Much has been made of Arsenals defensive resilience so far this season. Is it down to the arrival of Steve Bould to the 1st team staff? Most likely, but what else is different?
Arsenal have only conceded 3 goals in all competitions so far this term. Two goalkeeping errors and 1 penalty that was in actual fact a trip outside the box.
Compare this to last season where at this stage, the Gunners had shipped 15 goals, including that dark day at Old Trafford (Excluding the CL qualifiers vs Udinese). The trip to City this year was a far more enjoyable watch than this weekend 12 months ago where Arsenal slipped to a 4-3 defeat away at Blackburn where Koscielny netted an own goal…He’ll be a lot happier with his performance this year after leveling for the reds in a thrilling encounter at The Etihad.
By this time last year, Arsenal had played 7 fixtures and fielded a starting back line comprised of 6 different combinations along with injuries and suspensions leading to mass overhauls during games. The Udinese home fixture saw Gibbs replaced by Djourou who was then replaced by Jenkinson & Koscielny was replaced after 16 minutes in the home opener vs Liverpool by youth team player Ignasi Miquel through injury. An opening of a season to forget.
This time around, the back line has had a consistent look to it and would have done so again yesterday had Thomas Vermaelen not been struck down by a virus. The only changes of note so far this season has been the swapping of Mannone and Szczesny due to injuries to the Pole, Mannone however has staked his own claim for the #1 jersey with some assured performances.
So is it luck then? Arsenal couldn’t have had much worse luck than last season defensively so its been a revelation so far this time around. Whatever it is, something is definitely clicking this time around. Arsenal remain unbeaten so far this season and the last time they beat Southampton 6-1 at home, they went on to become the Invincibles…
Kos and Per talk about the strength in Arsenals defense this season: