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Arsenal 2 v 2 Man City: What Did We Learn?

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Let's go back to December 14th 2013. Arsenal were league leaders but had just been thrashed by Manchester City, 6-3, following a long line of heavy defeats at the hands of their fellow top four opponents.

Less than a year on, Arsenal, with the same back four, limited City to just two goals, claiming a draw against top opposition for what seems like the first time in a while.

So despite this, why does it not feel as good as it should?

Well, let's revisit the Community Shield, in what was the best Arsenal performance for a long time. Olivier Giroud's beautiful strike and industrious play from Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey made Arsenal look superb value for their 3-0 win.

So actually, Arsenal fans had higher hopes than ever for the new season because they'd watched their team outplay the champions.

But these hopes have been diminishing, as performances haven't had the fluency and dangerous possession that was on display in the Community Shield. Even though Man City weren't at their best, it still showed what Arsene Wenger's team can produce and their slow start hasn't illustrated this.

Is it time to start losing hope?

Well no, let's start by saying that 'Gooners' have more to be excited about and whilst a slow start may have masked things, Wenger on paper has made quality signings. When that formation is right and the players settle, then Arsenal could really blow teams away.

The quick, off the shoulder game of Danny Welbeck suits the craftsmanship of Mesut Ozil and Cazorla and if Alexis Sanchez too hits some form in time for Theo Walcott's return, then a slick, quick, attacking style should develop.

Defensively, they look better than previous years and in both games against City they have looked stronger. But there are still slips and Callum Chambers was maybe not the right signing for now, as more experience was required to sure the defensive up.

The signing of a commanding defensive midfielder was also lacking, with Mikel Arteta not having the defensive presence of an Alex Song for example.

Verdict

Let's not beat around the bush, Arsenal do need to improve but this will come with time and some confidence, especially after a solid result against City.

Maybe Welbeck isn't the big name that Arsenal fans wanted but he's miles better than Yaya Sanogo and offers pace that the team simply appear to lack.

Defensively the team may look like there is still a slip in them but with a more attacking squad, letting a goal slip isn't the death sentence it was last season.

By Christmas Arsenal will be in that top four, sitting behind early pace setters Chelsea, alongside Man City, with Liverpool, a resurgent Manchester United and a Spurs team revitalised by Mauricio Pochettino chasing them.

It's early days and there's no doubt that things will improve, with a more exciting style, even lesser results look more attractive, Arsenal will be right up their come May next year.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Alex Song
Arsene Wenger

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