Arsenal

For years Arsenal has been a team fully of nearly-men. The past few seasons Arsenal was the team which never got over the line. The sometimes breathtaking, seemingly dominant whenever the pressure was off, arsenal have showed glimpses of positive seasons. Yet no matter the game plan, Mr Wenger had entrusted to his team to execute with passing perfection, when faced by a side with similar calibre all the weaknesses of the squad are shown and taken advantage of. These weaknesses often would take the form of a humiliating defeat at the hands of a title rival, or worse. These defeats often lead to the downfall of the team’s title challenge as they in seasons long gone often fail to pick up the pieces. 

So what is different about this season? The Arsenal faithful this summer cried out for transfer dealings to be done, for the manager to splash arsenals huge cash reserves and show its hand as a European giant. Arsenal’s manager and board needed to prove to the fans the club was moving forwards, after years of stagnation. With two days left of the window and a 4-3 embarrassment to Liverpool at the emirates and an unconvincing goalless draw to champions Leicester the deafening cries for a new centre back on top of Granit Xhaka, were answered with an added bonus. Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez were captured in a double raid of La Liga giving the arsenal side of years before a new look.

A new backbone established left an arsenal side on paper looking fearsome to say the least. This more convincing outlet with new players and a new game plan. Emulating the kind of form seen in his first season, Sanchez is a player no centre back wants to see on the Arsenal team sheet. The fluidity of this new look side built on defensive assurance offered to them by the ever-strengthening defensive partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Mustafi, arsenal only conceded three goals through all of September. This season holds significant promise, the mentality of the arsenal of old seems to have vanished. Once the fixture that any arsenal fan would dread throughout the season became the proof that Arsenal have what it takes to compete for the championship. A 3-0 battering of South London’s Chelsea by Mesut Ozil’s masterful passing along with Theo Walcott’s new lease of deadly potency in front of goal leaves arsenal an outfit to be relied upon to get the job done. Even in the dangerous waters of the champions league in their first European game a 1-1 draw at the Parc de Paris against PSG surprised many as Arsenal held the mental strength to battle on for the point. Early on in the season, buoyed by the wonder strikes of golden boy Xhaka, lethality of the front three, a 6 game win streak streak since that 0-0 draw at the King power stadium back in August has left arsenal both physically and mentally a force to be reckoned with.