London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea have celebrated quarter-final victories to move within two matches of a possible Europa League derby final.
We have had a great winning streak that has given us a lot of hope and ignited something that makes us wait for every game with great expectation.
We did not start the season on a high note, but as time went by we kept getting better and better. It has been thrilling to watch Arsenal play.
Even fans at the Fulham game chanted, ‘We’ve got our old Arsenal back’, and it’s been great to see how Unai Emery is making changes and adapting to the Premier League.
I tend to think it was unfair how Emery was given two big teams at the start of the season, but you cannot complain; you have got to face what you get. I saw it as a disadvantage because Emery had not adapted to the Premier League and we were still coming to terms with the departure of Arsene Wenger, therefore there was a lot going on with the manager, the staff, the players and the fans. But then again, it’s no excuse to play a game badly.
I am not saying we played badly, but maybe we could’ve done better. When you look at those first two fixtures with Manchester City and Chelsea, in a way it was a good thing because it moved the manager to make a few key changes, and that’s why we have had continuous success.
This run of wins has been great, but I am not one to get excited over results, because I know a tougher test lies ahead of us, namely for Arsenal to maintain this form – and being consistent is not easy.
The key thing is consistency in everything. It’s not just when you are facing big teams, as much as winning against a bigger opposition is always a big boost; every game matters. Because when you build on that you are headed in the right direction.
I really love what Unai Emery is doing because he wants Arsenal to keep a clean sheet every game, and as much as that is a work in progress, those clean sheets are the first step to consistent victories.