The day of reckoning has finally arrived.
For Arsenal FC, the month of August was positive, claiming seven points out of a possible 12 to sit in fifth position on the English Premier League table.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been the standout, slotting in three goals from four starts, proving he is as lethal on the left wing as he is leading the line.
A special mention also goes out to Matteo Guendouzi, whose recent performances have earned him a call-up to the France national team.
Guendouzi’s stunning pass to Aubameyang in the North London derby against Tottenham not only led to Arsenal’s equalising goal, but also heightened the young Frenchman’s growing reputation.
Former Spurs striker Darren Bent lauded Guendouzi, claiming the midfielder looked like he’s “played for Arsenal for years”, and could be in the Gunners’ midfield for a decade to come.
However, Arsenal’s visit to Anfield, on August 25, was their worst performance for the month.
Unai Emery’s initial gameplan was defensively astute but lacked creativity, which proved to his side’s undoing when Joel Matip eventually broke the deadlock.
The game ended 3-1, with Aubameyang and record-signing Nicolas Pépé ruing missed opportunities.
The defeat was another example of Arsenal simply not being ready to return to Europe’s elite caste of clubs. However we cannot be too critical, as all clubs bar Manchester City are expected to be bested at Anfield, and beating the Scousers will not be key for Arsenal making the top four.
As for the first North London derby of the season, it ended 2-2 after a late Arsenal charge led by Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette saved embarrassment. Still, fans would be ruing the missed opportunity to snag three points at home.
Arsenal may have only won half their games in August but at the very least a top-four finish looks the goods early in the season.
Given enough time – and provided players such as Nicolas Pépé begin to fire – Arsenal could be the only club capable of threatening Manchester City and Liverpool.