Arsenal appear to be on the mend after recovering from a horrible start to the season in which they lost their first three games of the season for the first time in 67 years.
Mikel Arteta’s work was under heavy scrutiny, after a 5-0 hit at the hands of Manchester City left the Spaniard at his ‘lowest’ point since he became manager in December 2019.
A disastrous August ended, in which they were also tactically outscored in losses to newly promoted Brentford and London rivals Chelsea, with many speculating that a poor result in their fourth game against Norwich could spell the end of Arteta’s tenure.
Arsenal have recovered from their worst start to the season since the 1954-55 campaign.
The Gunners lost their first three games, including a humiliating 5-0 loss to Manchester City.
Two months later, there are signs of promise for the Gunners. They are undefeated in their last eight games in all competitions and while more bumps are to be expected along the way, they are starting to look like a team that can compete for Europe.
Although there are reasons to be optimistic, their current form will mean nothing unless they can get a statement result. Arsenal had victories over Norwich and Burnley, but were tremendously impressive against Tottenham and Aston Villa.
A victory in the North London derby would draw the attention of many as the great result they still need, but Arteta will rarely have the luxury of playing a great match against such an accomplice and disorderly opponent. as was Tottenham that day.
Arsenal must follow up on that result by taking points away from other teams also competing for Europe and the game against Leicester on Saturday could provide a better reflection of what awaits them this season.
The Foxes have finished ahead of Mikel Arteta’s team for the past two seasons and narrowly missed the Champions League by just one point last season.
Like the Gunners, Brendan Rodgers’ team is just starting to get going after a slow start to the season, but with the quality they possess, they will most likely push for Europe behind potential title challengers Manchester City. , Liverpool and Chelsea.
Mikel Arteta’s job appeared to be in jeopardy, but the Gunners are now undefeated in their last eight games.
After finishing eighth in the past two seasons, Saturday’s game at King Power could be a tell-tale sign of whether the Gunners have indeed closed the gap or if more needs to be done.
Arteta’s project in the Emirates was never intended to be a short-term solution and they are clearly a team building for the future around their talented young people. Last season, it was its young stars who led the team, while veterans like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang disappeared.
Aubameyang scored 54 goals in his first two and a half years at the Emirates, helping them win the FA Cup and Community Shield, as well as being a joint winner of the Golden Boot in 2019.
Last season was a different story as he scored just 10 league goals, seemed disinterested at times and was eliminated for the North London derby after being late for the game.
Some speculated whether the lucrative £ 350,000-a-week contract he signed in September 2020 was the reason for his recession, with a similar drop in productivity coming from former star Mesut Ozil after he signed a new deal in 2018.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) has started to return to his best, while Emile Smith Rowe (right) has been arguably Arsenal’s most impressive player.
Aubameyang, however, has enjoyed a return to his pre-contract form this season, scoring four goals in six games, and Arteta went so far as to say that he has “ never seen him broadcast what he’s doing ” currently on. the field since he arrived. .
His improved form is a useful boost, offering a much-needed experience as the Gunners’ young stars continue to build their game, particularly Emile Smith Rowe.
The tricky midfielder has arguably been Arsenal’s standout star of the season to date, producing some special performances and drawing the attention of Gareth Southgate. The England manager said before the international break in October that the 21-year-old was “very close” to joining the squad, and surely it won’t be long before he gets his first international game.
Defensive improvements have also been made with Ben White starting to impress alongside Gabriel as a central defender, while Japanese winger Takehiro Tomiyasu has quickly become a cult hero in the Emirates.
An improvement that perhaps was not expected has reached the goal. The past few years for Aaron Ramsdale have not been a long, uninterrupted upward trajectory.
Aaron Ramsdale has proven to be more than just an endorsement since he joined in the summer.
Takehiro Tomayasu (left) and Ben White (right) have also proven to be popular signings.
Premier League results so far this season
Brentford 2-0 Arsenal (August 13)
Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea (August 22)
Man City 5-0 Arsenal (August 28)
Arsenal 1-0 Norwich (September 11)
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal (September 18)
Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham (September 26)
Brighton 0-0 Arsenal (October 2)
Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace (October 18)
Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa (October 22)
His back-to-back declines with Sheffield United and Bournemouth increased skepticism ahead of his £ 25 million arrival and people questioned why Arsenal were spending so much on a ‘backup’.
Ramsdale, however, has chased Bernd Leno out of the lineup and helped prop things up at the rear since breaking into the squad in their 1-0 win over Norwich.
The pessimism of August has been replaced by optimism that the Gunners could start to show some progress after two seasons of misery.
However, like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United, Arteta never seems far from a drop in form after a couple of positive results.
The Spaniard will be interested in his team to avoid falling back down a slippery slope with difficult matches against Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton and West Ham in their next eight games, all teams hoping to qualify for Europe this season. .
Their current six-game unbeaten streak will be in vain if they cannot successfully face other teams challenging the top positions this period.
Arsenal’s game against Leicester could show a true reflection of the Gunners’ position