Posted on: October 12, 2022, 05:58h.
Final up to date on: October 12, 2022, 05:58h.
9 video games into the Premier League season and Arsenal sits on high of the league. Sure, Arsenal.
This isn’t an phantasm. The Gunners have been reworked by coach Mikel Arteta right into a supreme fashionable soccer staff: organized, thrilling, filled with particular person expertise, however swarming, urgent, passing, and rotating as an elite unit.
Unpressable, ball-playing defenders. Inverted full backs. Blistering younger wingers. And a man named Jesus up entrance who unleashes hellfire on opposition defenses. This can be a staff with out apparent weaknesses.
Arsenal has even developed the sort of aggressive street-smarts so absent within the later Wenger years.
However can this staff win the title?
Pep: ‘Higher than Metropolis’
Whisper it, however for the primary time in 16 years, Arsenal is wanting like the actual deal once more. However a realer deal than Metropolis? Metropolis, with its large Norwegian beast of a striker and the superhuman Kevin De Bruyne? Metropolis, which is arguably one of the best staff on the planet and perhaps the most effective ever assembled?
As Metropolis supervisor and Arteta’s former mentor Pep Guardiola mentioned this week, “The fact is that Arsenal have been higher than us to this point. We aren’t high of the league.”
The underlying stats verify that this Arsenal revival will not be illusory, like all the opposite Arsenal revivals earlier than it.
The staff’s anticipated objectives (XG) have been higher than its opponents in every of the 9 video games it’s performed to this point, even within the loss at Manchester United, underlining that the end result was unlucky.
Some commentators have steered Arsenal may “do a Leicester” this season. It’s a wierd remark. Leicester received the league in 2016, having narrowly survived relegation on the finish of the season prior. Originally of the 2015-16 season, the Foxes have been 5,000-1 to win the title.
Arsenal, then again, is a conventional high six aspect within the third yr of a rebuild that has price £278 million. However such is the perceived dominance of Metropolis that it seems like 5,000-1. Arsenal is, actually, 8-1 to win the title.
The New Liverpool?
It’s extra apt to ask “will Arsenal do a Liverpool” – i.e., construct a world-class title-winning aspect with out the monetary backing of an oil-rich nation state.
That seems to be the plan, however perhaps not this yr. In all chance, Arsenal is competing for second. The squad lacks somewhat depth. It’s quick a goalscoring winger and a central midfielder.
Additions over summer time have improved squad depth, with gamers who can cowl a number of positions. However lose Thomas Partey and the staff drops a degree. And the Ghanian, who was unavailable for that sole loss towards United, is damage inclined.
Arsenal can also be the youngest staff within the league with a mean age of 23.7, and their inexperience may depend this yr.
However these gamers will hit their peak as footballers in two to 3 years’ time. When that occurs Arsenal shall be scary.