Why exactly are Arsenal so good away from home?

City V Arsenal

Arsenal will secure their tenth straight away win this evening if they beat Marseille in the Champions League.

It’s a remarkable run which covers three fixtures so far this season to go along with seven from the second half of last season, creating envy from several other top sides that would like similar statistics.

Considering Arsenal have really struggled to fight for silverware over the last few years, they surely must be onto something which has the potential to aid their chances of success on all fronts this season.

One of the main reasons for Arsenal’s away form has to be Arsene Wenger. Wenger has created a team spirit and feeling of unity at the Gunners which hasn’t always been evident.

“We have an exceptional team. That is the main thing. We built that up from last season. We built our confidence up especially the 10 games on the last season where we did not lose. You could feel it from the first day that there is something special,” said centre back Per Mertesacker.

Wenger is also a much better tactician than many will care to give him credit for. The away win at Bayern Munich last season wasn’t enough to eclipse the first leg defeat in that Champions League tie but it showcased what a solid tactical brain Wenger has.

Plenty of sides, including Barcelona, went to the Allianz Arena last season and didn’t show half the efficiency and intelligence that Arsenal showed over 90 minutes as they won 2-0.

He stresses the simple things such as staying tight in the first section of a match, allowing a game to develop and Arsenal’s creative and attacking players to naturally take hold of a game.

“Most important thing to keep that mental level high. We have to be prepared, will be hard, we will be under pressure, especially in the first 20 minutes,” added the German.

Wenger doesn’t have a massive group of defenders in his squad and amazingly it remains a criticised part of the current side despite this impressive away win and the fact Arsenal had the second best defensive record in the Premier League last season and the best away defensive record.

The benefit of having a small group of defenders in a squad is that, providing they all stay fit, they are playing together constantly, learning more about each others games and that helps to eradicate weaknesses and mistakes.

However, it’s not all about defence. The Gunners are blessed to have one of the best attacking packs of midfield players in England and across Europe, which has been improved over the summer.

Arsenal scored 25 away goals last season, the same number as Manchester City, and look like they will overtake that number this season with six away goals in the Premier League so far and three away goals in that Champions League play-off game against Fenerbahce.

Can Arsenal keep their away form going?

image: © wonker

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