An X-Ray analysis of Arsenal’s tight win over a compact Brentford defence

Arsenal Vs Brentford An X-ray! by Baron
I’m glad we were able to get the win. It was a battle out there, just like i expected. Our games against Brentford are always very tight, with the odd goal deciding it, most times.
This is the EPL & no game is easy. You have to earn the right to win every single game. Take any opponent for granted, & you’ll pay dearly for it. Even City struggled to beat this same Brentford 1-0 a couple of weeks ago. That tells you just how compact they can be at times.
There’s a reason i didn’t get my knickers in a knot when Raya became our number one, ahead of Ramsdale. A number of Arsenal fans literally crucified Arteta cuz Ramsdale was a fan favourite. But whisper it carefully, Ramsdale was one of the primary reasons we couldn’t cross the finish line last season.
Make no mistakes, he is a ridiculously good shot stopper, but his quicksand has always been that needless rush of adrenaline, as well as his inability to properly play out from the back (an essential ingredient in Arteta’s system).
That momentary loss of concentration, that second of indecision, that penchant to be overly excited, cost us dearly in key matches last season, & it was on full display again today. One minute he’s a hero, the next he’s a villain.
Raya on the other hand is quite calm & relaxed, & relieves pressure off his defenders. I totally love Rambo, he is for me, a much better shot stopper than Raya, but per our current system & set up, Raya is simply a better fit.
The calmness in our defense when he plays is priceless.
We have been scoring bucketloads of goals in recent matches, but we have to understand that there are matches we’d have to dig deep & grind out a result. This was one of these such games.
Games like these are decided by fine margins, & i’m glad we were eventually able to navigate this hurdle.
I almost puked when i discovered that Paul Tierney’s “punishment” for being a tool in the Liverpool/Nottingham Forest game was a demotion to VAR duties for our match today. I mentioned that he always seems to have an agenda against us, & once again, he lived up to my expectations of him today.
Officiating in the EPL really has a lot of work to do. This one-week-one-trouble officiating drama has to stop. The just concluded AFCON would be a good training ground to start that much needed holistic introspection.
Kai Havertz is slowly but surely becoming an integral part of the Arsenal attack. He’s literally undroppable at the moment. It isn’t just what he does with the ball that has made me begin to take notice, but his off-the-ball contributions as well. His hold up play, intricate passing, link ups & most importantly, his pressing has been quite impressive.
For someone like me who has been a critic of his, i say “long may this continue”.
At this moment we remain third favourites for the title, but it feels good to still be firmly in the mix as the run in gathers momentum. It sure promises to be a rollercoaster ride.
Who blinks first? Only time will tell.
Now we can relax & watch the Pool v City classic, knowing we’ve done our bit.
On to Porto next in the Champions League game, & i hope we have a night to remember on Tuesday.
Exciting times ahead!
Onwards & Upwards!
From Baron
Tags Arsenal v Brentford


  1. There is no doubt who is the unsung hero at Arsenal in the current campaign, scoring in four consecutive premier league games.

    But Jorginho is looking like the best midfielder in England on current form, with his Hollywood passes.

    Ben White is a solid nine if you ask me, oh I wish Ramsdale would stay, but Chelsea will be more impressed with his performance than most gooners and come calling.

    1. @Gunsmoke
      I hear ya about Benny Blanco. Those were two nice touch lobs right on point. He was kool under pressure and on the money both times. Big ups to him…
      One thing I’m liking about us now is, we keep coming at em. We don’t drop our heads, sit back and defend. We continue our attack until we get the desired result. Jus sayin…

      1. Twig
        On a scale from one to ten, Ben White deserves a solid nine along with the Big German from Yesterday game.

  2. I wonder why nobody talks about the miss havertz had one on one a real striker buries that chance 9 out of 10 times havertz misses that 8 out of 10. If he scores that one we wouldn’t had stress. Credit where credit due but come on if we want the league we got to put easy chances like that in goal everytime.

  3. What a sensible and therefore an enjoyable article. Well written Baron
    Excellent context, full of reality with no attempt at oh so dismal hype.

    As a supporter who has hitherto been a firm RAMSDALE preferer, I have to admit the calmness that RAYA brings is a factor in our far tighter defence this season.

    RAMMY DOES transmit obvious emotion, which is NOT a calming influence and so I take BARONS point entirely!

    1. Thank you Jon!

      I love Ramsdale and would be gutted were he to leave at the end of the season (which unfortunately is most likely to happen), but i also agree that he’s almost “too good” to be a second choice gk, as he’d easily upstage some of the starting gks for many teams in the EPL.

