On January 1, Arsenal found themselves in an underwhelming sixth place on the log, a whopping 13 points off leaders Chelsea, and seemingly with a massive battle on their hands to maintain their top four status.
Son of a Pitch
Fast forward four and a bit months, and no one could have predicted the position the Gunners find themselves in now.
After a stunning eight wins on the bounce, Arsene Wengers side suddenly have an unexpected, albeit outside chance at the title.
With six games left in an ebbing season, Arsenal are now just seven points behind Mourinho’s Chelsea. However, any Chelsea fan will be quick, and rightly so, to point out that the Blues have a game in hand against their cross town rivals. Having said that, the Arsenal are the first side for a long while who actually have a sight of Chelsea in the distance.
Their sparkling eight game winning streak has included impressive wins over Liverpool and Manchester City, the Liverpool result especially so when you consider the form the Reds had been showing since the turn of the year.
Earlier on in the season, the Gunners had been struggling for consistency, and an over reliance on summer signing Alexis Sanchez was clear for all to see. Conceding soft goals, and looking out of sorts, Wengers side were in danger of losing touch with the top four, a seat they have held for 16 years.
Since the turn of the year however, the team has come together beautifully. Quick sharp passing moves have been the trademark of a side that has set the league alight in recent weeks. A return to form for Olivier Giroud, plus phenomenal performances from the young guns Francis Coquelin and Hector Bellerin who are showing form beyond their years, have resulted in a meteoric rise up the table for Londoners, and all of sudden, Arsenal fans find themselves dreaming.
The Gunners have, on paper, a decent run in as the season approaches its end, with four of their last six fixtures coming against relegation threatened sides. Their next fixture however, is nothing short of monumental. While an FA Cup semi final punctuates the time between it, the impending visit of rivals Chelsea, holds an extra level of importance that no one could have reasonably expected it to only a few months ago.
Wengers side, while still the outsiders, have definitely given Chelsea something to think about, and worried looks over their shoulders at the gaining Arsenal juggernaut, may just become more and more common if the Gunners manage to pull off a win when the two meet on April 26.
Chelsea sit on the threshold of glory, it is theirs should they want it. Arsene Wengers side will look to make it as difficult as possible however, as they continue their extraordinary push to the end of the season.