Kai Havertz’ stellar performance against Tottenham shows that Arteta was right all along

On Sunday afternoon, Arsenal painted North London red. In a thrilling duel with the Tottenham Hotspurs, our Gunners emerged triumphant, overcoming a late Tottenham scare to win 3-2.

The road to victory against Tottenham was not without obstacles, but with the guidance of Arteta and his technical bench, as well as the team’s collective effort, Arsenal won.

However, you can’t talk about that win without praising Kai Havertz’s amazing performance once more. The German not only assisted Arsenal’s second goal by passing a diagonal long ball for Saka’s wonderful run and cutback to score, but he also scored Arsenal’s third goal. The 24-year-old was unquestionably the NLD Man of the Match.

That said, Havertz in 2024 has been nothing short of phenomenal.

The Chelsea flop, as fans of our noisy London rivals refer to him, has been directly involved in more Premier League goals for Arsenal in 2024 (13 G/A: 8 goals and 5 assists in 15 appearances) than he was in a full season for Chelsea.

In early March, we noted the notion that Havertz only hits peak form in March. While some thought he’d just be good in March, he ended April with seven goal contributions, two of which came against Chelsea.

Havertz is unique, and his £65 million acquisition wasn’t a waste of money. Mikel Arteta was aware of this, which is why he sanctioned his transfer, despite many questioning his decision to sign a player who struggled to find consistency in the Premier League in West London.

Daniel O

Tags Havertz tottenham


  1. He has come up good, he plays better as a false 9, don’t use him in midfield but nevertheless arsenal should not make a mistake of not getting a dependable goalscorer in summer

  2. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Havertz was bought to play in the midfield as we can see how he was fielded at the beginning of the season. He was very unimpressive there, and has shifted slowly into the forward position where he has done really well. I still think we paid too much for him concerning the circumstances, but none of these are the players fault.

    So yay for MA shifting Havertz to play the forward but nay for MA buying him to play midfield.

    We have played 15 Premier League matches since turn of the year and only lost once and drew once. So that’s 13 PL wins and yet, City might still nick the title. Our run is still amazing.

    These wins include beating Pool at home and Spurs away. I guess if we end up not winning the title, I could lay the blame on the 2 losses at the end of December against W Ham and Fulham which really dented our run.

    Well, 3 matches left. Let’s keep fighting until the end and hope Wolves/Fulham/Spurs/W Ham can do us a favor!!

    1. Well said especially the yay and nay sentence. I would like to see Arteta try this for all players whose positions are not working for them. I would like to see what Zinchenko brings on his natural position.

      1. Zinchenko does not possess the physical attributes nor the pace to operate as a left sided central midfielder and he most certainly is not a reliable left back.With regard to Havertz, he was primarily a number 10 before his move to Chelsea and if Odegaard was not available, Havertz would be his natural deputy.As it is he is doing well as a CF which frees up Jesus to be used as a winger where he can be very effective.

        1. Thank you for your input Grandad. I am not half as good as you in tactical analysis so I will take your word on it.

        2. I somewhat agree, Grandad, but not entirely. I think Zinchenko could be effective in midfield; he is no less slow or physically inept than Jorginho. Unless Arteta plans to sell him, I don’t see any other position for him, because as you pointed out, and has been pointed out by everyone with eyes, he ain’t no left back.

          I would prefer to see Jesus rotate with Saka rather than Martinelli. And I would prefer to see ESR rotate with Martinelli than Trossard. For all the good things Trossard does, I just don’t think he has the level of ability we want to win titles and trophies. I believe ESR does.

          The problem Havertz has caused is that he has done really well up front. He possesses all the qualities Haaland lacks. He might only score half the goals but he contributes twice as much. Should we bring in a player such as Vlahovic, it would come with a compromise that we will inevitably lose Havertz’s interplay. It’s a tough one but I think it’s a decision that still needs to be made.

          1. Agree with you Ben about Zinchenko playing in midfield, as that’s where he plays for Ukraine. Imo, we should keep him, as we need a strong squad

    1. This scores again song fits a 30 goals a season player. Its aim is lost if a player score in half the games of the season, in my humble opinion.

