Norwich Review – Arsenal’s new boys were a positive but we still need goals

Arsenal lift off the bottom of the table by beating Norwich by Konstantin Mitov

Well lovely Arsenal people, we won a game of football in the premier league. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t enjoy the performance, but I will take the points. We were bottom 2 weeks and it’s nice to get off there and it was also good to see Patrick Vieira showing Tottenham their place again.

That said, it wasn’t a vintage performance, and anyone who thought that this badly-managed Arsenal team would just smash Norwich also got their perspective straightened.

I was kind of excited for this game, because of all the new faces. To be fair to Arteta for once he actually picked what I feel is close to his best 11 from what was available. And we started the game with the right attitude. We also did it at City though and we all know how things went there.

Unfortunately we again failed to materialize our advantage in goals and the game went an all too familiar frustrating road. Credit to the fans here, because I think they were unbelievable and tried to support the team in every moment.

We missed a few half chances, but it eventually fell for us, when Pepe’s effort almost when in, then he tried again and Auba eventually tapped it in. Honestly, I was amazed the goal stood. When I knew Mike Dean is VAR, I halted my celebrations and I was surprised it stood. Not sure I understand offside rules anymore, but if we had conceded such a goal, I’d be unhappy, because Auba was offaide for me, but at this point I’ll take em any way they come.

We then missed some easy chances again. For a team struggling on goals, wins and confidence we have to do better when we have chances to put the game to bed. Eentually it didn’t cost us, but we need to be more ruthless.

You can see we are a team low on confidence. You can just feel the enormous relief when that goal went in. Everyone is well aware we are performing terribly, and in football winning is the only way to get out of holes like the one we are in right now.

We had a lot of new signings on today. Ramsdale replacing Leno is telling. I like what I saw from Aaron though. He wasn’t afraid to kick the ball long, was alright with his feet and he even nutmegged Pukki.

We finally saw Ben White and Gabriel together, and I can see why we wanted the former Brighton defender to replace Luiz. The guy looked good with his feet and his passing which is essential for our desperate desire to play out of the back.

I wasn’t too impressed with our defending overall though as Norwich sometimes had it too easy to go into our box. I really liked Tomiyasu at right back. He was energetic, and we have to remember that this back line was playing it’s first game together so hopefully that will improve to build a more solid foundation.

In midfield we played Ainsley and Lokonga. I didn’t really like AMNs performance, but that boy Sambi looks one hell of a player for the future. Unfortunately I think a lot of our struggles come from midfield and you can see by the way we attack.

It’s always ‘send it forward to Tierney on one side or Pepe on the other’ and hope something happens. I like what I see from Odegaard, but I remember times where we’d pick teams through the middle with slick combinations trying to walk it in and thinking about it, I feel like our CM players don’t support the attack enough.

We don’t have a ball carrying midfielder like Kevin De Bruyne, someone to drive at the oposition defenses to force them backwards and free more space on the flanks. And that makes us predictable, because teams know we’ll try to give it out wide or loop a long ball over the top for Auba.

That raises even more questions as to why we didn’t buy another midfielder, like Aouar for example? Sadly our best midfield pairing right now remains Xhaka and Partey, although I’d like to swap the Swiss and see what Sambi and Thomas can do together.

Overall, I remain convinced Arteta has to go. I just don’t see what the plan is, and I hope people realize that there is a difference between being negative and being realistic. Our performances will have to be better if we want to climb up the table. Right now the points are absolutely massive, but only when we match them with dominant performances, can we be confident of moving forwards.


Tags Arsenal v Norwich City


  1. Auba needs to raise his game, I’m still not convinced he isn’t finished as a top level striker. How he’s still considered ahead of Lacazette is baffling to me.

    1. Davi I keep saying this, no top coach will bench Auba for Lacazette, it’s only some few arsenal fans that keep saying that, if we hire a new coach today he will still play Auba ahead of Lacazette, Wenger did, Emery did, Freddie did the same thing now Arteta is doing it. And I don’t get all this hating on Auba comes from, yesterday the man worked his socks off, he had 3 chances yesterday, the first was a long pass from Tierney which he tried to shoot from outside the box the second was a chip that Krul did excellently well to parrt out, and the third was the goal. Yesterday only Odegard pressed the opponent more than Aubamayang. I really love how the fans waited for him and sang his name after the match that shows most fans knows what he brings to the team.

      1. 👍 He looked really sharp and I was glad he got his goal, Lenohappy – right place at the right time and look how he celebrated… after the game on his way home he even stopped to greet the fans (lucky sods 😄)

        1. A win is a win, i guess. It’s jus that I don’t think that this Arsenal side is still capable of breaking through low blocks. And the next game is Burnley away.

          Being that they barely scored against the weakest defense in the Prem, I don’t think they’ll manage to get more than a point against Sean’s bunker.

          And having said that, Arteta should still get the sack.

