7 Observations from Arsenal’s comfortable win over Aston Villa

Greetings fellow Gooners and have a beautiful weekend, especially after our win last night. The following are my observations from last night’s comfortable Arsenal victory against Villa:

1) Ramsdale is on his way to becoming a modern elite keeper. Guy is so good with the ball, his passing is out of this world. Sorry, I didn’t understand why Arteta wanted him so badly. I am sure I am not alone. Let’s all admit it, we were wrong about this guy.

2) All things remaining constant, Ben White looks destined to become a world-class ball playing CB. His composure on the ball is absolutely incredible. His passing is top drawer. And on yesterday’s performance, he is fast improving defensively, particularly on winning duels. His anticipation is good too. Reminds of a younger John Stones, though I believe he has a higher ceiling than Stones.

3) Lokonga and Tavares proved they are very very good, not just backups.

4) ESR may not be the finished product yet, but he is a real baller. Looks like he is past his injury history. His ceiling is so high. In two or three seasons, he could be a world beater.

5) Laca is a fighter. The team is always better with him than without him. His link up play cannot be over-emphasized. Deserves to play more.

6) All the summer signings look great, none has looked anywhere near a flop yet. And they will get better.

7) Clearly, we are building for the future. Consequently, it is expected that we may not be able to achieve consistency at the moment. But with time, that will come. I am tempted to trust the process again.🤣🤣

Patrick Karani, from Nairobi Kenya.

Tags Arsenal v Aston Villa


  1. Tomi was very good too. It’s beginning to come together at Arsenal Will be a few more uips & downs though!

    1. My favourite thing about Tomi is he is really intelligent with his runs/defence.

      He doesn’t just mindlessly bomb forward without analysing the situation first. He also doesn’t get pulled out wide when defending if we don’t have the numbers to defend the box. Smart player with a great attitude.

      We kept Bellerin about 4 years longer than he deserved.

  2. 1) Signs are very positive, I look forward to seeing him against the top teams when we are under pressure.

    2) As above, i look forward to see him under constant pressure but it looks like Gabriel and Ben compliment each other really well

    I do feel a bit sorry for Leno. He was asked to play in a way he’s not comfortable with and with terrible defence to be honest. Make no mistake Leno is a phenomenal shot stopper, unfortunately he’s not much more than that.

  3. The summer signings have been impressive. Though not a finished products. Arteta should and try and perfect his formation too much tinkering of his team isn’t good enough. However, against top teams it’s better to play a counter attacking football because Arsenal players may not be able to outplay them. We just need to be play to the strength of our pacey players and be clinical.

  4. (8) With both Pepe and Odegaard in the line-up we’ll find it very difficult to press the opposition like we did yesterday. Both are lazy on and off the ball.

    1. They’re not lazy, but:

      – Pepe’s ball control and touches are sometimes too heavy, which often make him not ideal for linking up. He’s fast and tall, yet he still needs to improve his decision making skills

      – Odegaard is slow, so sometimes he can’t go back to his position quickly enough after chasing the opposition’s CBs and GK. He’ll be needed, after the oppositions get familiar with Lacazette’s movement and passing patterns in the CAM position

      1. Odegaard is slow !
        That’s an understatement mate ,the way players breeze past him and not even breaking out of a jog is worrying to watch .
        Telling that we had our best performances of the season and Odegaard was benched .

        1. He’ll never be hard working, that’s not his game….same as Ozil.

          Don’t buy players like that if you want a hard running midfield, it’s very simple.

          I don’t blame the players at all, we bought them knowing their strengths and weaknesses. If you going to play them, make sure your game plan fits them in…..otherwise why buy them at all???

          1. Spot on PJSA. Ode is currently not a good fit for physical, pressing games (which is most of them!). Once the team as a whole improves fitness and pressing and positional play, we can afford a passenger, but for now he’s a luxury.
            One of the key criteria on Arteta’s player purchase plan was football intelligence, and it shows. You can tell that all six buys are very, very smart and dedicated players. Not only is that evident even now in their positioning, awareness and confidence, but it means they will learn well and quickly. Some of these guys have a seriously high development ceiling. It just remains to be seen whether Arteta can get them there…

        2. In addition to that, Lacazette is more willing to risk his legs in 50/50 challenges. Lacazette is also better in making technical fouls and faking out fouls

          In my opinion, Odegaard is too “straight” and needs to be more combative. He’s still young though, so he could improve by learning from Lacazette

      2. I think the main issue with Pepe is his decision making, more than anything else. If he had time to think, who usually holds on too long while he decides what to do. If we could get him to think about getting into dangerous positions, rather than waiting for the ball and then deciding, I think he could be very effective.
        How do you think he’d do as a striker in this 442?

