Well what a great way to start 2020! A fantastic performance against United and the much needed, confidence boosting result to go with it. However what has impressed me more than anything about this new Mikel Arteta era is the way he has united the whole squad and is on the way to fixing the fragile relationship between the squad and the fans. In his short time at Arsenal, Arteta has installed a work ethic and intensity that has not been seen at this club in a very long time and the results are already showing on the pitch, with fantastic performances (1st half's especially) against Chelsea and Man United. I thought David Luiz interview after the game was fantastic, he was honest when saying physically they are not at the level required which is evident in our two 2nd half's against Chelsea and United; For me this raises two points, firstly: Why on earth were they not even fit enough in the first place; it does make you wonder what Unai Emery was getting them to do during pre-season and in training, because not only were our players not fit enough his tactics wasn't working either. Secondly, This team has so much potential once Arteta gets the players to the fitness required to play with the same intensity we produced for 45 minutes for a whole 90 minutes. I'm not naive however I know it will not be all plain sailing and we will not become world beaters overnight, I believe we still need strengthening; center back is an area of concern particularly and believe we are one high quality center back short; Yes we have Saliba coming in the summer, but he is young and will be new to the league and potentially could take a while to secure a place in the side and get used to the league as it will be a huge step up for him. Will we sign anybody in January, maybe maybe not, to be honest I would be surprised if we managed to sign anybody of top quality, there has been talk of Upamecano from Leipzig but I can see that more likely being a summer signing but we shall see. What has impressed me in his short spell is how Arteta has made us much more solid at the back thanks to a much better team shape and a hugely improved team work rate; we are now pressing as a team rather than individuals and our shape is much more solid meaning we are conceding fewer opportunities to the opponents; with our front line this means we will stand more chance of getting positive results in the future if we can keep this work rate and shape up. I now would like to single out a few individuals, Mesut Ozil has been fantastic under Arteta, I have been critical of him in the past but under Arteta he is working hard, causing opponents problems and creating chances for our strikers, long may this continue as when on form he is fantastic to watch. Next Ainsley Maitland-Niles for me he has been fantastic, playing in an unnatural position, I know he played lots there lately but I think he has been superb and Bellerin will find it hard to break back in the team if his form continues. Finally Lucas Torriera playing in his actual position just in front of the back four, what the hell Emery was thinking changing his position, he has been fantastic in all three games back in his position, incredible work rate, getting stuck in and breaking up dangerous moves, he has played a huge part in us being more solid; lets hope this is the case for a very long time. Finally for the rest of the season, I would hope we can maintain a good level of performances and results will follow, lets go deep in the Europa and try and go one better than last season, one game at a time, lets stick behind the team and Arteta and I am quietly confident good times will follow.
Thanks for reading.