      He’s been a great servant to this great club & a key cog in our rise back to the upper reaches of English football. If he leaves he’d have my best wishes.

      1. Baron, Amen to that too!

        RAMSDALE , when he leaves this summer, as must be now near certain, will surely be the most fan regretted leaver since, well probably since Viera or Henry!

        To my mind it shows how IMPOSSIBLE it is to keep TWO top class keepers at any top club for any real time. I doubt any realistic fan EVER rely believed MA s early statement about these two keepers.
        But what some overlook, while saying the same as me, is that for THIS season, our first back in CL for many years, we have at least MANAGED to KEEP two top keepers for a whole season.
        I cannot recall a single Gooner saying the same, as most have sided with one or the other, myself included, and not appreciated BOTH!

  4. Ramsdale always has a howler waiting to come out. Typical performance from Ramsdale in my opinion; couple top class saves followed by an avoidable howler.

    Ramsdale himself said he can’t concentrate for 90 minutes, and you saw that. He mentally checked out just before halftime, and made an embarrassing self-inflicted error.

    Lacks the composure needed from a GK, I’m seeing why Raya is the gaffer’s choice.

  5. Good read. Brentford came with the Porto tactics to try and disrupt our flow and rhythm but we did have the answer this time. I have no doubt that Porto will employ the same tactics at the Emirates but the team should know what to expect now. The fans at the Emirates will be crucial too. I digress.

    Shout out to Benjamin. He is one of the most consistent players not just at Arsenal,but in the entire league. In a way,he reminds me of two of our former fullbacks-Bacary Sagna and Nacho Monreal. The two were consistent,versatile at the back,quietly went about their business and were almost always available. And Benjamin is a better footballer than both in addition to everything. I think White is underrated,by Arsenal fans,other fans and pundits. His intelligence means he can alternate seamlessly between playing as a conventional wingback,3rd centre back and inverted fullback,all within the same match. His first assist yesterday came from inverting,second as a wingback.And what of the cheeky job he does during our corner kicks of denying the goalkeeper room to operate? He’s just great.Another 50m down the drain 🤣

  6. It would have been injustice to football if we hadn’t won this match. Brentford had a big zero shots before that ridiculous goal. They principally scored a goal without even playing football and that kick from Toney almost killed the game. It was like they just need to kick the ball in our area and they would score. But ultimately justice was done to football. I think its not about Ramsdale or Raya. It’s about how we can keep our nerves during this stage of the season when we lose ourselves last season. We can’t blame Ramsdale alone for that failure as whole team was not playing the they had been playing all season and broke multiple records. Jesus was not scoring, Neketiah reverted to usual ineffectiveness, defence was disorganized, midfield was panicking. In summary we had nervous break down at that stage which we need to overcome this time around with better equipment available if we have to get hold of the title.

  7. I’m pretty sure if it was Raya in goal yesterday, the Toney’s bullet would have gone in because he would be half field a distance from goal

    1. Correct, and his reach is far worse. Ramsdale did well and is in a normal position for the type of game we play too.

    2. Ummm no.

      If Raya had been in goal, Toney’s shot would not happen at all. Because the game up to that point would be totally different, including the howler that wouldnt happen either.

  8. Liverpool at Anfield are electric monsters. City are lucky not be losing by at least 3 goals.

    1. Never seen Pep’s man city so intimidated by any opponent but still got away with a draw. So lucky. Liverpool looks so frightening, and if they improve little bit of that finishing I don’t see them dropping many points from here. So wow! This year title race is really some things and what ever will be the final result we have to appreciate the effort put up by all three teams. But let’s just hope Arsenal may come on top even by closest of margin.

  9. Great result for us! Arsenal vs City will be the decider by the looks of it.

    Liverpool and City both in Europe like us + they have the FA Cup too!

    I’d say we probably have the most difficult run in IMO so will be a tough task but we can do it

  10. Yes, Arsenal have quite a number of games which could be potential stumbling blocks, nail biters with possible points dropped here and there. But using a sporting cliche, the ball is now in our court. Still I’m confident we can do City at their ground. This international break will be a major distraction.

  11. The games we lost to wolves, fulham and westham might actually become what stops us from winning the title.
    I just pray and hope things works out in our favor come may regardless

  12. It was certainly a tough match. Brenford are very compact and give very little space away. But what I dont like about them is their physical approach and sometimes it looked like a wrestling match. Anyway, a great win and with the City-Pool match being a draw, we are on top of the League and hopefully we remain there forever.

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