I always have this thing in my head during the season that if one team who is fighting for similar honours to Arsenal drops points, it can be seen as a good weekend. Last weekend when we beat Brentford it was great, but it felt like there was not a lot of advancement because the Scum won, as well as Man United. Wolves were also victorious against Leicester so it felt like everyone else picked up points. It took the tiniest bit of gloss off of our performance. Not enough to annoy me, but the tiniest bit. West Ham drew against Newcastle, which was good for us to be fair, but the United and Scum wins were slightly irritating.

So when I looked at the fixtures this weekend I assumed that I’d have similar feelings of frustration I must admit. Leeds have been terrible of late and Watford are down there and will be turned over by the attacking threat of United. Or so I thought. I decided to watch the United game before I went off to a wedding and it started as I thought it would with United hitting the post and having a goal correctly ruled out for offside. And I really did think that it was only a matter of time.

But let’s have some credit going to Watford this morning, because they rode their luck, stayed resolute and this morning I am looking at their draw as a mini win for The Arsenal. Man United have now played three games more than us and are two points clear. It really does hand us the initiative and whilst yesterday I said that I still don’t see us as favourites, you can’t look at the table this morning and not realise that we have a massive – huge – opportunity. Next weekend United travel to Man City, West Ham travel to Liverpool and the Scum are at home to Everton. I am not expecting Everton to do anything, but if Liverpool and City can both win and we can beat Watford – not a forgone conclusion as they’ve just shown – then we would open up an actual points gap with two of those rivals with more games in hand. If we can somehow keep our winning streak up for the next few games – Watford away and Leicester at home, then I really think we could be staring down that top four spot.

The league is so unpredictable though. Leicester are playing terrible at the moment but they have plenty of quality players who can hurt you. Let’s also not forget that Jamie Vardy is sure to be fit and get his customary goal against The Arsenal in two weeks time, so we need to make sure we are on it. And next Sunday against Watford we need to be wary of the desperation of teams towards the bottom of the league when you play them at this stage of the season. Their intensity starts to up and Roy Hodgson will have his team disciplined, organised and certainly ready and waiting for us.

But we have a team of players who are growing with every game. I was watching some of the stuff the club posted on Twitter yesterday and specifically I saw Ramsdale’s reactions during the Wolves game. Of course there was massive celebrations when the goals were scored, but even when the first goal was conceded on ten minutes, he was geeing up the team, his teammates, telling them ‘ we go again’. He has been joined this season by the likes of Gabriel, Xhaka, Tierney, Lacazette et al and as we start to build the unity in this squad it feels like there is something good growing in this crop of players. And we as fans need to keep that in our minds eye. If we don’t get top four – which I am still not 100% convinced about – we need to recognise that a finish in the top six still represents progress. And you have to say that the top six feels achievable at this moment in time. We just need to keep plugging away at those results, picking up those points whilst others around us falter. This season’s top six to four positions feel like they will be won by those teams who are the ‘least worst’ if that makes sense? I.e. the teams who can drop the fewest number of silly points. We’ve seen the Scum drop against Burnley, United against Watford, so we cannot do the same next weekend and I hope Arteta is emphasising this to his players. We have a massive opportunity, don’t blow it guys.

I think I’ll leave it there for today. Not a lot going on in the football world from an Arsenal perspective. Of course we are seeing the worldwide condemnation of Russia and its invasion of Ukraine and when I start to put myself in the position of so many Ukrainian people who are having their homes threatened by these foreign invaders, my heart goes out to them. War is never the answer and I hope that this situation can be resolved as quickly as possible. I also think that as a world we need to unite in isolation of Russia, which it looks like Governments are doing already. Anyway, I’ll leave that there because I’m not an expert on geopolitics and never will be.

Catch you all tomorrow for some more ramblings on all things Arsenal.