Why Arsenal should remain hopeful about the season ahead

Arsenal's performances to date deserve better.

Arsenal supporters might be feeling a little worse for wear after the defeat to Chelsea but a look at the bigger picture is needed.

The North Londoners travelled to Stamford Bridge with renewed optimism following their impressive 4-1 Champions League victory over Galatasary in midweek.

Their hopes of securing their first victory over a Chelsea side managed by Mourinho quickly faded on the half-hour mark as Eden Hazard was felled in the box.

The Belgian international picked himself up and scored the resulting penalty to send the Blues on their way to a comfortable 2-0 victory in-front of their jubilant supporters.

The defeat leaves the Gunners in eighth spot, one point behind Manchester United in fourth and a whopping nine behind Jose Mourinho’s early leaders.

Despite what seems a rather disappointing position, all hope is not lost for Wenger’s side as from a statistical standpoint the Emirates outfit are performing better than they did last season in a number of key areas.

  SeasonGoals Total Scoring Attempts Key PassesWon TacklesAccurate PassesPass Completion Possession Percentage Games
Arsenal 2013-2014 1.79 13.76 10.68 13.89 487.71 86% 56.39% 38
Arsenal 2014-2015 1.57 14.43 11 16 539 87% 62% 7

According to the table provided by Opta, Wenger's side this season have improved in a number of categories on last season on an average scale per game.

From an attacking view, the Gunners scored on average more last season, but this season more efforts on goal and more key passes have been made in the finl third - suggesting a lack of finishing could be their downfall to date.

Defensively, Wenger's side have also improved - recording on average 16 tackles per game whereas last season that average was 13.89.

Finally, with ball efficiency and pass completion rates, they have also improved as they are recording more accurate passes, a higher success rate and an increase in possession on their 2013/14 results.

Aside from their improvements, it's easy to forget that the Gunners have had a relatively tough start to the season as aside from a trip to Stamford Bridge, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have also been faced within the first two months of the campaign.

There is still a long way to go yet, and as the old adage goes, it's not yet time to lose faith in the man who stands proudly as Arsenal's greatest ever boss.

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