At various times throughout this Premier League season, Arsenal have been struggling with form at one end of the pitch, and occasionally both. In the final home game of the season against Wigan last night, however, both the attacking and defending side of the Gunners game were working well and looking good for a final day win to confirm Champions League qualification for next season.
The only blot on the performance was the free kick goal by Maloney before halftime, but it was taken so well that four keepers wouldn’t have stopped it. It was not a foul by Arteta that led to the free kick anyway, so you cannot blame Arsenal for it. Koscielny and Szczesny made some inspired saves, blocks and interceptions, while Gibbs had the impressive McManaman in his pocket all night.
Podolski looked more assured in the centre forward role, finishing his two goals well and taking his league tally into double figures. Walcott terrorised Wigan down the right and came inside to great effect and was rewarded with his 21st goal of the season. Ramsey made his resurgence complete with another splendid all-round game and a well taken goal, in fact the whole team put in a great performance under severe pressure.
The stand out player, though, as he has been for most of the season, was Santi Cazorla. The little Spaniard pulled the strings all night and pulled Wigan to pieces. Although he didn’t score himself, he came close and provided the assists for all four goals.
If Arsenal can produce something like that again at Newcastle, we will have a good chance of finishing in third spot. With the form we are showing now, it is just a shame we can’t styart the next season straight away.