After nine wins in a row, is it time to take Arsenal seriously?
Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have all dominated the early season title talk – and rightly so. The trio are locked together on 20 points after eight games of the season.
Tottenham Hotspur, too, have been mentioned. Yet 40/1 shots Arsenal are going under the radar.
Unai Emery is quietly going about his business in North London, and after a sticky start, the Gunners are now on a nine-match winning run. They’ve not won 10 in a row outright in all competitions since 2007.
So what’s going so right at the Emirates? We’ve taken a look.
Things are clicking
Whether it’s the partnership of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, or Lucas Torreira’s showings in midfield, things are looking up.
The team are performing as a unit and individuals are displaying their own genuine ability every week too.
That sounds like an obvious thing to point out – but it’s something that was all-too-often missing during the dying days of the Arsene Wenger era.
Emery-era Arsenal are showing a willingness to fight for each other, and with competition for places high – think Alex Iwobi and Matteo Guendouzi – no-one’s place is secure.
A big part of Arsenal’s success has always been down to their ability to beat the division’s lesser teams. Emery has ensured that tradition has continued.
West Ham United, Cardiff City, Newcastle United, Watford and Fulham have all been disposed of already this season. The Gunners have hit the net twice or more in each of those matches, too.
Their home record, in particular, deserves serious praise. Arsenal haven’t dropped points at home to a side outside the ‘big six’ since Watford won at the Emirates in January 2017.
Now they’re pairing that with an improved away record – Emery has already accrued nine away points this term compared to 16 throughout the whole of the last – things are looking up.
Taking it to the big guns
Arsenal have long been found wanting against their supposed title rivals. Emery is slowly going about changing that. Their performance against Chelsea in August gave plenty of cause for optimism.
The Gunners registered 21 shots at Stamford Bridge that day – their most in a Premier League match in West London in over 10 years.
Bar some uncharacteristic wastefulness from Aubameyang they may have even won the match.
Supporters will hope they can carry that positivity forward in matches against Liverpool (3rd Nov), Tottenham (1st Dec) and Man United (4th Dec) before Christmas.
Before that, though, a home fixture against Leicester City is on the cards. Our traders make Emery’s men 2/5 favourites to slay the Foxes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing