Arsenal v Man United Review – Happy for the win but we need better control in the game

Well lovely Arsenal people, I went through an emotional rollercoaster watching that game. When they “scored” for 2:1, I thought they deserved it. We were very sloppy in defence and every time they went forward I was scared. Then it was disallowed and the last 10 minutes were breathtaking.

It was honestly the good, the bad and the ugly. We were the better team in the first 30 minutes, and of all people, the ball had to fall to Havertz who misskicked it 5 yards away from goal, and there wasn’t even a challenge around him. Then the guy made the mistake with the pass that led to their goal.
I am really trying to find something to hold on to with him, and the one time he made a positive run forward he tried to win a penalty, when he could’ve been 1:1 with the goal, although that doesn’t mean anything with him.
I’m just baffled why Arteta had him on for 75 minutes. That experiment is shocking. I think Arteta made a confession of one of his mistakes, by reverting to the back 4 from last year. That said our defending wasn’t great again. United really had one plan, draw us out and hit a ball to the wings, and unfortunately we fell for it, and I’m annoyed because I knew it would happen.
On the positive side we responded immediately to go back level, and we deserved it. It was the one time we were really quick going forward. I think we were too static, until Jesus and Vieira came on.
I’m going to give credit to the manager for the subs as once again they changed our performance. Jesus started asking questions Eddie just doesn’t, and I’m in no way dissing him, but when Gabby J came on, we had someone who could hold the ball up front, take a man on or create a chance for himself.
Also Fabio Vieira, the guy’s played roughly 40 minutes this season and he has won a penalty and has 2 assists to his name. If Havertz is picked over him against Everton it would be a travesty.
The best player on the pitch by a country mile was Declan Rice. I didn’t miss Partey, and that goal. You go into folklore with such goals, but overall the guy took the initiative in a moment where we desperately needed a win.
I think you just saw when the players reverted to a system they know, how Odegaard came alive and had his best game this season. Even though Saka had a poor game he kept pushing, and he had support in Ben White, which Partey just doesn’t offer.
I also want to shout out Martinelli who is an absolute hero on the left, playing with no support, missing Xhaka and still being a real threat.
All and all, I’m very happy with the 3 points. The way we rose from the dead, after we had almost lost it, was encouraging. Did we have to leave it so late and dramatic? Let’s be real, if we want to win the title, we should’ve had 12 points against the opposition in front of us. We need some more comfortable wins, and better control of games.
10 points from 12, it is what it is. Let’s just end the Havertz experiment and work on our defending. We go to Everton away after the break, a ground where our record is really poor, but they are a terrible football side and we need a few dominating performances. Remember, we are considered the biggest threat to City for the title, we need to improve to live up to those standards.
But overall, I’m happy with the win in the end. We leave in a positive mood, but let’s learn from the first 4 games and start putting in more confident performances, or results will eventually catch up. Last minute winners are great, but we need some more sustainable and controlled wins.

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  1. MA is nor going to “just end the Havertz experiment”. What are you drinking, Konstantin? That would look very bad for Arsenal. The problem is, Havertz’s body language looks awful. His face is just unreadable too. He never smiles. Is he enjoying his football at Arsenal? I know Rice is! Havertz needs to he backed though, by club and fans alike. We can only hope and trust in the process..

    1. He should not be dropped till he gains his confidence even if it will cost us points because another name for arsenal FC is Haverts confidence boosting club.
      I was getting frustrated seeing him cos the only positive thing I saw him do was to block a short.
      A guy with such a horrible season last year would have been introduced to the system gradually, but he was thrown into the warfront from the beginning. I don’t think he can recover again cause I feel his confidence is being shattered the more.

      1. I think Havertz is gradually picking up,
        Saka missed the same sitter too,
        Havertz will come around.
        Arteta needs to introduce him gradually, let him watch from the bench, so he knows exactly what he needs to do when subbed .

    2. Havertz was knocked out of the Chelsea problems 2022, and he have not returned. Football players are delicate creatures, once out it’s hard to come back. Now it’s like Arsenal are playing with ten men when Havertz is on the pitch. I said the same thing about Granit Xhaka, so there is hope. If Arteta could make a desent player of GX maybe he can do the same thing with KH. But you are right, his body language is terrible. Arteta/ Edu should have done more to make Xhaka stay. A couple of years ago, who would thought Xhaka be missed when he left. But I do, I miss him for the qualities he showed season 22/23. He were one of our best.
      About yesterday: It’s for games like this you are still following football, still following Arsenal FC.

