Superlatives and compliments are pursuing Arsenal more readily than most of the Premier League right now and there was another yesterday with the Reading striker Dave Kitson labelling Arsène Wenger's side "without doubt the best footballing team on the planet".
Such hyperbole is not uncommon in the game but the 27-year-old is one of the top flight's more measured footballers. He also experienced the Arsenal phenomenon at first-hand in the 3-1 defeat to them on Monday evening and can offer a fascinating insight.
"It's absolutely phenomenal stuff," he said of the football Arsenal played. "Trying to get near Fabregas, Hleb, Rosicky, it's a tough task. The thing that amazes you most is they are not just passing to each other – they are passing so that person can run on to the ball and then his mind is already made up with what he is going to do next. It's just magic, it is unbelievable.
"It is not overly quick. Fabregas puts his foot on the ball, has a look, sees what he wants to do and then he plays it four yards in front of him to Hleb. He'll turn round, play it another four yards, Fabregas has already gone past and so it goes on. Trying to get near to them and stop it – I'm not saying it can't be done – but it's tough."
Reading pursued a policy of containment that worked for 44 minutes but were eventually undone by goals from Mathieu Flamini, Emmanuel Adebayor and Hleb. It was a victory which sent Arsenal back to the top of the league and extended their unbeaten run, in all competitions, to a club record of 27 games.
With Manchester United, and possibly Chelsea, mounting challenges Kitson feels there is also a fascinating contrast of "styles". "What I would say about Arsenal is they are not reliant on one, two, three even four people," he said. "They all kind of chip in. Even for a Tottenham fan like myself to say this is blasphemy but you hope that a team who play as well as that win something."
It is not just the present that is an awesome prospect. "With the last team Wenger put together they won two doubles, which is a frightening thing to do anyway," Kitson said. "Look at the players he has let go. When that money came in from Barcelona for Henry, Wenger must have been looking at Adebayor and thinking it was Christmas. He had a player waiting there for his chance and the unbelievable thing is that he probably won't even spend the money."
Unsurprisingly Kitson described Wenger as the "best manager in the world" while Fabregas – still just 20 – "is world class already". "It's not fair that a kid that young can have so much talent," Kitson added. "He's definitely among the top five players in the league, definitely one of the top players in the world."Reuse content