Arsenal’s unlikely title advantage identified by Luton manager Rob Edwards

Arsenal's unlikely title advantage identified by Luton manager Rob Edwards

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards believes Arsenal’s ability to play any kind of game sets the Gunners apart from title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners made several changes from the side which drew with Manchester City as they welcomed Edwards’ side to the Emirates Stadium. The heavily rotated side still had too much for the Hatters, though, with a Martin Odegaard opener and a Daiki Hashioka own goal making the difference.

The victory extended Arsenal’s unbeaten league run to 10 games, with Arteta’s men yet to taste defeat in the competition in 2024. Their run of nine wins and a draw over that period has seen them score 35 goals, while conceding just four.

The title contenders spent big over the summer in an effort to avoid a repeat of the late-season collapse which denied them top spot last season. There are still challenging games to come, including trips to Tottenham and Manchester United, but Edwards has been impressed by what he has seen from Arsenal so far.

When asked what makes the Gunners so formidable, Edwards said: “They give no chances away to the opposition teams. We saw them against… a top, top team on the weekend, and they limited City to very little.

“They don’t give you anything, and then… it’s very clear in how they attack but it’s really difficult to stop as well,” the Welshman added. “They’re always there in good numbers and then they can really suffocate you as well.

“I think maybe they’re the one team out of all the three that are fighting at the moment that can sort of play any game. If it’s a physical game, if it’s a footballing game, if it’s a running game – whatever it is, they’ve got the answer, they’ve got the personalities who will play any way”

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Martin Odegaard celebrating with Arsenal team-mate Kai Havertz

Two first-half goals were enough for Arsenal to see off Luton
Getty Images)

Arsenal’s changes included a recall for Emile Smith Rowe. The 23-year-old was making just his fourth start since the start of last season, but put in a man of the match display which prompted comment from Arteta.

“I love him as a player,” the manager said. “It’s a joy to watch him how he moves, how he changes how physical he was as well today. He’s a joy to watch. Today he helped us a lot to win the game.

“I was really impressed with him. He has been training really well and we felt the game could suit us. Really pleased for the boys who came in. It is a busy month, we have started well again after an international break and next is Brighton.”

Arteta will have decisions to make ahead of the trip to Brighton, including whether to recall Bukayo Saka after the forward missed Wednesday’s win through injury. “”He was close but again he felt something in a very similar area against City and it was a very short turnaround,” the Arsenal boss told TNT Sports.

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