Four games, four wins: four Arsenal fans on the Gunners’ flying start | Arsenal
Four games, four wins: four Arsenal fans on the Gunners’ flying start | Arsenal

Andrew Allen, deputy editor of Arseblog News

Arsenal supporters are having fun right now. It must be weirdly disconcerting to outsiders who’ve spent the last decade reaching for the popcorn while we bicker about anything and everything.

Why are we enjoying ourselves? Because we like what we see. We have a young, vibrant team that inspires belief, a manager who has a clear plan and owners who appear to have woken up after years sleeping at the wheel. The direction of travel is upwards. Momentum and optimism is growing. The Emirates is a cauldron of noise. And the results are coming.

Don’t get me wrong, beating four middling sides over the course of a month is not proof that the Gunners are world beaters. Far from it. However, the performances have been very encouraging. Gabriel Jesus feels like the missing piece of a puzzle, we have strength in depth in almost every position, the team is tactically versatile and you sense a real determination to put right the disappointing end to last season.

Arsenal are not going to win the Premier League – this is not a controversial statement – but we may well end our Champions League exodus and win a few hearts and minds along the way.

Elliot Smith, host of Arsenal Vision podcast

It has been a dream start to the season for Arsenal fans, but while sceptics might point to a forgiving run of fixtures as a reason to dismiss the hype, I think that overlooks a few crucial early data points.

Firstly, there’s Gabriel Jesus’ scintillating form. Arsenal invested in the idea that Jesus could be the centre-forward that was missing last season. Some doubted his capabilities for the role but he’s already shown that he’s a fit for the way Mikel Arteta wants his striker to play.

Beyond Jesus’s influence, there have already been important contributions from William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Arsenal’s last two seasons were derailed in large part thanks to injuries at the back; with Saliba and Zinchenko in the fold and playing well, Arsenal have managed a perfect opening to the season despite limited minutes for Kieran Tierney or Takehiro Tomiyasu, both of whom are just back from injury. A few months ago, that would’ve been unthinkable.

Lastly, there’s clear improvement in Arsenal’s attack overall. Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Martin Ødegaard and Jesus have shown a great understanding together and combined with a more intense pressing system, Arsenal have built the kind of attack needed to push up the table.

Crazier things have happened than Arsenal going on to win the title, but even if that’s not ultimately the prize on offer, the early signs suggest Arsenal will be difficult to dislodge from the top four come May.

Gabriel Jesus during Arsenal’s recent 4-2 victory over Leicester. The Brazilian has been a revelation since his £45m arrival from Manchester City.
Gabriel Jesus during Arsenal’s recent 4-2 victory over Leicester. The Brazilian has been a revelation since his £45m arrival from Manchester City. Photograph: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Laura Kirk, occasional host of Arsenal Twitch

I’m a pessimistic Arsenal fan at the best of times but even I’m struggling not to get slightly carried away with how the team has performed in the first four games of this season, and how different it feels to recent years. I actually missed Fulham’s goal against us on Saturday entirely because I was so caught up in the entire stadium singing ‘Stand up for the Arsenal’, and that’s probably the best way I can summarise our start to this season – giddy, silly, happiness.

It’s far too early to be talking about the title race, but the contrast in how we started last season compared to this season is stark. It does genuinely feel like we might have passed the baton of self-destructive nonsense (to Manchester United, probably).

That said, my biggest problem with Arsenal over the last decade is how we’ve been repeatedly turned over by the big teams, so until we’ve faced Liverpool, Manchester City or even Spurs, the jury is still out on whether we have truly shrugged off that awful Arsenal-y softness.

For now though, I am genuinely trying to let myself enjoy the view from the top of the table. At least while it lasts.

Tim Stillman, football writer and Arsenal blogger

Arsenal’s start to the season has not surprised me. The team were within a hair’s breadth of finishing fourth last season playing more or less without a striker (sorry, Laca). In Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, the club solved two glaring issues from last season – a lack of goals and the lack of a mature alternative to Kieran Tierney.

Arsenal also managed to get both of those players in for the start of pre-season, where performances hinted that the team might come into this season with a spring in their step. The swiftness with which William Saliba has become an important player has provided the surprise element.

With Saliba, Zinchenko and Jesus, Arsenal are more fluid and less predictable. The fixture list has been relatively kind to us for August, though I don’t think anyone will have a comfortable time at Selhurst Park this season. A title challenge isn’t realistic because Manchester City are just too good.

However, Liverpool could be in flux, Chelsea are undergoing a transition and Manchester United appear to be in a permanent transition. Second or third place could be achievable but I honestly think Arsenal playing really well and finishing fifth is in the range of outcomes.

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