      1. Think Havertz should sit out the game to Merseyside, give him time to gather his marbles, the gaffer is pushing him too hard.
        I know his price tag may suggest a starting role but it’s not happening so the approach should change

    3. Agreed. And the game against Everton is the ideal game for him to find his scoring boots. But if he muffs it against Everton as well I think we should start bringing him in as a sub. Viera and Trossard could do a job in that spot. Regardless if they don’t have Havertz’ “aerial presence.”

  2. Ten Hag is going to be the first to get sacked. Always happy to see Man utd struggling, miserable, disorganized. The more awful they get the better.

    Trossard, Vieira, ESR and co bench warmers should enroll in Kissing Butt 101. Clearly ability is not the first consideration for game time.

    Havertz hopeless as usual. Not his fault and I was nearly feeling sorry for him when I remembered he is an experienced PL player, a German international and pocketing more than a million per month for casual jogging. Football has become insanity.

    Very happy to see what a miserable season Garry Neville is having and will continue to have. Well deserved!

    1. He’s up against it though. Unless Everton start winning Dyche looks the most likely for the high jump. Ten Hag also has the ‘NW red factor’ on his side. Teams that will give everyone else a tough 90 minutes just turn up to collect autographs and pick the ball out of the net with those two. As such a few easy wins and he’ll be back to being deified.

      Spot on with hapless. The sort of money he’s on he should be going round defenders at will and banging on a goal a game. He isn’t. Nor will he.

    2. Havertz offers more defensively than Vieira, Trossard and ESR, and that is why plays I.M.O, but he needs to do better in front of goal.
      Then again, he shuld arguably have had the penalty. He took the pass brilliantly in his stride.
      You may see it differently, but the nonsense about selection being based on other things than achieving the best for the team is really just a leftover from the “Arteta Out Crowd”.

      1. I will give him my support when he earn it not just because he is the manager’s choice. As others have said and I agree with them he does not look driven.

    3. ETH blamed everything except his players and himself.the thing is that nothing backs up his claims(he was offside,this was not a penalty…).and then there is the Sancho tweet which contradict what he said about Sancho not training at the levels required.

  3. Big shout out to Big Gabi. What a colossal defender. The speed of thought to stretch himself out in order to keep Garnacho offline was something else. He doesn’t get enough credit. Saliba and Gabriel remain our best CB pairing.

    1. He was also the one who kept Evans busy for Rice to have the time and chance to shoot. He also didn’t allow the fresh Rasmus to bully him at all

      1. I really enjoyed his battle with Holjund and the fact he showed how physical he is. Glad it wasn’t White having to deal with that.

    2. I agree about Gabi and wont be critical as He has a very good game but at times he does switch off.
      The Garnacho off side goal could have gone either way but he was last man and had the line of sight. In my opinion he was ball watching and should have stepped up earlier which would have been him a yard or 2 off side rather then millimetres
      Over-all happy to have him back in the back 4 as he strengths us rather then weakens us when playing in the team
      Onwards and upwards

      1. I get your point but I think as an arsenal you’re not giving credit to Garnacho for an almost perfectly timed run. But like you said, Big Gabi strengthens us so glad to have him back in the starting line up

      2. I agree, it wasn’t great degending by Gabi but he got away with it by the skin of his teeth. Lack of match practice could have also been a factor.

    3. I named it,the individual moment of the game.i must have missed it in the comments but he deserves more praises,I mean the awareness,quick thinking/execution!,💪👍👏


    5. It was a lovely move which put Garnacho offside, great piece of thinking from Gabi, when I saw it, I thought you clever boy, mark of a great defender and there are fans who think he shouldn’t start. Just as good as a goal

  4. Spot on. A well thought out and balanced piece. The team looked disjointed, and lacking in any creativity in the last third – until Vieira and Jesus came on. The defence was shaky, but compared to their performances against even more modest opposition so far, there was at least a better understanding between players. As for Hapless Havertz, yet another performance straight from his Chelsea days. Whether the, ‘the gaffer knows best and we must now to his wisdom’ brigade like it or not, Arsenal were down to ten men – until the 77th minute. Havertz is not ‘lacking in confidence’, he’s just lacking. As such, as with Viera, let the guy earn his game time off the bench.

