Premier League: Are Arsenal title contenders already?
After beating Leicester City with a total of 3 goals to the Foxes' 1, Arsenal are currently in 4th place, tied with Chelsea and Tottenham, beating the latter on goal difference. Arsenal lost its two opening games to Manchester City and Chelsea, both of whom are title contenders. Since then, Arsenal has gone on to win 11 games in a row in all competitions.
They are finally winning away games and beating physical sides they would have lost to last year. Additionally, they have shown great character in coming back to win several games after being scored on. They have also played some beautiful football, showing Emery-ball at work (see Aaron Ramsey's goal against Fulham and Arsenal's third against Leicester for goal-of-the-season contenders).
The defence is still a concern, but much less so than it was last year. The attack is firing on all cylinders and the team as a whole is playing with more energy and enthusiasm. This begs the question: Are Arsenal title contenders already, only one season under a new manager?
In a word, no. In three, not even close.
It is easy to get carried away, especially when Arsenal are doing so well after so long. It is easy to get excited after the black cloud of malaise has been lifted with the retirement of Arsene Wenger and the appointment of Unai Emery. However, it is important to remember where Arsenal currently are in relation to the other top teams in the Premier League.
Manchester City and Liverpool are in a league of their own. Both of those clubs have top managers and have multiple world-class players. Both have strong benches. Both strengthened their squads over the summer. Chelsea are also another top team in England. Although they are supposed to be rebuilding, Chelsea are third in the table and adapted quickly to Sarri-ball.
Sarri has unshackled Chelsea's potent attack and brought in Jorginho from Napoli to orchestrate the attack.
All three of these clubs are yet to be defeated this season. These clubs are the title contenders. When comparing Arsenal to the aforementioned clubs, much is left to be desired. Arsenal's defence is still poor. They do not have enough world-class players. Their bench is relatively weak.
Although Arsenal are on an amazing winning streak, they have not faced any tough opposition, with all due respect to the other teams. A stronger test is coming up with a game against Liverpool (home) as well as a tough December in which Arsenal face Spurs, Manchester United and Liverpool again (away).
There is still a long way to go. It is critical that expectations remain realistic.
Take a look at Arsenal's playing style under the Spanish coach: