It’s a well-known fact that we have been really, really, really good since December. We have been great since the turn of the year. We have won eleven out of thirteen league matches in 2015. That means that we have already collected the same number of points that we had won in the entire first half of the season (33). We have also won 16 out of 19 matches in 2015 in all competitions. Of course, every team can occasionally hit the bump – our bumps in 2015 have been matches against Southampton, Monaco and Spuds – but it’s interesting to note that we actually have the structure of an unbeaten team!
You don’t believe me? Well, believe this.
When we lost to Southampton, Wojciech Szczesny was between the sticks and Olivier Giroud didn’t play due to his stupid red card against QPR.
When we lost to Spuds, Alexis Sánchez was out due to injury.
When we lost to Monaco, Arsene Wenger had started the match with Kieran Gibbs at left full-back instead of Nacho Monreal.
What does that mean?
When David Ospina, Monreal, Alexis and Giroud were all in the starting line-up, we haven’t lost a single game!
David Ospina has played 12 league games for Arsenal. We have won 11, lost one which means we have won 92% (!!!) of our league games with him between the sticks. Our chubby Colombian has conceded seven goals and kept a clean sheet on six occasions. And some still say he is worse than Szczesny.
Nacho Monreal was left out of the starting eleven against Monaco in the first leg. We conceded three goals and lost the game. He has had a difficult season as he had spent the first half of it playing in the central defence but his performances in the second half at his natural position have been great. He has played ten matches as a left full-back in 2015 and we have won nine of them with the sole exception being the North London Derby where Alexis wasn’t in front of him on the left wing. That still makes an incredible 90% of our league games in 2015 won with Nacho in the team. We have also won four out of six Champions’ League games and drawn the remaining two with Nacho in the team this season. If we add the three FA Cup matches Nacho has played in 2015, we have won 13 out of fourteen games with Nacho in the team (93%).
Alexis Sánchez has been our best player this season. Even if he hasn’t been too prolific lately he has been a huge asset for us and his performances in 2015 prove it. He has played 11 league games in 2015 and we have lost the first one before winning ten in a row. He didn’t play against Spuds and his energy and drive were heavily missed. If we add four FA Cup victories and two legs against Monaco, Alexis has played 17 matches in 2015 and we won 15 of them (88%).
Olivier Giroud has been absolutely brilliant in 2014-15. Yes, he has had a few poor performances but his overall record is stunning. He started the League campaign on the bench as he was dropped to the bench in favour of Yaya Sanogo for the first two league matches against Crystal Palace (2:1) and Everton (2:2) respectively. He was called upon in both matches in the second half and we won the period of game with Giroud on the pitch on both occasions. He was introduced as a late substitute in our home defeat to United as well and responded with a well-taken goal – again, we didn’t lose a period of game with Giroud on the pitch. Stoke and Spuds away have been the only league matches when we were beaten with Giroud on the pitch. That means we haven’t lost the period of game with him on the pitch in 19 out of 21 league matches (90%) where he has featured either as a starter or as a substitute this term.
Honourable mention: Francis Coquelin
The French enforcer has been astonishing since his surprise return from a loan spell at Charlton. He has started fourteen league games and we won twelve of them (86%). Without him in the starting eleven we have won just eight out of sixteen (50%). I didn’t take his short cameos against Newcastle, Liverpool and QPR into account – we won two and drew one – but his stats are incredible without those appearances as well.
So, our Invincibles from this season look like this:
Bellerin Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
Let’s keep the run going, lads!