  5. Havertz made a bad pass to Odegaard, but White should’ve got closer to Rashford. Havertz should’ve been instructed to press instead of wasting Odegaard’s and Martinelli’s energy to do the high-press

    Having said that, Vieira deserves to play ahead of Havertz, because of Vieira’s productivity and Arsenal don’t utilize Havertz’s height

    As for Jesus, he had more energy to hold the CBs off, because he came in as a substitute. Nketiah also produced something when he replaced Jesus, as expected from a substitute

    1. Vierra would be a disaster, just like Haverz. Vierra needs to carry on doing what he is doing and earn his right. He is too weak at the moment to start. He isn’t a starter, he is a useful sub.

      1. ESR must think he is a really shit player watching what is happening on the pitch with Haverz and he is sat on the bench twiddling his toes. Disgraceful.

        1. Agreed
          But we have a long season ahead of us and am sure ESR will play big part in it for us
          For all his faults Haverz did block a shot which could have ended up in our net and whilst we all still doubt him that was a big moment for him and us
          VERIA has stepped up from last season and we can all nlw see why he was brought in to the squad
          Many a fan had him done and sold last season 😢 and questioned why have we bought this player
          They will all play a part in us challenging for the title this season
          In one form or another
          4 games payed and only playing well in patches and still have 10 points out of 12.
          we will find the groove so patience is the key

          Onwards a d upwards

          Onwards a d upwards

        2. He MUST be depressed for sure Reggie, watching such an idle, total non contibutor start in front of himself. Unfathomable TBH!

        3. It’s important to know, ESR, Vieira and Trossard can’t match Havertz defensive qualities,
          I’m not in any way justifying Havertz constant selection but apart from Partey, he seems to be a good match for the role,
          I believe Havertz will improve.

      2. I agree that a substitute could make an instant impact as compared to the starter

        But Vieira has made two assists from less than forty minutes of appearances, so he’d better get rewarded with a starting place

        He also seems to be Martinelli’s closest friend at Arsenal, so we could expect a great connection between them in the games

        1. When the game was stretched and the battle for control was over. BIG difference. Vierra still falls over at the slightest contact. He should remain as sub. My worry is when Arteta finally realises he cant go anywhere with Haverz, hus next fascination Vierra will be given the same treatment. He is not ready yet, if he ever will be. BUT let him earn it not just put him in to fail.

          1. It will be interesting to see what MA thinks his best team is
            We have CL coming up soon and unlike the europa we will put out our strong team selection rather then a weakened team
            KH doesn’t start but will just depend on Either CL or League
            Same goes for verification and ESR

      1. Zinchenko played predominantly on the left side, whereas Rashford cut inside from our right side, where White, Saliba and Rice occupied

        1. It seems Zichenko isn’t in top form yet he wasn’t really influential in the game. I think Tomiyasu from his little spell on the field will challenge him this season. Saliba also in my opinion is yet to kick off into full gear. The team are not playing in their stride and not really compact at the moment. We are winning games due to the quality of our bench.

    2. Gai, let’s be real there is need for Havertz to step up his game. As a professional footballer and someone who plays CF for Germany the discretion and instinct is for him to compete aerially in the box the coach won’t tell you everything. As much as I am patient as a fan with him his miss inside the box and overall play makes it harder. I mean Viera and Nelson runs in short spells were much better. What GJesus offers against top oppositions is incomparable to Nketiah. Watch our friendly game against Baccelona team again.

  6. Your write up without a mention of Gabby Jesus masterpiece of a goal is like a man walking without his head

    1. Gabby’s goal was that of a world class forward. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the winning goal and as a result it has been overlooked by so many.

  7. I disagree with “Havertz is not ‘lacking in confidence’, he’s just lacking”.
    He was there for Man U. I think he should be there man of the match

  8. Great win. Rice is a real big game player and Odegaard was my MOTM, Captain Fantastic. Superb goal by Jesus to ensure the win. I request arteta to start Vieira over Havertz and when Partey is fit, play a midfield of Partey-Rice-Odegaard. Our back 4 was as solid as in last season and I hope Arteta doesnt tinker with that, unless necessary.

    1. Not really veira is not yet a Starter .. we should try Esr or trossard with G Jesus upfront. If Saka’s continues missing in action Nelson will be replacing him in 60th min.

