Arsenal: How Gunners Became Early Season Pace-Setters

Arsenal Season

Arsenal supporters left the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon basking in yet another derby victory over their bitter north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The scoreline and result keep Mikel Arteta’s side at the top of the Premier League, with 21 points from their opening eight matches. While many expected Antonio Conte’s Spurs side to provide a sterner test than they were able to muster on the day, the end result was a familiar one, as it means Arsenal have lost only one of their last 21 home league games against Tottenham.

As optimism surrounding the club continues to grow, we analyse the key factors behind Arsenal’s blistering early season form.

How Arsenal are Reaping the Rewards of Patience and Key Transfers to top the Premier League

Patience in Mikel Arteta is now Blossoming into Performances

A football club’s board displaying patience and tolerance towards its first-team’s manager through both good times and bad is a commodity rarely seen in the English top-flight these days.

As such, Arsenal’s loyalty towards Mikel Arteta throughout his days at the helm can be seen as something of an exception to the rule these days.

The Spanish manager has been through periods of severe scrutiny since leaving the comfort of his position as Pep Guardiola’s deputy at Manchester City for the top job at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019. Having failed to guide his team to a place in this season’s Champions League, Arteta would have suffered more calls for his head if his team had not started this campaign in such fine form.

Patience is now starting to pay off for Arteta and his players. The 40-year-old has out together a team with a fabulous blend of youth and experience, which was showcased in full on Saturday. Experienced heads Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey both scored fine goals from midfield. Ahead of that duo, talented youngsters Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all showed why the future is looking very bright indeed for the club’s fans.

The Manchester City Connection is Delivering in North London

Another positive to come of Arteta’s decision to leave Manchester City for the Arsenal job is the lasting connection he continues to enjoy with his old club and its manager.

Pep Guardiola reluctantly allowed Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus to join Arteta in north London for the promise of increased status and game time this season and beyond.

Zinchenko was harshly viewed as someone who was fortunate to play alongside so many big stars of the men’s game during his time at Manchester City. In his new surroundings, he is now heralded as more of a technician on the ball, and his strength of character and leadership qualities are also being more strongly valued. He has been essential to Arsenal’s performances.

Like Zinchenko, Brazil forward Jesus has also delivered for Arteta. Arsenal’s new number nine netted again in their latest victory over Spurs, and now has five goals in eight starts for the club. In making such a fast goalscoring start, Jesus has also been able to silence his detractors, who criticised him for supposedly being a backup centre forward in a Manchester City team that had no centre forwards last season.

If Zinchenko, Jesus and the rest can continue putting in such eye-catching performances under Arteta’s guidance between now and the end of the season, the current feeling of optimism among the red half of north London can lead this team to transformative new heights.