I always wonder how frustrated Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal squad must feel every time they go on a good run. It seems regardless of how well they have played and who they have beaten, they are still judged to be poor and lucky to win the games.
Arsenal are currently trailing Manchester City at the top of the table on goal difference and have won the last six games in the league.
People often comment on the calibre of the teams within the winning streak. However, since the draw at Leicester in August, Arsenal have beaten the likes of Southampton and Chelsea. They have also picked some decent results in the Champions League as well. They picked a valuable point in the Parc des Princes against PSG and convincingly beat Basle last time out.
It’s proably a cliché but every game in the Premier League is a hard game and regardless of whether it’s Arsenal pushing for the title, or Sunderland fighting to stay in the division, all that matters at the end of the day is three points.
Against Burnley, Arsenal played some nice football but came up against a well organised and drilled Burnley side, who are difficult to break down. However, whether it be through luck or perseverance, Arsenal took the 3 points and were still criticised for their inability to push home their advantage sooner.
It was the same against Swansea. People described the result as ‘Arsenal just scrapped through with the win’ and to be fair a 3-2 scoreline does correlate with that statement. Although, you have to remember Swansea have just recruited Bob Bradley and a new manager always gives a team a boost and can be a tricky fixture.
In the past I have been critical of Arsenal. They have often frustrated me with their inability to be consistent with their performances in the league. One week they will complete dominate and tear apart a team in a poetic fashion. Then the next week they are just lackluster and don’t seem to have a plan B.
For me, that is the main difference I can see with Arsene Wenger’s squad this season. They look like they have evolved and look capable beating teams using the old fashion ‘smash & grab’ tactics. That’s why I believe the victory against Burnley may be the pivotal moment in the season that Arsenal fans look back on if they do win the Premier League.
Arsene’s mandate does require his teams to win in style, but in the modern game if you’re going to win the title, you sometimes need to be able to adapt your style of play according to the way the game is going and I think Arsenal have evolved and are going to be a real threat this season.