The much debated topic among Arsenal fans is that they are undergoing a torrid start to the season, where currently they are in 5th position with 33 points, where at the very same date the previous year they were sitting on top of the table, 9 points better off their current tally.
Now they are 13 points of the top of the table with half the season passed, and behind on goal difference to Southampton which is on 4th. Arsenal now face trips to Southampton, Manchester City and Tottenham in coming weeks and the race for the 4th spot heats up. But the question is, is Arsenal’s season really that bad as it seems?
Lets consider it this way, Arsenal have dropped 13 points from winning positions this season. If they would have collected all points, they would have been second in the table, equal to Chelsea’s tally of 46. However, Arsenal have also recovered 6 points from losing positions which is the joint best in the Premier League, alongside which Chelsea.
This leads us to determine that Arsenal usually start playing better when the heat is turned on them. Also, Arsenal have much better squad depth than last season, and the squad is brimming with World Class talent like Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscienly and Mesut Ozil. Sure, performances against smaller teams have not been good and they should have been finished off earlier.
However, the future looks bright for Arsenal. With once everyone back to full fitness, Arsene Wenger is going to have a serious of selection headaches, to choose to play Alexis Sanchez or Theo Walcott, to choose to play Santi Cazorla or Mesut Ozil, to choose to play Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, or a possible new signing. Arsenal are on a good form and just won their seventh game out of nine in all competitions. Surely, a form like that doesn’t signify any crisis at the club.
However, not to ignore the negatives, Arsenal’s defending as been woeful this season. Arsenal, which once boasted of the second best defence in the league two years ago, has just kept 5 clean sheets. Their ability to outscore their opponents has been the reason which gets Arsenal the points. However, when they meet a team with more firepower than theirs, presumably Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners struggle to keep the goals from flowing. Without Koscienly, Arsenal’s defence looks in pieces and opponents bypass them to put goals in the net.
Stoke City managed to put 3 goals against Arsenal, a team which is not much known for its ability to score a large number of goals, because of some dreadful defending individually and collectively. Arsenal’s defence looks lost, without a leader and unorganised. The number of goals Arsenal will concede by corners is anyone’s guess, but it gives the other team a hope and raises some eyebrows. Sure against West Ham, Arsenal conceded by a header (again), but considering the number of headers Arsenal put in the box, it is astonishing that Arsenal let only one goal. Wenger and the lads should look to built on this performance.
The final verdict, Arsenal has had an average start to the season but slowly things are coming back to normal. Arsenal are finding the form and building up momentum, enough to reach the top 4 and trouble the three teams above them. With the right signings and some coordination in the defence, Arsenal could go on a good run and pick some points to end the season on a high.
If no one manages to get themselves injured, then the players returning from injuries and the current crop of players definitely could give any team a run for their money. Overall, things may not have been that rosy for Arsenal fans this season, but hope lies ahead. Enough to keep Wenger in charge of Arsenal for another season.