Arsenal cruuuuuuuuuuised to an exceedingly simple win against a totally outclassed Sevilla FC. How can these young Arsenal men be acting out in the Champions League like they’re seasoned veterans?
We are not talking enough about how this rebooted Arsenal group of players are strangling sides like Homer Simpson on Bart before it was deemed uncool to strangle kids in cartoons last week.
Sevilla had one shot on target all game and that was their entire catalogue of attempts at our goal.
This is the Champions League, those sorts of numbers shouldn’t be possible against quality sides known for European football. But look, this is a pattern. We might have lost against Newcastle at the weekend, but we had the richest side on the planet patting the floor trying to find scraps – they didn’t get a corner for an entire game.
This is a different Arsenal side defensively. We have more control, we have more physicality, we have players that feel more attuned to the type of football Mikel Arteta wants them to play.
William Saliba continues to look like the best centre-back in the world. He is a control master – he reads the game like a 30-year-old, but he has the superpowers of a prime VVD. He has all the tools you’d want in that position and he’s still a baby by centre-back standards.
Declan Rice is so good it’s getting boring writing about him – he is every inch a £105m. How many players that go for mega fees have their fans feeling like the deal represented value? Not many. The problem with going up against Declan is he’s everywhere. He’s not human, he’s a horror movie bad guy, you look over your shoulder, he’s not there, you turn back 2 seconds later and he’s savaging you. The only weakness in his game is you still feel there are levels to go… what’s going to happen when he starts shooting?
It was great to see both Bukayo and Martinelli have positive impacts on the game after being clogged up by the black and white deep block boys at the weekend. Martinelli was terrorising Sevilla all night long, constantly beating his man, and constantly getting into dangerous positions. Could the final ball be a little bit better with the cutbacks? Yeah. But he probably needs a striker to make those work more consistently. He still managed a glorious assist for Bukayo Saka who scored a very Bukayo goal.
Our OG Starboy also had a great game, he looked far more comfortable playing up against weaker fullbacks who let him run the game. The goal was great, so was the assist for Luther Van Tross. The injury wasn’t serious, according to Arteta, so let’s hope he’s in the starting 11 for the game this weekend.
There were some other notable performances.
Zinchenko, who has been training as a midfielder for parts of this week, showed up in the Jorginho role and did really well. The guy is an outrageous technician but he’s being outdefended this season. Maybe midfield as an 8 or a 6 could be the future for him? I certainly prefer him in advanced positions over Fabio Vieira.
David Raya kept a cleansheet.
Kai Havertz had a very good game again. Is he starting to find his feet? I think so. We’re also starting to learn what his game is about. I’m watching Granit Xhaka with more power and pace… and better at the one touch connective passing. Kai offers us a lot of hard work off the ball and eventually… he’s going to give us an edge in the opposition box with final passes and goals. He’s getting better, those that wrote him off, get ready to bow down to those that kept the faith.
Ok, that’s me done. Have urself a lovely day. Listen to the pod. See you later! x