  3. I hold my judgment until I see consistency in his current performance. We had this kind of articles on a weekly basis when Havertz was playing like a passenger in 2023.

    The evidence point that Arteta failed in his initial intentions of using the player but since he couldn’t wash his hands on a 65M million player on 300k a week, he tried him in other ways and the result has been a success.

    Now if he stop washing his hands on players who do not fit his tactical vision and try them in another ways, who knows what success it might bring.

    1. HH, when did MA ever say that he bought him as a player to fit in ANY position?
      I take you back to Henry and how AW turned him into the machine he was, by playing him in a role that the player himself hadn’t identified.
      I think this is a great success story for both the player and the manager.

      1. For the fact Ken that for the first half of the season Havertz was really bad hence all the criticism but since moved to another position he has been nothing short of excellent!

        Why didn’t Arteta play him as a forward from the beginning? Because he did not buy him for that. He brought him to play in the midfield which failed.

        I have given praise and credit to Arteta and Havertz from my reply above to Dajuhi as well as to my post you have replied to.

        I have also said if he try other players whose positions are not working at the moment (something he is capable of based on Havertz transformation success and his work with youth at Man City) instead of washing his hands on them how many success stories might we get?

        Your Henry example is very good. And not only Henry, Wenger transformed many players who went on to excell in other positions.

        I see that ability in Arteta too. Along with Havertz we have Ben who has become an excellent RB.

        1. @HH
          This is only speculations, and we don’t know anything about the dialogue between Arteta / Edu / coaches.
          Perhaps he wanted to introduce him to a less demanding position, perhaps he did good during training sessions in the midfield. Perhaps he wanted to test him in different positions. I believe this is only the beginning and there’s more to come from Havertz.

        2. Havertz was not brought in just to play in midfield.
          He was brought in because of his versatility to play in multiple positions and offer something different to what we had available.
          He has clearly offered something different to our team which we didn’t have last season.

      2. Ken, Henry was a CF even as a kid in Paris, often playing in teams 2 years above his age. He was one of the few players that went to Clairefontaine who was without a professional club. Gerard Houllier was at Clairefontaine at the time and recommended Henry to Wenger. It was only after Wenger was sacked at Monaco that Henry was moved out to the wing

      3. @ken1945 – nice saying.
        Arteta has seen his qualities and thought he could unlock his potential. From my point of view it has been a success and I believe there’s more to come.

        Once again we almost made one of our players a scapegoat. Be patient, let’s support them and make them their best version of themselves instead 🔴⚪️

      4. Spot on Ken. In fact there was one interview early on where Arteta said he didn’t know where he would fit into the setup.

        At the time I took that as meaning “I’m not telling you” but maybe it was true, maybe Havertz is just versatile enough that he can play a number of places

    2. Instead of appropriate respect for finding a way to maximise the skills and attributes of Kai you are looking for ways to discredit the manager and the player.
      Some of what you have stated is also inaccurate. We had articles and many comments criticising Kai’s performances early in the season and few extolling his attributes and contributions. Unlike now, when his value to the team is increasingly being recognised.
      Every successful manager looks for ways to improve players and maximise performance. Some players will work out in this way and others won’t.
      Eventually, those for whom a role can be found will remain. Others will be moved on. It is not that unusual to adjust a player’s role to fit the dynamics of the team. As of now Arteta deserves credit for the way he has structured the team to meet the demands of this PL year. Kai’s evolution into a top quality player deserves more than wish-washy criticism.
      It is also worth noting that in many successful teams it takes at least 6 months for even top quality players to adjust to the dynamics of a new team.
      You and others have regularly posted about Arteta “washing his hands of players”. However, these cliched references have almost all been without merit if we scratch below the surface of the criticism.

      1. I have given nothing but praise to Arteta in all my posts today. Where am I discrediting him? Where?

        If you refuse the fact that he tends to wash his hands off players despite Ramsdale being a fresh example then I cannot see why we should continue with this debate.

        We can have enjoyable and fruitful debates David if you understand my views and I yours.

        Personally, I am not an idol worshipper. If I can criticize the great Arsene Wenger why shouldn’t I criticize Arteta?

        If all you want is hailing and praising Arteta from dusk till dawn go ahead. You have every right just don’t force it on others.

