Three wins from three gives us a major boost – but it certainly isn’t a case of out of the woods just yet.
True, a win against a fellow ‘Big6’ team is always a boost and the way we performed should fill us with optimism for the rest of the season.
And yes, a win at The Amex has been something that has been missing from our previous few seasons. The Gulls have had the purple sign over us for the last few games – so a victory and a clean sheet cannot be scoffed at.
And a victory over a side struggling in the relegation zone can easily be dismissed as an expected win, but one managed by escape artist Big Sam Allardyce is always something to be prized – and enjoyed.
But after our horrendous run? The worst run we’ve seen at the club for more than 60 years?
It will take more than three wins to erase or rectify the damage done to our season.
This can easily be written off as dramatic, especially when looking at the shrinking gap between us and the European places. But while we may be able to rescue this season with the same level of consistency we have eked out over the last three – can we say yet that the cracks are papered over?
We were starved of creativity for so long. Sideways passes were our staple and there was a dearth of goals – especially those from open play. Introducing Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli has reenergised our frontline and we look potent again, but the problem with youth is its precociousness. We cannot rely on it game after game. When they have a bad game, can our big guns fall back on their newly-found confidence to make the net bulge?
We need a longer run of wins to be able to say we have turned this corner. Can we say the same won’t happen again? Mikel Arteta has confirmed this January, the focus must be to trim the squad and this is where he must begin to refine his selections, his tactics and his instructions. It appears the players know how the coach wants to play – but can we keep that going over 5,6,7 games?
Only time will tell. Watch this space.