Arsenal maintained pressure on title favourites Manchester City with a pragmatic victory over Burnley at the Emirates Stadium. We look at the big talking points.
The race is on again
After 12 matches played, the Gunners are poised for a consecutive Premier League title challenge. The club’s only league reverse this campaign was due to a contentious goal at Newcastle last week, and the team have coped admirably with recent injury setbacks.
While the football hasn’t been at last season’s scintillating best, Mikel Arteta is crafting a markedly more resilient and controlled version of his Arsenal project.
Trossard’s milestone goal
Leandro Trossard enjoyed the honour of scoring the 1000th Arsenal goal at our home stadium. The January signing continues to excel at Arsenal achieving 15 goal involvements since joining for a bargain £27m.
Trossard has also nurtured a great on-field synergy with Bukayo Saka; remarkably, the England winger has assisted all the Belgian’s seven goals for the Gunners thus far.
This season, Oleksandr Zinchenko has found it more challenging to influence play in his specialist left-back role as opposing coaches learn how to counter the inverted tactic. In addition, Kai Havertz will probably never support Zinchenko so effectively as a box-to-box Granit Xhaka (transferred in the summer).
However, the Ukraine captain reminded fans of his supreme technical ability this week, showcasing excellent defensive performances and two outstanding volleys on target, the latter of which registered a goal yesterday.
A welcome break
As major players Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, Ben White, and Emile Smith Rowe nurse injuries, the international break brings a vital 14-day rest-and-recuperation period.
When club football resumes, Arsenal faces ten games in 37 days for the remainder of 2023 across domestic and European competition. Arteta requires the services of every fit player in his squad to navigate the busy schedule, which includes top-six away fixtures at Villa Park and Anfield.
Much more to come
We have a different Arsenal right now: a side growing in maturity and looking to peak come the Spring. Player resources are significantly deeper; recent squad signings Trossard, Jorginho, and Jakub Kiwior all contributing to a successful run.
Statement summer acquisition Declan Rice is a midfield revelation, and we still have the best of Jesus, Odegaard, and Thomas Partey to look forward to. One or two more incoming purchases could also materialise during the new year transfer window, adding further anticipation for supporters.