It would only be a matter of time until Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea honeymoon would come to an end.
Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to underperform in the Manchester United role despite being rewarded with a new contract. Arsenal are on the up, and any further slip-ups could open the door to the top four.
Arsenal opened the season without several key players and unsurprisingly lost the opening three matches to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes were all unwell or injured and Takehiro Tomiyasu was yet to sign.
However, after the close of the transfer window, the new right-back acquired and players returning to the team, Arsenal have suddenly become one of the form sides in the league.
White and Gabriel have formed a solid partnership and with the additions of Tomiyasu and Aaron Ramsdale adding to Kieran Tierney, the Gunners suddenly have a sound defence.
Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard’s return with a new attacking system has seen more than 70 shots taken in just 4 games, all of them being victories.
Manchester United added a ridiculous level of talent to the side in Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho. Chelsea spent big on Romelu Lukaku. Yet the tests have come and gone and they both remain unconvincing as challengers to Liverpool and Manchester City.
“I don’t think I’ve seen four teams in the history of the Premier League that would be better than the current top 4. And I don’t think I’ve seen the Premier League so good in terms of the quality of the teams,” said Gary Neville on Sky Sports midway through September.
“Perhaps the four best teams in the world are gathered in England.”
Since, Manchester United have lost to Young Boys in the Champions League, West Ham in the League Cup and Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Chelsea meanwhile scraped through on penalties in the League Cup vs Villa. Lost at home to Manchester City in the league and lost to an unimpressive Juventus side in Europe.
Tuchel has shown at both Borussia Dortmund and PSG that eventually the spark fizzles out. Granted, it has been less than a year in west London, but his abrasive nature could be beginning to show.
Solskjaer has a far better squad than is currently showing. United were tipped to be possible challengers with Ronaldo’s arrival but if anything, the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani, three top performers from last season, have suffered as a result. The side lacks balance.
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Should both coaches fail to come through this period, and Arsenal continue to build momentum with games against Brighton, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa to come the league could look very different in a number of weeks.
Top six is the target for Arsenal. Get back into Europe and progress. But should an opportunity present itself, this group of Gunners are showing a desire which has been lacking from sides of the recent past. Underestimate them at your peril.
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