Sunday, May 19, 2024


Arsenal gained the Group Defend. It mattered. Two issues ought to lead you to that conclusion.

  1. Pep Gs response when Metropolis went 1-0 up
  2. Arteta’s once we equalised after 100 minutes of play

The victory doesn’t impression the profitable machine Pep has in Manchester, they already know the best way to do the enterprise in opposition to everybody – they’ve the Champions IP coded into their very existence after an amazing run beneath the most effective supervisor on this planet.

It’s completely different for Arsenal.

Our season faltered final 12 months as a result of Manchester Metropolis knew they have been chasing boys. Our boys knew they weren’t prepared for the large time. When the crunch got here, we misplaced the league as a result of have been weren’t robust sufficient bodily and we have been a good distance off being mentally geared up to take care of their presence. That’s to be anticipated, they’re seasoned professionals, we have been the second youngest staff within the league final season. That didn’t change our actuality – you’ll be able to’t be Champions in case you have a bogey staff you’re actually fearful of. We wanted a win to unshackle the concern that we will’t beat them. It actually didn’t matter the way it got here, however the reality it occurred after going 1-0 in an necessary sport will really feel additional particular.

This needs to be our second. I can’t hearken to any extra ‘Arteta is a genius’ items of content material, as a result of nobody will care until he has trophies stacked up in opposition to his identify. Proper now, he’s the child in school that blitzed his GCSEs with 16 A* grades. Properly, everyone knows loads of children that did that, solely to finish up working 14 hr days wrapping balloons round folks’s arms at Thurrock TGi Fridays singing *that* birthday tune that every one the patrons faux they didn’t know what was coming. Being a genius wants extra substance, in soccer, it’s the steel form.

Arsenal seemed like they’re about to show Arteta’s genius after yesterday.

We shook off the bullshit of preseason with a decisive efficiency. The staff began with a little bit of concern, however eased into the sport, managed the nerves, and grew into the occassion like an early 2000s Italian staff within the Champions League. Pound for pound, there wasn’t a lot in it. We had the higher probabilities within the first half however solely had optimistic vibes as a fantastic xG to indicate for it.

There was a variety of on-line celebration earlier than the sport had completed. After 55 minutes I’d seen sufficient, I used to be glad, I do know loads of followers felt the efficiency was sufficient even when we didn’t win. After we went 1-0 down, I used to be resigned to a wonderful failure… it wasn’t to be. Leandro BOSSARD had different concepts, within the a centesimal minute, he took an opportunity, chopping in from the fitting with a smash-and-grab deflected objective that Frank Lampard would have been very happy with. This objective spoke to greater than Trossard’s high quality type… it spoke to a staff that desires to be identified for scoring late targets, and it spoke to a mentality shift, as a result of final 12 months, we’d have been overwhelmed if Metropolis scored that late.

My massive concern has been that we’re going to battle with the brand new gamers – no less than within the brief time period. I may be flawed, however give me that humble pie with a bit pastry dunce hat, as a result of I’ll be glad to eat it.

The brand new gamers all seemed like they’d been at Arsenal for a very long time. We didn’t miss a beat in opposition to the most effective opposition on the planet. Mikel Arteta rolled with a brand new proper again at left again and it wasn’t a weak spot. He performed Rice and Partey and it was an improve. He determined, as I predicted, to go together with Kai Havertz because the #9 and it gave us one thing extraordinarily completely different to a Brief Boy Summer time line-up.

Older heads performed blinders.

Ben White – oh, he’s our proper again.

Invoice Saliba – value each penny of that new deal

Odegaard – right here for the crown of KDB

Thomas Partey – he’s right here to remain, maintain your Saudi cash

Aaron Ramsdale? He heard the coach was doubting him and he confirmed who he was with a chic show.

Kai Havertz turned heads with a few of his play. We have to recover from the score of gamers based mostly on charisma and the way good they’re on podcasts. The German seems to be al0of – the sort that will arduous decide you if you happen to held a fork like a shovel at a cocktail party – however that shouldn’t imply he will get unfair press. He isn’t Mesut Ozil, he works arduous, he’s a beast, and he has so many components you search for in a world-class expertise. Simply have a look at the way in which he turned Ben White’s errant cross behind him into an opportunity. Not many gamers on this planet may try this.  Was his ending good? No. However let’s not leap to HE CAN’T DO IT conclusions simply because he’s not doing banter on the principle feed.

Jurrien Timber actually did blow my thoughts. He performed out of positon, filling in for Zini, and he dropped a ten/10 efficiency. The boy was in every single place. He has energy, distinctive tempo, and a mind from a galaxy far, far-off. There’s simply a lot to his sport. He strikes the place he needs. there appear to be only a few weaknesses, and he’s slotted in like a veteran. HE IS ONLY 22. Our defence has a lot depth proper now, it’s loopy.

Aaron Ramsdale may have melted after the press this week, however bar one distro subject, he was wonderful. After we went 1-0 down, he made two totally essential saves. He saved one vs one, then did brilliantly from a again submit header. This protects stored us within the sport and his penalty save gained it for us. David Raya is coming to Arsenal to take his #1 place, make no mistake about that – however provided that Aaron drops his degree once more. Play like that each week, it’ll be David ‘League Cup’ Raya.

We should always focus a bit bit on the surprising refereeing. Stuart Atwell was atrocious. He booked Partey after 7 minutes, however let Rodri foul tactically all sport. He booked Mikel Arteta, a nod to Richard Keys, for touchline dissent for flagging that Rodri was making a mockery of the sport. Howard Webb was sitting within the stands trying very smug – what did he consider it? When are we going to see actual strikes right here? Our objective may have been prevented if Partey may tactically foul – he couldn’t. If Rodri had been punished, you realize, in any respect, perhaps we’d have scored earlier? Requirements must get higher. Webb not trying very efficient proper now.

That mentioned, I like the brand new rule for retaining time. Is it shit for followers who need to get dwelling? Sure. However there are larger fish to fry relating to fan comfort. The rule for accruing time for losing away the sport is crucial. If you happen to waste time in opposition to fitter extra gifted gamers, chances are high, they’re gonna get you late within the sport. The Arsenal vs Metropolis sport noticed an additional 8 minutes added, however 10 minutes performed. That helped us degree the sport. It is a nice transfer contemplating the nonsense Newcastle obtained away with final season.

Again to the sport – I appreciated the subs who drove the sport ahead with quick passing and extra ahead intent. I liked Bossard stepping up once more, displaying he’s going to be a pressure to be reckoned with this season. And I liked the swagger of our penalties. Odegaard main the cost settled the nerves, Saka was all the time ending, Trossard by no means seemed like lacking, and Fabio Vieira despatched the doubters tweets again to drafts with a screamer for the winner.

So general, loads to like.

The massive questions: Most Group Defend wins imply nothing – Liverpool ripped Metropolis aside final season, solely to have their worst season on report.

We’ve 4 video games that’ll inform us loads about our season. Forest, Palace, Fulham, and United. 10 factors is the goal, however actually, if we need to maintain these title hopes at degree 11, we want 12 factors.

I’ve flip-flopped loads this summer season – proper now, I’m midway to flopping in direction of a title cost THIS season.

Let me know the place you’re within the feedback RIGHT NOW.


P.S. Subscribe to the rattling podcast – and get on the Youtube Channel RIGHT NOW. x



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