Arsenal put in another ‘mostly’ professional performance as they picked apart Watford on a pretty breezy afternoon. The two whinges you could have were familiar:
- We don’t take enough of our chances
- Xhaka is going to Xhaka
Let’s be clear here, the only way we’ll get over those two issues is through a recruitment drive we know is coming this summer. There’s no point in dwelling on it. We have to make it work for 15 more games. Arsenal can do that.
What we should instead talk about is how this team of young players is now dropping scintillating passages of football and matching them with spectacular goals.
Each one of our offerings today was special. They all involved intricate passing patterns, they all involved big finishes, and each of them came from the generation of players that IS taking Arsenal to the Promised Land.
Odegaard started off the run of goals with a beautiful flick that played in Saka, his finish from his left slipped was a touch-BANG goal that was really impressive.
The second goal came from Saka winning the ball back in midfield, Lacazette rolling a backheel into his path, and a ruthless left foot into the top corner. It was world-class and speaks to our new system of creating chances by winning the ball back in dangerous areas.
The third goal was courtesy of my poor intent. I was about the Tweet, ‘GET MARTINELLI OFF’, it was stupid, I’m sorry for my thought crime. Arteta set us up for a quick throw. Cedric made the run, clipped an awkward ball into Odegaard, the Norwegian flicked the ball onto Lacazette who teed up Martinelli for the SCREAMER of a shot into the top corner.
Yes, yes, I will talk about their goals. One was a Trevor Sinclair screamer, congrats, it happens. The other was courtesy of Granit Xhaka trying a ridiculous pass considering the moment in the game. The second one was more annoying because you can’t point to it being an experience thing, it’s just part of the price of Xhaka. How do you stop a player in their late twenties doing dumb things? You sign someone above them like Tielemans.
Arsenal had some moments defensively. Aaron Ramsdale went into that mode when he starts trying to force things and his passing gets a bit wild. He needs to control his emotions in moments like that, because against a better team, he’d have been found out. That was a warning shot for Leicester. Also, there were just some brain dead moments in general from our defence. They were all at it. Let’s put it down to one of those days… a day we got away with.
But how about the positives? Scintillating football with an unpredictable edge. We really are the real deal. Top 4 is in our hands because we deserve it. It’ll still be tough, Spurs and United will still win games, but we’re starting to look like the team with the momentum. Really, injuries are the only impediment to our success.
The table looks good. Really, Spurs are the biggest impediment to our success. But… it’s in our hands. We play West Ham, Spurs, and United. If we deal with them, we are in the Champions League, if we don’t, it’s on us. Momentum is with Arsenal, we have to keep it going.
This group of players IS special. What we’re seeing speaks to elite coaching, top-level scouting, a proper culture, and a group of players that believe they can be the best in the world. This is the sauce I promised 2 years ago. Arsenal are moving to the next level, can we sustain it? Who knows. Today all that matters is this: 3 points.
Now listen to our podcast. I know I say it every week, but THANK YOU for watching and listening. You make the show great. It’s so fun to have you all on during the live session. Next season, we’ll kick it up a gear again IF you keep tuning in. Is that a threat? Yes. LISTEN OR FACE CONSEQUENCES. Love you. Have a banger of a day because YOU deserve it. x