3 Things I Loved From Arsenal’s Thrilling Victory Over Luton

3 Things I Loved From Arsenal’s Victory Over Luton by Noah

The chemistry between Havertz and Jesus: Whisper it quietly, but Kai Havertz has picked up 3 goals in his last 4 Arsenal appearances. It has long been debated what his best position is, but it is now becoming clearer that it is behind the striker. His goal yesterday showed how dangerous he can be when making runs from deep.

His goal against Lens came in a similar fashion, and he is continuing to find the right spaces and exploit them to full effect. Gabriel Jesus also deserves a shoutout for his contributions yesterday. The bullet header for the 2nd goal was brilliant, and he made that 3rd goal out of nothing except hard work and industry. He and Havertz are building a telepathic understanding with each other; long may it continue.

Ødegaard being human: As chaos ensued in the away corner of Kenilworth Road, one action stood out to me: Ødegaard hugging David Raya. Conceding 3 goals from an expected goals of 0.50, Raya did not have a great performance yesterday. As he made his way from our goal to the other side of the pitch to join in on the jubilation, Ødegaard embraced him with a warm hug and some encouraging words.

This was a touching act from Ødegaard and showcased his strong emotional intelligence (just like his football intelligence), and further proved why he is our Captain. We mustn’t forget that the pros are humans too and everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

Although I don’t know the solution to the Raya-Ramsdale dilemma, I believe that as fans, it is our duty to support whoever Arteta puts on the teamsheet. Both are great keepers in their own respect, and I think that if they just relax and play without fear, we should be in line for plenty of clean sheets.

Character: If I could only use one word to describe this team, it would be character. Time and time again, we find ourselves in difficult positions, but just find a way to grind it out and get 3 points (Although occasionally it takes some heroics… Thank you Declan Rice).

When losing 2-3, and playing away in the most electrifying atmosphere in the Premier League, it would have been so easy to back down and allow ourselves to be intimidated, but no… we stood tall and took care of business.

This team is full of leaders… Ødegaard, Rice, Jesus, Gabriel, Jorginho, Zinchenko, Saka, Elneny (and kill me if you want, but even Cédric is a leader). We may be one of the youngest teams in the league, but by golly, we are wise beyond our years. Leadership will take us far and let’s hope it brings us to glory on many fronts this season.

Thanks for reading! Share how you reacted to yesterday’s game in the comments below!

Noah Mroueh

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  1. When Ramsdale was dropped for Raya, I was fine with that as Ramsdale was well known for his lapses of concentration (also seen vs Brentford).

    But now Raya is showing very similar mistakes, and this is not a one off game, there have been several matches were we have conceded or nearly conceded because of Raya. I mean come on, the third goal yesterday I think even I could’ve saved it, it was right next to his leg!

    All I’m saying is Ramsdale got dropped for less than what Raya is now doing. Will it work the other way around this time..?

    1. And hats off to Havertz, what a turn around from him!! Takes huge chsracter to get from a slump he had with the big money expectations looming over. I hope he continues. Yesterday he scored and gave 5 key passes, strong performance!

      1. Is it possible that our Goal Keeping coach is just not able to get them to perform? I find it hard that both have very similar deficiencies. Last night was a warning that as great as we might be at scoring, we are equally as like to concede from blundering keeper errors. With a world class keeper (and god knows we need one) we just be able to challenge in Europe and in the ELP. At the moment, we just don’t have a good enough keeper. FACT!

        1. They definitely have very similar deficiencies… I feel like as time goes on and Raya settles into the team, his errors will decrease. Fun fact, our goalkeeping coach, Iñaki Caña, was the goalkeeping coach when Raya was at Brentford and he performed brilliantly there, so hopefully he gets back on track with us!

    2. I do not expect Arteta to drop Raya so soon.
      Just like he did with Havertz he will stick with him through this rough stage as media is making it more than it is.
      Arteta has gotten most of his decisions right since he came to Arsenal and I think we need to see this through. Ramsdale had two fulll seasons to impress Arteta and if he feels Ramsdale is not good enough then let’s trust him and see what happens. One thing I know is that he wants the best for Arsenal and if he feels this is the best approach going forward then let’s stick with it for a while.
      Kai Havertz is actually a much maligned transfer but he’s now finding his feet because the manager trusted him.

      1. Actually I think Havertz started quite a few matches consecutively from the start of the season, but then got dropped. And since he was introduced from the bench, he’s stsrted to perform..? Yesterday was Havertz’s first stsrt in the PL in quite a while if I recall..? Maybe Raya would need the same.

