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Arsenal no longer bottlers?



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I think I am with everyone that this season has been the best Premier League season ever! Twists and spontaneous happenings with unexpected turns dotted around to keep a nation of mad footie fans guessing. Throw in the tragic, wonderfully scripted soap opera of John Terry, Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge and you have yourself plenty to debate about.

Okay, enough of the love-in for the English league, and let’s talk about the gap between the top three in the country.
So Manchester United stumble first by loosing to Everton, but make very easy work of West Ham at home. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Drogba brush aside Wolves but get hammered by Manchester City. I am a massive Arsenal fan and had to endure a lot of stick by United and Chelsea fans by the seemingly child-like performances of my heroes on the pitch. Now I, and many others might be able to salvage some pride as Arsenal move to three points behind the league leaders Chelsea.

I thought it was a boring Arsenal win at home against Sunderland, with the team looking like they were suffering a hangover from the nothing less than a horror show in the Champions League. A good thing to come out the game was that Eboue was used in a game that Arsenal were expected to win. That’s really all Eboue is, a squad player. The major quality moment was Ramsey getting fit and starting ahead of the casual Denilson. With Diaby injured, Ramsey seemed like a natural replacement.

In the dressing room before the game at Stoke, Arsenal knew Chelsea lost and HAD to win this game. In my mind, it was a must-win. At a venue where just last month they got turned over by the greatest throw-in team ever, Stoke City. A physical team that won’t compromise their playing style, similarly stubborn as Arsenal. After eight minutes, Stoke had scored from a throw-in. Great. Men against boys time, I thought. However, Arsenal turned the game around, matching every ball, tackle and run of each and every one of the Potter lads. A really gritty, strong performance. It’s the type of performance I would like to see more of, out of the London giants.

I can’t miss out the moment of the match. Poor Aaron Ramsey, who becomes another name to chisel in our wall of broken legs. Yet another player who plays for Arsenal on the end of a reckless tackle. I keep hearing that Shawcross is “just not that kind of guy”. Who cares. Truth is Shawcross will be donning an England shirt come Wednesday whilst Ramsey, a star for the Wales national team, make no mistake, won’t play again for a year or so. Yes it is part of football but honestly, four players in the last four years suffer leg breaks is more than just bad luck. It is a mission. A mission to stop flair players with quick feet showing up the opposition.

It’s okay though, we won’t see Ramsey at his best for another three years, hampering his quest to learn from Fabregas and maybe replacing him should Cesc decide to move onto pastures new. Just look at Eduardo. He was one of the most clinical strikers before his injury and Diaby suffers from niggling setbacks due to an over-zealous tackle. Not to mention Van Persie out for the season due to one of these crunchers.

Football is emotional and sets off an array of feelings. I was not impressed with Ramsey’s leg break but I was pleased that Arsenal closed the gap. A win at a place where you are made to perform if you want the win. Arsenal show they are willing to fight for their lives in the race for the Premier League.