When Arsenal opened their season against the Villa on the 17th August being outclassed by a club who had escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth their fans expected the worse in the months to come.
I wrote at the time that it was far too early to jump on the bandwagon, but I have to admit I was very worried about our prospects for the season. Well well well, what a difference the space of a month makes. Six consecutive victories, three in the Champions League and three in the Premiership have Arsenal fans thinking far more positively. The arrival of Mesut Ozil was a master stroke, with the irony of ironies being that Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid effectively forced the sale of the brilliant German, as the Spaniards looked to balance their books. Spurs fans will be wondering what has happened to this so-called ‘special relationship’ that they have with Real Madrid (announced when the Modric sale took place last year) and why Ozil was not made a part of the deal with Bale going the other way.
Aaron Ramsey scored his sixth goal for Arsenal this season. Four have come in the Champions League and two in the Premiership. Again last night he was masterful in midfield making incisive runs hurting the Marseille defence and linking up the play expertly. In addition to the 6 successive victories, Arsenal has also now won an incredible 10 away victories on the spin. This has been done with a growing injury list and a number of key players soon to come back so Arsenal fans will be quietly confident of continuing this upward trend of performances.
Theo Walcott set the ball rolling with a brilliant strike just after the hour mark and Ramsey made sure of the perfect start to Arsene Wenger’s 16th UEFA Champions League campaign. He was also involved in the penalty awarded to Marseille in injury time but to be fair there was minimal contact with the Marseille man making the most of what little contact there was in the Arsenal box. Arsenal won’t be lulled into a false sense of security. They will have been expected to do well against Olympique Marseille, who are not the force they were. They will have much sterner tests against Rafa’s Napoli and last year’s beaten finalists Dortmund.
Closing with another Ramseyism, both he and Arsenal fans will be hoping that the ghost of Stoke and that horrific leg break will be finally laid to rest when Arsenal entertain Stoke this Sunday. I may well be having a punt on Aaron to continue his scoring streak to silence the Stoke boo-boys.