Why Arsenal are well equipped to finally win the league again
There’s something brewing at Arsenal. After having last won the Premier League title in 2003/04, the Gunners appear to be well equipped to mount a more serious title push after last season’s well documented collapse at the crucial stages of the campaign. But what exactly has changed?
Defensive stability is key
One of the biggest factors behind the North London giants’ strong start to the current campaign is undoubtedly down to their defensive stability. Towards the back end of last season, injuries resulted in an exposed backline once again, but with increased competition thanks to some shrewd recruitment, Mikel Arteta’s side have the personnel to deputise should any key members of the defensive unit find themselves on the treatment table.
Additionally, new players who perhaps struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League have had a pre-season under their belts. As such, the historically frail backline of yesteryear under the likes of Arsene Wenger is now capable of holding onto leads, making the Gunners a popular football bet at 7/2 for many fans aiming to predict the winner of the Premier League this season, although Manchester City are the current favourites with a price of 5/6.
Midfield engine room has been upgraded
Another notable reason why Arsenal are a more solid outfit this time around is due to the protection in front of the defence. Now, with more bite in midfield, the Gunners are a tougher nut to crack. They appear to have the know-how required to be able grind out results and even score late on in matches. As highlighted by last-gasp winners against the likes of Luton Town, this is an Arsenal side that doesn’t know when it’s beaten.
This much-needed additional layer of security to a side that looked somewhat fragile at times last season is proving to be vitally important. As the campaign progresses and the defensive unit becomes more in-sync, the title contenders’ powerful defensive rearguard will surely become even more difficult to breach.
Arsenal have the mental strength to deliver
Last season, particularly during the latter stages of it, Mikel Arteta’s team appeared to run out of ideas on occasions and simply failed to find another gear when it really mattered in a campaign that will be remembered for its late-season stumble. This season, though, with the failure to win last season’s prize still fresh in their minds, Arsenal aren’t as mentally fragile.
In fact, 30% of Arsenal’s Premier League goals have been scored beyond the 75th minute at the time of writing. This is therefore a side that is evidently maturing, they’re thriving under the pressure when required, and they’re becoming an even stronger force to be reckoned with in the process.
While nobody associated with the club will be getting too carried away with the team’s notable evolution, it’s impossible not to be a tad excited if you’re of an Arsenal persuasion. The Gunners are still here and fighting, and rivals like Manchester City quite clearly need to be at their very best to stop them.