The race for the top four is always considered to be one of the most interesting aspects of any Premier League season, and in recent years, that has been even more evident than before. Being able to play Champions League football is an absolute dream for most clubs, and while very few get to achieve that goal, it’s always interesting to see who is in the race – regardless of whether or not it’s the common suspects or not.
This year, the expectation is that the standard top six teams (and maybe Wolverhampton Wanderers) are going to be battling it out for those all elusive top four slots. Liverpool and Manchester City, courtesy of being featured in the title race itself, will probably get two of the four spots and that much is to be expected. However, between Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, we feel like it’s wide open.
The most interesting point we can deduce from that at this early stage of the season is simple: only one of those teams hasn’t dropped points so far, and the team in question is Arsenal. While a lot of casual fans like to make fun of them, and for good reason given what’s happened at the club in the past, with the Arsene Wenger years and their collapse at the end of last season always being good ‘material’ for some kind of mockery.
However, this time around, they’re flying under the radar as a side that could really do some damage. We all know about their summer transfer window dealings and who they were able to bring into the fold, and while there’s more to come in January (according to Josh Kroenke), this is a really good base to build off of. Sure, the defensive issues are still going to be seen as a worry, but they did the best they could with what they had available to them.
Can they win the race?
Arsenal’s first game of the season came against Newcastle United, and while they never really blew the Magpies out of the water, they didn’t really need to. They were able to prove that they are one of the most exciting teams in the division, and they did so without ever really lifting so much as a finger.
Then, against Burnley, things were a little bit more difficult – but again, they persevered to get the three points. Everything that fans were expecting from this game came to fruition as the Clarets came right at Arsenal in every way imaginable. However, the fact that Emery’s side were able to hold on and grind out the win once again shows the right kind of mentality for a side that want to shoot for the stars.
We know that there are still 36 games to go and this is a marathon not a sprint, but all you can do is beat what is put in front of you. With two tricky games coming up, Arsenal have set themselves up perfectly so far.