“We like to play our football at the moment. We will push to be the best. Because the ranking will not lie after 38 days. » These words are those of Mikel Arteta, coming out of his mouth just after the 6th victory in 7 Premier League days on the lawn of Brentford (3-0), allowing Arsenal to take the lead ahead of Manchester City. At the start of the 2022-23 season, the Londoners are (almost) irresistible and are achieving feats, both in play and in results. Probably nobody expected Arsenal so high, but this is the result of consistent work for several months, reinforced by a quality market this summer.
As we explained to you at the end of last season, the 21-22 exercise for the Canonniers was both frustrating, but very promising in view of the elements seen on the ground. After a high-flying summer preparation, Mikel Arteta’s squad continued on their way by lining up 5 consecutive successes in the league. The defeat suffered at Old Trafford against Manchester United (3-1) sounds like a mishap, as this shock could have tipped in favor of Arsenal. Before the Gunners resume their march forward, therefore, in Brentford (3-0).
Consistency and automatisms
“Today we are top of the Premier League, I’m so happy. Yesterday I was pissed because we lost him (Man City were provisional leaders) and we used him today because we want to get back there and show that we want to be there and that’s what we’re going to do . I really appreciated the way we didn’t play.”, explained in particular the Spanish technician at the Gtech Community Stadium, where his team had taken the broth during the first day of the Premier League last year (0-2). Since then, many things have changed in the ranks of Arsenal, admittedly diminished at the time.
Rookies have settled in the XI (like Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White, who surprises as a right back this season), while other elements have gained consistency and momentum (Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Gabriel Martinellin Martin Ødegaard). The consistency of the 4-2-3-1 system put in place by Arteta, who has found his typical team, combined with the quality of the 2022 summer recruits (Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko or Fabio Vieira) make the Gunners a more formidable than in recent months in the last 25 meters, while playing a very attractive game and better and better oiled.
William Saliba, considered a rookie by many, had no trouble establishing himself as a central hinge alongside Gabriel Magalhães and impresses everyone in His Majesty’s Kingdom. In addition to not having lost any major player, Arsenal had the good idea to steal Jesus and Zinchenko from City. The Brazilian, untenable on the front of the attack and author of 4 goals in PL, has already made himself indispensable. The Ukrainian has also quickly adapted to Mikel Arteta’s style of play and is doing his teammates a lot of good.
In the middle, Granit Xhaka, patched up with the supporters, finally seems to become the player that the supporters hoped to see when he arrived in 2016 for 45 M€ and enjoys his freer role made possible thanks to the defensive presence of Thomas Partey . Not to mention the relentless work of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, more mature and still dangerous, on the wings, nor the key role of captain Ødegaard as No.10. This is undeniably the result of excellent work by Mikel Arteta (named Premier League manager of the month for August), his staff and the management of Arsenal for several months.
Towards an electric North London derby
The ability of the Gunners to respond against the member of the top 6, however, remains to be determined. The North London derby, against Tottenham, comes at the right time, just after the international break (October 1) and certainly to see more clearly in this sense, facing a Spurs formation, also in good shape and still undefeated. Arsenal supporters, who will also have to juggle the Europa League, in any case have reason to be optimistic, a feeling that has been too rare for many years on the side of the Emirates Stadium.