The Gunners are back in contention for the Premier League title. They are certainly getting results, but it’s amusing that they are doing so while not at their best.
Arsenal have 21 points after nine league games, the same as they did last season after nine games. This should be a positive indication that they are likewise off to a solid start.
Even so, after examining how Arsenal earned the 21 points this season, you might conclude that they simply haven’t been as spectacular as they were last season. They’ve only conceded eight goals this season, but compared to last season, they’ve scored fewer goals after nine league games. They had scored 24 goals at this point last season, but they’ve only scored 18 thus far this season.
Arteta and the boys have won games, but only by slim margins. Last season, they won five games by two goals or more in the opening nine games; they’ve only won two games by two goals or more this season: the 3-1 win over Manchester United and the 4-0 triumph over Bournemouth.
Aside from the manner of their victories (being slim), there is also a sense that the Gunners could have lost the 2-2 draws with Fulham and Chelsea.
Many Arsenal fans are hopeful about the club’s ambitions this season, but as they hope for great days ahead, I feel they, the Gunners, are not as vicious as they were last season. They were purposefully dangerous and manifestly superior last season, overpowering almost all their league opponents.
By Match Day 9, we are yet to see them be as dominant as we expected them to be in games. This season, Arsenal has yet to click; they are churning out results. One could argue that they are maturing and becoming a force to be reckoned with even when things don’t go their way, but why can’t they just choose to be dominant?
What if Arsenal clicks and reverts to the good football they were playing initially in the 2022–23 season? Will anyone be able to keep them in check?