Clean Sheet Record Needs Lauding Despite Poor Opposition
Remarkably, this is the first time in eleven years that Arsenal have kept five clean sheets in succession, with that previous run including the likes of Roma, Tottenham Hotspur, as well as four consecutive goalless draws in the Premier League.
This time, it goes without saying that playing three very negative-minded sides (Newcastle twice and West Brom) helps Arsenal’s case dramatically. There is always some luck needed, and the Gunners got some via a combination of the woodwork and poor finishing, but the run deserves all the credit it gets.
Bernd Leno has saved his side on a few occasions and continues to prove he’s a focussed, professional goalkeeper who can be called thrust into action even having spent 70 or so minutes untroubled.
The back four have played their part too, with Pablo Mari and Rob Holding striking a solid partnership, one based on balance of pressing and aerial solidity. Holding is excellent under pressure, complementing Mari who is more daring off the ball. Defensively both full-backs have been solid during the recent run, while Granit Xhaka has flipped his performances on the head with some impressive defensive steel.
You can only beat (stop) what’s in front of you and the performances of the defensive half of the team is rubbing off on the forwards, who look more confident as a result.