Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa

Some thoughts:

• Was it worth risking Fabregas? Two goals and a game-changing performance answers that question. You can only beat the team you are currently pitted against so it has to have been worth the risk.

• Our best 45 minutes of the season? I think it probably was given the opposition. If not the best half, then it was certainly the most inspired substitution of the campaign.

• … and a more fruitful substitution of a substitute than the last time it happened at the Grove – when Eboue’s dismal season hit its low.

• Diaby looks excellent at the moment. He’s played three games in a row now and with each game he has looked better and better. I’m not bold enough to suggest this augurs well because we’ve been here before, but it does prove (as if it needs proving) that when you stay fit, feel good and keep playing, you tend to see the real player.

• Either that or it’s down to his magic moustache.

• The same point applies to Walcott and Eduardo (playing games, not growing moustaches). You simply can’t write a player off until he has settled into a good run of games. Walcott, incidentally, slid in a peach of a pass for the second goal yesterday and with a few more matches under his belt could have a big part to play over the rest of the season.

• When Wenger told us, after we had just been slaughtered by Chelsea, that they were far from infallible and that we had every chance to claw our way back into things, I considered him a lunatic of the first order.

• And yet here we are, right up there. We’ve done exceptionally well to be where we are, I have to say, with the last month in particular being fruitful. And yet I still don’t feel we have the wherewithal to win the league. We’re not being linked to moves for cover at the back, in the middle and up front for nothing.

• Given our position in the table, and the absurd injury list, it would be criminal not to strengthen in January. As Arshavin’s signing proved, a new face here and there can do wonders.

• Given that injury list – eight at the last count – then the news that Alex Song will be available for the next two games comes as a blessed relief.