Thomas Partey deserves respect for bouncing back to his best this season

Some articles are worth repeating.

While I’m worried Mikel Arteta might be over complicating his tactics, for the second week in a role he asked Thomas Partey to start at right back and to time when to step into midfield.

It takes incredible trust from a manager for a player to do this, knowing when he should be in defence and when to move into the middle of the pitch.

His peers rely on that footballing intelligence to alter their positions, so if Partey gets it wrong, the whole system falls apart.

After Nottm Forest targeted our right side, some Gooners thought that Partey would resume his old DM self at Selhurst Park, but we had actually experimented with him in his current position in the last couple of last season’s fixtures.

I was very critical of the midfielder in the title run in. One of the few experienced players we have, he let down a young dressing room, crippled by the fear of failure.

The 30-year-old was so bad he was dropped.

If I highlight when a player is not playing well it’s only correct, I point out when the opposite happens.

Possibly motivated by his demotion last campaign, the Ghana international has started with a focus in our first two matches.

Whether it’s rumours that he wants to leave or gossip off the pitch, I don’t think he’s been given enough credit for being our best talent so far this season.

On Monday, he won possession back with strength, positional sense was fantastic, and he chipped a couple of delicious balls.

Yet it was the small details that were apparent.

Information you might take for granted, but matter when you are grinding out a win.

Partey was talking …. Communicating with the officials when he felt Eze dived, ordering around his teammates when we defended out a 1-0 lead.

This was the leader in April and May, and while it’s easier to show character In August it shouldn’t be dismissed.

Arsenal need a good Partey.

They need players to step up and lead.

We got our Partey back.


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  1. Partey is perfect for the inverted-RB role, because of his height, pace and technical abilities

    Romano said Arsenal rejected a £35m offer for him from a Saudi Arabian club. This means Partey will still have a very important role in the squad this season, regardless of Timber’s fitness

    1. Gai, I am so glad Pathey stays. Like a mail Online analyst said ” Pathey combination with Rice in some games would be hard for many opposition to face” especially when playing together in the middle like when we face City in Community Shield.

      1. I’m also happy to see him play with Rice in deep-midfield area

        If Timber was fit, we could’ve had the strongest defensive midfield in the league. But now we must rely on Zinchenko, Tomiyasu and Kiwior to help Rice/ Partey

  2. His performances, like many, dropped at the end of the season because of poor squad rotation nothing else.

    Glad he’s back to his best, just want him in the midfield where’s he’s more influential.

  3. What did you do last season? Watching the late strip show? Partey was brilliant. Not every game, of course, nobody is, but still the same. He was great. But playing wingback is for kids (18 to 22 yo). It’s a disgrace using one of the best DMs on the sideline. Against the other top teams Arteta should play both Rice and Partey. Defense is all.

        1. I agree with Dan @Reggie.if you remember you could see TP was in need of a break,he couldn’t & didn’t track back.he was also misplacing a fair few “simple ” passes.when Jorginho replaced him,you could see the difference straight away.the fact that for 4/5 games he was better than TP, should tell you how poor/tired TP was.

  4. Happy birthday to Partey for being born to Partey in the last two games of August though personally i would not charge any player whether he has been good or bad in the last two games arsenal have played starting a season in a good form can guarantee a player to keep is position in the team and and elevate others to perform even better, though Partey may not play the right back position this week it will be interesting to see were he plays this season considering Declan Rice and Kai Havertz are will be paired as 6 and 8 this season. Partey will be dropping out for White at right back and Gabriel will play as left centre back alongside Saliba this weekend Zinchenko will be back to is usual inverted left back, though Partey has been in form he will have to settle at the bench this weekend Arteta wouldn’t be benching Havertz anytime soon.

    1. We will be toast if we pair Rice and Harvetz like Partey and Xhaka then. Harvertz has no defensive awareness and we should bid bye to the title challenge if we pair Harvertz and Rice..

      Rice is good but this club is on a higher level than West Ham, Rice himself has said so. The best 6 in our team is Partey.

      Arteta should play Partey and Rice in a double pivot and forget about Rice and Harvertz pivot.

      Harvertz should fight it out with Odegaard in the 10 position and also as a false 9.

  5. I dont get the article Partey had a couple of dodgy games when the team collapsed and lost all composure in pressure situations. Parteys performances were immense 95% of last season. He hasn’t come back, he has always and still is one of the best midfielders in the prem. This silly experiment has to stop and Rice and Partey paired up as our Vierra and Petit has to be installed. Stop wastone of the best midfielders at RB. Play him as (what he is best at) a midfield general. Partey has never been away?

        1. Oh I thought I was because he was terrible at Anfield ,Ethiad West Ham and when he came on at Saints and Brighton and mistakes led to goals

          But your right Arteta decided to justtry something different in a title race ?

          1. Terrible at Anfield? False.
            He was poor at City fine. Terrible at West Ham. No.
            A mistake at West Ham? Gabriel gave away a penalty at West Ham. Saka threw away a penalty at West Ham as well. Non of them were dropped.

            Gabriel is full of mistakes almost every game but he always played.

          2. He was not terrible at anfield and west ham just like any other human he is not above mistake, not much he could’ve done to prevent us from conceding in those instances except his dispossession in a dangerous area at west ham where again he was not even responsible of the penalty city he underperformed just like everyone else.