        1. I don’t know, he is so one-dimensional and so left-footed that there are limits. I like the guy and he can really make a difference in some situations, but a lot of the time he isn’t really a help.

        2. I think he’ll thrive as a striker, if we play with a counter-attacking system like Leicester City’s in 2015/16 season

          I’d prefer to keep him as Saka’s competitor on the right wing and his physicality allows us to play with different approach

  5. – White’s long passing accuracy is more consistent than Luiz’s and the other CBs

    – Smith-Rowe is better on the left side, where he can make diagonal passes and runs

    – Lacazette showed his experience and abilities in doing dirty midfield work. He’s too slow to press the opposition’s CBs and GK, but we’ve got faster attackers to do that and he is perfect to help our DMs out

  6. Not enough praise for Tavares TBH. I thought he was immense going forward and tackled brilliantly in defense. His energy was electric!

    Every player stood up yesterday and showed an energy I’ve not seen in a long time. Hope they can keep it up. This should be our starting eleven (or close to). Drop Odegard for now.

    1. As Tierney has been struggling, either due to injury or just a drop in form, Tavares’ play is really important.

      And we know, at least to this point, that Tierney isn’t likely to be able to play a long string at once due to injuries so the combination will be great.

      I am not suggesting that Tierney should be dropped, but maybe we want to give him a chance to properly heal. Give Tavares a couple of games to see if this was his normal play or an exceptional game.

  7. Where does Odegaard fit into the future scheme of things?Nobody with real knowledge of the game doubts his work rate and ball skills in tight situations, but in terms of the defensive side of the game which includes winning the ball in fifty fifty situations and tracking players he is basically very poor and a liability.Last night, Douglas Louis breezed past him to start the move which led to the Villa goal and he is not a renowned attacking player.But it is his lack of pace with and without the ball that really concerns me in what is the most physically demanding league in Europe.Just what does he bring to the table?

    1. I think he could work as a wide midfielder in this 442 system. He’d obviously have to compete and rotate with Saka and ESR, but I think he would be more effective there than in the middle.

    2. You don’t buy a player like Ode if you want a midfielder that attacks and defends, it’s that simple.

      MA bought him but he just doesn’t fit….he needs a completely free role much like Ozil otherwise it’s a waste having him on. Players like him rarely do well in the EPL….no idea why we bought him. Yves would have been much better to buy.

  8. Awesome post. Only one I’d deviate on slightly is Ben White – he was great but the most important thing for any defender is consistency. If he can play close to this level for a run of games, then I’ll start to get excited

      1. maybe comfortable in the sense that they were working hard to make it so but I get your point!

  9. I’ve seen a number of comments recently along the lines of “let’s ALL admit we were wrong about Ramsdale” (my emphasis)

    No. Let the people who slagged him off as the not good enough twice relegated 30 million pound Edu bust admit they were wrong (you know, the ones who caused Ramsdale to temporary close off comments on his social media). The rest of us are good thanks.

    1. I was though – so I can admit it. I was also wrong about Martinez vs Leno so I am consistent on the goalkeeping front 🙂

      Since he has taken over though, Ramsdale has been really strong – Leno is a great shot stopper but bad in the box and at his feet. He is also really quiet (so it seems). Ramsdale is fiery and I think that helps get defenders moving.

      I am sure that he will get it wrong sometimes in his aggressiveness for the ball but I would rather see the effort than being overly reactionary. I think our defenders have had a tendency to be pretty passive so he may be just what is needed.

      1. Trust me, I’ve been wrong about heaps too – I thought Willian was a good signing and Auba was washed up. May have even thought Leno over Martinez.

        But I don’t project my misjudgements on everyone else and that’s what I was objecting to above.

  10. I haven’t seen such a solid performance by Arsenal in a long time. The thing that struck me was the effort, the boys were working their butts off all the time and that isn’t something we have seen too much in awhile – sure there were good patches but they were working all the time.

    If the effort keeps up then maybe the more positive amongst us are right! Hope so.

    1. Not a revelation Dec – a few of us have been raving about him – he has for some time been a seriously good player. He should never have been labelled a “back up”, but was treated as such because he plays in the undroppable Mr Tierney’s position. We all love KT but he’s been poor this season, although he is still probably one of MA’s “undroppables”.
      Tavares’s debut reminded me of the start Kolasinac made, so let’s not count our chickens!
      But he started as a winger so he is an option there too…

    2. Of course the new signings look good, we laid out enough money for them after all!!!
      But that is the difference when a owner gives his manager the kind of money to buy better players isn’t it?
      Perhaps those who DID abuse Ramsdale might just grow up and support the club/players.
      Of course, pigs might fly!!

