Another win at the Emirates, another clean sheet, a win against a side also striving for Top 4 and some good passage of play. A missed PK though by Laca who should not have taken it imho – the player that gets fouled should avoid taking it but this is a very personal view. The team is working well at times together and we are doing relatively well so far against the not so-big teams at home. We need to improve our record against the big teams and our away form but there are some positives. If Martinelli can keep his form, he will make such a difference for us. ESR is slowly establishing himself as a game winner and Saka has now become a regular high-level performer. Tomyasu and Tierney are doing well as full backs and our Ramsdale, White, Gabs is not too shabby either but Gabs really impressing so far. Still some work to do in the middle of the pitch but overall, we did OK. We re in the Top 4 but we ve played more games than the Spurs for example so…Laca captained the side nicely and I felt that he played particularly well (except for the PK miss) by making the team tick together up front but also with his defensive contribution. I hope we extend him for 2 years and in that time, Balogun should be able to grow into the role…Big question mark about Pepe who keeps on being overlooked by Arteta…
“Such a shame we lost those first 3 games of the season. Since then the table has looked like this….
Man City P14 Pts 35
Liverpool P13 Pts 30
Chelsea P13 Pts 29
Arsenal P14 Pts 29
We’ve kept 8 clean sheets in our last 14 PL games. It’s fair to say we haven’t got the balance right yet with our goals record being what it is (not helped by Auba suddenly showing his age) but there is no denying that the defence has been improved and our record against teams outside the top 6 is starting to get back to something like it was under Wenger when we were qualifying every year for the CL. We must get back to being a side that beats the bottom 14 teams on a regular basis before we can even think about looking upwards.
It’s small steps under Arteta and it’s slower than some would like, but the progress is there if you want to look for it. It may not be pretty to watch at times, but I’d much rather we take time to get a solid defensive foundation in place that we can then build a more attractive game around, rather than doing what we have for the last 15 or so years which is to put style over substance by throwing money at attackers whilst having sub-standard defenders/attitude to defending.
Good result and up to 4th. The Emirates starting to become a bit of a fortress. What’s not to like?”
“Solid win, clean sheet, deservedly so.
Really enjoyed the teams intensity the first 25 minutes, yet we still did not have a real clear chance on goal. The shot by opposition that curled by was best chance of the game by 35 minutes.
Laca huffed and puffed, but is was Martinelli’s run straight at goal, Mikel are you paying attention, that made a difference.
Neutralized Antonio very well, and thought the red card for Coufal was harsh, and well, Laca telegraphed it and that was that.
ESR comes on, we counter, quickly, Saka plays ESR forward and ESR drives straight to the box, and there you go.
Do not believe those 2 goals are the work of Arteta at all, in fact he has been holding those kids back, but whatever, he forced his hand with Auba, and the youth did what their natural talents allowed them to do.
AFC have an excellent record at home, which is what a team needs to finish in top quartile, can Arteta do it on the road?
We shall see, if Covid allows it to happen”
“Aaron, you have hit upon a very interesting topic of conversation.
Were last night’s goals coached?
The second is easy and I think most people would agree that Smith Rowe simply showed a moment of brilliance to shoot through the legs of the defender finding the corner, leaving Fabiansky flat footed.
But I have spent all morning purring about how the first came straight off the training ground and the key to this is Lacazette, this is what changed last night. Watch where he is when he gets the ball, this is the cue for Martinelli to start his run.
This well rehearsed sequence purposely happened a handful of times, in fact you can follow it further back, that goal is a move that is practised all the way from Ramsdale to the defender to Lacazette to Martinelli.
It was impressive I find it difficult to understand how other Arsenal supporters didn’t notice it”
LB’s follow-up inputs:
Conversation between Edu and Arteta.
Arteta: I have got a problem with Auba, he is slowing down, he is missing sitters but I don’t know what to do, he is the club captain so I can’t really leave him on the bench; he has asked to take a trip what do you think I should do?
Edu: let him go, you know he always arrives back late, when he does take the captaincy away from him, sit him on the bench and start playing more Brazilian football.
Arteta: Brazilian football?
Edu: Martinelli of course.
Arteta: do you think it will work.
Edu: Yes, Auba will fall into the trap as I said he is alway late.”
RC 78’s inputs:
“Ramsdale – 6
Tomy – 6
Ben – 6
Gabs – 7
Tierney – 6
Partey – 5.5
Xhaka – 5.5
Saka – 7
Ode – 5.5
Martinelli – 7.5
Laca – 6
ESR – 6.5
Nketiah – 5.5
A decent win. Could have won with a larger margin really. Laca should not have taken the penalty. Martinelli ws outstandhing during 65 minutes and Saka was really good as well. Still worried about Xhaka-Partey but overall, a deserved win and two well taken goals by Martinelli and ESR. COYG!”