger must invest heavily in order to reinforce a fragile squad when the time comes.

The arrival of Lukas Podolski will go some way to bolstering Arsenal's chances of ending their trophy drought, but retaining the services of Robin van Persie is, of course, Wenger's priority this summer.

The Dutch striker has previously declared himself a 'true Gunner' and no person will take greater pleasure from seeing Arsenal remain above Spurs than their captain.

Such a feat must not be underestimated when it comes to Van Persie's decision on his future and, with Arsenal currently in the ascendency, they will be confident they can persuade the 28-year-old to sign a new contract.

Van Persie has been imperative in ensuring Arsenal have taken back their rightful place as north London's leading club, and toasting St Totteringham's Day for the first time as captain would be one of his finest achievements yet.

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