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Ten games, nine wins! Inside Arsenal's record-breaking Premier League start

11:00 EAT 18/10/2022
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The Gunners have opened up a four-point gap at the top of the table, with an unlikely title challenge now a real possibility

Ten games, nine wins, 27 points. Arsenal have enjoyed their best-ever start to a Premier League season.

Never before have the Gunners amassed this many points at this stage of a campaign. Even Arsene Wenger’s great sides couldn’t manage it.

Mikel Arteta’s team are now four points clear at the top of the table following Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road, coupled with Manchester City's loss at Liverpool later the same day.

So how have Arsenal done it? What are the reasons behind their record-breaking start? GOAL takes a look...

  • Gabriel Jesus Arsenal Aston Villa 2022-23

    Jesus' arrival

    It’s impossible to downplay the impact Gabriel Jesus has had on Arsenal. His arrival from Manchester City in the summer has completely transformed the way Mikel Arteta’s side attack.

    It was clear last season that a new focal point was needed to spearhead the forward line. With Alexandre Lacazette in the centre, Arsenal lacked any sort of mobility or penalty-box threat. That left the Gunners almost totally reliant on Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to get their goals.

    But that has changed completely with Jesus in the side. The Brazilian has scored five goals in 10 Premier league games, more than Lacazette managed in the whole of last season, while he also has three assists.

    But Jesus’ impact has not just been about goal contributions. His work rate and pressing ability sets the tone from the front. He is a constant handful for defences with his movement.

    He has also brought a winning mentality to a young squad and has taken on a key leadership role along with captain Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka.

  • Gabriel Martinelli Bukayo Saka Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2022-23

    The vibrancy of youth

    Arsenal have the second-youngest side in the Premier League this season, behind Southampton, and it is that youth has been a key driving force behind the Gunners’ success in the opening 10 games.

    Bukayo Saka’s match winner at Leeds on Sunday was the 24th league goal Arsenal have scored this season, with nine of those having been scored by players aged 21 or under. 

    It was also Arsenal’s 55th goal scored by a player 21 or under during Mikel Arteta’s time in charge; that’s 23 more than any other side during his tenure.

    Having such a young team may have its drawbacks when you get to the business end of the season, as was evident towards the end of the 2021-22 campaign when Arsenal couldn’t manage to get themselves over the line in the race for the top four.

    But for now, that youthful energy is playing a huge part in the Gunners’ superb start to the new season.

  • Premier League Leeds Arsenal record Arteta

    Arteta's leadership

    The manager deserves a lot of credit for Arsenal’s start. He’s made a number of big calls and so far they are paying off.

    The decision to name Martin Odegaard captain has worked well, as has unwavering backing of Granit Xhaka - who is now looking like a totally new player under the Spaniard.

    Defensively, Arteta had to work out how to fit certain players into his system. He opted to pair William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-back and shift Ben White out to right-back instead of the reliable Takehiro Tomiyasu.

    Many questioned whether White could perform that role, but so far he has been one of the stars of Arsenal’s season.

    Arteta’s decision to start Tomiyasu at left-back in the win against Liverpool was another inspired piece of thinking. It was a call that looked questionable, with Kieran Tierney sitting on the bench, but the right footed Tomiyasu marked Mohamed Salah out of the game, so much so that the Egyptian star was hauled off with 20 minutes remaining.

    Like his team, Arteta is still relatively young and inexperienced. He’s learning on the job, but so far this season, the majority of the decisions have proved to be correct ones.

  • Arsenal Emirates Cup 2022

    A perfect pre-season

    This was a massive thing for Arsenal. Arteta was able to have a proper pre-season with his squad for the first time since he was appointed and he took full advantage.

    New signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko were bedded in early, as was William Saliba - who was finally integrated into the squad after three loan spells away for the club.

    The pre-season tour to the United States was a major success, with Arsenal winning both games - including beating Chelsea 4-0 in Orlando.

    Jesus was an instant hit and the team spirit was clearly strong, something that was highlighted by everyone who went away on the tour.

    Arsenal ended pre-season by beating Sevilla 6-0 to win the Emirates Cup. That meant they had won every single one of their summer friendlies.

    Arteta’s side looked ready to hit the ground running in the Premier League, which they duly did.

  • Zinchenko Arteta Arsenal

    Smart recruitment 

    Arsenal’s summer recruitment has proven to be a huge success.

    Gabriel Jesus has been a sensation since his move from Manchester City, while Oleksandr Zinchenko has also made a bg impact. The Ukraine international may have been hit by some injury problems in recent weeks, but when he has played he has added real quality to the starting XI.

    Fabio Vieira has also shown flashes of why Arsenal invested £30 million to bring him in form Porto. The playmaker looks a real talent and has certainly added to the squad depth that Arteta now has to call upon.

    William Saliba may not have been a new signing in the summer, but he feels like it. Plenty has been said about Arsenal’s decision to continuously send the French defender out on loan during the past three years, but there is no doubt that he returned this summer far better equipped to cope with the demands of the Premier League because of that time away.

    For the first time since Arteta arrived, he now has a squad that feel like his own. Some big players have been shown the door and high earners have been moved on.

    A new, hungry squad has been assembled and you can see that by the results and performances on the pitch.

  • Aaron Ramsdale Arsenal Newcastle Premier League 2021-22

    Last season’s heartbreak

    As painful as the end of last season was for Arsenal, it was a massive learning curve for the young squad.

    The heartache of missing out on the Champions League during the final week of the campaign was difficult to endure and it could have easily had a negative impact on the new campaign.

    But the players are instead taking it as a positive and using the disappointment as a driving force for success this time around.

    “The experiences at the end last season are adding to our team spirit and mentality,” goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale said after the North London Derby victory against Spurs. “It’s not just the lads who have come in who have brought this winning mentality. We all have the fire burning inside [us] because of what happened at the end of last season.”

    Arteta has worked hard since the summer to instil a new found belief in his squad. He does not want his players to forget about how they felt after those costly defeats at the end of last season. He wants them to remember that feeling so they will do everything to ensure they never have to go through it again.

    And there is no doubt that Arsenal look a totally different proposition to the one that stumbled at the final hurdle a few months ago. 

  • Arsenal fans 2022-23

    The fanbase

    There is no better indicator of the new found unity at Arsenal right now than the level of support they are receiving from the fanbase. The supporters are right behind their team and they are showing that home and away.

    Arteta has spoken about how important the fans are time and time again, and all of the players have noted it as well.

    The connection between the fanbase and the team had been lost for years prior to Arteta’s arrival and that’s why he was so determined to try and restore that relationship.

    He has certainly achieved that, something he says is up there with his biggest achievements since his appointment.

    Whenever Arsenal concede a goal now or make a mistake, the fans get right behind them, like when they rose to applaud and cheer William Saliba after his own goal against Leicester.

    It's making a huge difference.

  • Granit Xhaka Arsenal 2022-23

    Mentality monsters

    One of the most notable things from Arsenal’s start to the season is how they have reacted to adversity. When they have conceded goals, they have bounced straight back to score themselves soon after. They did it against Leicester, Aston Villa, Fulham and Liverpool.

    And the way they responded to the only defeat they have suffered this season, away at Manchester United, was equally as impressive.

    They could easily have let their heads drop after the loss at Old Trafford, but instead they followed it with seven straight wins in all competitions.

    Arsenal have consistently been viewed as a team with a weak mentality over recent years. That does not appear to be the case this time around.