Arsenal cruised to a comprehensive victory over Wigan Athletic with Robin van Persie scoring his first hat trick of the season. It was a cohesive team performance which strengthened the belief of the Gunners that they can win the Premiership title this season. At the same time last season, Arsenal were struggling to cope with the injury to Van Persie, and his absence meant that there was too much pressure on captain Cesc Fabregas.
Van Persie is back to his best after scoring six goals in the last three matches, and the Gunners are looking strong with him on the team. They have a settled team combination with England Internationals Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere establishing their places in the first team, which is something not many would have expected at the start of the season.
Arsene Wenger is on the market for a defender due to the long-term injury to Thomas Vermaelen, who has still not recovered from an Achilles injury sustained in August. Johan Djourou has been immense for the Gunners and has made a strong case to continue to start games alongside Vermaelen in the future.
With less than half the season to go, the Gunners are still fighting for the title on all four fronts, and as Wenger said, they need to keep their best players fit to win titles this season. In this slideshow are the five most important players for Arsenal FC.
This article is also featured on The Invincible Gunners, a blog on Arsenal and other football news.