All Arsenal fans are well aware that we have had a brilliant unbeaten record until today, but we also know that we really haven’t played so well. And defensively we have only had one clean sheet in ten games, so it is perhaps quite lucky that we have gone so far unbeaten.
The one positive to Arsenal’s unbeaten run ending is it can no longer paper over the cracks. Our sequence of results seemed to make Unai Emery immune from any criticism, with some gooners feeling he hasn’t had enough credit from the media. That could be because, rewind to the summer and most pundits predicted we would be in a battle for the top 4, as our 22-game streak ends we find ourselves …. 5th, not good enough for Arsenal fans under the man he replaced.
There is still a LOT of work to be done. We produced another shocking performance at St. Marys which should not be put down to the injury problems at the back! We’ve been defending awfully the whole season. The goals we conceded were all the more shocking by the fact, they were pretty much exactly the same.
The Saints may not have won a home game all season, but they definitely started in a lively fashion and went toe-to-toe with Arsenal right from kickoff. It was a strange line-up from Emery and it looked like we were going to have our usual slow start, and so it proved with Danny Ings putting the home side in front after just 20 minutes with a bullet header that left Leno stranded.
The Gunners are set to face Southampton with a much changed defensive line up from last week’s win over Huddersfield
This is the team that I predicted earlier with the return of Koscielny, and Nacho Monreal his partner at centre-back….
Bellerin Koscielny Monreal Kolasinac
Iwobi Ozil Ramsey
Arsenal are set to try and extend their unbeaten run to 23 at Southampton this afternoon and with our opponents languishing in the relegation zone it seems like an easy task. But Southampton are hoping that their new coach, Ralph Hasenhuttl, can give the team a boost and help them to their first home win of the season. So far their record at St Marys this season has not been impressive, but the fact that they’ve drawn 4 of their 6 home games may give them hope of salvaging a point at least, but the fact is that they have only won one home match this year, and that was back in April. I don’t think they would be unhappy with one point right now.
Arsenal may have gone 22 games without losing, but with the current competition in the Premier League, that has still only left us in 5th position, even if it is only by a whisker.
It has been a long time since Mesut Ozil last played a League game for Arsenal, with many weird and wonderful rumours and suggestions for his absence, but other than Emery saying he had ‘backache’ and not knowing where the German midfielder was on a matchday, we have had very little real information from inside the Arsenal camp.