    3. You bring up a good point, but I think Raya will keep his place. I can’t help but think that any more rotation would just create even more pressure. The thing about the ball being right by his leg is super interesting. So often, Keepers try and make the save with their hands even when the ball is near their feet. De Gea was one of the best at using his feet to make saves, and I think it would have been better if Raya had chosen that option for that goal yesterday

  2. Well written article👌 character is surely not one of Arsenal’s weakness this season. As per Odegard hugging Raya, for me it is neither here or there. I am happy for Havertz gradual improvement. I think as fans we should not only be critical when a player don’t do well in games but we should also applaud when they are making efforts. Havertz deserves encouragement to do more. His connection with Jesus yesterday was impressive👍. In my opinion White needs to put on his defensive shoes he was partly at fault Luton 3rd goal he allowed Barkley too much space. Next us Aston villa.

  3. Jesus was the architect of our first goal and converted a delightful long cross from White into another goal

    He might not look productive with his goal and assist tallies, but we wouldn’t lead EPL table without his pre-assists, passes, dribbles, hold-up play, work rate, high-press, number of free-kick won and aerial duels

    Jesus and Havertz are similar to Xhaka, who was crucified because of many years with very few assists and goals. Common fans didn’t see Xhaka’s forward passes, positioning skills and other qualities

  4. We may just be starting to see why Arteta had so faith in Havertz? In the beginning I was quite happy to give him time. After a few months though, I was starting to doubt. It was taking too long and Havertz’s body language was not improving. But, if this is a sign of things to come we might be in for a treat? Fingers crossed on that one!

    I must say, going forward with Jesus, Odegaard, Saka, and Martinelli etc we look like scoring on every attack. I’m just concerned with our keeper issue. Our defense is fantastic normally, too. Maybe there was some tiredness last night after playing three games in seven days?

    All-in-all, what a performance. Very proud of my precious Arsenal. COYG!!!

    1. Fatigue has played a role. Hopefully after Saturday’s game against Villa, we can rest everyone against PSV and regain some strength. 6 goals against Lens, 2 goals against Wolves (we should’ve scored 4), and 4 goals against a tough Luton team, I feel like our attack is starting to click and I can’t wait to see us score even more. I think the competition for places is bringing out the best of our attacking players, and people like Trossard will be hungry to score to earn more minutes. COYG!!!

  5. Havertz reminds me of the old West Ham and Spuds player Martin Peters. Peters was a great player who use to score by ghosting in late for headers and being available in unusual positions for his goals. If left to his own devices he was a match winner arriving late in the box for headers and all sorts of flicks etc.
    Jesus is one very special player. Fantastically intelligent player, who is way more than a No.9. He’s like the Declan Rice of No.9’s. So influential. Bukayo like Jesus is such an intelligent player. Amazing to see football ‘wisdom’ in such a young player…..astonishing.

    1. Declan Rice of No. 9’s 😂 I love that and it’s so true. Both work themselves into the ground at all times. It’s so useful to have a player like Havertz who drifts into the box and causes some chaos. You love to see it… COYG

  6. Excellent article, pointing out the positives in a clear and concise way.

    Let me now play Devil’s advocate and point out three worrying trends :

    1. Getting beaten by two headers in the centre of the defence, which, up until now, have been imperious.
    2. Letting in goals so quickly after scoring ourselves.
    3. Conceding a goal so early after the start or restart of the match.

    I’m not going to get into the goalkeeping debate, suffice it to say that I commented on Raya’s performance last night in a previous article.

    What I will say is that all those fans who were so quick to dismiss Havertz as a chelsea reject and a waste of money, should take a step back and realize that MA needed time to settle him in, help him regain his confidence and forget his price tag – The Arsenal decided that figure, not the player himself, but his reported weekly wage is still insane… as is most PL footballers.

    1. Ken, as far as Haverz was/is concerned, it wasn’t about being so much a Chelsea reject at all. Most were saying that he didn’t and wasn’t deserving of his place in the team and he didn’t deserve it. It is performances that earn you a right in the team and Haverz is slowly moving in that direction. He is at least now, contributing. Thats all we ask.

      1. Exactly. Performances grant you a place in the team. There’s nothing like…”I always knew be would come good”. A player is only as good as his last few games and Havertz wasn’t showing that. So fans were right to call for him to be dropped.
        I also like the fact that Chelsea will be smitten at the heart and Man Utd will wish they hadn’t signed Mount

      2. Disagree with you on the chelsea reject point Reggie – I remember quite distinctly reading that quote from a number of fans here on JA.

