Are you NOT entertained?
*throws empty can at wall
The Europa has delivered again. Peak entertainment in a world of MANY choices. Arteta’s Arsenal do not know how to lose. Three wins out of three. This is how we do it.
The starting 11 drew the usual grumbles. It was quite senior, there weren’t many kids, and it felt a little bland.
Things didn’t start well. Lots of possession, terrible in the final third, same as usual. Then Leno fired a long pass out the back, Molde found Martin Ellingson, he then picked out the bottom corner from 25 yards. Not a distance you expect Leno to be beaten from, not a good look for him… again.
We always had too much for them. In fact, we had so much mental sauce, we did the school playground equivalent of asking Molde to ‘stop punching themselves.’
Yep, we extracted TWO own goals. The first came when Xhaka found himself the further player forward, he waited for Eddie to run past him, he then hit a low cross at Willock who forced Haugen to finish it for him. Outrageous mind games.
The second goal was more Willock. He played a one-two with Xhaka, tripped, kept his composure, the ball dropped for him, he controlled it, fired it across the box and Sinyan accidentally bundled it in. Unreal humiliation.
Nicolas Pepe continued the good time with a goal of his own, this time from Saka, the low cross to penalty spot was perfect for the Ivorian to sweep across goal.
The final goal of the game was for MOTM, Joe Willock. Nicolas Pepe, in the middle of the pitch, fed a central ball into a run from the left, Joe controlled it and smashed the ball into the top corner. Wonderful.
So what did we learn?
Errrm, well, we can create when we fancy it? We were depressingly awful in the final third in the first half, but we still managed to come out of the game with 16 attempts, with 5 on target. The interesting thing is the system isn’t the problem… the problem is that our players are just very out of form when it comes to being decisive in the final third.
Nicolas Pepe scored a goal and had an assist, but he didn’t really look like he was a cut above the Molde players. I thought Willian looked poor again. He just doesn’t look like the efficient machine he was at Chelsea.
The player who looked really interesting was Joe Willock. He isn’t clinical with his final ball or pass yet, but he is always in the right position. That’s 75% of the battle. Composure comes later. He had a great game, he ran hard, fast, and he never hid. If he can translate that into the league, we really have a player on our hands.
So overall, not much to learn against a bad team, but at least we won convincingly, and a player we’re all interested in put on a show.
Right, see you in the comments!