Arsenal managed to scrape their first win, and indeed their first goal of the season too, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang placed the ball over the goal-line in the 66th minute after a desperate scramble involving Nicolas Pepe on one side, and Brandon Williams and Tim Krul on the other. It seemed the goal could be disallowed at one point, with Aubameyang clearly in an offside position as Pepe fought with Williams for the ball, but the officials in the VAR room appeared to have judged that the ball came off the Manchester United loanee, which would obviously make Aubameyang’s position irrelevant.
Be that as it may, Arsenal have finally moved away from the zero on the scoreboard and away from the bottom of the Premier League table. With these three points, they are 16th after four rounds, though they could go down to 17th if Burnley surprise Everton at Goodison Park tonight (Monday). It was a relief to see the Gunners win for a change, but let’s be honest – how indicative of the season ahead was this victory? The answer seems obvious – not very much.
Leaving the Brentford one aside, Mikel Arteta and his team could have, perhaps, been excused for suffering defeats against Chelsea and Manchester City. Both of those teams are widely considered genuine title contenders, having won the Champions League and the Premier League last season, respectively, and signed a very expensive player each this summer.
But if that excuse is going to be used to play down those losses, than a barely scraped 1-0 win over newly promoted Norwich, in which the Canaries had chances of their own, cannot be a proper yardstick for the team’s form at the moment either. It’s certainly a morale booster and the three points are absolutely vital under the circumstances, but it feels far too early to be talking about a new leaf being turned. It requires a string of good results to climb back up the table now.
It’s Burnley away next, and it will be tough against the Clarets for sure. The Norwich win was a starting point and the team must take it as such, and plough on through the challenges ahead. A win at Turf Moor would be another step, arguably even bigger one, in the right direction, and coupled with a likely triumph over AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday the following week, it would also be a great buildup to the North London Derby on September the 26th.