It was a dream come true today and also it was a big win in the derby so I’m really happy for the team. This was for our fans and I hope they are happy with us today.
Well Mr Ødegaard, we were and still are. Or at least I am. If any Arsenal fan didn’t enjoy our victory over the noisy neighbours then I’d been surprised. The performance was excellent, all bar the last ten minutes which even Mikel Arteta admitted was some of the worst football his team has played. A layer of paint stopped us from winning by a kind of goal margin we deserved, and some awful moments in front of goal.
But what a way for Martin Ødegaard to make his mark on any game, let alone his first NLD. He was everywhere, his passing was good and he scored. Should have had two though. Bah Humbug. Lol He’s certainly a classy player and his best should be yet to come. Will Arsenal try to strike a deal with Real Madrid for him? Probably if he continues to play the way he is. Could we afford him? That’s the million dollar question, literally.
I’ll be honest, initially I thought bringing in a player like Ødegaard in January was an odd decision. We had ESR already strutting his stuff and the last thing he needed was to be ousted by a player on loan. After all, there’s no way they could play in the same team. How wrong was I? At the weekend, they both rang rings around Mourinho’s team but once ESR went off, Arsenal lost a lot of their attacking threat because put simply, Willian cannot do what our man from Croydon can do.
I’m often mystified by managers who once in the lead during a game, decide to protect what they have. Great if you’re a team which can park a bus successfully but for now, we know that’s not really Arsenal. In fact it hasn’t been since the George Graham days. By removing attacking players who have so far in the match caused all sorts of problems for the opposing team, it can help them more than us. The best way to defend sometimes is by attacking. I don’t mean that a team should go all hung ho and risk being caught on the break but just carry on as they were playing. In this case, I mean Arsenal. Replacing Saka with Pepe is kind of like for like although the younger of the two is a far better player, but Willian for ESR results in a totally different game down our left hand side. The momentum shifted and Toots became more adventurous, probably because they weren’t as fearful of Willian as they had been ESR.
This is not me criticising Mikel Arteta, after all, he’s probably forgotten more about the game than I ever knew in the first place but I do wonder if when players need to be replaced, like for like would be more advantageous to the team. Someone with a bit more trickery and pace than our ageing Brazilian. I suppose the player I’m thinking about is Martinelli but for some reason, he’s not getting game time although he’s not listed as injured. Against the Toots, he didn’t even make the bench. Odd.
Matteo Guendouzi and ex Arsenal midfielder Gilberto are in the Daily Mail headlines today. The Frenchman has vowed to fight for his place at Arsenal once his loan ends which is all we Arsenal fans want to hear really. Yes he was a prat but he’s young and if he can learn to control his outbursts, he might yet have a future under Mikel Arteta. Then again, he could be sold to help fund a signing of Arteta and Edu’s choice instead so it’s a win win situation for Arsenal right now.
Gilberto has been talking about Thomas Partey, the type of player Arsenal have been crying out for for many years and how he’s making Granit Xhaka look a much better player. It’s hard to disagree really because when the two play together, our midfield is much stronger. Just a shame it’s taken Arsenal so long to realise that the very man who has raised this subject, is the same guy the club never really replaced.
See you in the comments.