Three games in and there are clear signs of progress at Arsenal

It is too early to draw any definitive judgement on whether Arsenal will have a better campaign than last season but there are clear signs that there is progress and that does give us good reason to believe we will be successful over the next ten months.

The season kicked off with an away win and a clean sheet, that in itself is a very positive sign, last season there was just one clean sheet on the road.

The home win over Burnley was nothing sensational but it was efficient and comfortable and meant that for the first time in a decade Arsenal won their opening two games.

The 3-1 loss against Liverpool was a disappointment and there were not too many positives to take from the game but we saw enough of Nicolas Pepe to know that he is a terrific signing.

All this without our strongest defence, with new players still finding their feet and our best team not being fielded from the start.

Taking the Liverpool game in isolation and it is easy to feel that nothing has changed but when you take all three games into consideration, the injuries and so on, the signs are there that this Arsenal side is definitely an upgrade on last season.

Once Tierney, Bellerin and Holding are back, once Pepe and Ceballos get up to speed in the Premier League, once the likes of Willock and Nelson get more game time and experience under their belt I am absolutely sure that Arsenal will be a lot more formidable than what we have seen so far.

To me, the signs are clear, progress has been made.

40 Comments

  1. NONNY says:

    The article was a good one until you mentioned Nelson.
    Another English over rated dude,If we let iwobi go because of him then I don’t know what to say

    1. ArsenalWhy says:

      I completely agree. Nelson was over-hyped by some fans due to their dislike for Iwobi. Iwobi wasn’t good enough to start for arsenal but Nelson is not the answer either, not even close enough.

    2. Impenia says:

      My ish with the game wasn’t the result but the attitude. We played like we had already resigned to lose. That’s not how a big team should play…you should lose FIGHTING. Even when Chelsea conceded 4 against MU, they played far much better than we did. Even Norwich played Liverpool so much better than we did. Liverpool is probably not going to play a much easier match this season than the one they did last Saturday.

      1. NONNY says:

        That match is the closest we have given to pool at anfield for some seasons now. Yes the problem isn’t the display it’s the result as usual we have played worst match that gave us results which we were all happy to have the 3 points after going back to the game I saw how close we were to frustrating Liverpool only crucial misses from auba and pepe changed the game with Luiz single handedly ending it. Why does auba miss crucial goals in important matches is beyond me and it’s happening so frequently since his been here, beginning to think laca is a better big game player than auba

        1. Lenohappy says:

          Please what clean goal did auba miss in that match, surely it cant be the volley he had to control outside the box because that’s not a clear cut chance

      2. Declan says:

        Impenia, I don’t know what game you watched but there was more fight, character and attitude than for a long time.

    3. Trudeau says:

      Why are so many Arsenal fans keen to eat their young?

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?

    4. lol says:

      It’s not Nelson’s fault that he’s been over-hyped. It’s still early days for him. Let’s give the boy some time to prove himself.

      Would have preferred to keep Iwobi until we sign someone like Zaha on the left, but £35M is a great deal that’s hard to resist

    5. RSH says:

      I wont write off Nelson so quickly, but from the little I’ve seen, he needs to keep progressing, keep playing U-23 games. Martnelli I would give a shout over him. He looks like he is further along in his development.

      1. Lenohappy says:

        This is not about writing nelson off, have been saying it before the season get started that the boy is average. What do you call a winger who can’t dribble why can’t we have Sancho or odoi or even that Everton Lukman those are the real deal not the overhyped Nelson, am sure even martinelli will be more of a threat than him

        1. RSH says:

          Totally agree with you. Thing is, you can watch video of Nelson dribbling but he has yet to do so in EPL. Have to wonder if this is down to mentality and self belief. Either way, I’d have him play majority youth matches and give him another go at a later time. You really have nothing to lose at 19, and playing it safe is a guarantee way to make sure you don’t break into the team. The level of competition is already so high.

  2. Sue says:

    It’s hard when your team lose, it does hurt, especially to a team you don’t like ? I go through the motions every time – i could cry, i want to throw something – usually my phone or the remote, i want to scream, beat the hell out of my punch bag, never look online again (or watch Sky Sports or MOTD ever again!) and then after a little while, I calm down.. and then wonder why i get myself into such a state over a game of football…?
    It’s because of my love for AFC…
    We’re heading in the right direction..gonna take a little while, but we’ll get there!
    Now to beat those spuds on Sunday….

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Sue, when one has survived something like cancer, lost a child relative or a sibling before their time it puts things like football into perspective.
      You have to stay positive about the next match, just as you do about life.

      1. Sue says:

        Ozzie, me being stupid is whatit is!! I totally agree with what you’ve said ???

