After a tough start to the season, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have made a solid comeback. Arteta has got the gunners playing good football. Their impressive form has been rewarded with a return to the top six and are now 3 points ahead of Manchester United and 6 points behind leaders Chelsea.
Arsenal lost their first three premier league games to newly-promoted Brentford, Chelsea and champions Machester City. After their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of City, they were plumb last on the table and fierce rivals Tottenham were top. Critics called out for Areta's head after the defeat to City. To make matters worse, Arsenal spent the highest amount in transfer fees than anyone else in Europe.
Since then Arsenal have gone on a ten-match unbeaten run while Tottenham have sacked their manager Nuno Espirito Santo. They played some good teams too during this run including wins against Leicester and Tottenham.
Arteta has got his defence sorted
Arsenal were an absolute shambles at the back in their first three games. They conceded a total of 55 shots on goal in those three games including 22 against Chelsea and 25 against Manchester City.
Pablo Mari and Rob Holding were struggling and £50 million signing Ben White hasn't settled in yet. The right-back position was becoming a problem for Arteta with Cedric not up to the mark.
But now the look of the defence has completely changed with Ben White partnering Gabriel, who has been injured for large parts of his Arsenal career. Youngster Takehiro Tomiyasu has come in and made the right-back position his own. Nuno Tavares has provided good competition to Kieran Tierney at left-back. With their defence looking good, Arsenal had kept 7 clean sheets in their last 10 games conceding just 4 goals.
The excellent form of Emile Smith Rowe
Emile Smith Rowe has been a revelation this season chipping in with important goals. He is currently the gunners' top-scorer with 5 goals and 2 assists in all competitions. He has played in a variety of positions this season mainly as an attacking midfielder or to the left of the attack.
His impressive form has been rewarded with a place in the England squad and he scored on his debut as well. Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher heaped praise on the Arsenal attacker. Carragher said on Sky Sports as quoted by The Daily Mail: 'I always want him to do well, you’re urging him on. To watch him in full flow, I’ve said he’s the best player in the Premier League running the ball.
‘He’s so exciting, the pace, moving with the ball. He’s a special talent. He can pop up in different positions, he has that ability to play all four positions up top and that’s a real bonus.’
Arteta and Edu got the transfers right
Arsenal was heavily criticized for their spending in the summer after having spent the highest money in Europe. The notable signings include Ben White for £50m, Martin Odegaard for £31.5m, Lokonga for £15.75m, Aaron Ramsdale for £24m.
Ramsdale has been in excellent form and has displaced Bernd Leno in the starting XI. Youngsters Tomiyasu and Tavares also featured regularly this season. Ben White has settled in nicely and there are high hopes on Martin Odegaard, who arrived from Real Madrid.
Ramsdale in particular has received special praise after his performance against Leicester. Martin Keown sat in the BT Sport studio, had warm words of praise.
“We have a proper goalkeeper now and he is going from strength to strength. He’s really reliable now. ”
Technical Director Edu and Arteta will be pleased to see the new signings making their mark already.
Arsenal has a trip to Anfield to look forward to in their next game and with the form they are in they will fancy their chances against Jurgen Klopp's side.