With eight rounds in this season’s Premier League roaster done and dusted, Arsenal have broken into third place by beating Bournemouth 1-0 at the Emirates, courtesy of an early David Luiz header. Of course, the Gunners needed that bit of luck which, surprisingly enough, did come their way this time.
Leicester City’s defeat at Anfield, coupled with another embarrassing thrashing Tottenham Hotspur suffered, this time at the hands of Brighton and Hove Albion, played into Arsenal’s hands. Even the Premier League champions, Manchester City, had an extremely bad day at the office. Their crown is now thoroughly shaken, after Wolverhampton Wanderers left the Etihad Stadium with the three points in their pockets and two goals in Ederson’s net. It feels a bit strange to say this, but even that may eventually help Arsenal, even if only as added motivation with the gap between the Gunners and City now standing at a single point.
Naturally, there is a long way to go yet. May 2020 is still far away, and there are 30 rounds to be played.
Nonetheless, there are several positives to be taken from the period behind us. The defence has been known to falter again, with the partnership of David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos leaving a lot to be desired early on. But with Calum Chambers, a proper defender, included in the back four instead of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, that section of the team looks quite different. Hector Bellerin is probably worried about his place in the team, and that is certainly how it should be.
Nicolas Pepe has taken his time in terms of adaptation to the new surroundings following his £72 million move from Lille, and it is to be hoped that the 24-year-old will chip in more upfront and relieve some of the pressure currently residing on the shoulders of the phenomenal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka are proving real gems in Unai Emery’s squad, talented youngsters ready and willing to jump in and do some hard work when called upon.