East Lower

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May 11, 2015 12:22 UTC
January 31, 2006 11:02 UTC

Arsenal crank things up a gear

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Hull City 1-3 Arsenal

There I was with my worry beads, thinking this could have been been a mouldy old banana skin, and here I am now looking a little bit stupid.

Turns out the concentration was fine after all, and if anything, somewhat heightened. So much so that it was one of the more complete performances of the season.

Keeping the concentration

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The battle to finish second or at least in the automatic Champions League slots has twisted and turned but with some strange fizzling-outs elsewhere in recent weeks, it's opened up for Arsenal.

United, who were winning without convincing, have slumped at a peculiar time. Liverpool, ditto, though they won't have given up hope yet.

Squeezing into the final, Arsenal style

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Reading 1-2 (AET)

So it's the FA Cup final for the second year running, Arsenal's 19th of all time a record. And if we go on to beat the Villa, it'll be another record 12 wins. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Still, the grin on my face is only just beginning to subside.

Buzzing again: it must be the cup

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Bah humbug to anyone who can't get their rocks off at the thought of an FA Cup semi-final, whoever the opponent.

I've been bouncing off the walls all week.

Competing at the business end for proper trophies, the nervous flutter of the pre-match stomach, the fear and the anticipation: that's the essence of football, it's what it's all about.

Coquing marvellous

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Burnley 0-1 Arsenal

Yesterday's win was a gentle reminder that it's not every week you fire off a three-goal, eight-minute salvo where all the goals were straight out 'Dennis Bergkamp's Little Book of Crackers'.

It was a more prosaic win, a festival of free kicks and half-chances broken up by Ramsey being in the right place at the right time to wrap the points up.

Weave your magic, Tony Colbert

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Good morning, and as the French say, ‘April Fish'.

Internationals have been and gone, and there seem to have been wall-to-wall matches since Thursday. Uefa changed this a few years ago, it transpires. Was it changed because:

a. We need to think about the fans more
b. To benefit the players

Giroud fizzes, Arsenal fizzle out

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Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal's record after European games has not been too bad this season DDWLWDWWW but you never know how a team will cope both physically and psychologically after being dumped out of the competition, especially when coming so close to confounding the statistics.

Giroud was all like ‘yeah’

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Arsenal 3-0 West Ham

Ping, ping, dummy, flick, goal it was one of those days when Arsenal's build-up passing slotted together like one of those massive 500-piece jigsaws. When it works it's bewitching, and when it doesn't it's infuriating, but yesterday when it counted we ghosted through West Ham and it was a delight.

All’s Welb that ends Welb

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Manchester Utd 1-2 Arsenal

Worth waiting for.

A truly lamentable record at Old Trafford was put to bed, at last and deservedly, by an Arsenal side that worked its socks off until the last minute. Can we finally bid farewell to that big game hoodoo?

There’s more in this side, somewhere

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Arsenal 2-0 Everton

There should, ordinarily, be no reason at all why a 2-0 victory should not elicit a sense of complete wellbeing. So why did I leave the ground feeling a bit flat? I wasn't the only one.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly, but the hangover element was certainly one aspect.

Giddyup, we’re off again

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Straighten the tie, comb the hair, polish the brogues. There's nothing to do but pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.

Will there be a hangover? We shall see. After our two heaviest Premier League poundings last season, we staggered through nil nil draws, but it's stretching it a bit to seek a parallel there.

No points for a no-show

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Spurs 2-1 Arsenal

After three straight league wins and two cup victories, maybe I got lulled into a false sense of security. This side is clearly still a work in progress.

I wouldn't say the current goodwill (there's a Gabriel honeymoon and it's now AD 8 eight games Anno Coqueli) has dissipated, but it was the kind of anodyne showing that it's hard not to scratch your head about.

You won’t fool me this year, window

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I've been off the radar recently, in the land of dirt-cheap petrol. I haven't needed to think about Arsenal, because we signed Gary Pallister, he got a work permit and Wenger muttered "Job's a good'un" to himself in French ("Le boulot est bon"?).

Had you told me on the evening of New Year's Day that I'd be in the mental equivalent of a La-Z-Boy on the night that the transfer window slammed shut, I'd have rung up and had you sectioned on the spot.

Cazorla ices the Arsenal cake and I want another slice

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Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal

A magnificent, disciplined, resilient and pragmatic 90 minutes from Arsenal that ended in three well-deserved points. The best result this season? No doubt. But it could well be the most important result for more than three years as we finally threw the monkey off our back by beating the current champions in their back yard.

The damning stat that continues to hold Arsenal back

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We all know that injuries have played a significant part in Arsenal's stop-start season. That is indisputable. It has a significant effect every season, to be honest, given the propensity of our players to keel over at any juncture.

But injuries don't really explain the enduringly frustrating, and damning, stat that we have not beaten Man City, Chelsea or Man Utd away since October 2011.