Whilst the last nine years haven’t been much to boast about for Gunners fans, they’re certainly entitled to make up for lost time this term after a sensational title charge so early on in spectacular fashion.
Their North London rivals Tottenham have not had quite so much to be cheerful about of late – it’s almost as if the fates of the two clubs were co-dependent this summer when the departure of Gareth Bale for £83.5 million to Real Madrid saw Mesut Ozil move in the opposite direction to join the Gunners.
However, the German playmaker’s arrival hasn’t been the only talking point for Arsenal this season – in fact its been overshadowed somewhat by the extraordinary rise in form of Aaron Ramsey.
The Welshman is already on course to surpass his international colleague Bale’s exceptional record from last term – he’s scored more goals than Bale had by this point, made more assists, his pass completion rate is higher, his dribbling success rate is higher, his shooting accuracy is better and tackle success rate is higher.
Meanwhile, Ozil has had an impact in numbers that is perhaps dwarfed by impact in belief and ambition at the club but he has still added to the score sheet by way of his goals and assists.
All of this phenomena is taking place on one side of North London whilst Spurs have struggled this term to fulfil the expectations of their fans or their manager after spending over £100 million to bring in seven new players this summer. One of those plays is Spanish striker Roberto Soldado who has yet to really find or hit his stride yet at White Hart Lane.
Soldado scored 30 goals in all competitions for Valencia last term but has so far managed 6 in total for Spurs with four of those in the Premier League and three of those converted penalties.
Soldado has managed just 24 shots so far this term over 13 Premier League appearances, averaging 1.8 shots per game. He has 50% accuracy with 12 of those shots being on target, averaging just 0.9 shots on target per game.
The narrative is very different over the other side of North London – Aaron Ramsey has taken a total of 24 shots with 17 of them on target (71% accuracy) whilst Mesut Ozil has taken 12 shots with 10 of them on target (83% accuracy). It’s incredible really for Arsenal and concerning for Tottenham that Arsenal’s two midfielders have had more shots on target (27 in total) than their new star striker has taken shots.
image: © Victor Gutierrez Navarro