After that disastrous defeat to Manchester City in the first game back and the loss to Brighton a few days later, things have begun to show a lot more promise.
Mikel Arteta appears to be getting the best out of his players again, and is even showing his authority in the way he has dealt with Matteo Guendouzi’s behaviour in recent weeks.
That’s now four wins in a row in all competitions, three in the Premier League, and they have mostly come against difficult and in-form opposition. Going to the like of Southampton and Wolves and coming away with all three points is seriously impressive given the form of both sides, especially now that we’ve seen Manchester City even succumb to defeat at St.Mary’s since.
Such an uplift in form so soon after it appeared our chances of even a top-eight finish were slipping further away, has been incredibly pleasing. The performances we’ve seen over the last few games have been in stark contrast to the ones we saw at the Etihad and the Amex, and that’s testament to Arteta’s hard work and management style.
But this week we face a tough test against Leicester and while the football betting odds are in favour of the Gunners, it will truly indicate to us all if we’re serious top six or top seven challengers.
Leicester’s win over Crystal Palace at the weekend was their first since football’s return and it means they’re still well in the mix for a top-four spot. However, perhaps the worst thing about their victory was Jamie Vardy getting back amongst the goals, and joining the Premier League’s 100 Club with a brace.
He just loves playing against us, doesn’t he? With nine goals and an assist from nine appearances against us, he’s had more fun in front of an Arsenal goalkeeper than any other club he’s faced in his career, even those he played against in non-league.
So it’s just typical that he finds his scoring boots after months without a goal, just before he faces us in a huge Premier League clash.
A win for us could put us in to seventh and if results go our way elsewhere, we could end the game week just five points off a top-four spot. While a Champions League spot might be a bit too much of an ask, we really need to push that top-six finish to the wire, just in case Man City do lose their appeal and are banned from the Champions League ahead of next season.
Prediction: With Pieree-Emerick Aubameyang on form and close to signing a new contract, expect him to outshine Vardy in the Englishman’s favourite fixture. 3-1 Arsenal.