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Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: Five observations

Arsenal beat West Brom at the Emirates on Saturday evening in a game that evoked controversy and an end to Arsenal’s recent slump. Here are 5 key pointers from the Gunners’ 2-0 win over the Baggies.

Arsenal could kick start their season again – With the next 3 games against Reading, West Ham and Wigan, Arsenal could start to get some form going ahead of the tight New Year schedule. 9 points from the next 3 games would put the Gunners right where they want to be – in the Champions League places – and with a good transfer window they could as well hope to finish 3rd considering none of the teams have so far shown a consistent run of form.

Jack Wilshere is coming back into the groove – The 20-year-old Jack Wilshere has put behind him a horrible injury and has started to show signs of his former self. Easily the runaway man of the match, Wilshere not only controlled the tempo of the game, but also made quite a few powerful drives into the box, creating chances for teammates, and if not for profligacy of Podolski and Gervinho he could have had a couple of assists.

Yakob is key to West Brom, but so is Morrison – Yakob missed the game against Arsenal and his absence was terribly felt as Arsenal ran the show in the middle of the park. But not only were West Brom run over in midfield but they could hardly muster any chances of their own. Playing James Morrison deeper isn’t helping the Baggies’ cause one bit, as they lost three games in a row.

Sagna needs to be given whichever contract he wants – Bacary Sagna was ruled out for the game by Arsene Wenger yet surprisingly was on the Gunners team sheet. The French right back was injured and played with painkiller injections as confirmed by Wenger in his post match interview. Easily one of the most committed Arsenal players, Sagna deserves whatever contract he demands.

Diving needs to be taken seriously– The Premier League has seen dozens of players being booked for simulation this season, but at the Emirates Arsenal got away with one. Not only did Santi Cazorla dive, but he also earned a penalty, one which was duly converted by Mikel Arteta and proved to be a turning point in the game. The FA needs to take a firm stand on diving and simulation, and serving bans might just be the right direction to move in.