ARSENAL have gone through the month of November unbeaten for the first time in 13 years – which could be a sign that Unai Emery’s revolution is taking shape at the Emirates.
The Gunners may have won just two games in that time – against Bournemouth, and yesterday at Vorskla – and drawn three others, but it’s still the first time they’ve avoided defeat at this time of year in well over a decade.
Reuters5 Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has been a hit with the Emirates faithful
The north Londoners have found things difficult in the penultimate month of the year since recording six wins from six in all competitions in November 2005.
The unbeaten streak is a sign that Arsenal are turning a corner under their new manager – and there are a number of players that deserve plenty of credit.
There’s no doubt that Lucas Torreira has given another dimension to the Gunners’ midfield since joining the club from Sampdoria in the summer.
The 22-year-old was born in the Uruguayan city of Fray Bentos – and he’s certainly added some meat to the tackling and interceptions made by Emery’s men.
Reuters5 Torreira challenges Mo Salah in the 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool
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The diminutive South American – he stands just 5’5” – has won over Arsenal fans with his tenacious challenges, neat distribution and vision, and they have even honoured him with a rewrite of the song they once reserved for Patrick Viera.
It’s perhaps surprising given that defensive midfielder is a relatively new position for him – being converted to it from the playmaker role he had enjoyed as a youth player.
Considering they have conceded only eight goals in eleven games since the start of October, Arsenal’s defence has come in for a fair amount of criticism – but there have been successes at the back, too.
Bernd Leno has had an impressive start to life in the Premier League, having usurped Petr Cech as first-choice goalkeeper in that competition.
5 German international Bernd Leno has ousted Petr Cech as Arsenal's No 1 goalkeeper
He has been a calm presence between the sticks, showing good anticipation and awareness – and a better level of distribution than his Czech counterpart.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos has not had as many opportunities to shine as some of his team mates this season – but the Greek centre back has also impressed when given the chance by Unai Emery.
Preferred by the manager when playing a back three, he was a stand-out performer in the Gunners’ 2-1 victory at Bournemouth last weekend, hardly giving England striker Callum Wilson a sniff.
PA:Press Association5 Sokratis Papastathopoulos has impressed for Arsenal when selected at centre back
Getty Images5 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Bournemouth
It’s been a mixed bag in terms of performances at the other end of the field, but with eight goals so far Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is joint-top of the Premier League scoring charts.
It’s an impressive return for the Gabonese, especially considering he has mainly been used on the left behind Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal face arguably their stiffest challenge in the League since August when they take on their great rivals Spurs at the Emirates on Sunday.
We’ll know much more about their character and title credentials after the clash with the in-form Lillywhites – but Arsenal fans can already take heart from a successful month of football.