  9. I’m not sure if the TV coverage gives a false picture of the game, but I can assure everyone that there was some great football played by The Arsenal yesterday.
    We played our best back four at last and Saliba / Gabriel were immense.
    When Partey returns, the midfield will be untouchable and I believe Rice and Partey will be compared to Vieria and Petit!!
    Rice was magnificent and Martinelli was just superb.
    I’m concerned for Saka, but he is getting doubled and even trebled up whenever he gets the ball.
    Odegaard is becoming our inspirational captain and I cannot praise him enough either.
    Ramsdale made a crucial save, but didn’t gave much to do in all honesty.
    Havertz? The guy is obviously struggling to regain his form and settling in to MA’s style of play (versus chelsea’s non existent last season!!) doesn’t help.
    I have no idea why Saka gets away with his miss, while Havertz is crucified – he certainly has become the whipping boy on social media… but not so much by those at the game itself.

    Finally, I must mention our support – absolutely magnificent from start to long after the finish.
    Waiting at Stanstead to take me back to Scotland and it’s great to see Arsenal shirts around.

    1. Haverz, isn’t getting crucified just for the miss ken but everything else on top. Sakas miss was totally in a different context. Not comparable at all. Firstly Sakas contribution to Arsenal overall is unquestionable. Haverz isnt and basically did an air shot on a sitter. Haverz cant be defended, Saka can. Both misses but not comparable.

    2. Not crucified at all. We just have better players than him on the bench. They deserve our support too don’t they? Even more so considering they have been with us longer and has impressed with their performances now as before.

      Havertz comes in push all of them aside and gets in the first eleven. Stays on for full or majority of the game and what does he give in return?

      A little more effort will go a long way to convince fans to have patience with him.

    3. @Ken1945,on the TV it didn’t look great on TV.iur passing looked slow,indecisive and lacking urgency and purpose.having said that,the build up to our first goal was more like the Arsenal of last season(1/2 touches,one-twos, instinctive..)

  10. At this point havertz looks like he needs a psychiatrist more than a coach. The man looks absolutely devoid of confidence. We’ve seen this so many times before players bereft of confidence and it keep getting worse.

  11. Well it was clear on the day that with Havertz we are 10.5 men. There are 4 other players who can start in front of him…… ESR, Trossard, Viera and Jorginho. With Havertz every game will be on a knifes edge. He makes the left side totally imbalanced when he is involved. Hurts to see the obvious. A great comeback that never should have needed to be a comeback.

      1. @Ken1945: regarding ESR I could be wrong but as I said before,when he signed his new contract,giving the number 10.also the timing and where we were as a club/ always felt to me like a club’s signing/PR move(family,Hale End graduate…)than a signing pushed hard by MA and i don’t know why to be honest but that’s how it felt to me, especially with the amount of football ESR was and has been playing.

          1. I’m hoping you’re right.i guess we’ll know after 10/15 games by looking at the playing time he was given.

  12. That Garnacho goal was quite some scare, the Rice goal a massive sigh and all this the only loss on my side is my voice. If harvetz starts the next game , I have no words!

    1. “No words” eh!!? You will be alone than on HAVERTZ, AS MANY OF WILL HAVE LOTS TO SAY, in that eventuality.

  13. One question to which we’ll never know the answer to.would TP have played as RB had he been fit?I hope is the answer is no.
    Also,the building for our first goal involving Martinelli, Nketiah,MØ ..was a reminder of what we can do with our settled pundit,i think it was Neville who said that we can play that way without looking.he also added that we could even play Arsenal/ourselves to oblivion.
    Lastly,I don’t think Maghalēs doesn’t get enough credit for his move which put Garnacho offside,what a reflex.this was my individual moment of the game.

  14. The late goals put a positive spin on what was a fairly dismal ,insipid and above all a TIMID performanc eby a number of our players . Not all of course, as some were good ,one excellent.

    But WHY did we not seriously press their defence? Are we faling for the con idea that their new keeper is so damned good with his feet as to be impossible to press?

    And IF that is the case, then WHY, and where did that daft and timid( I almost used thr word” cowardly”) approach stem from?

    United were there for the taking and we paid them FAR TOO MUCH RESPECT. And without good reason either!

    I do not believe in glossing over the truth, as to my mind , apart from the closing minutes, the game was close to being dreadful, with both sides clearly being afraid to lose rather than busting a gut to win. RealityI
    Who agrees?

    1. I agree with @Jon Fox,the late 2 goals completely changed the narrative and the mood.had it not been for them,we would be talking about a completely different performance/game,fact!

    2. Jon fox , completely agree at one point i was wondering why are we not pressing? Why are we afraid of playing out game? Having watched how easily they countered and scored, the conservative approach is vindicated . They (Manchester united) could have blown us away. That begs the question, we knew that’s how they will set up, where is the plan to counter that? Surely that plan MUST and SHOULD NOT include harvetz. Too slow and I’d add sloppy. That is bare for everyone to see after Jesus and Viera entry. Intricate play, pace went a notch high and hence the result we are enjoying.