  3. Viju Jacob says:

    With Emery I have zero confidence now, because he is just being an egoistical twerp. He isn’t Arsenal, so he doesn’t know what the club wants. Deeply disappointed in a man who doesn’t know what to do even after 15 months, so I look forward to the season with trepidation.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      At the end of the season the Board/owners will make the decision whether to extend Emery’s contract based on his performance in meeting their requirements. They won’t give a rat’s arse about your opinion that “he is just being an egotistical tweep.”

  4. RSH says:

    Emery can get us top 4, which is progress within itself. But beyond that, I don’t see it. At best, he’d be having us bounce in and out of UCL positions. Time he starts proving he knows what he is doing though. Needs a better away record in general, and needs to make better decisions.

  5. Kenyanfan says:

    The negatives so far outshine the positives. We are playing with no specific style/ format. Our wins were not that convincing. Talking of our injured players. What guarantees do you have that once they’re back they will play. You as if you haven’t seen enough of Emery with his ‘ supernatural’ fitness assessments. I really don’t know why he gets everything wrong. Ozil participates through out the whole preseason, misses only two weeks of training with no injury and Emery says he is not fit to even make it on the bench. Xhaka misses training and a game via injury and when healed, Emery sees a 100% fit player to play for 90 mins. Torreira, participates in Copa America which ends long before Afcon but he is yet to be fit to play for 45mins. Mane and Salah who never even participated in preseason, comes back from Afcon and starts every game for Liverpool. Lucazette a top player, get benched in the name of tactics . The same will keep happening even with the injured players back. The same out of position deployments and wrong formations will keep popping up. You better be prepared for anything. Don’t be very optimistic.Am that one person who’s very patient with a manager and has always backed up Emery but after the Liverpool game, I’ve realized we in for it.Emery must indeed be having a bigger problem more than we think.

    1. Dan kit says:

      Really Good post @Kenyafan
      ??

    2. Lenohappy says:

      I agree with all you said except from the ozil part, am no fan of ozil but even me now thinks ozil issue is bigger than just emery I think the board are involve, maybe they are trying to let ozil know that come January if you don’t go you are in for a shock.

      1. Ahmad 1973 says:

        What shock? He has a contract. He will be happy to collect his wages even if he doesn’t play!

  6. Mohsan says:

    It’s so amusing to hear english supporters. Even if they have a garbage player they still potray them as good n if they have slightly above avg player they potray them as super stars. For me nelson is mediocre n willock is an avg talent nothing to jump out of your seat from. To be honest I get more excited seeing martinelli then these two. Highly over rated…still remember english fans putting Rooney in same league as messi n ronaldo hahaha. Nelson cant go pass a single player n willock just runs with de ball then gives it away, no passing range, no intelligent runs and no linkup play. They are both young but they are as avg as you can get. No that dude Sancho is what you call talent, guendozi, ceballos are talented.

    1. RSH says:

      Mohsan, I agree with you to a degree, but Willock has not achieved any less than Guendouzi has in his first few matches, so I don’t see why you write him off so quickly, yet put Guendouzi in the same category as Sancho.

    2. Onyeka cosmas says:

      Mohsan,, that’s a very good one I’ve been waiting to hear,, I developed goosebumps when I saw the line up against Liverpool with willock on the line,,sometimes I wonder what the hell emery thinks he’s doing

  7. ken1945 says:

    I would concur…a great post from kenyafan.

    Progress? The first step in our progression is to stop this idiotic, suicidal, getting us nowhere playing from the back.

    We just don’t have the players (at the moment) who command the skill levels to do this at every goal kick, back pass etc etc.
    pool were on us within a second or two and yet Leno kept doing the same stupid thig as the rest of the defence…they were like robots.

    Progress? Play the best players we have in EVERY game,not try to outhink teams with formations that even klopp laughed about after the game.

    Progress? We have injured players coming back inn the most needed area of all, defenders. That’s when we might be able to play out from the back!!!
    Along with Chambers ( a disgrace to drop him and play Xhaka) we have Holding, Bellerin and Tierney, with the experience of Monreal, Luiz (!!) and Soks (even more!!!!) to help and guide.

    If we sell Elneny, it will give AMN the opportunity to play in his favoured position – if we sell mustafi, good – we must not sell Monreal though, he is still a very good player.

    In summary, saturdays game showed no sign of progress as neither of the other two games did. We beat both Newcastle and Burnley last year in the corresponding fixtures and lost to pool.
    Our game is still devoid of workable tactics, poorly timed substitutions and woeful team selections…once the injured players are back, it is hoped this will change.

    1. Lenohappy says:

      And what is Niles preferred position @ken1945,because in one of the few interviews Niles gavw, he said he like playing as winger so I want to know what you mean ‘If we sell Elneny, it will give AMN the opportunity to play in his favoured position” because the last time I checked elneny was a DM and Niles said he’s comfortable playing as a winger,so can you please explain what you mean.

