Arsenal have managed to find a little bit of mettle in recent weeks; a little bit of bite that has previously been missing and has seen them fight off all comers in their bid for Champions League football. It seemed unlikely that anything good could come of their season after losing to Blackburn Rovers, Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur within the space of four games in March.
At that point the ‘Wenger Out’ whisper had become a roar and it was practically official; Arsene Wenger had taken the club as far as he could and it was time to step aside.
Game over for the Frenchman.
Names were even being thrown around as potential successors. David Moyes, Jurgen Klopp and the rest.
Wenger acted. He decided to wring some changes. Let a few people know just who exactly is boss and that their abject performances would no longer go unpunished. Wojciech Szczesny was dropped for Lukasz Fabianski; Thomas Vermaelen, who has not had a good game in over a year, was demoted with Laurent Koscielny replacing him with Pep Guardiola envying performances.
But it all started with one night in Munich.
Seemingly out on their feet many were waiting for a knockout blow from the German champions elect. And why not; they had despatched of everyone else on their home-turf for a while now?
The Allianz Arena was fortress Bayern; nobody won here.
Say what you want for German arrogance and lack of Munich platitudes for what was deemed a flat performance Arsenal took it to them. They bounced off the ropes and stood toe-to-toe with European football’s best team this season by a long chalk.
And they won. Perhaps the war went to Bayern but the Battle of the Allianz was won by Arsenal. Since then the side remain unbeaten in seven appearances; with a 0-0 draw with Everton the only small blemish on an otherwise perfect record.
To highlight how impressive that result truly was you only have to look at the performances of Bayern since that fateful March night. In the eight games since Bayern have scored a sensational 31 goals; including consecutive 6-1 wins in their last two matches and a 9-2 thrashing of Hamburg.
For Arsenal to have travelled to the Allianz and turn their season around speaks volumes about the character of the players and the manager. So regardless of a lack of silverware this season Arsenal can be proud of their late salvo this season as it looks like booking them a European hot-seat once again.
Maybe next year is the year they finally start to fill the trophy cabinet at The Emirates?
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