        1. David has his own agenda HH – he reads a post in a way that suits said agenda.
          He should say what he thinks is inaccurate, rather than blandly making it with no substance – as is his “scratching below the surface”… what does that mean? Examples please David, not rhetoric.
          In David’s mind, it seems that one cannot possibly find fault with MA and to do so would make one disloyal.
          Your example of Ramsdale is 100% correct, as it would be if one cites Willian and Martinelli.

          1. After the deserved backlash he got for his baseless accusations recently, I saw how you agreed with his posts the next day.

            It was a nice gesture from you to extend a hand like that. I hope David learned something from that.

            1. I do not make baseless accusations. I stand by the comments I made. I also do not depend on “ nice gestures” from anyone.
              Ken1945 agrees with points that align with his own rather than necessarily “the person”. He probably actually agrees with my views more often than not but seems to take issue with how I respond to some of your perspectives.

          2. @Ken1945. David may very well be Jen/Thirdman/Jimbo (Jumbo). Sounds pretty spooky,,,, but Third Man/Jen are very calculating scary people rolled into one. Another person that was on this site that’s no longer here was Marge. That was also possibly Jen/Third Man. It will be very interesting as to how Jen/Third Man recreat themselves to get back onto this site. Reminds me of Jason from Friday The 13th horror movies,,,, could never be killed off .When you think he’s gone and dusted, he came back to haunt the big screen 😱 😱. That was so spooky the other night when Jen/Third Man posted that final post revealing their identity. That sent shivers my back. And what was even more scarier, was Sue P explaining how Jen/ Third Man possibly came with with their name. Obviously Sue P did her research. Dan Kit also had his suspicions as did I. David has similar views as Jen/Third Man. Third Man/Jimbo/Jen to be continued……😱😱😱😱

            1. I forgot about Marge, as she lasted less than a month and got annoyed when her “facts” were questioned… so you could be right!!

              Off topic – what do you think Rayas was doing and why did he make such a horlicks of it?

              1. Hi Ken1945. We will never know. David Raya was never under pressure. If it were due to being complacent,, he needs his backside kick. Looking back on it,, and I must admit to you,, I have not really scrutinised it thoroughly,,, looks like Raya had the ball on his wrong foot. In saying that,, it’s no excuse for a player/goalkeeper not to be able to use both feet. It’s one of those instances where the player has taken their eyes off the ball at the last moment. Plus Raya’s body was totally unbalanced to the extent he almost fell over. The simple basics and techniques that we teach little kids in how to distribute a ball totally went out the window in Raya’s case. I’m not going to condemn the guy over that. I see it alot these days with goalkeepers slipping after distributing the ball, whether they are kicking the ball or throwing it. But then Ken, have you noticed players in general slipping over on their backsides for no apparent reason in a match? You can blame that on the person who came up with the idea of mowing the turf on the day of the football match. And most of the time that procedure is done without using a catcher to pick up the clippings. Grass clippings building up under football boots reduces grip, thus making players to slip. Ever notice goalkeepers banging their boots against the goalposts prior to taking goal kicks if going long ball. As for Raya, he displayed great mentality to wipe that incident out of his mind. He showed great body posture after that to be dominant with handling and dealing crosses. He certainly won’t be the last to make an error like that. It only looks bad because he plays for our beloved ARSENAL. Another thing, alot of people will make a big thing out of David Raya’s mistake because they are still in love with Aaron Ramsdale and still fantasise over him. Unfortunately that’s the life of a goalkeeper. Goalkeepers don’t have the luxury of that to outfield players. But then, that’s my bias coming out

                1. Thanks for your thoughts PJ – it made me remember a penalty being taken for Bournemouth, where the player slipped and missed by miles.
                  There was never the cover given to this miss as there is to Raya’s mistake, but I guess that’s the life of a keeper – every mistake is magnified as it normally leads to a goal.
                  Take care my friend!!

            2. I did do my research and JW who appeared in that post – late in the lockdown- has appeared a couple of times very recently.

