Make no mistake – that was the performance of the season from Arsenal.
We absolutely controlled every aspect of the Aston Villa game from start to finish. Stevie G didn’t know what to do, his side were totally nullified, they had no outlets despite having plenty of players that offer them.
Emi Martinez told Emi Beundia to turn down Arsenal, hahahahah!
Villa tried to convince the world they were a squad on the rise, worthy of Emile Smith Rowe, hahahaah!
Back to the game.
Defensively we were imperious. Arsenal fans often criticise Arteta for crosses into the box, well, how about Villa trying to beat White and Gabriel in the air all day without getting a sniff? It was more than that though, it was setting up perfectly so the passing lanes for Villa’s backline were dead, it was strategically pressing them at all the right moments, it was every single player showing up and being accountable for the clean sheet.
We did all of that with our second choice right-back and a keeper that has barely played all season.
Arsenal is now joint 3rd for clean sheets with Chelsea.
Attacking wise we also showed a lot of character. All those people complaining about expensive defensive signings are now seeing the error of their ways. We play out the back and it’s pure silk on my eyeballs. There are no weak links there, there’s no drama, it’s just a beautiful feature of our system. What makes it better is when the players ahead know what they are doing. Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka did a great job connecting our attackers today, Bukayo Saka put on such an elite performance, no doubt giving Ashley Young nightmares in the process. It was so much fun watching Arsenal create overloads then popping perfect balls for Saka to torment his 47 year old adversary. His goal was superb, he powered his low shot through a crowd, his 10th of the season, his 5th in 5 games, who said it was a bad idea to bet on youth?
Everything about Arsenal is intelligent, committed, and high level. You can see that all those players work for each other. Always remember, this is the youngest squad in the league, they have no right to be this good, this fast.
Top 4 is really on now. We closed out March 4 points clear of United with a game in hand. We’ve turned the pressure over to Spurs and West Ham.
If you thought 70 points was the number we needed to be at, then consider this:
10 games left
16 points to 70
5 wins. 1 draw = 16 points
Our next 3 games.
If we can win those games, we are very, very, very close to hitting our target.
It also means Spurs and West Ham have finer margins to deal with if they want to take our place.
Spurs need 7 wins from 10. So do West Ham.
We need West Ham to win tomorrow.
They are in great shape in the Europa League. Beat Lyon and they will have Frankfurt or Barcelona in the next round. That game will come right when we play them. Do you think a bunch of quite old players are going to be thinking about Arsenal when they have a trip to the Camp Nou brewing? I hope not. West Ham are less likely to put on a 10 game run than Spurs.
The season is in our hands, we have the special sauce, the momentum, and everyone in the league can see it.
It’s just a joy being an Arsenal fan right now. I said at the start of the season that fan connection would be huge. It’s easy to be a supporter when things are going well, less so when things are tough. Our fans have been there through every moment this season, that faith has turbocharged the development of the kids. No player fears 22nd minute groans with misplaced passes because the fans decided to back the kids. I’ve told you before, I was getting leaks that some of the players didn’t like playing at The Emirates, I bet that’s not the case now, because that place is a damn fortress.
Arteta has done a spectacular job on that front. Making IRL tickets worth the expense.
Now, let’s pray for healthy bodies after the break, because my word, are we going to need everyone fit to help.
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