Arsenal fans have been quieter recently after seeing their side’s brilliant 13-game unbeaten run come to an abrupt end last Sunday.
The Gunners went into their clash with Liverpool having gone unbeaten for each of their previous seven League games, alongside three Europa League victories and a 3-1 win over Brentford in the League Cup.
Yet Unai Emery’s men are working harder to do better this term and perhaps win one or two titles. As a result, there have been a lot of quiet Gunner supporters looking happier this term, as they can always be confident betting on their Premier League club as the North Londoners performance has been super-B in recent days.
And while Arsenal are surely embarking on a good run of form, those two losses at the beginning of the league season at the hands of reigning Premier League Champions Manchester City and rivals Chelsea, alongside defensive vulnerabilities, shows that it’s difficult to disagree with Merson’s claim.
Undoubtedly, it was always going to be hard for the Spanish tactician to hit the ground running immediately at the Emirates given he faced Manchester City and the Blues of Chelsea in his first two league matches, but the way in which his side were brushed aside by the Citizens suggested that Emery and his men were still a long way off challenging the big boys for the Premier League title.
Yes, the North Londoners performed much better immediately after Maurizio Sarri led Chelsea, but their defensive troubles showed up once again in conceding late on to Spanaird Marcos Alonso in a 3-2 loss at the Bridge – those two early season matches were an eye-opener for those Arsenal fans hoping for a quick change in fortunes at the Emirates Stadium.
That change in fortune has since happened in their 13-match unbeaten run, which has included some brilliant performances in victories over Merseyside club Everton and local rivals Fulham, but looking at the bigger picture, the caliber of opposition is not what the Gunners will be measured on – encounter with Jurgen klopp’s Liverpool draw with Milner on fire gave football fans a clear picture as to where Arsenal are at.
In fact, it can be argued that the team got a bit fortunate during that winning streak, as former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech did his own bit in the 2-0 win over Everton, while Watford performed very well before conceding a late own goal to eventually go down 2-0 to Arsenal – include a Leicester City team that could have easily been three goals up before world cup winner Mesut Ozil equalized a week ago, and situations could have been so tough.
Yes, Arsenal deserve a lot of credit for the winning streak they have been on in coming out victorious in 11 straight games and staying unbeaten in their last 12 matches, but bigger and extremely tougher tests await them, and there remain some major question marks, surely at the back, as to if they can come out victorious in those tests.
Thus, while Paul Merson did praise the tactician Unai Emery for the wonderful start he has made at the club since his appointment, things we have seen on the pitch so far shows that it’s difficult to disagree with Merson’s predication that the North London club won’t beat the top sides in the country.