Arsenal FC: Arsene Wenger's Men Finally Gave Fans a Reason to Be Optimistic

Jake Little@@jakelittleContributor IIIMarch 13, 2013

Arsenal almost overcame a dismal first leg.
Arsenal almost overcame a dismal first leg.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal fans finally have something to be proud of. Arsenal fans finally see what Arsene Wenger was talking about. Arsenal fans now have a positive memory of a recent game.

The game at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich was one in which the Gunners were written off weeks in advance. After the first leg at the Emirates Stadium, it was difficult to fathom where the performance was going to come from.

Add to this the late scratches of Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny and Bacary Sagna, and it seemed as though Arsenal really were facing an impossible task.

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott had not scored for six games. Today they combined to open Arsenal's account in the third minute.

Aaron Ramsey came in and played the best out of an underperforming midfield trio that included Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta. Rosicky looked as though he had not played football in years, misplacing pass after pass.

Arteta, who had a decent game, made poor decisions in the final minutes, giving away multiple fouls that lent possession to the home side when Arsenal needed it most.

Despite a few misplaced passes, Ramsey looked calm and collected. He helped create space down a congested right flank and was always trying to push play forward.

Lukasz Fabianski had a great game at the back. The Polish international stepped in for his compatriot and made several key saves down the stretch. Laurent Koscielny put in a shift as the star centre-back for the North Londoners.

But it was the play of right-back Carl Jenkinson that stole the show.

Jenkinson put in a man of the match performance. Having bossed the entire right side, he frustrated Arjen Robben multiple times. He tirelessly bombed down the flank making overlapping runs and putting crosses into the box. The highlight of his performance was cutting over to the left side of the pitch to help put off Robben, who was through on goal.

And so, with a 2-0 win and a clean sheet in Germany, Arsenal fans should be left feeling inspired. For the first time in weeks, there should be optimism in Wenger's camp.

This was a day in which adversity came at all angles. The skipper was benched, the best player was in Dubai and Arsenal were left with everything to do after a dismal first leg.

Finally, Wenger's men showed why the Frenchman has maintained his faith in his squad.

I am not suggesting that Arsenal does not need to further boost its squad. A defensive midfielder would be quite welcomed, as Mikel Arteta is not fit for the job.

Still, the Gunners got what they needed most—a positive result. Arsenal has something to build on. There will be enthusiasm and optimism in the locker room.

It goes without saying that these final 10 Premier League games are critical.

If Arsenal are to secure a spot in next season's Champions League, they will have to put in similar performances to Wednesday night's.

It is going to be an arduous run in. But there are still 30 points to play for.

Tottenham Hotspur, seven points above the Gunners while having played an additional game, sit in third. There is no reason to believe that Arsenal cannot climb the table and at least rescue that.

So be enthused, fellow Gooners. We finally have a concrete reason to be optimistic.


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