Is everyone enjoying some international-related downtime? It’s still football, yes, and for the English supporting Arsenal fans there is the chance to see Bukayo Saka in action, but does Andorra and Hungary tickle the tastebuds?
It’s just not the Premier League.
With a while to go until the team are in action against Crystal Palace on October 18 (there is still some Arsenal women action, fortunately) the time for reflection of the season gone by is upon us.
Only seven games into the 2021/22 campaign, which equates to 18.4% of the league campaign, not that anyone asked, there is still plenty of time to go for Arsenal to improve, or even worsen. Fingers crossed it’s the former, of course.
5 disappointments of the season so far under Mikel Arteta as his Arsenal side sit 11th in the Premier League table after seven matches
Glancing at the table and seeing ten points from a possible 21 obtained isn’t especially reassuring, then again Mikel Arteta’s side are still only four points off the top four (not happening) and also four points off the top six (a possibility of happening).
There have been ups and down already with small sample sizes to deduce from given it’s felt like two entirely different teams have featured so far, as well as memorable moments to savour. North London Derby wins are always special.
Just as there have been huge positives to take individually as well as some reassuring aspects collectively, there have also been some disappointing sidenotes from the season so far; a few areas that have been underwhelming and sometimes surprisingly so.
With plenty of time for elements of the season so far to change and for the narratives to flip, five stand out from the seven games played thus far.
1. Atrocious Start After Strong End to Last Season
There was undoubted mitigation. No discounting that; Arteta went into the new season with the Amazon Prime cameras capturing all the drama unfold in glorious 4K format.
Not only were there injuries galore to key personnel in the group, a bout of COVID-19 struck the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, unsettling an already difficult start to the campaign away at Brentford on a historic night for the Bees.
Under the Friday night floodlights and with a centre-forward making his Premier League debut, there was a lot that could have gone wrong. And, true to form, a lot did go wrong.
While the circumstances were unfavourable, given how strongly Arsenal finished the previous campaign with a team not too dissimilar from the one that secured four straight wins prior to the season concluding was disappointing. With a £50m signing at the back as well it added to that.
Everything did feel like it was working against Arsenal, for sure. Yet following that up with atrocious displays against Chelsea and Manchester City – two teams streaks ahead of Arsenal, of course – added to a glum mood that had been building from pre-season.
Results have since drastically improved with performances somewhat following suit. Nobody is going to forget the meekness of those opening three games though, with or without a team on show bursting with new arrivals.
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