      1. Yeah well, not to dig up the past but the owner laid out £100m for Wenger too and he blew it on Mustafi, Xhaka and Lucas Perez… all rubbish.

  11. Poor Vieira cant catch a break…..he’s improved Palace 10 fold but just can’t get over the line.

    Hope they get the win

  12. Typical Arsenal fan just won one match against a struggling Villa team who lost their biggest player in summer and you lot think all of a sudden we should trust the process. White and Ramsdale are going to be world beaters hahahaha 😂😂😂. Yeah we saw the world beaters in previous matches. It’s still a long way to go before they can justify their price tags let alone declared as world class players. It’s good Arsenal are out of UCL otherwise fans like you would be back to ground after one or two matches in Europe. We have already seen how good we are when we face teams like city, Chelsea and Liverpool. Let’s wait for second round and we will be back to reality 😜

  13. We are an inconsistent team, and I fear that’s how we are going to remain..
    As for Ramsdale I don’t know why everyone is suprise how good he is.. Is not as if he was bought from France, we all watched him twice with Bournemouth and Sheffield and won player of the season with both teams…
    Am not an Arteta fan but he will win my trust if he keeps making decisions like dropping Odegaard, One of my criticism of him is favouritism more than even system or tactics.. Anyone who isn’t performing should be dropped to sit up.. More of that please

  14. Its evident we decided that we will not be able to compete with the big 4 because the elite talent needed to be brought would require heaps of wages and fees, which for arsenal will mean over the odds to make.

    Not a solution likely to work as you need to take steps..

    So, the decision to buy time and grow a squad makes more and more sense when we look at matters.

    These guys will not be consistent yet, they will drop points but in getting 95min winners or to claw back a draw or suffer with poor away performances and hold out for a draw or even scrap a 1 nil…etc these players need to go through these moments at the moment to become what consistency is to assure 3pt performances.

    From the Villa game, after several performances in a arsenal shirt, Logoka had his best performance Yet he still looks like he has more to give.
    Ramsdales distribution is becoming a huge part of what we needed, even martinez cant distribute like this.
    I said it before when it came to our grads, let’s celebrate the fact we have sold Iwobi, Martinez and Willock for 80m…

    Nuno did well but his end product still needs work, hes positional play will grow with game time experience and he will become more potent when all of this becomes consistent in his game.
    But huge reward for the fans to have players coming in and the level not dropping

    It was also Partey first major commanding performance, after a run of games has built up his level of physical need for the EPL I expect him to kick on with arsenal.

    We can still expect inconsistency and we can still be reminded we will drop points, but let’s keep the support.

  15. I’ve been saying Tierney is the problem in this team. I know it’s an unpopular statement, but every time Tierney plays the left central midfielder unfortunate enough to be next to him is basically neutered. Can’t perform his midfield role properly because he is constantly covering for Tierney’s foward runs that never produce any results. Tavares should play again in the next game coz he understands how to balance his game and doesn’t shift his defensive duties onto the midfielders.

  16. I would like to add number (8). Where was the Buendia that some Arsenal fans cursed Edu for not having the foresight to buy?
    40m for this performance by Buendia in an Arsenal shirt would have been a Edu’s last day at Arsenal .

    Thank you Edu for not spending 40m on a championship player.

  17. Yes, Buendia. He snubbed us twice. I know now he is regretting his decision! Our team is now clicking into place and now it will just be a matter of time before we regain our lost glory. Cheers Gooners!

  18. Let there be no any negative comments saying Arsenal will drop points. But let positive comments making be made to say Arsenal will extend their current 5 EPL match unbeaten run this season to 6 and 7 with wins away to Leicester at the King Power next weekend. And a win at home against Warlord at the Ems the following weekend . Which will serve as confidence booster to the Gunners ahead of their big game showdown away to Liverpool. A big game that I believe Arsenal will win. But if the Gunners boost their confidenice ahead of it with 4 match winning run in all competitions before they take on the Reds at Anfield to further extend their winning run.

  19. Let there be no any negative comments saying Arsenal will drop points. But let positive comments making be made to say Arsenal will extend their current 6 EPL match unbeaten run this season to 7 and 8 with wins away to Leicester at the King Power next weekend. And a win at home against Watford at the Ems the following weekend . Which will serve as confidence booster to the Gunners ahead of their big game showdown away to Liverpool. A big game that I believe Arsenal will win. But if the Gunners boost their confidenice ahead of it with 4 match winning run in all competitions before they take on the Reds at Anfield to further extend their winning run.

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