As we enter the international break, Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League table.
After an opening day loss against Aston Villa and some fans calling for Arsene Wenger to be fired due to a lack of activity in the transfer market, there aren’t many people who predicted that they'd be the pacesetters at this point in the season.
So, what has changed since last season and the opening day of the 2013/14 campaign?
Arsenal have a reputation as a selling club, letting players such as Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Alex Song and Robin van Persie go since 2011.
Every summer it is the same story for Arsenal fans, losing their best players to teams such as Barcelona, however this season no clubs swooped to snatch Arsenal’s brightest players.
Apart from squad stability, managerial stability had been important to Arsenal this season. For the first time ever, the top three teams last season all changed their managers.
One major factor is the acquisition of Ozil. He is arguably one of the best playmakers in the world and has one goal and four assists in just six games for the Gunners.
His sale prompted criticism by Real Madrid fans and players have publicly spoken to express their disappointment. Whilst he is a world-class player, I don’t think it is just his talents on the pitch that have had an effect on Arsenal.
After years of frugal spending in the transfer market, Wenger finally gave Arsenal fans the one thing they craved for-a world class signing in the form of Ozil. His mere presence lifted the spirits of fans and players and since his arrival the team has been playing with confidence.
Another summer acquisition was the signing of defensive midfielder Flamini on a free from Milan. Whilst his arrival was questioned and he has been overshadowed by Ozil, he is the most underrated player in the Arsenal team.
He provides a defensive shield and allows the centre-backs behind him to be more secure, something Arsenal have lacked since losing Alex Song.
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