[PREMIER LEAGUE] How has Arsenal changed?

Hi everyone!

As we all know, Arsenal is winning 3 games against Crystal Palace, Leicester City, and Bournemouth in the first three weeks of the season so far. As a result, Arsenal is ranked 1st in the Premier League. However, Arsenal lost 3 games to Brentford, Chelsea, and Man City in the first three weeks of the last season, as a result, the club was ranked 20th in the Premier League.

So I wonder how Arsenal has changed.

The big difference is Arsenal signed players very well this season. The club signed Garbiel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner, and Marquinhos. If you watched the club’s game in the three weeks, you would notice that Jesus and Zinchenko are the key players this season.

Source: Transfermarkt

The first key player, Jesus:

Source: Arsenal’s website

Jesus has made 3 appearances, 2 goals, and 3 assists so far. He made 3 attacking points in 3 games. WOW. I can’t imagine how much he will score more in the season. He is one of the strong candidates for a top scorer. The club manager, Arteta always wants his center forwards to play wide. They should link the play and drop deep, creating space for wingers or midfielders to run in behind. They also have to work hard off the ball, closing down the opposition and pressing from the front. Arteta gave this role to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, but it failed. Eddie Nketiah did better than them at the end of the season, but that wasn’t enough. That’s why Arteta signed Jesus. He is the perfect centre-forward who can play the role and when Arteta was a coach in Man City, he trained Jesus a lot, so Artea knows him very well. Arteta knows how to use Jesus well.

The second key player, Zinchenko:

Source: Premier League News Now

A left full-back’s first team was used to be Kieran Tierney, but he is always injured. In the last season, while Tierney was injured, Arteta placed Tavares as a left full-back. OMG, his play was horrible, haha, but Arteta didn’t have another option… That’s why he signed Zinchenko this season. After watching the first three games, I think Zinchenko is better than Tierney for Arsenal.


The reason why Tierney’s play style in Arsenal is playing as an attacking winger. He goes up very high and links to midfielders or wingers, and comes back to defense after crossing or finishing an attack such as Arnold in Liverpool. A risk of his play style is his backspace is easily open though, so Arteta placed Tomiyasu as a right full-back who is stronger in defending than attacking. However, it wasn’t enough to cover his backspace because of the deepest midfielder, Xhaka. Arteta instructed Xhaka to drop to left-sided center back, forming a back four while Tierney is pushed up higher like Fabinho is covering Arnold’s backspace in Liverpool. However, a problem of it is that Xhaka is not strong in defending, but an excellent through the pass. He is really good at passing, but Arsenal had to place him as a defender because of Tierney’s attacking ability. Xhaka is not even fast, he couldn’t be a good full-back. Yeah, everyone knows Tierney’s attacking ability is really great, but Arsenal didn’t have enough defensive midfielder to cover his back after Thomas Partey. Placing Tierney with Xhaka was unbalanced the last season.

Look at how Tierney’s back side is widely open. Elneny and Xhaka is not enough to covet it.
Tierney is always going up.
Tierney’s heat map

However, Zinchenko’s play style is the opposite of Tierney’s. He likes to help defense, link, hold, and cut from a middle side. Overall, he plays as an inverted full-back and also a defensive midfielder. Since Zinchenko could cover both the left center and left full-back side, Xhaka could easily go up higher and perform his excellent through the pass.

As you can see from the picture above, Zinchenko goes to the center side and Walker stayed behind to make the three backs, White is doing Walker’s role in Arsenal. Zinchenko is the key to balancing Arsenal’s defense and center.

The last key player is William Saliba.

Source: Arsenal’s website

He was on loan to France football club, Marseille because he needed to be grown up. He did very well in the Franch league, so Arteta decided to place him in the first team instead of Holding. In the last season, Holding was placed as a right centre-back and White was a right full-back since Tomiyasu was injured for a long time. Holding did well for a couple of games but played awful in the North London derby. He got a red card while defending Heung Min Son, and didn’t qualify for the Champions League. I believe if Arsenal won the derby, then Arsenal would be in the Champions for sure instead of Tottenham.

Anyway, started placing Saliba instead of Holding in this season is a really choice so far. Ben White is not mainly a full-back player, so he is not fast and has trouble defending fast wingers. Holding couldn’t even cover it, but Saliba does. That’s the difference between the last season and this season. He already scored with his incredible volley. I can’t wait to see his big potential.

One concern…

However, Arsenal has never met the big 6, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United, Tottenham, and itself in this season yet. In the last season, they met Man City and Chelsea in the first three games and were beaten up. I wonder how they can play when meeting with the big 6 teams.

Another concern is they still don’t have enough midfielders. What if Partey gets injured again, there is no good quality defensive midfielder like him. I think they need to sign another defensive midfielder this season. However, their performance seems much better than the last season, so I wish BIG LUCK to Arsenal!!

Thank you for reading:)


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