Three points in the bag. A rather accomplished performance (barring the last 10 minutes) and some interesting displays from some players…
We totally dominated the first half, had 14 shots and did not concede one shot…We were passing the ball smoothly and creating chances and Aston Villa was all over the place. We score on set pieces first through a Partey header and then an Auba rebound from a saved PK…The score line was fair and the PK was obvious.
In the second half, Aston Villa changed their system and were a bit more coherent going forward and also defensively. However, after some good passing, ESR scored through a deflected shot but as a result of a potent counter-attack. Martinez made a few saves, we conceded some chances and then Ramsey scored a screamer for AV. Few minutes later, we almost conceded another one through a header following a throw in…The last minutes were nervy but we managed to see the game through.
So what did we learn?
- Lokonga is a much better option than Odegaard next to Partey in a double-pivot
- ESR is more at ease without Odegaard and playing through the middle or coming in from the left. He is in good form and really is showing that he can be a key player for us.
- Laca is really a key clog in our team especially for the press and hold-up play
- Tavares is showing early promises of a good left-back. What are we going to do with Cedric?
- Tomy had a good first half but then faded. Shall we rest him a bit?
- Partey had one of his best outings yesterday and his goal is a deserved reward. I hope that his injuries will leave him alone because it seems he has finally found his rhythm.
- Saka also had a good first half but also faded…Shall we rest him too?
- Auba had some good looks at goal and seems happier with Laca in the team.
- Gabriel was impressive last night especially in the air.
- Ramsdale’s passing is much better than Leno’s and he is also much better at launching our attacking play
Some pundits say we played a 442 but I am quite sure we were set-up as a 4231 with Auba just playing higher up on the left.
Here the ratings:
MOTM: Emile Smith Rowe
Ramsdale – 6
Tomy – 6
White – 6
Gabriel – 7
Tavares – 7
Lokonga – 7
Partey – 7
Saka – 6
ESR – 8
Auba – 7
Laca – 7
Next up is Leeds in the Carabao Cup, a chance to play some subs like Martinelli, Pepe, Balogun, AMN…However, I d not want to see Leno in goal to be honest…
I think earlier on we play 442
Possibly…not 100% sure tbh
Yea I would say first 15 minutes dey were 442 but as u said it could have been usual 4231 with lacazette pea and ESR interchanging
ESR was some on left if PEA went wide he came centers, if Lacazette drop deep PEA would move as striker etc
I think it is fair to say that:
– The EPL will land at Chelsea, Liverpool or City
– The CL will land at Chelsea, Liverpool, City or Bayern
These teams are so far ahead of the pack when it comes to team cohesion, defensive and offensive effectiveness.
If we make it to the Top 6, it will be good already and if we can land a Cup, it would be a very good season.
So, watched the game 2X.
Give the team a 8.5 for the first half, and a 6 for the second.
If it were not for ESR’s direct runs I do not know where we create any space to create chances.
Sambi and Nuno looked very composed on the ball, and moved forward with speed and purpose.
Auba should have just headed the damn ball in, remind me when he scored a chance on a header.
Penalty was a lucky one, opposition player already had his leg in motion when Laca put his foot down, but will take it.
Partey header was 1 in a 100 conversion, Saka was saved by Martinez’s toe, Auba almost blew another pk, and Watkins should have scored late for Villa.
A game of fine margins all around.
Now, in the 1st half, AFC seemed to be hungry and winning all the 50/50’s, moved the ball around well, and our defenders did not let Villa’s forwards have any space. Definitely on top, however, Arteta had to mess around, and he turtled it up around the 65 minute mark.
What is with this guy? Seriously…
Ramsdale is playing miles better than Leno, bye by Bernd, thank you for your service.
Partey had help in midfield, yet was still dispossessed a few times in dangerous areas.
Team cohesion is better, especially since this is the 1000th lineup for Arteta.
He has no excuses this season, and is fortunate not to have European futbol or Saka and ESR would surely be overplayed and become injured, Saka should not have even started in the first place.
AFC are right were they belong so far, mid table, one good half does not equate to 6th or better, and that is what everyone should demand from this coach.
Hi Aaron – I fully agree that we should demand a Top 6 and a Cup from our coach/team this year. As for yesterday’s game, it was a game of fine margins but overall, we deserved to win. We were dominant in the first half and were not dominated in the second half.
My major concerns remain (i) on whether we need to be starting Odegaard ever in the EPL, (ii) who to play next to Partey and (iii) whether we need to be playing Auba from the start.
Would that work out:
Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, Lokonga? – Saka, Laca, ESR – Auba?
There were positive performances from Tavares and Lokonga yesterday.
You are totally right about ESR’s runs but we should not overlook all the hard work that Lacazette put in with his runs, press and his ability to also drop back…
First, thanks for the post, you and a few others are keeping the ball moving.
Agree with most of your observations, including that AFC deserved to win the match hands down.
Laca made all the difference dropping deep and he has some hold up play that Auba will never have. Laca played very well yesterday, but I doubt he can produce this type of performance week in and week out. He was gassed by the 60th minute. He will not physically be able to stay healthy playing this way either.
Not really sure were Ode fits in either, Auba and Ode are conundrums for Arteta.
Can AFC afford to keep both (Laca and Auba), if it is to be youth going forward and selling players to keep the money recycling?
Check out http://www.justarsenal.com for that day in 2004 when Manure and Mike Riley cheated to the nth degree to steal our 49 match unbeaten run.
A Club that got today the treatment they should have suffered many many times in the last 20 years. Karma!
Just realised aubameyang walked off with captain armband and didn’t give it to anyone wonder if that was intentional since it really had no one to really give it to
Is it me or has anyone else notice because Aaron so comfortable on the ball teams don’t press us as dey use to when passing out from the back as dey use to when Leno was in goal
Arsenal play Leeds on Tuesday.
Leicester play Brighton on Wednesday.
I’d imagine that Arteta will play a close to full strength side.
So for those of you that follow the development of the players we loaned out…Saliba and Guendouzi had great performances yesterday against my home team of PSG.
Saliba muzzled out Neymar and Mbappe and was clean in his transmissions.
Guendouzi was very active defensively and going forward.
I think Saliba is making a great case to be back next year with us and may be a real challenger to both White and Gabriel…
As for Guendouzi, I don’t think he ll come back to us but if he did, he would not look out of sorts next to Partey. He has improved his defensive and passing game and seems to be animated by the same desire.
Tough choices coming up at the end of the season regarding our CBs because if we kept Saliba, we d need to make space for him. We can’t put him on the bench…However, if we decide to sell him, we d be able to get 50 Mln for him.Easy.
France will still be in good shape in a few years at Centre-Back with Kounde, Fofana, Saliba, Upamecano, Mukiele, Mendy, Hernandez….
Currently, the France defense is unsettled with Pavard, Varane, Kimpembe, L.Hernandez…
We ve been playing 343 as well but the three at the back are not greatish…
Lloris – Fofana, Varane, L.Hernandez – B.Pavard, Kante, Pogba, T.Hernandez – Griezmann, Benzema, Mbappe
may be more solid and if we play 433
Lloris – Pavard, Fofana, Varane, Mendy – Kante, Pogba, Tchouameni – Grizou, Benzema, Mbappe
could work out…
Anyways…the point is that Saliba is looking good this year and so is Guendouzi
Will be doing a saliba compilation later if anyone interested
I d be loving it
Pathetic from arteta and Martinelli never an elbow in a million years