Four straight wins and top of the table. Well, almost. Had Manchester City not come away from the Manchester derby with a point, Arsenal would still be top of the table. But second position isn’t a bad place to start dreaming about the title, albeit the season being only 10 games old.
With their 2-1 win over Everton at the Emirates on Saturday, Arsenal have now won all but two of their Premier League games since their opening day defeat to West Ham. Only a draw against Liverpool and a loss against Chelsea have been the blips in what has been a good start to the season for the Gunners.
A start which has Jack Wilshere dreaming. Wilshere is out injured, and isn’t expected to return to action until after the New Year, but this hasn’t stopped Wilshere from talking up a title tilt from the Gunners this term. At this stage last season, Arsenal had won only three games from their opening nine which meant their title dreams were already black-flagged.
Wilshere is more optimistic this time around though. Speaking on Goals on Sunday, he said: “I wouldn’t say it is too early [to start dreaming about the title] because that’s what we all want to do – win the league. We feel week in, week out we get stronger and stronger. That’s all we can do, we can take each game as it comes.
“In past seasons we’ve struggled at the start of the season and then woken up in January when we’ve realised we need to get into the top four and finish in the Champions League.
“But this year I think we’ve continued with where we finished last season, we’ve got players in there that want to win now, fighting for each other, it’s a great team spirit and if we can continue this then who knows?
“We’ve got to take each game as it comes but we’re feeling good at the moment so everyone is confident.”
While Wilshere is entitled to talk up Arsenal’s title challenge given their start to the season, manager Arsene Wenger is intent on playing down the Gunners’ recent good run of form translating into a proper title challenge, instead shifting his focus on improvement and togetherness within the team. In a way though, Wenger is wary of getting carried away after witnessing numerous false dawns ever since he last landed a league title back in 2004.
“Let’s continue to work together and continue to improve. There are still many aspects to our game which we can improve and therefore let’s not focus too much on the position and try to be a better team. It is very early in the season but we are happy to be where we are,” Wenger said in his post-Everton press conference.
Times are good to be an Arsenal fan, but the big question is will the Gunners be able to sustain their momentum throughout the course of the season? Last season this time, Mesut Ozil suffered an injury that ruled him out for three months. Surely Arsenal cannot afford a similar setback this time around.
Another cause for optimism is the likes of Wilshere will be back by New Year, which will be an obvious boost to the Gunners. Can they keep their pace at the top of the table? The suggestion are they can, but like Wenger says, only if they keep their focus and keep improving as a team.