Another enjoyable week has gone by for the Arsenal, well if you are talking about the serious competitions that is. The Gunners have five straight league victories under their belts after an impressive second half showing in Wales. During those matches we scored 16 goals and conceded only 3, one of those being Barkley's deflected effort that Petr Cech would have more than likely dealt with pretty easily as he does so often these days.
When you look at those statistics, it is difficult not to be impressed by Arsenal's run of Premier League form at present.
But the Swansea game on Saturday was not without it's difficult moments, especially during an end to end first half that saw both teams create good goalscoring chances. No doubt the best chance fell to the home side when Jonjo Shelvey sliced open our defence and Bafétimbi Gomis was put clean through. Funnily enough though, I felt a strange sense of calm and confidence in the situation which is nuts when you think about it. Petr Cech stood his ground, refused to give Gomis the easy option and the French striker attempted to skip around Chelsea's greatest ever player only to find Hector Bellerin clearing the ball away to safety. Gomis should have scored, every striker must dream of that situation where you are running clean through but how on earth did Bellerin get back?
Seriously the guy was nowhere near Gomis and almost had no right to expect to make that last ditch clearance. But credit to our young Spaniard for showing such desire. Would Gomis have scored if he had stayed on his feet? It is difficult to know for sure but one thing is for certain, nobody else at Arsenal would have got back to make the clearance. Young Hector is just getting better and better. His defensive play is improving, he is clearly mentally tough and his attacking play is just as important as his defensive contributions this season. That other clearance in the second half was sensational, even if it didn't matter in the end due to an offside flag, the speed of which he got across to block was remarkable.
When the news broke that Bellerin had beat Walcott's speed times I didn't believe it. I mean how could anyone be as fast as Theo Walcott. But the more we watch Bellerin, the more we are witnessing it on the pitch.
Even with Bellerin's great contributions, it was proving to be a difficult first half for the right back, he had his hands full once again with yet another speedy tricky winger. The Montero vs Bellerin battle was pretty tough, both taking turns to outdo the other but I liked the way Joel Campbell often retreated back to offer his pal a helping hand. The more the game went on the more of an influence Campbell was defensively.
How Calum Chambers could have done with Campbell last season.
I wasn't a bit surprised by Campbell's performance, I said in my preview that Campbell would benefit greatly from a confident, cohesive team around him rather than the bit part teams he has had to feature in until now. When you have a good team attitude and you have a good team around you then sometimes all you need is a chance to prove yourself.
It just shows how strong we are in that area of the pitch. So many injuries to midfielders and attackers, yet we are able to call upon a player who competed for the man of the match award and grabbed a goal to his name.
At 0-0 Campbell curled one over the bar from outside the box. He is not afraid to shoot and we've seen some really good goals from him from outside the box during the course of his career thus far.
Olivier Giroud had a similar effort as Campbell's on 28 but he was much closer and should have hit the target and opened the scoring. But how can you be down on the Premier League's inform striker? Yes! the handsome Frenchman has the best goals to minutes ratio of any striker in the Premier League.
Just after half time Giroud nodded us ahead after yet another Mesut Özil assist from the corner kick. Crazily enough it was Özil's first set piece assist of the season. This is because Santi Cazorla has been taking most of the dead balls. I remember when Cesc Fabregas was getting all kinds of praise for his assist numbers at this stage last season, most of those were from set pieces, you would imagine that Özil would have even more to his name if he was the number one set piece taker.
While I am talking about him, can I just say wow! Another wonderful performance from our German play maker. The guy just glides around the pitch, floating like a butterfly but stinging the bejesus out of the opposition with his laser passes.
It's looks like Laurent Koscielny is ready to give Giroud a run for his minutes per game statistic with his second goal in a row. Fabianski was very much to blame for not dealing with the high ball into the box and Koscielny turned and knocked the ball into the unguarded net.
After our first goal we really took charge of the game. We were far better than we were in the first half. Santi and Özil were a class apart yet again.
Joel Campbell was rewarded for his hard work with our third goal. It is difficult to know whether or not Mesut's cross was intended for Cazorla running in or if it was supposed to go to Campbell at the back stick. The guy is good enough to put the ball where he wants so I am still unsure. Campbell's touch and finish was cool and I am very happy for him. It's been a long time coming, he has had to be patient and who knows even better performances against Bayern Munich and Tottenham could force the manager to make a decision but it's a little early for that.
All in all we rode our luck a little in the first half, I didn't even mention the Mertesacker handball inside the box, if it was against us I would be livid so I better mention it. Better finishing from Gomis and we could have been a goal down but I have to say, blimey! Gomis has a shocking first touch hasn't he?
Anyway we were much better in the second half and we need to see more of the second half performances and less of the first half defensive showing in away games like this.
Still we had more than enough when legs began to tire and this league form is very enjoyable, especially when you consider the players we have missing from our squad. Keep this going, get our players back and we could have a successful season for sure.
Doesn't the league table look nice right about now?
Bayern away next up.