- Arsenal beat Bournemouth 4-0 in the Premier League on Saturday
- The Gunners have not lost any of their opening nine games in all competitions
- Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here
The top flight’s only remaining unbeaten team at the start of October is some tag.
That is the reality for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, who are yet to be defeated in any competition this season — unlike Tottenham, who are also unbeaten in the Premier League but went out of the Carabao Cup.
It is a reflection of football’s uncompromising nature, however, that their lack of a top-class centre forward was in the spotlight just a week ago.
Ahead of last Wednesday’s Carabao Cup fixture at Brentford, Gunners boss Arteta fielded many a question about the lack of a clinical goalscorer after missed chances by Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the drawn north London derby.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney has been linked with a move to the Emirates, the thinking being that the Gunners need to sign an out-and-out striker in the January transfer window if they are to take the title race down to the final weeks.
Kai Havertz celebrates after scoring Arsenal’s third goal against Bournemouth on Sunday
But Saturday showed why Arteta does not agree with such a view. There were four different scorers against Bournemouth — Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz and Ben White — just as there had been in the 4-0 win against PSV less than two weeks ago.
This season has already produced nine different marksmen in all competitions for the Gunners and there were 19 last term — both are more than any other Premier League team. The burden of scoring is not being placed upon one or two forwards, but a collective unit.
Sure, a prolific central striker would further strengthen this team and the lack of one could play a factor in fixtures against more exalted opposition.
Ben White also got on the scoresheet, becoming Arsenal’s ninth goalscorer of the season
But every side in the league — even Manchester City — have their deficiencies, and it cannot be forgotten that the £200million Arsenal invested this summer bolstered areas which needed it. That includes Declan Rice in central midfield, and the versatile Jurrien Timber. They have built a formidable squad with strong back-ups.
Prior to City’s 2-1 defeat by Wolves, Pep Guardiola’s team were four points ahead of the Gunners. That is now down to a single point. These are early days, but no side can allow City any advantage out of the blocks, given their reputation for finishing strongly. The champions are ruthless. A build-up of points, even by Christmas, could already see the league out of reach.
Mikel Arteta’s side are the only top flight team still unbeaten in all competitions
It is why Arsenal winning on the day City slipped up was significant. The result is a psychological reminder to their Manchester foes that if points are ceded, they will punish them. Such factors can prove pivotal in the long stretch. For now, most important of all is the clash between the two teams this Sunday.
Depending on how Tottenham fare against Luton on Saturday — Spurs are level with Arsenal on points and goal difference — the Gunners could go top of the league if they beat City. Of course, there are many more twists and turns to come, but that would be some statement indeed.