  2. Aubameyang was not offside..
    If you watch that goal frame by frame then you will understand that when Pépé and Krul both went for ball that time ball accidentally hit Pépé’s leg fell kindly fell for Aubameyang…
    Now when that ball hit Pépé’s leg, both Aubameyang and Pépé where behind Norwich Defence… and when ball hit Pépé’s leg Aubameyang was behind the line of ball and that’s why it was onside And goal stood

  3. There were many, many positives today:
    – 30 shots after our biggest criticism has been chance creation
    – Tomi looks fantastic (and Emerson had a horror show for Spurs – makes it all the sweeter)
    – Gabriel and White were calm and solid
    – AMN provides quality squad depth
    – Pepe and Saka, although neither consistent, at times looked frightening
    – Ramsdale was superb with the ball at his feet and commands the box with real authority

    The only real negative was finishing, but my feeling is that this is a team that is vastly improved from last season, especially if Partey and Sambi can stay fit.

    I know it’s a minority opinion at the moment, but I always said that Arteta should be given until the end of December.

    1. Good points.
      Up front the team needs to improve its efficiency. They are creating chances.
      This is quite a young squad now and yesterday was the first time this team has played together. It showed a lot of promise.
      I agree we need to give Arteta more time.

  4. I didn’t see the game but very positive to heat that all the new signings that started but in decent shifts.

    Thirty attempts on goal sounds like our attack was doing something right but the lack of an end product is obviously a worry. Need one of our multiple options up front to separate themselves from the pack.

  5. Agree with article.

    Some positive signs from the new blood although still not convinced by Odegard and his ability to be the creative linchpin. Yes he opened up the defence for Auba with a slide pass but aside from that it was all very ‘solid’ and not more. Happy to give him more time though for him to come good. Just think we looked far more dangerous with ESR cake on and carried the ball forward with directness.

    Lokonga looks mustard, white looked good too. Pepe had some impact but he is just not my kind of player (very hit and a lot of miss). Ramsdale looked confident and commanding.

    I’m general it’s 3 points so hopefully that will bring some confidence back to the players but this performance changes nothing.

    We still have a L plate manager whose man management, system of play and general ideas are predictable and not very optimal. I expect we will struggle with upcoming games to collect points due to the fact that we have a tendency to win one and then loose/draw and the spuds will be out for blood because of there loss and Burnley are always a tough nut.

    Still well done again to the lads for seeing it over the line even though it was a nervy game that could have gone either way in truth.

    1. Well said AOT pretty much spoke my mind 👍

      The worry for me is that we have now signed Odegaard on a long term contract and he is now our number one creative player for the next 5 years ,I’m not sure how that happened form watching his games last season ,to late now so I suppose I shouldn’t moan and hope he proves me wrong .

      Nothing has change regarding my thoughts on Arteta after watching that game yesterday ,sooner he’s gone the better else it will be a very long dire season .

      1. Dan, I have no issue with signing Martin Odegaard, because there is a very good midfielder in there. My problem is that Arsenal is very skinny in midfield resources and believe that after selling Joe Willock, an additional ACM plus Yves Bissouma (who wanted to come to the Emirates) should have been bought in.

  6. Last season we actually had the third best defence behind City and Chelsea. Our weakness was our poor goal scoring especially as we had and still have the most expensive front line in the league.
    We actually only need Auba Lacca and Pepe to score 4 more goals each than last season and we would be easy 5th place.

    1. What you’re saying doesn’t even make any sense,we already have a minus 8 goal difference,good luck with being the 3rd best defense or scoring more goals this season if things keep going the way they are.

  7. Well it’s a victory….3points. Tomiyasu looked very good, but we generally did struggle to dominate a bog standard Norwich team who will be relegated. To have AMN and Sambi as midfield after spending £150 million is disheartening to say the least although good to see Thomas Partey get some minutes. If we rely on Odegaard to be our main creative force it’s just not good enough. Never seen anyone waste so much possession as Pepe…he is talented but totally profligate. Someone needs to get on his back and stop the wastage. Seeing Odsonne Edouard join Palace for £14 million, shows how poor Edu is. Edouard and Aouar or Fekir would have made us a better team by far. AMN is just NOT good enough, and with the thug, Xhaka, coming back soon we have a poor midfield. Lets hope football wins at Burnley and we can net a chance or two. If we lose….??????

      1. Edouard will prove to be a steal for Crystal Palace, given the transfer fee paid to Glasgow Celtic. He had an underwhelming last season and Celtic had to sell, because he would have left on a free. It was ridiculous that Arsenal didn’t take a chance on him.

  8. One goal – could’ve been by more but I’m just happy we won! Full-strength now, things will only get better..

    ION.. A star is born in the tennis, well done, Emma!!

    1. Sue Burnley will be a tough nut to crack then spuds Yes well done Emma Britain has a Star in the tennis world

  9. If Arteta really does study the games, then I expect him to work greatly on the a 3 in the middle shape that ended the game after ESR and Partey came on as movement increased greatly hence improved chances created on the 2nd half.
    So far this season, ESR has struggled to make an impact because of the way the team plays (through the wings) and Odegaard is limited as he can be very one sided which is why Saka had to join in the middle in the first half and in the Carabao Cup.