      1. Because he’s not Arteta’s favourite. Saka, Ben White, Gabriel, Jesus and Martinelli all lost form but were never dropped. Joginho who was brought in couldn’t salvage the situation.

        He’s no Arteta favourite.

      1. I think he is wasted any minute, he isnt in midfield. I just hope its very temporary. I am sure it will be when Zinchenko comes back.

  6. We heard Rodri complain of playing too many games and he said its not sustainable as burnout will make him drop performances…….Am thinking about it now, its exactly what might have happened to Saka/Partey/White who seemed to whissle away in the last 7-10 games. Trossad joining gave Martinelli a breather around Feb/Mar. Its therefore necessary to get rotational right this season.

    1. Very true, Saka was not the same player st the end than the beginning but there isn’t a mention of him. Or Ramsdale, or Odergaard, or Jesus, or well all really, except Trossard 🤣

  7. Partey is our midfield general who is a combination of jorginho and rice in terms of quality.He is the one who makes the team tick especially his chemistry with odegaard and saka which goes unnoticed by fans in our previous set up that causes mayhem in opposition’s box opening goal scoring opportunities for any of our attackers which explains why our goals are spread across the team.His intelligence got him on the score sheet against bournemouth in his aim to pay tribute to Atsu who passed away in an earthquake indicating he knows how to get things done if he really wants to.i disagree he disappeared in the running though as he was not involved in his team mates mistakes and could’nt have helped our attackers convert the missed chances, he only played his part that wasn’t enough to get things done.

  8. We play Rice and Harvertz and drop Partey at our own peril. We’ll lose his line breaking passes that create goals for Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli.

    No wonder his movement to RB has affected goal scoring abilities in the three in the first two games of the season.

    1. I know i will be shot at but i think Haverz has done Martinelli and Saka no favours, in fact Martinelli looks to be in less space. And Partey at RB come Mid has not done Saka any favours. There is no overlap or space making moves on either side because of. Both games so far have been played at a slow tempo, unlike last season when we came out flowing from the off.

  9. Partey is the real deal for Arsenal.
    Great defensive footballer with zero ego.

    By the way, any one complaining about Havertz does not understand football or Arteta-ball.


    Havertz is the pivot of the attack and the press whether as a target man or as a B2B attacking occupier.
    His position in the lineup ahead of Smith Rowe is well justified.
    Havertz offers versatility in addition to both the presence and intelligence of Xhaka in those central areas up the pitch.

    The lineup selection formation is actually 3223. Arteta is favoring double 6 and double 8.
    That is why Partey and Rice are the 2 base midfielders with Havertz and Odegaard the advanced midfielders.

    Arsenal’s 3223 system is quite good with the base midifield duo of Partey and Rice covering sidebacks perfectly, especially Partey. Same way the advanced midfield duo of Odegaard and Havertz drag to side midfield areas to unleash our strikers. With Havertz also able to go lead the attacking line in moments of the game when needs arise. This team is now more unpredictable tactically and will thus win more games.

    Last season our 2 base midfielders were Zinchenko and Partey, with Zinchenko covering and tucking in from left back. This season Arteta want to ensure that when the need arise to be more solid at the back, our fullbacks can also be proper defensive occupiers like a “Gvardiol, Akanji, Ake, Stones, or Walker”. And that’s why we are seeing 2 occupiers in the double 6. We will also see a double 6 of “a playmaker and an occupier”. A double 8 of “2 playmakers” or “a playmaker and an occupier”, or even “2 occupiers” in the double 8 if we need more physical presence in the attack.

    If you really want to understand the team starting lineup selection, see this breakdown –
    Offensive GK: Ramsdale, Raya
    Defensive Occupiers: Saliba, White, Mangalese*, Partey, Rice, Kiwior, Tomiyasu, Holding*
    Playmakers: Timbre, Zinchenko, Jorginho*, Odegaard, Trossard, Vieira, Smith Rowe
    Wingers/Strikers: Saka, Martinelli, Nelson, Jesus, Eddie, Folarin
    Attacking Occupier: Havertz, New Signing really needed

    It will also be fine to upgrade on Magalhães and Holding to CBs who are more tactically fit for what Arteta is doing.
    Of a truth, it will be really tough to upgrade on Magalhães. He is a hell of a defender! But he is not too comfortable taking the risks Arteta wants from his defenders.
    Other top coaches will be dying to have him, but he does not maximally suite Arteta-ball.

    Arsenal still need at least one more attacking occupier, although Rice and Partey might be deployed in there, esp Rice as we saw during preseason.

    Jorginho’s lack of mobility is a serious concern. It will just be fine to let him go and we use his game time to improve the other playmakers.

    Arsenal should do the needful by clearing out Pepe, Cedric, Tierney, Tavares, Elneny, Lokonga, Jorginho, and Holding.
    Let’s use their funds to GET ARTETA THE PLAYERS HE NEEDS!!!

    1. You are a chess player if I may guess or you are a football have figured out the pawns doing pretending to be a bishop

  10. The best comment so far, by a country mile, of the subject.

    Most of us don´t even understand the basics – let alone fully – the brilliant tactics of Mikel Arteta. And the use of for example Thomas Partey and Kai Haverz within his tactical outlay.

    Yet, we constantly moan about Arteta and his use of the players…

    Shame on us!!

    Here is a brilliant breakdown of what´s going on tactically at the moment. We should all – if we really want to understand – read this SLOWLY and with proper thought:


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