        2. It has been well known that Kai could play in a number of different roles and Arteta had indicated as such before. It happens that the make up of the team at the moment means Havertz has been most effective as a kind of false 9. Your narrative seems to be that it was simply “failure” in one role meant he was tried in another, or that he had to be played because of his price tag. I am not sure how this amounts to “praise”.
          Ramsdale can’t get into the team at the moment because Raya is seen as a better fit for the team. Does this mean that Arteta has washed his hands of Ramsdale? Personally, I don’t agree with this characterisation as it is always going to be difficult in this kind of situation especially as we have been knocked out of the cup competitions.
          If we look at the various players not getting much game time they have generally not been playing to the same level or unfit. The players he has really frozen out before have been primarily because of attitude issues rather than playing ability.

    3. I don’t remember Arteta saying he was brought to play a specific position. On the contrary,it was his versatility that the manager spoke to when he arrived. It is the same story with Ben White, who played CB but has arguably been the best RB in the league this season. We know Arteta likes versatile players and he alters the role of most his players from game to game,sometimes within a game. I think Arteta is one of the most flexible coaches I know with tactics and personnel. Other than the Gk,all our players have played multiple roles this season.

      1. Great Post Onyango couldn’t have put it better myself….apart from tactics.
        I’ve not seen any change in tactics, but that might be because he’s been so successful with his plan A?!?!

        1. It’s odd that you’ve not seen any changes in tactics because Arteta hardly ever uses similar tactics for two consecutive games. For instance, the approach against Chelsea was considerably different from the approach against Tottenham despite using the same players.But sometimes these alterations are so subtle for the average fan,including myself,to grasp. There are lots of blogs and podcasts out there that do superb analysis on tactics. Against Chelsea for instance, we pressed from the front,forcing them into mistakes and creating overloads in the forward areas with Rice often being the extra man. Whereas against Tottenham, we were a bit conservative with the press because the expectation was that the way they play would leave them exposed at the back and we can counter.

    4. @HH: The “scores again” is for the Kai detractors who had absolutely no faith in him or Arteta. I agree consistency is important but he is scoring and assisting on a regular basis, much much more than he did in his entire career at Chelsea. Furthermore, he is so much involved in the game in the recent past and is either directly or indirectly responsible for many a Arsenal goal or assist. His overall game has improved leaps and bounds and as true supporters, we must support him.

      1. That’s how I see it as well Gunner for life and chelsea must be kicking themselves for not realizing his potential.

        1. Surely I have to add my little take here, The Big German is a victim of his own versatility, the gaffer has always been clear, not knowing his best position though deep down we asume he was a direct upgrade on the great Xhaka.

          His sixty five million price tag did not do him any favor, but I was more concerned about the weekly wage than the purchase cost.

          But the Big German was always giving his all from day one, working tirelessly for the team, it was his huge price tag and his previous involvement in a hugely disjointed outfit at the Bridge that clouded the minds of fans, but the cream always rises to the top.

          There is a good chance his best days are ahead of him, that Hollywood pass to Saka was deadly accurate, had never seen the German attempted that before not at Chelsea not in Germany or on his national team.

          1. I seem to remember that MA was crucified for saying that he didn’t know Havertz best position – am I imagining that quote?

            1. Strangely, I just said exactly that above in reply to one of your posts.

              You’re not imagining it.

          2. @Gunsmoke.
            Another important quality people don’t talk about is Havertz durability.
            He is rarely injured and same goes for Rice. The manager can always count on their fitness.
            Without Rice and Havertz this season Arsenal would have struggled massively when players like Partey, Odegaard, Viera, G. Jesus, Martinelli and even Saka got injured this season.
            They have been massive for us not just in terms of goals or assists but because they are dependable players that you can always plan a game around.
            Havertz as well is not a passive player as we initially believed because with the exception of Odegaard and Rice no player works harder off the ball than Havertz on that pitch every match day.

      2. I am happy to be proven wrong G4L and long may it continue. If this is just a start and we are yet to see the best him then it will be a masterstroke of a signing!

  4. Kai has been phenomenal since moving to centre forward. So much so I feel our need for a new cf has diminished and put the focus on a new midfielder either a left 8 or dm depending on where Declan will be playing and a left winger. We don’t need an out and out striker for the system we play and I feel a halaand or Victor wouldn’t have seen or had the ability to play Saka through for our second goal. Finally Havertz has a better G/A than Oisnhem this season and he played half of it at cm. Hes 8 goals off the league top scorers as well. Had he played upfront all season he would have hit 20 plus goals.

