Arsenal are the hottest team in Europe since February

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Arsenal has come a long way since their 2-1 defeat to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur on February 7th at White Hart Lane.  The loss against Spurs, done in by a double from everyone’s favorite youngster Harry Kane, saw the Gunners drop to 6th place in the Premier League table (one point below Spurs).  However, Arsenal is now the hottest team in all of Europe since the North London Derby.

Following the game on February 7th, many fans and pundits pondered if this was finally the year in which Spurs finished above Arsenal in the standings, while Arsene Wenger was manager of the Gunners (it has never happened in 18 seasons).  Daily Mirror writer Joe Mewis was one of these people.

Mewis stated after the big Spurs victory, “Is this the year that Tottenham finally best their rivals?  Pochettino’s Spurs side are a different beast – the Argentine’s side constantly presses, never know when they’re beaten and – as they proved against Chelsea last month – no longer respect reputations.  Spurs’ starting XI was extremely fresh-faced, with plenty of young blood in there and Poch’s squad of go-getters have now racked up a valuable derby win.”

While the Spurs victory two months ago was certainly a big statement at the time, things have significantly changed in the standings since then.  Arsenal has won seven straight Premier League matches, while their north London rivals have only managed to record three victories during the same stretch.  The in-form Gunners are now nine points clear of Spurs with only seven matches remaining.

With Arsenal currently firing on all cylinders and time running out, it appears very likely that the red north London club will finish both in a Champions League spot and also above their blue counterparts yet again this season.

After their latest victory, a smashing 4-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday which took the Gunners into second place in the table, Wenger praised his club, but also urged them to remain focused.  The Frenchman stated, “It’s too early (to talk about finishing second) with seven games to go but we’re in a good position, with four at home and only three away.”

“We’re on a good run so I would say that it will be down to how we can maintain that focus and level of urgency between now and the end of the season.  I’m a competitor and what that means is you have to go as high and as far as you can.  When you go home if somebody was better than us, then well done, but we have to have give our best until the end.”

Arsenal’s excellent run of form is attributed to their depth and offensive firepower.  The reigning Barclays Premier League Player of the Month, Olivier Giroud, has been absolutely on fire.  The France international has scored seven goals in as many matches for his club.  Midfielders Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Mesut Özil have all been outstanding as well.  The creative duo of Cazorla and Özil have a combined two goals and five assists during the seven-match stretch, while Coquelin (who was nominated for Player of the Month as well) has been the most dominate defensive midfielder in the league since the start of 2015.

The Gunners also have plenty of depth in the squad right now.  Midfielder Tomas Rosicky could start for many other Premier League clubs (as well as other big teams around Europe), but has been mostly used off of the bench this season.  The 34-year-old is just as spry and talented as players 10-15 years his junior.  Arsenal’s strength in depth is proven with an astounding 10 different goalscorers just in their last seven Premier League matches.

With the Arsenal senior team healthy and hot at the moment, the club will look to finish the 2014/15 campaign on a strong note and put themselves up at the front of the line for 2015/16 Premier League title favorites.

 

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