    So adopting ESR and Ode as a double 8 with Partey as DM will add spark, bite, a lot more directness and minimize the sideways passing, hence increasing chances as both will complement each other.
    The downside of this is openness at the back. The idea of that alone would kill Arteta. So both 8s will have to do extra work on the strength, agility and their defensive as a lot would be required of them for it to work, the whole team put together.

    It was a good win, Congratulations. Still, the team is overwhelmingly uncoached and the play is painful to watch. Arteta still needs to go

  10. We have 2 good keepers, a good squad overall.

    To win at home IS positive, a must against Norwich sitting at bottom spot for weeks.

    Very harsh and thankfully we do not wake up to such shocker, never again hopefully.

    Obviously, must give players a chance play together for a while.

    Team against Spurs should be almost same.

    Start Rowe instead of Martin, Nelson for Pepe.

    Pepe doesn’t bring enough, more so defending. Nelson can drive to centre, used to play with Rowe, Saka, AMN; will help team connect better and faster football. I’d like to see Chambers paired with White.

    Tomi Chambers White Tierny.
    Sambi AMN
    Nelson Auba Saka

    Spurs’ game will require lots of defending and intensity; Nelson and Saka will do so on both wings.

    Fighters we have in Sambi, AMN, White & Chambers will also be key to look center, as Rowe will.

    Or Spurs will roll us over as waves, punish us.

    They did not have a Bad game; Patrick Viera destroyed Nuno game & player management and tac tic. Impressive stuff, so in control, pure class attitude, personality; showed all pedigrees of a top manager.

    I never watched his team before Spurs game; it was enough to see such attributes & potential in Coach Viera. He has vision, plan and winning mentality.

    Willock was outstanding in Magpies defeat, out playing Pogba and Fernandes during game.

    If he keeps building UP this way, he will Indeed reach his World cup target. He brings something really special in B2B role, always involve in or lounging attacks.

    It was a positive day to see them doing well as our first 3 points.

    Unfortunatly, Arteta being there til January, we must be ready to stay in relegation fight til then…

    Unless he keeps right team on pitch and let them do the job, play Arsenal way. Not force them into his learning to be a coach’s guessing.

    1. Nelson is on loan and why bring up Willock who has been sold and Vieira who isn’t our manager? He might be brilliant at Palace but has had mixed fortunes elsewhere. Perhaps in time .. who knows?

    2. Arsenaler, Pepe was a problem for the Norwich City defense every time he was in possession. He was unlucky not to score. Most teams are double marking Pepe, because he is a threat.
      Hopefully Arteta settles on a side and gives them a run of games.

  11. I only heard snippets on a poor reception DAB radio and followed up with MOTD this morning which doesn’t give much insight. Wrighty sounded happy enough

    The nerves that have been mentioned are unsurprising but I did expect a better goal tally so the missed chances are a concern. Hopefully even a 1-0 improves confidence going forward.

    It’s almost universal on JA that between them, Arteta and Edu have made some good signings so they at least have got something right.

  12. Day after view. Defence looks really promising and there were tactical changes second half that could be the way forward.
    Don’t get the MO critics – the guy gives so much to the team off the ball and never stops running. He will be the next skipper. I see his eventual role as being deeper – more of a CM alongside Partey. Up front its too congested.
    Tomy is superb but don’t be fooled he doesnt overlap, he comes inside, so Pepe or AMN need to do that. AMN has a role as AWB not CM.
    Why the concerns about Norwich having midfield ball? Possession is overrated. We played more balls over the top by conceding possession, and we had 30 shots, not them Eventually those will start to go in.
    ESR is critical as with Willock leaving he’s the ONLY player that runs through their lines to either pull players out of position or receive the ball purely by finding space. Saka beats players, Auba and Pepe both hang on defenders shoulders but largely hold their positions.
    Promising but we need time together not constant changes. We need Partey and ESR to stay fit, and we need Ramsdale in goal – for me he gives that defence confidence.
    Didn’t look great as new team, nervous, lots of miscommunication, but the players are good enough. Let’s hope Arteta is…

  13. I think Pepe needs to be coming from the bench cos I feel he’s that kinda player who does better coming from the bench. Arsenal still have a problem and that problem is Mikel Arteta. Mam knows nothing about coaching. He needs to go back to Pep to really teach him the job cos he hasn’t learnt anything IMO. We need a coach who can come in and instill believe and confidence in these guys. This club is damn bigger than small Arteta

  14. @Arsenaler……thank God you’re not Arsenal coach. Jezz!!!…your team is shit and every club will beat that team blue and black. If you already have a coaching dream, please kill that dream cos you won’t succeed as a coach

  15. Konstantin, Auba was behind the ball and thus could NOT be offside! Suggest you study the offside law, since it is not a difficult matter to understand that being behind the ball makes you ONSIDE!

  16. take the 3 points and hope the average performance against a below average opponent was not an indication of things to come … otherwise its going to be a rough season … burnley game much more telling

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs