Five Points Clear

November 12, 2022

So would you still accept top four, really? You know what I mean, how long ago was it that you would have accepted that trifle, that mere bauble, at the beginning of the season, after the Tottenham win, after the Liverpool win, after the Chelsea win or in my case today after the City loss and our fine win against a well drilled Wolves side? Top four, pah, I want the whole cake now with icing and cherries on the top. 

Ramsdale: if you do your job properly which he did, and keep a clean sheet, which he did and the team win, which we did, why isn’t that a perfect performance worthy of the highest score? 10

Zinchenko: our Ukrainian clearly has a larger than life personality and it occurred to me that his play reflects that, there were moments today when I thought that that was a hindrance, slightly less bling and a bit more precision. Still a superb signing, love him. 7   

Gabriel: unusually looked like the more commanding central defender today, a very solid performance. 8

Saliba: it was quite a shock to see that he is human and capable of making mistakes, which he did in the first half, but obviously had a large gulp of Mikel’s magic half time juice and came out for the second and played to his usual commanding best. 7

White: the thing I don’t understand is why doesn’t Arteta encourage Benny Blanco to come inside, the same way he clearly does with Zinchenko? White is obviously capable of playing in different positions and taking on different roles, if he were encouraged to play a bit more centrally he could be the answer to the nightmare scenario of TP getting injured. Defensively as sound as ever but not quite as effective going forward but I think that had more to do with Saka being off the pace. 7

Partey: and onto the nightmare scenario of a TP injury, well my nightmare is that without him, we are a top sixish team fighting for a Europa place. The man is world class and a joy to watch, I wonder if he has a brother? 8

Odegaard: I just found out that Norway didn’t qualify for the World Cup, resuuuult, go find a quite beach Martin, have a long rest and come back and play as well as you did today. MOTM 9

Xhaka: stomach issues, get well soon Granit, you were missed.

Martinelli: a bit quiet today by his standards but was still key in both goals (love the contradiction) has Martinelli got his own song? Should have. 7

Jesus: we need a 25 goal a season striker, no we don’t, we need a player who is going to help us win more games than anyone else this season, and this guy is delivering, worked tirelessly. 8

Saka: was well marked but that doesn’t usually stop him, not his usual effective self. 6

Sub. Vieira: he has been poor recently; I think most have wondered if that has been down to playing with lesser talents in games in the Europa and the League Cup? Well today was his chance to play with the A team for the best part of ninety minutes and show that his superb Brentford performance was not a one off. In my opinion he did this, he did enough to reassure that he has a bright future with us this was underlined by his perfect chip for Odegaard to score our first goal. 7