The opening defeat to Liverpool could have been the beginning of a very long season, yet, late additions to the squad and a 19-game unbeaten streak showed that there are few teams better than Arsenal when their backs are against the wall.
Taking the whole season into perspective and not just the negativity brought by the two away defeats, it looks a good season for Arsenal: fewer injuries, a stronger squad mentally, with depth and players coming back from the death, like Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain. However, challenging for the title could be too much for Arsenal, against Chelsea and Liverpool who both are free of European football.
In Europe, Arsenal finishing top of the group showed that they were may finally be able to compete with the best, and they have the opportunity to prove that, as they face an in-form Bayern with the second leg finally at home.
Player of the season (so far): Laurent Koscielny
Although Alexis Sanchez is having a terrific season in his new false nine role, there really is an Arsenal with and without the French defender. Always reliable and consistent, Koscielny hasn’t put a foot wrong all season, and he is the one player that Arsenal can’t afford to lose, his partnership with Mustafi has been very promising in the last months.
Predicted finish: 2nd and a solid run in Europe
Chelsea will more than likely hit a blip this season, same for Liverpool but without European football, they may have the edge over the Gunners, Arsenal, on the other hand, have to play in the Champions League, which might make them come up short for the league title. Although they may miss out on the League, I firmly believe that Arsenal will beat Bayern and go further than in recent years in the Champions League.
Best performance: Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea
No surprise here, the masterclass at the Emirates where Arsenal tore Chelsea apart was the best the Gunners have played. The Gunners showcased all that is good about the club: pace, attacking football and quality going forward.
Worst game: Everton 2-1 Arsenal
Not the loss to Manchester City because you can lose to Pep away, it happens, the Everton game was worse to me, as it was totally avoidable. The loss ended a big streak and once again, Arsenal were beaten by an out-of-form Koeman team playing from second balls all game long.
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