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'How Mesut and Alexis are thriving'

By Jordan James Davies

As the international break casts a temporary hold for the non-stop action and drama of the Premier League, clubs and managers in the top flight can afford to look back and assess their performance so far this campaign - none more so than Arsenal and our coach Arsene Wenger.

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This first appeared on 90min

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We have started the 2016/17 season with a bang, having won seven of our opening 11 fixtures, sitting just two points off the top spot in what could be the most competitive and thrilling title race ever. However, it's the minute details and improvements that have seen us talked about as one of the favourites to lift the Premier League title in May. In terms of putting the ball in the back of the net, Arsenal have been showing the rest of the division how it's done with 24 goals thus far, with only rivals Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool scoring more. Compared to last season's tally of 10 at the same point this season, we have found our clinical edge. Wenger's philosophy of keeping the ball on the deck and playing intricate football appears to be paying dividends in the league, with more passes on the ground than any other side (554). The man who has played a huge part in this is Santi Cazorla, whose staggering 91 per cent passing accuracy outweighs any other player in the division. At the back, the newly formed partnership of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi is working a treat. This season we have only conceded 11 goals, averaging 20 interceptions per game (the third best in the league) and only committing nine fouls per game - only Manchester City, Burnley and Hull have given away fewer fouls. Two of the biggest highlights of the season so far however have been the performances of Mesut Ozil and Alexis, who have lead from the front since the start of the campaign, combining goals and assists with a level of consistency that makes them among the very best in the division. Alexis appears to have found his perfect role in the centre, floating in and around the front three, as well as using his pace to both terrorise and press opposition defences and get in behind the back four. The stats don't lie in this respect. Alexis has made his best-ever start to a season in an Arsenal shirt in his new position, scoring six goals and providing three assists, as well as creating 24 chances and maintaining a shot accuracy of 61 per cent. Ozil has also found a new way of playing, despite not moving position. Sitting in behind Alexis, the Germany international's energy and commitment to make himself a presence in the opposition's box has seen him notch up three goals and one assist. The pair could be the difference in the big games we have coming up - including the trip to Manchester United.

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