Draws are Halting Arsenal's Progress, but Overall Picture Looks Great
Had you offered Arsenal fans the chance to be 5th in the league and just three points off a top four spot in November I am pretty sure most of them would have taken it, they would have been foolish not to. The next few years are going to be fascinating at the club, and this season was always going to be the most difficult for them. They have a long term plan under new boss Unai Emery, but also need short term results to keep the fans happy. Right now, Emery is delivering both and giving The Gunners plenty of optimism for the future.
Arsenal have lost just two of their opening 12 games in the Premier League, and those two defeats came in their first two games. That means they are ten unbeaten in the league, with seven wins and three draws. Their three draws have come in their most recent three games, with the latest being a disappointing 1-1 draw against Wolves at home on Sunday. However, despite just three points in their last three games, Arsenal fans should be thrilled with where they are in the standings right now, and massively looking forward to a future under Emery.
With Tottenham faltering a little and having the on/off move to their new stadium hanging over them, and Manchester United struggling, there is a chance that Arsenal could bounce back into the top four this season, something that would certainly be considered as an over-achievement in Emery's first year at the club. Eventually he wants Arsenal to be regulars in the top four, like we have seen in the past, but this season wasn't required to be the start of that, it would simply be a bonus.
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There is a lot to like about how Arsenal are doing their business this season, and there is great hope for the future. Emery appears to have installed a belief and confidence in his team and the fans, something that had been severely lacking over the past couple of years under Arsene Wenger. There is of course a long way to go this season, and Emery's main aims are further afield, but the prospect of finishing in the top four this season must excite fans. Going into the international break, the bookmakers think that Arsenal have more chance of making the top four than Manchester United, and it is hard to disagree with them. The Gunners are priced up at 6/4 to make the top four, while United are available at 3/1 to do the same. The top four this season isn't the main aim, but it would certainly be the cherry on the top for Unai Emery.