Speaking after the 4-2 defeat of Leicester City, Mikel Arteta said:
I’m really happy with the performance, the victory, the three points and with the way we played. I think it was a really good football match against a really good opponent and it was just a joy to play in front of this crowd. I think the crowd was special, especially after Saliba’s own goal. The way they reacted was something I’ve never seen in football; the amount of support and connection they are showing with us, and especially with William, lifted the team straight away. I have to thank them so much for that. From the first minute, they were electric. You feel like they are totally with us, totally engaged and it is so energising for the team. The boys keep talking about it – they can’t wait to play in front of this crowd, and it’s making a huge difference.
In between the buffering and reconnecting on the stream I watched, the game looked good. Arsenal looked good. Gabriel Jesus? Two goals on his home debut and could so easily have had more. Probably should have had more but then so should Arsenal. That’s not a criticism at all, I’m just saying that this team is far more creative up front. Do I dare mention how good Granit Xhaka looked? Seriously though, from the bits I saw, this team looks so much better.
Aaron Ramsdale won’t be happy that he conceded a goal in the way he did and William Saliba will be extremely disappointed to have scored an own goal too but these things happen every once in a while so I’m not going to be too critical. If it was the umpteenth time for either or both then yes, it’d be a concern but it wasn’t. However, it does seem like Aaron Ramsdale is yet to return to the kind of form he showed against the same team last season when he was making world class saves and keeping us in games we could have dropped points in. He’s still very young in goal keeping terms and let’s not forget, even the best goal keepers in the world make mistakes.
Pick of the bunch was probably our opener but I liked every one of them for different reasons. Gabriel Martinelli’s from distance was inch perfect, Jesus at the far post, desperate to get something on the ball and Xhaka’s, just because he was in the right place at the right time and ready for the loose ball. Whilst Jesus will get all the praise, I thought Xhaka was excellent.
They’re different goals, but I think the first is a top individual action to be able to produce that at that moment, especially when the game is 0-0. It is something that brings the team to a different level and his work rate, his movement and his quality – he produced two assists in the game as well so he was terrific.
We want [Granit] to arrive in the box and create those moments. He has done it in his career, and I’m a big believer that he can do it and he now has this moment to do it. He should have scored another with that header in the first half, but I’m really pleased with him. This boy [Martinelli] – the way he is developing so quickly is just incredible. It’s his hunger, his character and desire to be better every single day and the ambition that he has to play this game.
I think we sometimes looked a bit shaky at the back so there’s work to be done on the training pitch in my opinion unless it was just one of those days and it might have been. The first home game of the season, nerves, the heat, wanting to get things right for the home fans who were fantastic once again. How good did they sound pre kick-off? Awesome!
I was surprised Mikel Arteta didn’t make changes earlier than he did, especially with the weather as it is and players tiring. Saying that, Brendan Rogers made less changes overall.
How poor was Youri Tielemans? If ever there was a player trying to tell his manager he wanted out of a club by the way he played, that was it. I found it amusing when the Arsenal fans started singing, “Youri Tielemans, we’ll see you next week”. Perhaps he stayed in north London after the game and signed on the Arsenal dotted line.
Jamie Vardy, what a cheat he is. Without VAR, Leicester would have have a penalty and Ramsdale would have been booked or sent off. Instead, Darren England’s original decision was overturned and Vardy escaped punishment. Shoddy officiating in my opinion but excellent from Mike Dean. I’ve always thought he was a great referee……
The day got even better in the later game as Brentford absolutely thumped Man Utd 4-0. Utd are experiencing what Arsenal did last season, two games in, no points and bottom of the league table. Arsenal recovered but I hope Utd don’t. The longer their problems continue, the better it is for every other Premier League club.
Two games in, two victories on the board, what’s not to be happy about this morning?
Next up for Arsenal is a trip to the South coast to play Bournemouth…
See you in the comments.