What a way to go Gooners! After a frustrating loss to West Ham last week, Arsenal bounced back in style as we put Chelsea to the sword – courtesy of two first half goals from our Frenchmen, Lacazette and Koscielny, which leaves us with just 3 points adrift of the much-coveted Top 4.
Here is my take on the 6 things we learnt from a solid Arsenal display:
Big Game Mentality:
Going by our form in recent weeks and the loss to West Ham last week, you would have been forgiven if you had predicted an Arsenal loss today, but that wasn’t to be as Arsenal frustrated Chelsea to claim a much deserved and needed victory at the Emirates.
As usual, we had been written off by many in the match build up, but in my mind, I knew this team could surprise us. We seem to be developing a big game mentality. Our approach to big games this season has been fantastic after our first two losses and the drubbing at Anfield, (one that I blame the makeshift defence for) it is obvious that there is a planned, deliberate way we approach the big matches now, especially at home, which is a welcome development for me. Chelsea were lucky to be only two goals down. Emery talks a lot about improving our mentality and even though we still have a long way to go, I think we are definitely improving, and we won’t always be bullied!
Koscielny Proves He Is Still The Boss:
Many, myself included, thought Koscielny was finished at the top level, but we might have to rethink that, because our captain proved how vital he is at both ends of the pitch today and in a match that really matters. While he has looked a little rusty at times during his return to the first team after a long-term injury, he never lost his experience, his understanding, and his innate positional sense, making him the Man of the match today. Is he back to his best? Well time will tell…..
The Top 4 Is Still Within Sight:
After our loss last week and the form of United, many of us have started to wonder if we can still make the Top 4 but with our win today, we are definitely back in contention. Spurs have lost Harry Kane and Son to injury and Asian cup respectively, that’s two players extremely vital for them and I believe their absences could really hurt them. Right now we are just 4 points behind them, but they have to play Fulham who are fighting for survival away today, let’s hope they start missing Kane and Son from today.
Chelsea, like us, have been inconsistent and have been lucky to be in the top 4 in my opinion. They still have many tough games coming for them so I believe they will drop points, but the question is, are we ready to take advantage when they do? Let’s not forget we still have a resurgent United on our trail therefore, like Emery said, all our matches are now finals and we cannot afford to lose many more.
Arsenal Can Actually Defend:
It is generally known that Arsenal have one of the worst defences in the league this season which is a little surprising to me as Emery’s teams are known for defensive stability. But in this game, Arsenal completely turned the corner and excelled in their defending from start to finish, displaying perfect concentration and alertness throughout the game, which makes me wonder if it was the combination, the personnel or the game plan. Whatever, the case might be, I think I’d prefer this system that see us limit Chelsea to just a shot on target and ultimately a clean sheet. Now that we have proven that we can defend, hopefully, we will continue to do so as the season progresses.
Lacazette Is A Better Player Than Aubameyang
I am not saying this because he scored today, but if I was the manager, Lacazette would get in my team before Aubameyang. His all-round play is simply fantastic, a well-rounded player, a complete modern-day number 9. He tackles, holds the ball, and is always involved in the build ups, he scores in big matches, and he is strong.
He scored a really difficult goal today at a very important moment, had he not scored at that time, the story might have been different. You would notice our offensive play died when he came off, as he was dictating our offensive play alongside Ramsey superbly. What a player! But why is he always subbed?
We are Lucky to Have Emery:
Yes, we are! Tell me the top manager who would like to work in a project like ours. Well, only a class manager like Emery will. If replacing a manager, a culture, and a mentality that lasted for 22 years wasn’t hard enough. Surely, working with a tight budget in an extremely crazy, competitive league and with a team like ours is certainly difficult. But his mark is already showing on the team. Of course, he has made mistakes, but other top managers make them too. He got his tactics spot on today, well done boss! If he is not getting enough support from the Kroenke’s of the world, the least we can do as fans is to give him maximum support and patience because he is worth it.