After seven games of the new Premier League season, Arsenal have showcased both the good and the bad.
The Gunners currently sit in fourth place in the standings after their 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night, with reason for optimism for the fans.
Arsenal’s attack, while not decimating teams as yet, has shown real potential.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the Premier League’s most-prolific strikers and has already found the back of the net on seven occasions this term.
The Arsenal striker is well supported by Alexandre Lacazette and summer signing Nicolas Pepe, and if the trio can start to fire collectively, the Gunners will have one of the division’s most-feared attacking units.
The capture of David Luiz from Chelsea before the campaign started has generally been a positive decision, with the centre-half improving the side’s rearguard – but work still needs to be done for the North London side to stop conceding soft goals.
But, for Arsenal to compete for major honours and push towards qualifying for the Champions League again, Unai Emery needs to sort out the centre of his midfield.
The Gunners lack a leader in the heart of their side, with no commanding presence or authoritarian figure to take a game by the scruff of the neck.
The successful Arsenal sides under Arsene Wenger had the likes of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva as midfield talismen, but this team lacks a player of similar stature.
Matteo Guendouzi has the ball-playing skills and energy to compete in the Premier League and he will only improve as he gets more experience at the top level.
However, it is really down to Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka, both international players and both signed at significant expense, to show the required bite and muscle in the boiler room.
Too often Arsenal are outran, outworked and subsequently bullied because the opposition win the battle in central midfield.
Emery has an issue on his hands in this regard and it may well be a matter of dipping into the transfer market to find a remedy if the Gunners are going to reclaim former glories.