    3. No argument here. Utd looked poor in previous games, and weren’t great on Sunday. The game for long periods looked like two former greats slugging it out knowing they won’t get a tilt at the title. As ever, reading the media comments was enlightening – Ten Hag is a whisker away from a great side and were ‘stunned’ by Arsenal taking three points. Really?!

      That said we do indeed show far too much respect to the NW reds and City. Both Utd and Liverpool were potential six pointers last season, and while City ‘are’ the best City in English football, if we concede against them in recent years, its game over.

    4. Jon, I agree with your evaluation of the game. It’s obvious TP’s ability to progress play in midfield was missed. Rice is okay in the that aspect, just not at the very top. From the beginning of the game I observed the vast amounts of space between Untd’s midfield and defence and was livid we didn’t take advantage of that except for the few occasions Nketiah dropped into midfield. Our frontline was worrying static before Jesus came on and it would have been great if Odengard, Harvertz, or Saka* dropped into those pockets of space to receive the ball and progress play. The passing was slow, unadventurous, and tame when we needed to be brave. The couple of times we ramped up the gear led to the equalizer and Harvertz’s penalty call. Like you said, we were lucky to win the game. A braver team like Brighton would have roasted united before the 60 minutes mark. So while I’m very happy with the win, we’re still not performing to our full potential. I think the team is still adapting to having Rice as the holding midfielder instead of TP. Dropping Harvertz for someone who can get on the ball in tight spaces, turn and run at the opposition’s defence or attempt to create chances will be a good start.

  15. I thought we played relatively well compared to previous games – might have had something to do with Gabriel and Zinchenko being back.We let Man U have innocuous possession in their own half without pressing them-I think that was by design. Them passing the ball at the back might have given the impression of them controlling the game but that wasn’t the case. They weren’t really threatening until Rashford scored,essentially against the run of play. There were some good chances we missed by Havertz/Saka and that should improve.

    Havertz is criticised for his attacking contributions or lack thereof and rightly so,
    but so much of his workrate and defensive contributions are ignored. In my opinion,he offers more defensively than all of the players available for the ‘Xhaka role’ – might be why the coach signed and prefers him. He made a crucial block yesterday and pressed the defenders well. Seems to be having confidence issues in the final third but that should change when he gets a goal.
    While Havertz gets a lot of flak in online platforms such as this,I’m glad the fans at the stadium were really supportive just as Mikel had asked;it was nice of them.

    Finally,I think the subs did really well and were instrumental in the victory-credit to Arteta as well. Nketiah did well but Jesus offered something different. Viera with the superb assist- that ‘Debryne-esque’ pass from him will get Nketiah and Jesus many goals and it seems he’s the only player in the squad with that type of pass in his locker. Nelson injected urgency on the left when he came on for the tired Martinelli(he was immense). The defensive action by Nelson and pass to Viera were crucial for the third goal. Tomiyasu obviously offered something different to Zinchenko as he’s defensively more sound and offers more height. I guess Tomi at LB could work better with Viera/ESR whereas Zinchenko is better off with Havertz.

    There is room for improvement but 10 out of 12 points is a good return.

    1. Onyango, If you watched the game yesterday, martinell was so much isolated and every other time he was going to the byline and crossing and most of the times the and I can dare say all the time , crosses went to waste. When good ain’t good enough then that is POOR. What’s the point in pressing good, win the ball back and the next minute you give it away cheaply? My point being, In today’s game midfielders and attackers must be involved in defense. So your analogy in saying how much he contributes to defending is purely null and void, whoever replaces him will have a share of his defensive work.

      1. Kenya 001 obviously your mind is made up on Havertz and there’s nothing I can say to change your mind.But let me point out some inaccuracies in your comment. Firstly you say Martinelli was isolated but that was hardly the case from what I saw. I thought Martinelli was one of our best players yesterday and combined well with Zinchenko,Nketiah,Havertz and Rice on occassion. It is actually out of the combinations on the left that we got the first goal. Gabriel passed to Martinelli who flicked it to Zinchenko,Zinchenko squared it to Nketiah who put Martinelli through and the cut back to Odegaard from Martinelli resulted in the beautiful goal. The fact that we got lots of corners from the left proves that Martinelli was hardly isolated. A lot of our good attacks actually came from the left. It’s our right side that didn’t look great. You say his defensive contributions are ‘null and void’ – obviously the coach thinks differently from you for whatever reasons – some of which I’ve tried to elaborate.