    1. Really?!! He’s improved, yes, but his finishing is still wanting. We need a CF who burries even half chances.

  5. There were lots of articles complaining that Ben White was a waste of money. He wasn’t bought as a right back. Look how that turned out.

  6. You all hating him because he dont do flicks and Tricks. Jesus cost us around 60mil and you all say Havertz was to expensive. Jesus was baught for scoring goals, but Havertz have more goals and assists…

  7. What’s even more impressive about Havertz is that he seems to turn up for the big games. He seems unfazed by big occasions. I don’t think we’ve had that sort of player since Sanchez. Odegaard and Saka have improved in that regard as well. When you have this kind of player,they can get you a result even if the team isn’t playing well, and that makes the difference at the business end of the season.

    1. good point, big game players make a huge difference

      compare and contrast to the likes of Ozil and Auba to name but a few

        1. agreed Ozil most definitely was not a big game player, the opposite in fact – apologies if worded poorly implying he was

          1. Arsenal 1886, Your post was NOT badly worded at all and was perfectly clear to all who understand English used correctly,as you did!

      1. NY,I thought Havertz looked knackered against Villa, as did the rest of the team, and that explains why they faded in the second half. As impressive as Havertz has been in 2024,he’s human, not a machine. The German had played lots of minutes without rest at that point and it was bound to take a toll,especially with Champions League as well. Besides,Havertz played in midfield and was further away from goal than he normally would be playing upfront.In my opinion,Havertz should have been rested for that game. Instead, one of ESR, Partey and Vieira should have started. I thought Arteta made the wrong calls that day.Jus saying…

  8. I gave up trying to overly question Arteta on the players he buys.. He definitely knows what he is doing. He knows about football and management than I do. He knows what type of player suits his style while I ain’t got a clue.

    So I decided to just let Arteta do his thing.. His own decision will dictate where he ends up at Arsenal. So he can’t blame anyone..

  9. Fine article DANIEL,although very brief with farless detail than I personally would haveliked.

    I am going to write afar more detailed dpieceof myownabout HAVERTZ and RAYA, outlining the manyof us,mysef included, who initially had little faith in either.

    I will be accepting responsibility for my own misjudgement of BOTH and sayinghow wrong , I and manyothers were and saying how RIGHT MA has proved to be.
    THAT, is the sort of PROPERLY detailed pieceI consider IS worth writing .

  10. Haverz first 80% at Arsenal was underwhelming to say the least. He has very poor technique for a top player. But this last 10 games has used his strengths to great effect and has proved a hard player to play against. His aerial ability is far better than he is given credit for. His finishing is below standard. Goung forward, we need a top striker because we haven’t one. How you fit Haverz in with one, will be interesting.

    1. Why do we need a top striker when we have one in Havertz? People acting like the top scorers havent scored like 8 more goals than him playing up top all season. If the likes of Halaand Watkins and Isak where on 30 odd goals then maybe i would agree but they arent. Havertz is better than all them players in mentioned in the build up and pressing. Signing another cf is a waste of money when we need a left winger and a cm

        1. in modern football, and particularly Arteta’s Arsenal, a striker needs more to their game than just goals

          e.g. the Harlaand criticism, and he is the best ‘striker’ out there by miles

          Arteta’s system demands more, like running your socks off like Odegaard in the high press, interceptions in midfield, aerial duels all over the pitch, the exquisite long ball assist for Saka’s goal yesterday

          a new striker needs to bring all these things to the team or they will disrupt our successful system and not start – and I think that is where the striker debate is, a new striker is a Plan B (or maybe even Plan C after Trossard stepping in)

          Plan C impact sub, not a starter in this Arteta system

          for the rare occasion Arsenal have struggled to find a way through the XI behind the ball ultra low block

          doesn’t fit with blockbuster £100m big name fantasy strikers we see on these pages

    2. Perhaps, Reggie, there were those who wanted to see that Havertz was not a success and gave him no leeway whatsoever?
      He was seen as a chelsea reject from the very beginning and he needed the support of the club coming from the shambles that was chelsea to The Arsenal and a manager who believed in him.

