The Premier League season is underway, and while every single game is going to count for the Gunners, there’s no way of getting around it: they need to have a strong run of form at home if they want to be successful. They’ve struggled away from the Emirates for a few years now, whereas their ability to get the job done at home has consistently gotten them out of jail more times than we can count.
Arsenal have been credited with interest in Mario Lemina of Southampton, courtesy of The Telegraph.
Having started his professional career in Ligue 1 with Lorient back in 2012/13, Lemina moved to Olympique Marseille after two seasons , and his 50 performances – most of those very good – earned him a transfer to Juventus. The midfielder went there initially on loan, but the move was made permanent before the 2015/16 season had ended.
We’ve already taken a look at what Arsenal’s proposed start to their upcoming Premier League season is going to look like, and now, we’re going to take a look at what the conclusion could be. The Gunners are going to be involved in four competitions as we all know, but there’s certainly an argument to be made that none are more important than the Premier League.
West Ham 1-0 Arsenal
Just pitiful. There was no real fight and no real desire, to the point where we were left to wonder whether or not these players even want to secure Champions League football in the first place. The Hammers were a decent side this season but their aspirations weren’t nearly as high as Arsenal’s, and worse yet, the game so quickly after the half time interval. They just seemed to switch off and when you do that at such a high level like this, you’re obviously going to be punished.
Southampton 3-2 Arsenal
Arsenal 2-0 Southampton
Professional and efficient. Arsenal secured a pretty comfortable win over Southampton, which is what you’d expect from a fixture like this. Mesut Ozil showcased his return to form, and the starting XI just seemed to click in all the right places. With the top four race being as tight as it is you can’t really afford too many major slip ups, so this result was a welcome relief. You could argue that they probably could’ve been a little bit more clinical, but at least the three points were put on the board.
Arsenal 5-1 Bournemouth
In all honesty, Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Saturday was not all that convincing. If the Terriers would have had slightly more quality they really could have got something from the game. It was the story of Huddersfield’s season, as they toiled but lacked a cutting edge in attack to really trouble the Arsenal defence. On another day, Arsenal could have suffered another disappointing away day.
All that mattered was three points
In the end, all that mattered was that the Gunners ending a six-game winless run on their travels that dated back to November. Arsenal have put in some truly lacklustre displays on their travels of late, so to record a victory in Yorkshire has at least stopped the rot when it comes to poor away results.
I am afraid to say my fears from my article prior to the Southampton-Arsenal game came to pass. I stated that I believed that the Saints could enjoy a new boss bounce, which happened.
I also wrote about the Gunners having to field a makeshift central defensive partnership. In truth, both of these issues were not hard to spot, but I thought that the Gunners newfound toughness might have got them through. Unfortunately, it did not and the team from north London suffered a 3-2 defeat at St Marys.
Arsenal face a trip to struggling Southampton later today and it is a game on paper that the Gunners should comfortably win. The home sides form and confidence are currently very poor, but there are some issues that suggest this could be a banana skin of a match.
The new boss bounce
One of those issues is the prospect of the Saints prospects improving because of the appointment of new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Austrian has had just one game in charge of the team from the south coast, a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff.
On Sunday afternoon, Arsenal visit Southampton’s St Mary’s in the Premier League, as the Gunners look to maintain their long unbeaten run.
Southampton have struggled for wins this season and the Saints are currently 19th place in the table. The Saints have failed to win in 12 Premier League outings. However, new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is highly-rated and is expected to improve the home sides fortunes. Sunday’s game will be the Austrian’s first home match in charge of his new team.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery spoke to the press after the Europa League win against Qarabag on Thursday, with the accent being on the Southampton trip on Sunday.
On the Eurpoean break helping the team recover between games
The players have a habit of playing a lot of matches per week, month, year, and they are ready to play on Sunday, on Wednesday against Tottenham at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup, on Saturday against Burnley, then Brighton, then Liverpool. The team needs every player, and rest and recovery between matches.