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Opinion

Why Arsenal are showing this season they are the ultimate Steve Bruce team

2 weeks ago
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Arsenal fans fought a long and embarrassing campaign to force out Arsene Wenger.

They eventually got their wish in May 2018.

Forcing out the man who had rebuilt their club and delivered numerous trophies, as well as Champions League football year after year, playing some brilliant football.

What made it all the more embarrassing was that as Arsenal fans stepped up their campaign against Arsene Wenger, he continued to win trophy after trophy, in total there were six in the four years before he left.

Winning the FA Cup in 2014, 2015 and 2017, as well as the Community Shield in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

After two decades of been so spoilt by a great manager, Arsenal fans have now seen four different managers in less than two years – the final months of Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery, caretaker Freddie Ljungberg and now Mikel Arteta.

They have swapped Arsene Wenger for what is now a team/season after Steve Bruce’s own heart.

After going all out defence at home to rock bottom Norwich in their last Premier League match and a shocking and very lucky 0-0 draw, Bruce happily declared after the final whistle: ‘We set ourselves up to be difficult to beat.’

That has been the story of Steve Bruce’s career, certainly the times he has had jobs in the Premier League, very negative football that has served up an average of almost exactly one goal per game on average and one point on average, in his PL career.

This is how the Premier League table now looks ahead of Arsenal v Newcastle on Sunday:

Some remarkable Arsenal statistics this season…

Only Liverpool have lost less matches, whilst at the same time only Norwich and Watford have won less than the Gunners.

In terms of hard to beat, it is perfectly summed up by who Arsenal have lost to, apart from a home defeat to Brighton, the other five defeats have all been to the top five clubs (Liverpool, Man City, Leicester, Chelsea and Sheff Utd).

Since winning at Newcastle on the opening day, Arsenal have only won five of the next 24 games, those wins against Burnley, Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Man Utd.

So apart from a poor Man Utd, all other wins over teams in the bottom half.

It brings a smile to my face thinking of the mediocrity Arsenal fans are now watching compared to what they didn’t appreciate under Arsene Wenger.

Despite finishing ‘only’ sixth in Wenger’s final (2017/18) season, Arsenal still scored 74 PL goals. This time they have only 32 in 25 games, only Sheff Utd in the top half having scored less.

So what can we expect on Sunday? Well with Arsenal having won only a fraction over 20% of their PL matches since winning at St James Park, you would have to be disappointed if NUFC don’t come away with something.

Steve Bruce’s all out negativity meeting Arsenal’s failings in trying to score goals and win PL matches.

Arsenal have only win two of their last 17 Premier League matches so Newcastle shouldn’t travel in fear.

Mikel Arteta hasn’t exactly changed the club’s fortunes overnight, his eight PL games so far bringing only one win and six draw, plus one defeat.

A week after hammering Sunderland 5-1 and only a few weeks before Ashley outrageously sacked him, Chris Hughton took Newcastle to Arsenal and won 1-0 with an Andy Carroll header on 7 November 2010.

Obviously it is a struggle to even get Carroll on the pitch these days but nice to think that a decade later he might repeat that winning moment away at Arsenal.

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