        Your point about earning the right to play is a good point, but Havertz arrived a shell of the player chelsea signed and MA needed to play him in order to get his confidence back.
        What I couldn’t understand was the fact that he dropped him for the Wolves game.
        Havertz and Jesus seem to be finding a partnership together – early days I agree, but remember that Jesus has been out injured.

        1. The thing about saying he was dropped for the Wolves game is, was he dropped or was it just squad rotation for a tactical reason? This will of course be something we probably won’t ever know.

        2. I don’t see how Haverz was dropped, when he hasnt earned the right to place and Trossard who replaced him, has/had done far better than Haverz over a longer period. I dont/didnt see it as “dropping” him. Ramsdale was dopped, Haverz was replaced.

    2. Very true, the result masks up the performance which really was not up to the standards we have been treated to this season. Additionally, conceding straight after half-time is uncharacteristic of Arteta’s side. We always respond after half-time when the performance isn’t good enough, but yesterday Luton shocked us. It’s great that we are finding ways to win when we aren’t at our best. Let’s hope it’s an off-game and we’ll show up ready to batter the Villa 💪

  7. Maybe I’m overdoing it here but I thought Jesus’s little pass to havertz for his goal was real class, not just hard work and industry – reminded me of Bergkamp. I thought it was very difficult to get the weight on it just right, as he did.

    1. It was brilliant. So deft, taking 2 defenders right out of the game, and it must’ve been extra difficult with the pressure of being 3-2 down. Jesus put it on a plate for Havertz

  8. Great game,top reactions after every set backs. Our faults to be properly assesed ahead of upcoming fixtures. Tough week ahead, Happy holidays.COYG!

    1. Why shouldn’t I question the signing of a player who has been distinctly bang average in the EPL for three whole years. Okay, let’s sign Michael Keane from Everton and give him a chance as well

      1. If the gaffer deems fit then yes he should go for it but fans like yourself and many other armchair managers criticizing and making hasty conclusions of licenced manager’s decision who oversees everything in training and behind the scenes is rather of low thinking faculty as proven in Havertz’s case and Mikel’s project at Arsenal entirely.

        1. Vamos, it wasn’t about giving him a chance!!!!!! It has always been about him deserving his chance. That goes for everyone. DONT YOU THINK?

          1. Yes i do think as the gaffer himself had insisted on picking him indicates Kai is crucial to his game plan as well what he sees of him in training which has finally came to fruition as i told you lot earlier thanks to the steady approach applied by the gaffer who is not just licensed professional but a personally gifted individual in a technical and psychological sense unlike arm chair managers approach who would’nt have signed such a gifted player in the first place never mind bringing the best out of him.

            1. You are talking absolute tripe. My train of thought from the very beginning was Haverz was not deserving of his place and should not be playing ahead of someone who actually is. Thats how football should work. Now if you are saying that Haverz should have been allowed to play, even though his contribution was negligible and undeserving because YOU and a qualified professional, said he would come good and has. Then you talk with fork tongue.

  9. The most recognised of players who specialised in arriving ‘LATE’ was Martin Peters. Arsenal also had a ‘LATE’ specialist in David Platt. Kai Havertz is such a player. If played ‘normally’ he is ordinary. If confidently allowed to roam to play the ‘LATE’ game he could be the title winner.

    1. A player like this can change a game on its head, as seen yesterday. It is so useful to have someone like this in the squad, especially someone who works so hard and is diligent in his defensive work like Havertz. We are privileged to have such hard workers here at Arsenal, such as Rice, Ødegaard, White, Saka, all the Gabriels, Zinny, and Tomi. We outwork our opponents, and that is probably the strongest weapon any team can have.

  10. Thanks Noah. I’m so glad that you didn’t include the dreaded “mentality”.
    It was good win though wasn’t it!

  11. The thing I loved the most was finishing with a win LOL. Thanks to all the goals scorers and assists but special thanks to Declan

  12. You are spot on about Kai Havertz and Gabriel Jesus. It seems both appreciates each other’s totally opposite attributes. While Havertz is lanky and aerially dominant, Jesus is strong and runs like a tank. While the former is cold and calculated, the latter is hot and chaotic. One is tactically proficient and the other is technically excellent. Imagine adding into this mix, the pace, energy and the relentless directness of Gabriel Martinelli. Forming a couple of posses in a team can only be helpful.

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