Thomas Partey – Arsenal’s ‘water-carrier’

Who among the Arsenal players do you think is responsible for the club’s title charge?

Some may object, but Thomas Partey could be this player. Before you crucify me, consider what Tony Cascarino has to say about a team needing a reliable holding midfielder to mount a strong title challenge, as well as what he has to say about Partey.

“People often overlook the “simple” defensive midfielder. Eric Cantona once called them “water carriers” – players who do the important leg work for the teammates around them. It’s not a pejorative phrase though—their work enables others to shine. They are catalysts,” said Cascarino to the Times (he was comparing Liverpool’s midfield with that of other teams like Arsenal).

“You need not look far to find a good one and see their importance: Casemiro at Manchester United has been outstanding.

“The same is true at Arsenal with Thomas Partey. Now he has overcome last season’s injury problems, he has anchored a title charge. There is Rodri at Manchester City too; he is brilliant in the air. With a big, aerially dominant player, Pep Guardiola can fit in the smaller technicians around him, such as Bernardo Silva or Phil Foden.”

Cascarino believes Partey is responsible for Arsenal’s current position in the title race, and he may be correct. Arteta has relied on Partey as a lone sitter in his midfield this season. This is due to him switching him from a double midfield pivot alongside Granit Xhaka to now making him provide defensive cover for Xhaka and Odegaard, as the traditional number 6.

With Xhaka and Odegaard free of defensive responsibilities, they can focus solely on attacking, increasing Arsenal’s chances in front of goal, and scoring the goals that the team needed to win games.

If you don’t agree that an injury-free Partey is the heart of this Arsenal team, I don’t know what to tell you.

Darren N


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  1. Partey is the catalyst for our dominance in the game he’s that commanding midfield governor that by large responsible to control and dictate the tempo.

    Yes this powerful midfielder is the heart of our team, but he needs a deputy of equal stature.

    1. Honestly one of our best players this season and the main engine room
      Octopus Partey

      He’s everywhere in the defensive half
      Hd needs an understudy some like Caicedo also brilliant on and off the ball and you can see his impact of the Brighton team

  2. Hi Admin Pat,

    I agree 100% with your points on Partey. He is as relevant to our title push as much as Odegaard. I saw a stat recently that showed the win ratio of games we played last year with and without Partey and the difference was significant. We do need a good backup though and I hope and pray that we have a target ready. We do need a Mudryk and a striker but as much as we need them we need a solid defensive midfielder.

  3. As we all know it’s a team game and one man can not stand alone. The importance of partey can not be underestimated but also saliba gabriel Ben white in defence have been massive. Take one of those away and we will have problems. The goals from Saka and martenilli have been so so important for us also. Xhaka resurgence has also been incredible. The leadership and quality of ramsdale has been instrumental. Plus all the other players that have played there part this season. Great article and kudos to partey because we all know he is the player we’ve been missing for so many years. But it is imperative that we have another player that can do what he does because he’s not gonna be able to play every important game, I don’t think…

  4. I would make Thomas party captain np he’s class but so is oddegard both captains and vice captain etc

  5. Just seen dm headline that we are to make a summer move for Declan rice! He would be an incredible sign for the team imo

  6. The term “water carrier” was used firstly by Eric Cantona when comparing his skills with those of Deschamps who was captain of France at the time.Needless to say Cantona considered himself vastly superior to the French captain who went on to lift the World Cup twice.Partey is not a mere water carrier as he has virtually all the attributes needed by a more attacking box to box midfielder.He is a terrific player and as a DM he is as good as any in the Premier League.

  7. Whatever we achieve this season the glory won’t be for just a player. All our players have really impressed this season. I will like to give a special shout out and support to Gabriel Magalheas, who has been our best defender (and most scapegoated) this season along with Ben White.

    1. Yes indeed, Gabriel was immense against a physically powerful Newcastle.Our top player on the night without a doubt.

    2. Ben White has been my standout performer. Does his job 100%. No emotions, skillful, industrious and fast for a CD. He is my kind of guy.

  8. Partey is unequivocally the best among the best in terms of decision making in both DM and OM. He is extremely reliable and goal oriented. He always delivers.

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