There is definitely a different feel to Arsenal this season, with the Gunners so far proving that Arsene Wenger’s comments about his current squad being the most balanced, mature and ready to succeed that Arsenal have had for some years.
Whether the same old problems begin to crop up and cause problems over the course of the season or not, only time will tell. We all know how much a string of injury problems to key players can harm a campaign and there is not too much you can do about that.
What you can affect is what happens on the pitch and at the moment the Gunners seem fully focused and determined to give everything to get the right result, even if the fluency of the football is not always there. One player that usually embodies the latter of those qualities is our creative midfield star Mesut Ozil, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday with a brilliant goal to cap an all-round great game.
After helping Arsenal into the lead with his footballing talent, though, Ozil was replaced after 83 minutes and that is when he surprised a lot of his critics by highlighting the new determination and fight that Arsenal are showing. As reported by Metro, the German was seen to be shouting at his his teammates to fight to ensure the three points would be ours and that is not something you normally see from the softly spoken number 11.
While on the pitch he had also showed the willingness to work hard and as the stats on the Arsenal website from the match show, Ozil was busy making tackles and interceptions as well as having more touches and making more passes than anyone else on the pitch.
We might expect this sort of effort and vocal encouragement to dig in from players like Xhaka, Coquelin, Alexis Sanchez and all, but coming from Ozil does it highlight the new attitude that the whole Arsenal squad have this year?