Cedric Soares revival is yet another Arteta success story

Our New Left Back! By Dan Smith

We all have opinions but sometimes you have to understand a manager will see something in training that us fans don’t.

It was assumed that Cedric started at left back at the weekend because Kieran Tierney was injured and having sold Kolasinac, Arsenal just needed a body. It seemed a mistake when we were knocked out of the FA Cup, missing the width of Tierney.

Understandably Cedric kept cutting back to get the ball on his right foot. Clearly since then he’s been told to believe more in his left. It led to last night the Portuguese having his best game as a Gunner, ironically against his former club.

Not just was he taking on his man and getting in decent deliveries, more impressive was how he switched play, picking long passes across the pitch.

Even though it’s not his preferred role, he embraced the opportunity like Maitland Niles has failed to do recently. Niles must be worried that he’s dropped down the pecking order even further now that Cedric has proven he can do a job on both sides.

My biggest compliment is that this proves we don’t have to waste the little money we have on a second choice left back.

With Tierney’s and Bellerin’s history of niggling injuries, expect Cedric to get more game time based on this display. Which is progress for a player who sometimes has struggled to even make the bench.

When you get the opportunity you have to make it count. Cedric was so good on Tuesday night it would be harsh to drop him for the next game.

We point out when Mikel Arteta makes mistakes. I myself criticised (and maintain) that he was wrong to not take Saturday’s game more seriously, but it’s only fair to equally speak up when a coach makes a decision that works to perfection.

The Spaniard realised that Niles wasn’t working at left back, he didn’t want to ask Saka to come back into defence, so spotted Cedric’s ability and believed he could adapt to a new role
There’s classic examples of how Arsene Wenger taught players new positions. While it’s too early to say that’s what Arteta has done with Cedric, it’s positive to see Arteta trying new things at the back.

After a difficult few months before Christmas, we must give credit to Arteta for not letting it damage his confidence and believing in his convictions.

For a rookie manager these types of moments are crucial in a young career.

A good night’s work, in more ways than one.

Be Kind In The Comments

Dan

READ MORE: The philosophical posts of the gorgeous Mrs Soares

Tags Arteta Soares Southampton

20 Comments

  1. PJ-SA says:

    Revival? Revived from what/where? Always been a solid option

    He’s had I think 1 or 2 bad games ever for Arsenal and when played out of position.

  2. Jim wall says:

    I have to admit when arsenal signed Cedric and mari I thought bad signings but the way Cedric played last night and mari played before he go injured I have to swallow my pride, because going on current
    Form I would play Cedric at rb and mari as lcb….

  3. I says:

    He is known for playing decently at both fullback positions before we signed him.

    His integration into our team has been delayed by injuries and recent lack of game time. He can only get better.

    His form will be key in the remaining part of the season as rotation will be needed.

  4. Twig says:

    Niles wasn’t working at left back? Really?

    1. Grandad says:

      I think you are getting carried away with the performance of Cedric who played well but will never be effective in that position against better opposition.We do need a naturally left footed deputy for Tierney to preserve the balance in the side .To me Cedric is technically better than Bellerin and a far superior crosser of the ball.Unfortunately, neither are great defensively ,lacking in positional sense and physicality.I am happy with Cedric as a back up right back but that is as far as it goes.

      1. Khadii says:

        Lol…
        You only see him as a back up right back? To who?
        The same bellerin who he’s technically better than and far superior at crossing the ball as u mention?
        By the way, cedric works way harder than bellerin and is better defensively minded.
        He should be above bellerin in the pecking order.
        Politics just puts bellerin ahead bcos he’s a senior influence in the dressing room and the vice captain

        1. ozziegunner says:

          👍

    2. Dan Smith says:

      Yes really
      Was so bad in last start dropped from squad

  5. Sean Williams says:

    Cedric has 33 Portuguese caps. You don’t do that unless you can play a bit. Portugal are one of the more successful European sides, so it should not be a shock he is finding his feet here at the Arsenal.

  6. Fire says:

    Dan…

    This article brings me so much joy, not because of its content, but more about your personality! It demonstrates how respectable you are as a person, as one bold enough to give credit as and when due! You have earned my respect even more, with greater emphasis on your consistently well-crafted, beautiful, and often thought-provoking articles. You are an ace to JA!!!

    For me and for those who care about understanding the game better, it is clear that modern football and players are judged more from what they do without as much as or more than what they do with the ball. A team that works hard without the ball (a term now referred to as “pressing”) is most certain to dominate and win games. Likewise players that work hard without the ball are most likely to be greatly appreciated in time. I praise Pepe’s display yesterday more for his efforts without the ball than with the ball and likewise Laca, ESR, and Saka. Cedric same as well as Holding!

    Pressing is like the “dark matter/dark energy” of the football game that makes every other aspect of the game gel and work. I pray for more of this moving further!

    Once again, keep positivity going in our ailing world! Keep safe and stay positive!

    Cheers!

    1. Sue says:

      I agree about Dan, Fire. We’re very lucky to have him on here! Great articles, predictions and such a nice guy!

      1. Fire says:

        Oh yes Sue!

        Such great intelligence in his writings and his arguments are top notch! More of such!

        Cheers!

      2. Dan Smith says:

        Cheers guys , means allot in these hard timed
        My writing is my outlet

  7. adajim says:

    We need more of such signings, cheap and decent, i must admit both Cedric and Mari are good addition hopefully they can stay fit, am not sure who to pick for saturday because utd have fast wingers

  8. Sam says:

    He can dribble, he’s a quick thinker, got pace and he’s a good passer of the ball. That guy Cedric can play in a CM role. Philip Lahm did it for Buyern Munich

  9. Armoury says:

    Success? Don’t just heap praise on Arteta for success that I dont even see. He just played one game from leftback, and is considered as success. The team is languishing in mid-table and there lots of success stories! Typical Arsenal fans

    1. Dan Smith says:

      To be fair mate , I point out equally when arteta has messed up

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Armoury, Cedric Soares has played two excellent games out of three, when given the opportunity. To be fair the FA Cup tie, when he was poor, he was not alone.
        He is a proven EPL performer with Southampton, as I states above, at RB and LB. He is a Portuguese International with 30 caps for his country, including winning the European Championship.
        Yes, he has suffered some injuries, but my question to you Dan, is why you think Arteta has taken so long to give Soares an opportunity?
        Like Dan, I hope he isn’t dropped when in form and gets an extended run in the side in competition with Hector Bellerin.

      2. Ronald says:

        True said but arteta is a great coach in our prayers and i support him in upcoming weekend match vs man United all the best as Gunners win

  10. Sid says:

    Cedric’s ability to swiitch play by cutting inside made his balls more accurate to the far side winger (Saka). On the right he mostly attempted late crosses, on the left it is early crosses that does the trick for him. I also liked Pepe in the left sided role, and see him as a decent left sided player for us(lf, lw, lwb). Sso props to MA for seeing that and implementing it in the game.

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