      1. Dan kit says:

        AMN actually started as a striker if I remember reading that right ,then was moved to midfield ,he said he was happy to play anyway but sees himself further up the field ,and I agree with quite a few in here that CM suits him when he’s played there ,does not look like a natural winger to me .

        1. Onyeka cosmas says:

          With regards to our two strikers,, I think Auba is preferred over lacazette simply cos he’s more smart and intelligent,,but lacazette is more physical, he always trying to work hard with the ball and score, but that’s not the best way,,Auba makes clever runs into the box and knows where to position himself on where to collect the ball and either tap-in efficiently without much stress, this is why even when deployed to the wings, Auba still scores more than lacazette, laca just works hard for nothing

      2. ken1945 says:

        Lenohappy, the position he most excelled in from the beginning, was midfield in my opinion.

        The official handbook also classifies him as a midfielder who is able to operate at full back.

        That is why I linked him to Elneny’s suggested departure.

        I also read that he is happy playing at full back, but I believe the truth of the matter is a professional would play anywhere if he could get a game!!

  8. lol says:

    We are definitely not going in the wrong direction, so I guess it’s right to say we are progressing.

    With the new additions, it’s reasonable to say that we are a stronger this season. I’m excited to see how they settle and gel as a team.

    As for Emery, if he doesn’t establish a competitive style of play by the end of the season, we shouldn’t extend his contract

  9. AlexLaca9 says:

    We lost the Liverpool game even before a ball was kicked. When I listened to the way unai was talking about Liverpool I felt sick in my stomache. “We never wanna play Liverpool”?? What the hell? Did they not tell him what football club he works for? You don’t wanna play Liverpool? I was one of emery’s biggest supporters but I really don’t think he’s the man to take us forward. There’s just something very cowardly about the way he approached the Liverpool game that left a bad taste in my mouth. He said he would preserve our football identity and philosophy while adding pressing and off the ball improvement but one year later none of that is evident and the beautiful attacking play Arsenal was known for is nonexistent, it seems like we just don’t have an identity anymore. I’m very disappointed, I can see last season’s mistakes being repeated

  10. Grandad says:

    You are suggesting the keeping of a clean sheet at Newcastle is evidence of progress, yet our best defender that day , namely Chambers, has not featured since and ironically his replacement Luis has been culpable for three goals in his two matches for Arsenal.As far as I can see, defensively we are no better than we were last season and the signing of Luiz , who is well past his best is not what I would expect from a Club with aspirations to make the top four.

    1. RSH says:

      Also, this is the second time Emery has mismanaged Chambers. Chambers was actually the in form defender the season AW left, and then Emery loans him out. Nobody can sit there and say Chambers wouldn’t have been a better option post-Holding injury, than Mustafi. And now Emery is dropping Chambers again for really no reason other than believing David Luiz will solve our problems. Even though he has a similar reputation to Mustafi, just to a lesser degree. Is Chambers guaranteed to be a hit? Of course not, but he has put in the best defensive performance out of anybody so far, so why drop him?

      1. ken1945 says:

        RSH, the second time we agree on something!!
        Apart from the mustafi comparision – never heard that one.

        The most annoying thing was that the club refused to pay out his loan fee to get him back from Fulham.

        1. RSH says:

          this has been a strange day ken, lol

  11. Puia Chhangte says:

    Give him time, guys. Dont jump the gun so early, we’re just getting the machine running at optimal. Our new boys will get to know each other to play the ultimate footbal we long lo see. I’m game for a few more matches to see our boys play the game we like to watch. As for me , Im optimistic

  12. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    To cut it short, should Arsenal defence, home to Spurs on Sunday in the PL be a back-three defence comprising of: Luiz, Chambers and Sokratis starting the match? And AMN and Kolasinac playing to their right and left as right-full-back/wing-back and left-full-back/wing-back? And Pepe Ozil Torreria playing as midfield trio in the match despite that Torreria is not a left-winger midfielder but a DMF? And Lacazette and Aubameyang leading the line? I foreseeing Emery having a selection headache problem for Spurs. Because if he start the match with my above named. It means he will have to start his favourites Gunners of: Monreal, Willock, Ceballos and Guandouzi from the bench. But this is something he won’t like to do starting the quartet Gunners from the bench. But it will make Arsenal bench for the match to look strong.

  13. Eduardo says:

    For me, we are still lacking that fighting spirit

  14. Sean Williams says:

    Emery is a coward. The Liverpool game was shameful. Not the players….the manager. That was clear with his bizarre team selection and the handing of the game to Liverpool. Progress. I don’t think so.

Comments are closed