      1. Ken, if we win the league, Haverz would be clased as an overall success. With finishing second last season and second again, after substantial investment, question marks could/should/would be asked as to the suitability and improvement to the team, made by those players. Haverz has not been the failure he was looking to start with for sure. But he hasn’t been a roaring success either. He is a different type of player, he does a job but is it a championship job, or is he just a nuisance. This season that anwer will be answered in the next few weeks. Was it a masterstroke or a mistake, not to buy an out an out striker, last summer.

        1. the main determinant of whether Arsenal wins the PL in 3 weeks time is if Man C win every game

          how can that then be the decider if Havertz was a masterstroke or mistake? nuts!

          not sure Edu/Arteta were ever in for the fantasy striker you talk of last summer, and even less likely this summer

          i can see Arsenal adding an additional forward player with centre forward in their armoury, but the £100m Osihmen or Gyrokes ‘out and out striker’ seems unlikely

        2. Even if we end up second I think we still have done a good job. Remember last season was a one horse race which we couldn’t sustain in the end and let Man city nick the title under our nose.

          This season however Liverpool returned and it was up to last week a three horse race.

        3. Reggie, with city being treated with kid gloves over the 115 charges made against them, it is obvious to me that, if we finish second again, then to judge MA on that is wrong.

          We haven’t “bottled it” this season, we’ve recorded two wins and a draw against them and we’ve scored more goals, while letting in fewer than them this season.

          Until the authorities have the courage to treat city as they have Everton and Forest, how can ANY other club or it’s manager and players be judged correctly?

          We lost by five points last season and, if things stay as they are, two points this season.
          Take away any one of the points deducted from the above trans mentioned and we would be PL champions two seasons in a row.
          With that in mind, how you say you can judge Havertz on whether we win the league or not, is nonsense in my opinion – will you judge Rice in the same way?

          1. Rice, can not be judged in the same way, as he had been a 100% success from day one. Midfield control the game, which we do better with Rice. The defence and strike force win you games. Until City are found guilty or not guilty, we can not use them as an excuse to say we would have won the league. If they are found guilty, then Arsenal should be dragging them and the league through the courts to get what would be rightfully ours. Until then, where we finish will determine how we have done.

            1. I don’t think it’s an excuse per se. It’s an appreciation of the fact that we are up against an almost impossible task. City are treble winners,having assembled one of the greatest teams the Premier League has seen to date with Pep Guardiola in charge-arguably the greatest coach in football history. To go against that,with a relatively inexperienced team can’t be easy. If anything, the squad overachieved last season. No one expected second at the start of last season.

              For more perspective, if City win the league, they will have to break their own record for longest unbeaten streak. In other words, they will have created history. There’s no shame in losing to history. I don’t buy the idea that success can only be defined in a black and white/zero sum game manner. We were nowhere near City last year despite being top for long. All the metrics show that Arsenal has improved this season and narrowed the gap between them and City. Conceded less and scored more. Made Champions League quarters after years out. Still in the title race with three games to go. That’s progress to me. From where I sit, the Arsenal squad has done well no matter where they finish. COYG!

  11. Are we sure what we need is a new central forward. Last season only few team across Europe scored more goals than us… This season I’m yet to see any big/small team aside Bayern(89)that score more goals than us even with their lethal central forwards.. with Bayern 89 goals they came a distance second in their league.. winning a league is far more than a 20+goal scoring central forward…. There was a time we had those type of forward and yet we did not even come close to lifting the league trophy… It’s about balancing every side in the team which we are almost doing at the moment……

  12. A very brief and good piece Daniel, bold too not many writers dare to touch the prolific player with a long stick.

  13. Credit to Havertz and credit to Arteta. Havertz has a languid style similar to Ozil, that means he will always be on the edge of criticism. I think there is more to come from him and he will get even better. That said, we still need a striker and need to move on from Jesus.

    1. Unlike OZIL, Havertz is a consistent and hard worker always involved in the game.
      Ozil was lazy and that was the reason for his downfall and the constant and rightful criticism for bone idleness he got from myself and from others too.

      No similarity whatsoever between hard working HAVERTZ and perenially BONE IDLE OZIL!
      Thank God too!!

