Welcome lovely people, to a new Arsenal. It’s been a crazy PL weekend. Spurs lost 2:1 after being 1:0 till the 91st minute, then Chelsea and City produced a classic for the years with more atrocious VAR decisions. Honestly I’m not even bothered anymore, refereeing has become an absolute joke.
Now, if you told me 3 years ago, Arsenal will beat Burnley by crossing balls into the box and dominating the Clarets in the air, I’d be having a pure laugh. Saliba was an absolute king again. I think we’ve scored the most goals from set pieces this season so far. We’re also joint best defence with Liverpool conceding 10 goals so far.
I think it’s obvious our style has changed. We used to start games flying out of the traps, but so far we haven’t scored in the first 15 minutes this season in the league. I know there are some injuries. Jesus up top brings our attack to a new level, Odegaard, who I know is injured, hasn’t reached the levels of last year, Zinny had a good last game, but he hasn’t reached the levels of last season.
Partey I think is the biggest miss to our style of play though. We don’t have another player who can transition the ball like he does, but his injury record isn’t great and I expect him to be moved on to a slower league like Serie A where he might thrive if he can stay fit. I actually want to shout out Jorginho, who is doing a decent job even though he wouldn’t have played nearly as much games had certain other players be fit.
Another problem in our midfield is the fact that we haven’t really replaced Xhaka. Kai Havertz had another shocker. And it’s not even the misses that annoy me the most, it’s the lack of application. For example, I don’t think Eddie is good enough, but at least I see the effort. Havertz’s press seems half-hearted as well as his touches.
Unfortunately he’ll be back in the squad as Vieira who actually had some good appearances for us, got a stupid red card, and Smith-Rowe is injured again. I think he’s another player who we’ll look to move on soon. Up top Trossard did a good job and I definitely think he should be our choice if Jesus is missing, as he brings players into the game similarly to the Brazilian.
That said a new striker in January should be an absolute priority. But after all those points, there’s the school of thought we’ve been a more reserved side by design. Last season we went gung-ho and eventually tired out, now we try to control games more. There is some truth to this, but I do think we’re more so adapting to the previous points and we’re also trying to use more of the squad. Although we keep squeezing every drop out of Saka despite giving Reiss a new contract.
I must say, I enjoyed how we played more last season. It was exciting, it got me believing. I remembered why I liked Arsenal in the first place, the football was electric! Ultimately the verdict will come down to whether this new approach delivers a major trophy or not.