After seven games, Arsenal currently have the best defensive record in the Premier League.
How long has it been since we have been able to say that?
Quite some time. For so long, we have been undermined by a soft underbelly, as opponents could cut us open with ease in their bid to vanquish us. It has been our undoing on so many occasions, a blight we thought would never truly heal.
When was the last time we had a defence that could be relied on for a season? Perhaps back in 2014, when Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny formed an effective partnership in the centre and we had the ever-reliable Bacary Sagna on the right. From 2013-14, they played together 27 times and accrued 16 clean sheets, conceding around 0.5 goals a game and losing none of them.
Since then, we have never hit those heights and it has cost us dearly. A solid defence is the foundation to most successes. Without it, you could have the most glittering of attack, but all good work in the final third will be undone by incompetence in your own third.
But after seven games this season, we have conceded just seven goals and that is the least amount conceded in the PL this season so far. We have rotated, due to injury mostly, but David Luiz, Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes have played the majority of the central defensive minutes. We have found stability in the form of Kieran Tierney on the left and Hector Bellerin is getting back to his best on the right.
When you think that we still have Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers to come back into the fold, it leaves our backline in a very healthy position indeed. We have already played three of the big six this season, so our record this campaign is even more impressive..
Our defence is giving us hope that our league position can be improved and the top four can be reached. It also shows that Arteta’s touch is improving us.
Trust the process!