In his 21st year in charge of the club, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made a great start to the campaign on his way to filling it with glory. Though his side lost to Liverpool and drew with Leicester City in the first two games, they managed to hit back hard and have now posted 5 back to back victories, with the most recent one coming against Burnley. They have so far conceded just 7 goals from the first 6 games, 4 of which came against Liverpool in the opening weekend. Though it looked like Wenger will have a problem at the back after injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel, the signing of Shkodran Mustafi has seen the Gunners establish a partnership at the back that has given them 5 back to back victories. Mustafi is in his debut season but he has made life easy for himself playing alongside one of the best defenders in Europe in Laurent Koscielny and the duo can easily form a formidable partnership at the back. But here is why they might actually be the best:
Though 24, the German center back, Mustafi, has accumulated enough experience to help him adjust to a new league and he has started from where he left off at Valencia in the previous season. He has not been fazed by the occasions and the opposition and has shown great self-belief that has rubbed off on the whole squad. And playing alongside Koscielny has only made it easier. The Frenchman is one of the most consistent defenders in Europe for some time now and will enjoy playing alongside the German international. The duo will learn from each other and will only get better the more game time they get together.
Wenger’s knowledge of the game:
The French manager is one of the great philosophers of the game and believes in his and his team’s ability to get the better of the opponent. Mustafi was no doubt a solid center back in La Liga but his true form is evident in the first few matches at the Emirates. He is a commanding center half who is calm and composed in possession of the ball and though he looks a bit eager to jump into a tackle, he is more than just disciplined. Unlike Per Mertesacker, Mustafi is quick off his blocks but aerially, he is not as good as his German compatriot. So Wenger decided to change the way his back four approaches the game and this has allowed both Koscielny and Mustafi to thrive early this season. Both the players are high on confidence and the manager is doing his best to get the best out of his team.
Conditions in the league:
Arsene Wenger will be a happy man looking at his center back pairing in a season where none of the top sides have a strong one. Manchester United (Eric Bailly), Liverpool (Joel Matip), Chelsea (David Luiz) and Manchester City (John Stones) have all added a star player to their defense and are still trying to settle into their pairing. However, at the Emirates, with no other option for the manager, Mustafi has started every game in the league since moving to the country and has had no issues what so ever in getting used to the surroundings. The Premier League is a hard place to play and Mustafi has made it look simple early this season. Surely, the pairing of Koscielny and Mustafi will help Arsenal to glory in years to come.