One of the defining factors this season for Arsenal so far has been the relative ease of their schedule up to this point. However, and Per Mertesacker, the team’s centre back, will be the first to admit it, there’s a tougher road left for them to travel, and much more difficult tests left to play.
The loss at home to Borussia Dortmund was a perfect example of how different the level of competition has been for Arsenal in the Premier League up to this point (Excluding the win over Tottenham) compared to the more serious threats to European success and the top spot in the Premier League.
They lost 2-1, at home, to Dortmund, despite being the more dominant side, especially in the second half. They still have to play Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, which means that having only five dropped points so far isn’t an excellent indicator to how good they really are.
One piece of information that might tell us something about this team is they’ve conceded more goals than anyone else in the top 5 (9 goals in 9 matches), which might suggest that the Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker duo won’t hold up that well once some better attacks come knocking on their door, asking for answers of their quality.
The games coming up will be the big test. I think we have surprised a few people already this season. But we need to surprise them more and keep applying the pressure on all the teams chasing us. And that is going to be difficult. We wanted to come back as a strong unit as quickly as possible after the defeat by Dortmund. What we showed against Palace was a good enough response for now but there will be many more tests to come which will be crucial for the rest of the season.
Interview via The Sun