For over 12 seasons Arsenal have had to get used to being always the bridesmaid and never the bride, as they consistently finished in the top 4 but rarely looked likely for the title. In a season where reigning champions Chelsea, and Manchester City, went off the boil, Liverpool and Manchester United were still in transition, Arsenal managed to close the gap at the top but were a world class striker away from winning the league. Here we examine Arsenal’s Premier League odds based on their form following the closure of the transfer window.
Not only have Arsenal remained unbeaten following the closure of the transfer window, but they have also enjoyed four back to back wins. The first of which was against Southampton, after initially going behind to an early Petr Čech own goal, the Gunners came back with a world class goal from Koscielny and a penalty from Cazorla in stoppage time to win 2-1 and take all 3 points.
This was followed by an away trip to Hull at the KCOM Stadium. Hull have had an impressive start to the season with caretaker manager Mike Phelan leading the Tigers to two wins in the first two fixtures (the first of which against reigning Premier League champions Leicester). However they were no match for Arsenal with two goals from Sánchez and one each from Walcott and Xhaka. Robert Snodgrass’s penalty was nothing more than a consolation.
Without question, the most impressive performance by Arsenal so far this season was a 3-0 win over Chelsea on the 24th September. The Gunners were firing on all cylinders while the Blues looked lost at sea and seemed to be particularly missing their captain John Terry. Sanchez and Walcott scored within four minutes of each other, while a third from Özil all but finished the match before half time. Finally, Arsenal’s away trip to Burnley looked like it was heading for a 0-0 draw until Koscielny came to the rescue once again in the 93rd minute, which means that Arsenal head into the international break full of some much needed confidence.
After two group stage fixtures Arsenal are comfortably sitting joint top of group A. The Gunners would have been happy enough with an away draw with PSG which they followed up with a 2-0 home win over Basel. They then host Ludogorets Razgrad on October 19th before the return legs of the group stage. Overall Arsenal fans should be pleased at being handed a relatively easy group which they should progress from quite comfortably.
For all the talk about Arsenal lacking a world class striker (Giroud is good but has never looked consistent) Arsene Wenger made the signing of Lucas Pérez as the club’s new no. 9. However Pérez has only featured so far in an EFL Cup match against Nottingham Forest (in which he did score). Instead, Alexis Sánchez has found himself in a new position as the striker where he has found a new release and could prove himself to be the world class forward that Arsenal have been missing all along. Arsenal have also looked strong at the back with Laurent Koscielny leading the back 4 as captain in the absence of Per Mertesacker while the signing of Shkodran Mustafi looks like the ideal defensive partnership.