Isn’t it just so very Arsenal that when all seems lost and there is little to play for, the team finds a level of character from deep within it, to pull off a victory away from home against a high-flying Chelski who have been bulldozing most teams and beat Man City at the weekend?

Perhaps it’s just the mentalness of this season; teams we’ve usually been able dispatch either away or certainly at home (remember all those Orbinho tweets about how Leicester and Wolves hadn’t beaten us in like 50-odd years at home?) have picked up wins to break apart our season, yet in places where we’ve perennially been beaten – or at least hardly ever pick up victories – we’ve been able to do so this season. Wins against United and Chelski and clean sheets in both games to boot are the few highlights in a shoddy season that we could all just be doing with it being over right about now, let’s face it.

But victory we did get and it leaves us bizarrely just a point behind the Tiny Totts and two behind Liverpool, although they have two games in hand, but still it feels crazy that we are in this position with just a few games to go when the season has been such a disaster. And then I see people are starting to show that table at the halfway stage and with that win last night we went up to third based on form since Christmas. Again, I think that points more to the mentalness of the season, rather than of some kind of amazing Arsenal turnaround.

I say this because we seem to have had so many false dawns under Arteta and I’m reluctant to call this the step in the right direction just yet. If we beat Palace and Brighton on the final two games it will be positive, but it won’t mask the overall malaise that has been some of our performances and whilst Arteta came out swinging like a man on edge and under pressure in his post match conference last night by having a pop at the media for misconstruing his words, he himself knows that we have been far below our best and I he knows that whilst wins always make people happy, the cracks that have appeared in his team as a result of style of play and selection decisions, will not fully appease most Arsenal fans.

But to the game itself and I think we should acknowledge that his tinkering with line ups which has cost us recently, actually worked quite well yesterday, albeit with a fair dose of luck. I mean it didn’t look from the stats like we were really any kind of force going forward, but I suspect his decision to go with three at the back was born out of being difficult to break down, more than anything else. Saka at right wing back was another interesting decision – especially when he put all three of the other guys who have played on the right this season on the bench – but when you win football matches then you are entitled to claim the glory I guess. So many of us spend our time saying football isn’t binary, but actually it kinda is, because if you win football matches you are a genius and if you lose you are a fool. As always the truth is somewhere in between and I don’t necessarily mind that Arteta played around with his team last night. It doesn’t mean anything, it was a different – albeit difficult to stomach when you are under the kosh so much – match against an in-form opponent and if he finds a blueprint to win these big games for next season then grand. What he needs to do is find a blueprint for the low block sides or those that want you to have the ball and hit you on the counter, like Palace will invariably do at the weekend. That’s where we’ve come-a-cropper this season and it is a puzzle MIkel simply must unlock if we’re to have any chance of success next season.

As for the stand out performers yesterday, firstly it has to go to Leno for a few fines stops in goal and after his poor form of late he has shown character to keep us in games like the one last night. There has been talk of an exit for him in the summer and whilst I wouldn’t be weeping like when Thierry left for Barcelona all those years ago, Bernd has still had a half decent season, cdertainly in comparison to some of the other wasters we’ve had in our team. His save from Zouma in the dying embers certainly stands out.

The second is of course Smith Rowe, who bagged his second in two and the hope now is that he has found his scoring boots and can do that more for next season. He is such a talent, has such quick feet and has the ability to beat a man; he’s an electric and exciting player and I hope the club tie him down in the summer and we can make him a fulcrum in our team from now on. We – and he – needed these couple of goals and I have to say I was delighted to see that one trickle in off the post. It will do his confidence the world of good and whilst I don’t think he suffers from a lack of it, the fact he’s now bagging some goals for us shows that he can do it; and in games against big teams too.

I’m not really sure what else there is to make of a game like this. I still think it was relatively meaningless but at least it will give the players a bit more of an injection of confidence. This season has been a failure but if they can go in to the summer with Mikel able to at least tell them to apply that same attitude for when they return from pre-season training, then I’m a-ok with it.

Right, that’s me done for another day, more tomorrow with some other random thoughts. It’ll be interesting because this weekend there is no Arsenal as Palace play Villa on Wednesday so we have our game with them in midweek next week. It’ll actually give us a good indication of what life will be like when we are only playing once a week so I’m kind of intrigued for that game next week.

Anyway, catch you all then.