  14. Whether or not a team wins the EPL is not, and never will be attributable to one player in that side.Some players bring more to the table on a regular basis than others, but at the end of the day it’s the sum of the parts that matter rather than the individuals.After a slow start, Havertz has proved himself to doubters like me, not that I doubted his skill but rather his lack of application.From what I have seen he is a real team player who works his socks off with and without the ball.In essence, unlike a few prima donnas I could mention who have worn the red shirt fairly recently, he is a players player who is an important unit in what is still a developing side.You are not a nailed on first pick for Germany unless you can play,and he certainly can.

  15. Kai Havertz plays well as a CF, but very poorly in the midfield. This cost us the Villa match and potentially the league title. So yes, Kai Havertz has Improved, but Arteta hasn’t been right all along.

    1. Havertz did not cost us the game against Villa.Defensive mistakes cost us the match and to somehow suggest that Havertz alone was culpable is nonsense.Havertz is not and never will be a central midfielder and only one man is responsible for playing him out of position, just as he has done with a number of other players.

      1. Agree Grandad but stat show quite markedly, that we win more games with Haverz not in midfield and by quite a margin. It wasn’t Haverz fault but the position he was put in that suits him less.

  16. People saying he needs to score more etc. This table surprised me


    Haaland is top – for a surprising reason – he has the most big chances missed at 30. And only 20 goals scored. 40% strike rate meh.

    The best record seems to be Solanke who missed 12 and scored 18.

    Mind you, not being on that table at all seems best! 🤣

    And Havertz isn’t there. Nor is any other Arsenal player.

  17. Havertz is yet to be ruthless, still not fully unleashed, but till then we enjoy the glimpses. “Ya Gunners Ya”!

  18. it is clear from this thread that many have a closed mind to Havertz, made up their mind about Havertz before he kicked a ball in an Arsenal shirt, it is now obvious there is nothing Havertz can do that will change that, poor guy

    it seems every current and ex footballer (i.e. people who might know something about the game) speak about Havertz as an absolutely amazing and gifted player, in almost glassy eyed awe

    so i guess the opinions of closed minded trolls don’t keep him awake at night

    it’s just a shame really as Arsenal are probably in their best moment, the most enjoyable moment to be an Arsenal fan, for 20 years, and some seem hell-bent on cutting down one of our own

  19. I think that there other players in the squad who have shown frailties during the course of the season and don’t get the flak that Havertz gets

    There was an article on JA a handful of weeks ago in which he explained about his nervousness and needing time to settle. Not all players come in all guns blazing like Rice.

  20. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with City but ourselves. City didn’t make is lose to Villa at home ( could be argued, it was more down to Emery) City didn’t make us lose to West Ham at home and City didn’t make us capitulate at Fulham. Truth is we took our eye off the ball and lost to teams we should have got results against. Especially the home games. City are not influencing our losses to “lesser” teams. Losing this league (if we do) is down to us 100%.

  21. The reality of football is that you’re bound to lose. The premier league is the toughest league in the world. City themselves have had some unexpected losses/draws this season. And no I didn’t say City made us lose,those are your words. I’m saying City are unbelievably good. Just as you say we should have won certain games we lost,we can equally say we should/could have lost certain games we won. For instance,nobody expected us to get eight points out of twelve from City and Liverpool. The thing is,quality considered,things tend to average out over the course of a season. In any other league,in any other era, Arsenal would probably have wrapped up the league by now, in spite of the losses you mention. The best offensive and defensive records almost always guarantee you win it. But Pep has set the standards such that it needs near perfection to win it, and if we are being realistic,we are far from perfect in some aspects. The fact that Liverpool got 97 points in the past and didn’t win it tells you what we are up against.

    By the way, I think Partey and Timber were such a big loss. What these teams (Porto,Bayern,Fulham,Westham,Villa) that we struggled against have in common is that they used a mid block against us. We seem to struggle against a mid block.Partey and Timber are two of our best players skill wise in terms of evading the press,turning with the ball and carrying it through opposition press. If we had them fit for most of the season, we probably win some if not most of those matches. In a way,I think those two injuries impacted how Arteta wanted to set his team up.

