LONDON, UK – Thanks to perhaps their biggest win since the EPL restart on the road at Wolves, 2-0, Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta appears to be righting the Gunners ship in North London.
After suffering back-to-back losses at Man City and Brighton, it appears that Arteta’s side has finally found their footing in reeling off four straight wins over Southhampton (2-0), Sheffield United (2-1), Norwich City (4-0) and this past Saturday at Wolves (2-0).
Currently seventh on the EPL table at 49 points, Arsenal’s slim hopes of playing in Europe next year are very slim as they trail fifth-place Manchester United (55 points) by six and fourth-place Chelsea (57 points) by eight for Europa League and Champions League slots.
While there is no doubt that Arsenal is a club in transition, as they are still learning Arteta’s new system, not even a year after sacking Unai Emery and deprogramming themselves from his high-pressing French style that he brought with him from Paris Saint-Germain, it’s clear that the Gunners are beginning to embrace the former Arsenal captain’s Pep Guardiola-inspired free-flowing, possession-based style.
During his three years up at the Etitdad as an assistant under Guardiola, Arteta learned and observed a lot in terms of pressing, building possession and maintaining pressure and using the 4-3-3 with a deep midfielder in the center of the pitch. At Arsenal, Arteta has implemented a 3-4-3 formation that has helped fuel Arsenal’s run of good form and have recorded back-to-back clean sheets since switching to to a back three with wing-backs.
If Arsenal can continue their run of good form against third-place Leicester City tomorrow, then Arsenal will leapfrog aformentioned Wolves into sixth due to goal differential. And if that happens, then the talk of Gunners being back in Europe will only grow louder.
For now though, Arteta and the Gunners are in a good place, both statically and from a personnel standpoint. Hopefully, both can ride their current wave of positive momentum going forward.