One of the frustrating things about last season was that Arsenal, as is the custom, played half of their games away from home. On its face, that’s not the worst thing in the world, but Arsenal tried to make it that. For whatever reason, Arsenal were horrific away from the Emirates last season, winning just four of their 19 trips out of town, all of which happened before January 1, 2018.
Well, chalk up “road form” as yet another thing that the club has almost completely changed this season:
4 - Arsenal have won as many away games in the Premier League this season (4/6) as they managed in the entirety of last season's campaign (4/19). Attitude. #BOUARS pic.twitter.com/zjdhvHq2Zo— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 25, 2018
I don’t know that there is a single cause for either Arsenal’s away form last season or their vast improvement in said form this season, so I can’t end this article with “AND THIS IS WHY”, as much as I might want to.
Why? Because, as I mentioned above, all of Arsenal’s road wins last year came by, well, a month from now (December 28, 2017 at Crystal Palace was the last away win of the season). And while I don’t think losing after an arbitrarily chosen calendar point is a repeatable skill, I am realistic enough to know that there’s a long way to go this season. I mean, I don’t think Arsenal will lose every away game from January 1 on out, but as people say, there’s previous.
This is a different team, a different setup, and a different season, so I still have hope, and it was nice to see that Arsenal have gotten this particular monkey, however small, at least most of the way off their backs.