      1. And finally,you have stated lots of times on this forum that we do still need a striker whereas the guys we are up against have the best striker in the world. That sounds to me like an acknowledgment that we are not at par with City yet. That we have pushed them right to the wire without an out and out striker whilst also out scoring them is remarkable to me. I still think we can win it.

        1. I just dont agree, City, is the reason (if we dont win the league) why we didn’t win the league. City wasn’t/isnt the factor. It was us, who lost those few games and City were not involved in any of them. We can’t use City as an excuse. Lets hope we can pull it out of the fire.

  22. I must be a lone voice and totally delusional to belive that Havertz is nothing special and his like can be found in most teams if a manager has that right strategy. I watched the first 70 minutes oy the Forest Vs City game and without a 65 million “super star” the home relegation battlers created more chances against the title favorites than we did at the City Ground a few games ago. They did it by attacking the flanks with speed and the use of proper wing backs. In the I saw against Spurs, I saw Harvetz as an ok player doing some things right as well as often either being too slow, being one dimensional,missing a good chance to score, losing the ball etc just like any other average player who fortunately is surrounded by better team mates To et to a higher standard, Arsenal need better.

  23. Once again I will repeat that Arteta bought Havertz to replace Xhaka.

    He was not a success in that role.

    It was only when he was moved up front that he started to earn his exorbitant wages.

    So, I would say Arteta lucked into Havertz success up front!!!!!

    Just another aside. If Arsenal get a top striker in the Summer, might he take from Saka, Havertz and Trossard’s goals?
    We are currently the highest scorers in the Prem, could a new striker affect that stat?

    PS GREAT WIN on Sunday!!!!!!

  24. As many in the thread pointed out and I read it myself where Arteta said he was not sure what Havertz best position was which means he saw him as versatile and able to play different positions yet you say he ‘lucked’ into Havertz success upfront. Somehow that does not really jive with what Mikel said previously.

    I mean Havertz played upfront at Chelsea in the false nine role and while not being so great at it I am sure even a Chelsea fan who watched all their games will say they saw some qualities every once in a while. In fact while I am a fan of MA im still not sure why in some games he still insists on playing him in midfield but that speaks to MA feeling he brings something to that position as well.

    At the end of the day as great as Pep is remember his tinkering and changing of personnel in previous champions league campaigns where City failed and he was heavily criticized so even he will make head scratching decisions.

    1. MA can’t really be clueless about KH’s best position. He must have had an idea of where best to play him when he signed him.

      Surely it can’t be a case of sign a player first then decide where best to play him. No manager at EPL level would spend big money on a player without first having a plan on where the player would fit in best.

      We are not talking about signing a youngster for a few million quid and let him develop and discover his best position

      1. Arteta would certainly have ideas about how Kai would be deployed. However, it is not unreasonable for the manager to be uncertain about his “best” position. This is quite different from being “clueless”.
        The versatility of players such as Havertz may actually mean that there is no definitive “best position” and where he is best deployed may depend on the opponent and the game state.
        Those who are suggesting that it was all down to “luck” are simply continuing their historical prejudicial perspectives.

        1. The most compelling idea of how KH would be deployed was the best position MA had in mind for him when he signed and that would be Xhaka’s position.

          It’s not hard to see why people would think it was down to luck, given how long MA persevered with KH in Xhaka’s position ineffectively, even when GJ was injured, preferring both EN and LT to KH in the CF role, for over half a season

  25. On another note I see some comments about how Mikel lost us certain games but again what about the ones he won which have us where we are competing for the title almost to the last day and with a real chance of winning it. The way Arsenal have performed is worthy of champions even if they do not win it but I wonder if Pep was coaching Arsenal and Mikel had City’s squad are how would that would have turned out this season.

    I have no clue where Mikel ranks amongst his peers but he is the only one with a chance right now of stopping City so credit where it is due. For sure you cannot compare him to Pep till he wins many trophies but in the context of this season he may win manager of the year.

    Someone in another thread was right when they said if Real Madrid, PSG and any other great team you can think of played in the EPL City would still be favorites; that is the magnitude of the task at hand. What an achievement if the team gets over the line before any charges are brought against City to make it an even sweeter achievement one can only dream.

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