Written by Chris Remington
A dramatic win against Burnley has seen Arsene Wenger’s side record yet another victory, their fifth in a row in the Premier League. The side has made a few additions and also started the Champions League well taking four points from six. With just a singular defeat all season which was on the opening day, again questions will be asked as to whether the Gunners can go all the way, or at least to have some optimism. Here are 5 key reasons for Arsenal fans to be optimistic this season.
1. Sanchez’s new role working out
Alexis Sanchez’s new striking role is reaping the rewards for the Gunners at the moment with the team boasting a near perfect record for the start of the new campaign. The Chilean’s work ethic and exceptional link up play makes him a natural when leading the line and it is seemingly benefiting the whole team who can now look to play the ball in behind the defence as Sanchez has the beating of most defenders in the league. Already it is clear that Ozil is enjoying the set up too, the two have an almost telepathic understanding of each others game, which was apparent when the pair linked up for the third goal against Chelsea last week.
2. Walcott Reborn
Sanchez’s move to the front of Arsenal’s attack seems to have in turn affected Theo’s performances. The speed merchant is enjoying a fine start to the season with five goals in eight games so far this season, with the winger bagging a double in the 2-0 win against Basel last week. Walcott seems hungrier than ever, and has publicly spoke out about how he had previously been content with getting through a season without pushing to improve, and after a chat with Wenger this summer, has come back revitalised and you can already see the difference. An aspect of his game that has always been questioned is his form in front of goal, but having impressed so far this season, he may be on track to record his best goal scoring tally to date.
3. Midfield Balance
The addition of Granit Xhaka is already proving a hit this season. The Swiss International opened his account for the Gunners in impressive fashion, rifling the ball into the roof of the net against Hull just a fortnight ago. But it is his tough tackling nature that will endear him to the fans most of all. Arsenal had been on the hunt for a defensive midfielder ever since the days of Vieira, but after Francis Coquelin made his way into the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, many thought that the search was over. But with that came an over reliance on the Frenchman as the only one who could win the ball back for the Gunners. Enter Xhaka. Now that we have another no nonsense midfielder it leaves more room for rotation, At the moment Xhaka and Cazorla are anchoring the midfield expertly. With Xhaka there too, it allows Cazorla to be his best, taking the ball from the defence and quickly turning it into attack, and teams are struggling to cope with that.
4. Defensive Solidity
The fans prayers have been answered. This summer Wenger spent big on German centre back Skhodran Mustafi and what a signing it has been. Already the defence is looking more organised, and with veterans like Koscielny and Mustafi at the heart of the defence, it gives Bellerin and Monreal the confidence to join attack. Petr Cech in goal will always save the team a few points a season, but to now have a more assured defence ahead of him, it really allows Arsenal to be the creative force everyone knows them to be.
5. Opposition inconsistency
From the get go this season, many had Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea tipped as this years champions. The three powerhouses have all recruited world class managers as well as making improvements to their squad. All of them started the season well, Man City recorded 10 wins in a row whilst Zlatan was firing United upwards in the table. But all of these teams have shown their frailties. Manchester United’s shock defeat to Feyenoord in the Champions League lingered for the players as they lost 3-1 to Watford the same week. Antonio Conte’s men haven’t quite hit the heights many were expecting too. A 2-1 defeat to Liverpool as well as the 3-0 loss to Arsenal signals they haven’t completely got back to the side that won the league just two years ago. Manchester City are favourites for the title this season. Pep Guardiola has transformed City into a goal scoring machine, but of late, it is their defence that has shown cause for concern. City leaked three goals against Celtic earlier this week, which was quickly followed up by a 2-0 loss to Spurs. Each side has shown that they are beatable, which should give Arsenal further belief this campaign.
Arsenal fans, can this side go all the way? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by joshjdss