As we head into the second-half of the season, we can analyse Arsenal’s performance thus far. A positive start with big wins over Chelsea and a top of the group spot in the Champions League, along with scrappy away wins at Burnley and Sunderland offered hope of a new, more invigorated title-challenge.
Recent weeks, however, have seen the Gunners slip up and there have been accusations that the early season form was merely a false dawn and that this Arsenal outfit may fall short once again. Here we take a look at the stand-out performances and look at whether Arsenal have any realistic chance of achieving any major silverware in 2017.
Player of the Season (so far): Laurent Koscielny
Often overlooked as one of the league’s top centre-halves, Koscielny has once again been in imperious form. A slight dip in the team’s defensive displays has been felt since Mustafi’s injury, however, Koscielny has maintained his good form, all the while leading the back four. Wenger and Arsenal need to ensure that they keep their on-field captain fit if they have any hope of a title challenge. Koscielny and Sanchez are essential to Arsenal’s chances of winning any silverware.
Performance of the Season: 3-0 Chelsea
The obvious choice, yet one difficult to look past. With goals from Walcott, Sanchez and Ozil, Arsenal were at their terrifying best as they hammered the current best team in the league. Going forward, Arsenal were untouchable but at the back was where the Gunners showed serious performance. The combination of Koscielny and Mustafi looked incredibly solid and completely extinguished the threat of Diego Costa. It was Arsenal’s best performance in recent years.
Worst performance of the season: Man City 2-1 Arsenal
It’s tough to remember a second half as bad as the one shown from the Gunners at the Etihad. After the same scoreline at Goodison the week before, Arsenal capitulated to leave themselves nine points behind Chelsea in the title race. A truly gut-wrenching performance considering Walcott scored the opener.
Predicted PL and CL finish: 1st and a quarter-final
The month of January is the real test of Arsenal’s title credentials. After a slip up against Bournemouth, Arsenal can and need to win the remaining games, the run of very winnable games is in stark contrast to the tricky run of fixtures of their West London rivals.
Good form could see them see off a Bayern side not as formidable as they once were and making the quarter-final is certainly and possibility. It’s a bold predication, however, there are certainly more twists and turns left in this title race that with the right players back fit, Arsenal can take advantage of.
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