Adrian Clarke is looking at key tactical talking points ahead of Matchweek 22.
In the space of just four matches in all competitions, rookie head coach Mikel Arteta has transformed the style of the side he inherited.
The Spaniard has addressed key points of weakness right from the outset and is making a terrific early impression at Emirates Stadium.
He recognised that the Gunners were not pushing themselves hard enough, with and without the ball, and immediately instilled in the players a fresh appetite to impose themselves on opponents through intense physical effort.
|Head coach||Team distance (km)|
The data is startling.
They are looking fitter and stronger with each appearance, so Roy Hodgson must prepare his Palace side for a serious physical examination.
|Opponent||Distance (km)||Head coach|
Arsenal are clearly spending a lot of time working on their collective press at the club's London Colney training centre.
The players are closing down opponents with ferocious intensity and doing so in a more coordinated manner than we have seen from them in years.
They are particularly dangerous opponents for teams seeking to play out from the back.
Across Arteta’s first three Premier League matches, his side have won possession inside the opposition half an average of 19 times per match.
Under interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg that figure stood at 10.7 over the same number of contests.
Palace may well opt to play longer passes in order to bypass this press.
|Under Ljungberg||Poss. won opp. half||Under Arteta||Poss. won opp. half|
|v EVE||11||v MUN||14|
|v MCI||16||v CHE||19|
|v WHU||5||v BOU||24|
Arsenal’s improved ball retrieval is not just down to hard work, but is also the consequence of the sound positional structure Arteta has implemented.
The back four is narrower than it was under Emery, with the full-backs not expected to fly forward.
From this solid base, Arsenal are winning the ball back more often, and enabling star playmaker Mesut Ozil to shine.
From turnovers he is finding space and receiving earlier passes before the opposition are set.
Like most of his team-mates, the German's form has already improved markedly under his new head coach.
Arteta's next target will be to build on the positive start to his reign by claiming his first away win at the expense of Palace.