A familiar start to the season and a familiar feeling for most Arsenal supporters, the season might look a little better at the moment after the 3-0 win over Manchester United but Arsenal didn’t have the best start to the season.
The 2-0 home loss to West Ham on the opening day of the season brought a lot of painful memories back, especially about the team not being ready and the calls for Wenger to be replaced were gaining momentum from some quarters of the supporters.
A gradual rise up the table
Arsenal though didn’t buckle under pressure and slowly but surely they got their groove back, the 2-1 win away to Crystal Palace was especially tough but that saw the return of Alexis Sanchez, who has been on fire ever since he returned after helping Chile win the Copa America in the off-season.
The Chilean is the heartbeat of the team, though the club has been hit by the injury of Jack Wilshere, yet again, who will miss out on a chunk of the season. The league season was going pretty decently for the Gunners until they came across the hurdle that is known as the UEFA Champions League.
A Champions League dilemma
Arsenal were given a relatively average group, they were paired with Bayern Munich but they Gunners should have expected to at least defeat the likes of Olympiakos and Dinamo Kiev, especially in the opening two games. But a familiar story of Arsenal underachieving or even taking their opponents lightly came out as they lost both games, the away game against Kiev and then a surprising home loss to the Greek club. This has dented Arsenal’s hopes of making it out of the Champions League group as they face Bayern in the next two games and only a miracle can save them.
We also saw how much of a problem the striker’s position is for Arsenal, with Giroud misfiring and even getting sent off against Kiev, Walcott was deployed in a striker’s role and he has done fairly well and has even scored a couple of goals, hopefully, he should continue in this position for the rest of the season as the Gunners could be looking to Walcott for more goals than Giroud.
One of the biggest talking points was the Chelsea-Arsenal derby and the Diego Costa-Laurent Koscielny-Gabriel Paulista fracas. The Gunners might have lost 2-0 and also had Gabriel red carded but they came out with a lot of support from all quarters and that could have been the game that gave them a little push in the Premier League.
A 5-2 mauling of Leicester saw them continue their rise up the table and their next test was a match against perennial rivals Manchester United but a whirlwind performance by Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil saw them brush aside the league leaders at that stage and now Arsenal sit just two points behind Manchester City in the Premier League.
The season is only eight games in and it already is one of the most unpredictable seasons till date. Arsenal might be doing well in the Premier League but the Champions League is a bit of a downer but if the Gunners win the Premier League, not many would grudge them an exit from the Champions League this season.