Before last week’s draw at Crystal Palace, Arsenal had won their past eleven games in all competitions. Fans are starting to feel like the frustrating last few years of the Arsene Wenger reign is now behind them. However, that is a very premature assessment. Emery’s men are yet to defeat any title contenders nor have they faced any elite team in Europe.
The season started with Arsenal losing 2-0 at home to ManCity followed by a 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge. They have since beaten West Ham, Cardiff, Newcastle, Vorskla, Everton, Brentford, Watford, Qarabag, Arsenal, Leicester and Sporting Lisbon. This is hardly footballing royalty. Let’s not forget that under Arsene Wenger in the past few years, Arsenal often had amazing patches of good form against weaker opposition, only to come down crashing against better teams.
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Unai Emery seems to be onto something with his re-energized Arsenal team. He has brought in the quietly impressive Lucas Torreira in midfield, who is doing so well that Aaron Ramsey has not been offered a new Arsenal contract. Guendouzi is a young French holding midfielder brought in for the future but who has played a significant part in the beginning of the season. The defence is looking better and last but not least, he seems to be able to get the best out of Mezut Ozil.
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Liverpool will be a stern test of Emery and his player’s capabilities. If they do not choke against a genuine title contender, this weekend could be a springing board for a legitimate title challenge. Arsenal fans will be hopeful the clash against Liverpool does not bring back the same old frustrations too often seen in big games.
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