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The reasons behind Arsenal’s great start

Posted by Daniel Stone on October 4, 2007

Last season Arsenal arguably played the most attractive football in the Premiership but were constantly let down by their finishing in front of goal. Other factors that influenced Arsenal finishing fourth last year include;

– Being bullied out of games when playing against physical teams (mainly when having to play away to the northern clubs).

– Went through an injury crisis, most notably with Gallas, Henry and Van Persie missing chunks of the season.

– Didn’t fully adapt to playing at the Emirates.

– Bottom line is they were not consistent enough.

This season there are a number of factors which have resulted in Arsenal topping the Premiership as well as their Champions League group. But if you have a look at Arsenal’s fixtures so far this season you will see why this has had a major influence on their top form. Football is all about confidence, and Arsenal are buzzing. Take strikers for instance, when on a high, a striker will try a shot from 25 yards and hit the back of the net whereas the same player on a low can’t hit a barn door (Shevchenko is a great example!). 

Before the season started Arsenal took part in the Emirates Cup in which they played against Paris St German and Inter de Milano, both of these games they won. This was a great booster for them as they had previously stuttered at the Emirates. 

These have been the games they have played in the Premiership so far this season: 

Arsenal 2 – 1 Fulham

Blackburn 1 – 1 Arsenal

Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester City

Arsenal 3 – 1 Portsmouth

Tottenham 1 – 3 Arsenal

Arsenal 5 – 0 Derby

West Ham 0 – 1 Arsenal 

What does this tell us? Arsenal have been quite lucky having played 4 of their first 6 games at home. They are now making the most of playing in a big stadium like the Emirates and by winning all their home games their confidence is high. This has resulted in them going to places like West Ham and Tottenham full of confidence and them winning games which last season they didn’t!  

As well as this, Henry’s departure has so far galvanised the Arsenal youngsters who are playing out of their skin, especially young Cesc who has been absolutely class. The latter having recently stated that Henry’s departure has helped the young Gunners who were intimidated by him. 

“Henry intimidated us. He is a great player but it was not easy to play alongside him. We were a bit inhibited – dependent on everything that he wanted to do. Everyone was saying that this year without Henry we would be nowhere. That has motivated everyone.”

The question is how long will Arsenal’s confidence be on an up – it takes just one game to send their confidence the opposition direction.

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