So after not quite a quarter of League games played and not quite half of all of our Premiership opponents played once, where do we stand? The table says 4th, above the spuds on goal difference and only two points behind the three-way joint leaders. The enforced interlull break gives us time to have a look at the progress of Unai Emery’s new Arsenal.
After two tricky opening fixtures against City and the chavs, we’ve had a run of 6 games that many predicted had a good potential chance of reaping a full 18 points and that’s exactly what’s happened. Has it been straightforward, maybe not?
I keep seeing articles written by analyst types who predict that Arsenal cannot keep defying the xG or expected goals stats. In at least three of our matches we’ve been predicted, using expected goals, to have drawn or lost games: these were Everton, Watford and Fulham.
In two of these, Everton and Watford, it’s easy to see how we might have drawn or lost both games on the balance of play. To keep beating the xG a team has to show superlative finishing by taking chances (difficult and easy) and also be a little fortunate not to have the opposition capitalise on theirs. The Fulham game was a little different as Fulham had many efforts which were hopeful and dire in equal measure.
Enough waffle, the point being that we’ve pulled through in tight games and secured the points without playing that brilliantly. To continue and consolidate our march up the table, we’ll need to step up a gear.
How are other possible top 6 opponents getting on?
Abu Dhabi FC
City have carried on where they left off last season; in fact some analysts suggest they’ve improved. They’ve certainly made light of missing De Bruyne through injury. The borefest 0-0 against ‘Pool showed that Pep fears Liverpool after getting caned twice last season. Enough, in fact, to set his team’s stall out with the main aim of not conceding.
Klippety has Liverpool firing again, though that front three of Salah, Firmino and Mané haven’t quite been banging the goals in at last term’s rate as of yet.
Blue London Oilers
Have, perhaps, been carried a little by Hazard’s sparkling form, though have also had the easiest start of the top 6.
Not really started that well but are on the same points as us. Their squad looks a little threadbare with Poxyttino unable to spend in the summer. Let’s hope their new ground opening at Christmas gives them a bad present rather than a boost.
Newton Heath Wealth Merchants
Their start to this season has been very amusing. Long may it continue.
Anyway, back to the poll – where do you think we’ll end up come May?
Admittedly it’s such early days that any answer is more likely to be a guess or hope than anything else………..
Up the Arse.