I’ve not seen the game, nor have I seen any highlights but I do know we won. Lol
30 shots on goal, 10 on target – whichever way you choose to look at those numbers, has to be an improvement. Of course we want to see more chances converted but hopefully that’ll come.
Takehiro Tomiyasu made his debut, Aaron Ramsdale started ahead of Bernd Leno and Ben White, alongside Gabriel, the centre-back pairing we probably all wanted to see, started too. AMN was given a start in midfield too. For those who watched the game, how did he perform? More efficient than Granit Xhaka? In fact how did Arsenal play against what I assume was a defensive Norwich City?
Our goal was scrappy I read. Who cares? Getting the ball across the line is what matters, not how it goes over. Arsenal needed a goal just as they needed a win and both came. Relief all round eh, as Arsenal shot up the League table.
Mikel Arteta spoke to Arsenal Media after the game. He talked about how the past few weeks have been for him…
I must say, it’s probably been the best 10 to 15 days I’ve ever had since I’ve been in football. I’m not saying they were the easiest, but probably the best. You have to find a purpose for why you do what you do and why you’ve made the decision to be a football player or a coach. It’s all made sense in the last week or so. It’s about the relationship we have built. It’s about the level of trust that everybody at the club has. It’s about connections and emotionally how players react, how everybody in the team – and I’m talking about every department at the club – supports and tries to improve and be positive around the situation. You have to win football matches but, for me, that’s an absolute joy to watch, how everybody has been behaving around the context that we had around us.
I’d have thought the last couple of weeks would have been awful for him. The criticism which has been all over the back pages, social media and Arsenal blogs too, can’t have been easy for him or the players and just because we beat Norwich yesterday, that same criticism of him isn’t suddenly going to go away. But, as a few of us here have said, once the squad was fully fit, a change of direction might come.
Yesterday, Mikel made some big decisions. Starting Ramsdale instead of Leno the biggest in my opinion. I don’t think we should read too much into it, although I’m tempted too. I’d like to think the back five he started with yesterday will be the base of our team for a long time to come. Just as I hope AMN is the one who plays in midfield should neither Sambi Lokonga or Thomas Partey not be available. All three look to move the ball forwards instead of opting for a safe pass. Their play in general is quicker which helps speed up our attacking play. When midfielders hog the ball, pondering over where to play the next pass does little but allow an opposition defence time to regroup. The best football is played at speed.
Burnley next weekend will be tough but at least we’ll go there with a win behind us and hopefully a bit of belief. Yesterday’s result was good, it was much needed but it’s just one win. One win in four which isn’t good but it’s a start.
See you in the comments.