After another summer of substantial investment and backing into Mikel Arteta’s concept, Arsenal football club start to the season has been nothing short of fantastic.
Six wins in seven games puts the team atop the table, with their lone loss this season coming at the hands of Manchester United.
Despite expectations of a “easy start,” the Gunners have picked up maximum points against Crystal Palace and Brentford, two teams they lost to last season.
Even though Arsenal fixtures have been easy so far and there are many more difficult hurdles ahead, till now the team has made significant progress which is a great Arsenal news for all their fans.
So impressive was their 3-0 victory against the Bees on Sunday, manager Thomas Frank backed Arsenal to challenge Manchester City for the title: “They are top of the table so you cannot argue with that, they have done brilliantly,” he said.
“Looking at the quality, they must be title contenders.
“From what I’ve seen in the seven games, I think they’ve been very good: they’ve won fair and square in six and the other game [Manchester United] could have gone either way.”
However, there are remarkable parallels between Arteta’s players and Pep Guardiola’s in their possible Premier League title challenge.
According to Twitter user MarkrStats’ numbers, the two teams have identical defensive lines and apply similar amounts of pressure to their opponents.
Arsenal’s PPDA is somewhat lower than Man City’s, implying that their opponents can complete fewer passes before being forced to defend, implying that they press harder – around eight to City’s 10.
Meanwhile, the high line is comparable and is one of the two highest in the league.
The graph reveals that City have a higher line at 52.5 metres, while Arsenal have about 52 metres.
It suggests both look to suffocate their opponents with a high press and high line to keep help retain the ball out of possession, allowing them to sustain pressure.
This resemblance suggests that Arsenal might fight for the crown, and one major alteration may have made it possible.
The addition of Gabriel Jesus, a tireless worker, throughout the summer has facilitated this severe pressure over the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season.
It remains to be seen whether they can sustain such a challenge, given the severity of their struggles and consistency with their quality.
However, the mid-season break makes this a one-of-a-kind Premier League season, so dismissing Arteta’s group at this point would be a massive error.