With a 2-0 win against Liverpool, Arsenal are now 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League. It is such a contrast to last season where at this exact stage, Arsenal were languishing in 7th place, 11 points behind leaders at the time, Manchester United. So why exactly are the Gunners doing so well, proving critics alike so wrong?
Stability – One of the main reasons Arsenal are doing so well is stability – compared to previous seasons, this is the first where they’ve started the season off without losing a single key player. It makes that much of a difference as manager, Arsene Wenger has said so many times, departures like Robin van Persie’s destabilizes the squad as well as lowering confidence and morale. Along with this, the new arrivals of last season such as Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud have all adapted to life in England and are now pushing on for an even better second season. It’s not only the squad which has remained and been strengthened – Wenger has stayed on too. In a summer where the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all got new managers, Arsenal for a change are the most stable of last season’s top four and the difference it’s making is there for all to see.
Mesut Ozil - Arsenal not only smashed their transfer record this summer but also bought a player regarded by many as the best playmaker in the world in Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. Blessed with immense creativity, technique and talent, Ozil’s arrival was a signal of intent – that Arsenal are willing to spend big money and can still attract top talent. The magnitude of the German’s signing was enough for Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho to cancel Demba Ba’s proposed loan deal to Arsenal. Ozil’s arrival has also lifted the squad – bringing the confidence levels up of both players and fans while instilling a sense of fear into the opposition. And with the way the German’s Arsenal career has been going so far, having improved Arsenal’s play significantly, £42.5m seems like a bargain as each day passes.
The form of Aaron Ramsey – Who would have thought in 2012 that the majority of Arsenal fans would prefer Ramsey on the pitch rather than the homegrown, Jack Wilshere? The Welshman has been in monstrous form with 6 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 league games, repaying the faith Wenger had in him for so long despite his initial struggles coming back from a broken leg. It might be a cliche but Ramsey is like a new signing, providing drive, creativity and a new feature to his game – goals – which is also taking the pressure off Giroud whenever he isn’t scoring. Having already won the Premier League Player of the Month award for the September, if Ramsey keeps this form up for the rest of the season, Arsenal might finally end their trophy drought.