Arsenal have enjoyed a flying start to the new Premier League season but their litmus test to see how far they have come is just around the corner.
THE LOWDOWN: BRILLIANT START
Unlike last season, the Gunners have made a positive start to the 2022/23 campaign. It’s only been two games but Arsenal have looked decent so far, winning two from two and scoring six goals in the process.
Arsenal have also grabbed one away clean sheet already, which was a rarity throughout last season. While many have tipped the Gunners to do better than last term, another section of fans believe the north London outfit are yet to be tested.
Arsenal might have beaten their ‘boogey team’ in Crystal Palace but the Gunners have always had it easy against Leicester City, going by recent head-to-head results. In fact, Arsenal were the only team to beat the Foxes home and away even in their fairytale title-winning season in 2016.
While Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham have already dropped points, Arsenal and Manchester City are the only teams from last season’s top six to record two wins from two so far.
Are the Gunners genuine this time around, or is it just a purple patch that could come to an end soon enough? Well, a certain period in the club’s season will tell us those answers.
THE LATEST: DECENT RUN OF FIXTURES, FOR NOW
On paper, it seems like Arsenal’s winning run might just continue, if we are to go by early indications. In their next six fixtures, all in September, the Gunners will travel to take on Bournemouth before home fixtures against Fulham and Aston Villa.
Arsenal will then travel to Old Trafford to take on a struggling Manchester United side before another home game against Everton and an away trip to Brentford to end the month.
Though games are not won on paper, but Arsenal will fancy their chances at claiming a good number of points in those aforementioned games. Manchester United will always pose a threat but there is no better time to take on the Red Devils than now, for obvious reasons, as they continue to struggle.
While games against Bournemouth, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton all look winnable, the Gunners can also claim points against Manchester United and Brentford to continue their brilliant start to the season. After this period comes the real test.
THE VERDICT: OCTOBER IS THE CRUCIAL PERIOD
While the fixtures in September look kind, it is the total opposite in October. Arsenal begin that month with two very difficult home fixtures against fierce London rivals Tottenham and Liverpool.
A trip to Elland Road to take on Leeds is up next before another tough home fixture against reigning champions Manchester City the following weekend. Arsenal will then close the month against Southampton and Nottingham Forest away and at home respectively.
Coupled with the fact that Europa League fixtures will also come in the mix by this time, October could serve as a real litmus test to see just how well the Gunners have improved.
Mikel Arteta’s squad will be pushed to the limit at that point, facing an average of one game every three to four days, if you take the Europa League into account.
If Arsenal can claim enough points from that run of fixtures, then fans can genuinely start to get excited as Arteta could indeed be up to something. For now, the good run continues but we already have one eye on a difficult spell lying just around the corner.