During his time at Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger has only lost six of the 44 North London derbies he has been a part of. If there was any time for Arsenal to prove their title credentials, it would be with a satisfying win in tomorrow’s game against Tottenham. Arsenal has won four of their last five meetings with their local rivals, including both of their meetings in the league last season.
The Gunners have not had a bad start to the Premier League season, but things could be better. One of only two sides still undefeated in the league this season (the other is Chelsea), they sit in 4th place with two wins and three draws. The draws against Leicester and Manchester City could have been wins if Arsenal kept tighter at the back, so making sure no repeats of the mistakes that happened in these games will be important this Saturday.
Resilience has been shown this season by Arsenal, after coming back from 2-0 down against Everton to draw 2-2 and picking up a good 3-0 win away at Aston Villa last time out.
Arsenal fans will be hoping their side repeats their performance from the Villa game this weekend. Their passing was accurate with a 90% passing success rate, they were dominant in the air with 79% aerial success, and they had a possession percentage of 71%. They were effective at creating goal scoring opportunities from through balls and from the flanks and they were strong at finishing.
Playing the German Mesut Ozil behind Englishman Danny Welbeck worked perfectly as it helped Arsenal score three goals within the first half of this game. Ozil is beginning to show his value that he is a key player in the squad, forming a good combination with Welbeck which could become deadly force and a big problem for opposition defences in the future.
After picking up his first goal in Arsenal colours against Villa, fans will hope Welbeck can continue his goal scoring, as he has been dubbed by some to follow the same path as Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
Tottenham haven’t had a satisfying win since the second game of the season and Arsenal should exploit their mistakes with Ozil and Welbeck to pick up a vital three points. A dominant win against Spurs will show the skill class between the two sides and can prove to some doubters that always think Arsenal will be out of the title race come February time.
Arsenal had a horrendous record against the Premier League’s top clubs last season and humiliating defeats at Chelsea, Liverpool and City ended their hopes of winning their first Premier League title since 2004. So far this season though, Arsenal have achieved a home point against Manchester City, which can be seen as two points off a title rival, proving their own title credentials even further.
The Gunners may have been knocked out of the League Cup mid-week after losing 2-1 at home against Southampton, but this shouldn’t damage the confidence of the side in the league.
Not only is this a must win game because it’s the North London Derby, but also because their next two games, vs Galatasaray in the Champions League and Chelsea in the Premier League, are tough and not far apart from one another. This close game proximity may take its toll on the side and could ultimately cost them points in the league later if they don’t win. Winning the game against Chelsea, a fellow title contender, as well as the game this weekend would prove their title credentials even further as well and sending some of the doubters straight.
Yes, there is still a long way to go in the season but any time is the right time for Arsenal to prove their worth and title credentials.