They won against Stoke, 4-1 with Van Persie scoring twice, Diaby adding another, and James Beattie's own goal rounding of the tally.
But it was all touch and go before the match because a voice from the past had sent doom and gloom through the club. Yes, it was Aliaksandr Hleb, surfacing from a bunker in Barca, like an unwanted boil on the buttcheek to air everything that was wrong with his former club. The modern day version of the woes of the Pharisees. He could not have done better if he were a paid spokesman for Usmanov.
Wenger paid no heed to the carping former Arsenal midfielder with the pretty feet. His concession:
“In the big games, we were still a bit young and played a bit the occasion more than the game, because we were under a lot of pressure and wanted to do so well,” accepted Wenger.
Other than that he was satisfied that the team had made the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the CL. We can debate the measurement of these successes. Wenger's supporters, the majority will point to these achievements and counsel patience. His critics, a vocal minority will highlight the way most consequential matches ended, as a widening gap between the club and the pinnacle.
There is a lot riding on Wenger to succeed. He is the anti-thesis of the big club manager. In fact, he manages Arsenal with the self discipline of a small club. It is very attractive from a football economics point of view which sees skyrocketing expenses to attain titles as the norm. If Wenger wins, he will have won the right way, and his success will be worthy of emulation. In fact, he should be recruited by the Republicans as the one fiscal conservative who practices what he preaches. Yeah, I thought so, that French thing is a problem.