        Look,I’m not defending Havertz or the coach,I’m just trying to make sense of his decisions. I’ve tried my best to explain why I think the coach has persisted with Havertz. Beyond that,it’s all speculation and we’ll just have to agree to disagree because I’m tired of this Havertz back and forth discussions. Surely there are many things about Arsenal we can talk about apart from Havertz. It’s becoming tedious and a little toxic on here with the back and forth Havertz debates. It would be refreshing to talk about something new and less polarising.

    2. Partly agree. I was not actually convinced by the pressing in the first half and I’m not sure it was really by design. Onana is certainly much more comfortable than de Gea – this may have had something to do with it. Also, we gave them a little too much respect in the first half.
      I also agree that some of Havertz’s work is underrated but he really needs to be more involved and influential.
      Agree about the subs.

      1. Yes I agree Havertz needs to be more influential but that is going to require two things. Firstly he needs a boost in confidence so he can demand the ball like Odegaard does-at this point I think only a goal is going to give him the confidence and take the weight off his shoulders. Secondly,I think his teammates need to trust him more-Arteta alluded to this in his press statement.

  16. Perhaps a look at the stats will show just how dominant we were.
    As for Havertz, I remember Bergkamp, Pires, Henry and even Tony Adams starting out at the club and getting blasted for their performances.

    Now I don’t know if he can turn it round, but aren’t we preached at by the better educated (supposedly) amongst us to support the manager?
    Well, Havertz is HIS signing, he’s defended him and says he will prove others wrong… I for one, will back him up on this, as the player has proved himself at international level time and time again.
    But then again, I don’t single out one player and Saka’s miss was just as bad, but he’s the blue eyed boy!!

    1. Havertz made 2 (two) defensive contributions over the 77 minutes he played. Some of the worst players ever to wear Arsenals colours have done better than that. What Havertz has done at International level has no bearing, whatsoever, on his club form. Chelsea fans you speak to were absolutely gob smacked we paid all that money for a player many of them would have been happy to see go on a free. Yes, they think he’s that poor. Listing off players that had a difficult start is fine – unless every single one of them were new to English football. Which Havertz is not. The guy has struggled his entire career in England, and thus fans were gobsmacked when Arsenal forked out 65 mil for him. He may come good. I hope he does, otherwise that’s two players in seven years we’ve spent the price of several schools, hospitals and hospices on that show how ridiculous football spending has become.

    2. We are calling out poor performances from Harvetz to which the manager plainly admits and supports him to come good at some point. So we are right after all! . I think harvetz will come good eventually but the now and here he’s been average and that’s being kind. He needs to proof himself off the bench. The team has performed better when he’s been replaced.

    3. Took DB10, I think eight games before he scored that lovely brace against Southampton, Bobby also took time said the PL was very physical but scored that great solo goal in October 2000, so maybe we will see the same with Havertz, only time will tell. Good post

  17. What pains me the most about Havertz is the amount of money spent in buying him. I don’t understand that at all.
    £65m could have paid for Timber and still leave enough to get us another reasonably decent midfielder.
    Manchester City bough Kovacic, whom I rate much better than Harvetz, for £35m from the same Chelsea.
    Smells much like the Pepe deal of yore.

    1. Exactly. Had Arsenal spent something closer to what Chelsea fans think hes worth, ie nothing, then the criticism would be less noisy. Whether those defending him like it or not, for a player with top flight experience, yet who Chelsea fans were not sorry to see back of, Arsenal paid a good 50% (or more) higher than hes worth. As such fans are entitled to expect instant results – as with any big fee signing. The problem is, is that fans have seen him play for the last two years, and there was not much to see. The comments by the ‘Arsenal first’ fans smack of seeing something they want to as there was little, as ever, ‘to’ see. Sometimes a player is at the wrong club at the wrong time. It’s happened to Arsenal enough times for us to know. But sometimes, and when you look at numerous players stats this is more common, they just aren’t up to it at this level, or in this league. Only time will tell which it is.

  18. Declan Rice, Gabriel and Martinelli were massive. Truly ready made players for such occasion. Our captain Martin Odegaard lead the team like a Viking prince. What a skipper! A big shoutout to Eddie Nketiah who gave both Martinez and Lindeloft a torrid time all game. His linkup play and work rate had improved a lot. Big disappointments though from Saka, Havertz and White but we know they will improve as the season progresses.

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