Sleep Tight….


Morning all.

It seems wrong to be writing about 22 men kicking a bag of air around on the day of the late Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, but life goes on. The now King Charles knows that, as do all of his family who’ve barely stopped for breath over the last few days. Pre kick-off, the fans fell silent for a minute in remembrance. On 70 minutes, there was applause. Both sets of fans respected both, unlike in the later game at Goodison Park.

What a difference a year makes in this sport. For Brentford, they probably wished they were enjoying a kick about with their mates yesterday because what they got instead was a footballing lesson. There are two ways to look at the game, either Brentford were bang average or Arsenal were brilliant. I’m firmly in the latter camp.

When the team was announced, it was great to see Thomas Partey’s name written in ink. William Saliba too as there had been a hint of doubt over his fitness. Oleksandr Zinchenko was absent as expected but it was a surprise to see the captain’s name missing. A calf injury sustained in training apparently.  The substitutes list sprung a couple of surprises too with 15 year old Ethan Nwaneri on it along with 17 year old Lino Sousa. Only one of them had a few minutes of playing time though and that was a history making moment for the younger of the two. Great moment for the youngster, great message to Brentford from Mikel Arteta.

Mikel Arteta’s team started on the front foot and pretty much never looked back. It was only Brentford though – yes, I’m sure that’ll be written or said somewhere, but they’re our nemesis. Allegedly, but not many teams come away from the Community Stadium with three points let alone three goals and a clean sheet!

It soon became obvious that Arsenal were head and shoulders above Brentford in terms of quality, understanding, ability and tactical nous. Fabio Vieira found himself on the end of the a good old fashion tackle by Ben Mee and as the Brentford player smiled, I suspect Vieira wondered what had hit him. Welcome to the Premier League Fabio.

William Saliba got the goals going with a strong leap and header off a Bukayo Saka corner. David Raya tried to make out he’d saved it but referee David Coote’s watch said different. It wasn’t long before our second came along. Granit Xhaka and Kieran Tierney exchanged passes on our left side before the Swiss Messi looked up, spotted Gabriel Jesus lurking near the back post, and played an inch perfect ball across to him. Jesus sprung into the air and nodded home a perfect header. As the Sky Sports team kept rambling on about a 2-0 lead being a difficult score and all it takes is for the opposition to score, probably hoping Brentford would, half time came.

Within five minutes of the restart, Fabio Vieira made it 3-0 with a wonderful strike of the ball from a long way out. Superb. We could have scored more, perhaps even should have but having 3-0 away from home, it’s harsh to be critical perhaps. I thought we were good and at times, excellent. Captain Xhaka had yet another good game, as did Ben White but to be fair, every player played well. Vieira just slotted in like he’d been playing for Arsenal for years and Thomas Partey showed why when he’s missing, we’re just not quite the same.

Gabriel Jesus was awarded the man of the match award but I thought William Saliba deserved it too. He was immense. I just hope he manages to remove Ivan Toney from his pocket before he heads off to France.

Now it’s the international break and I just hope that every single one of our players who go away for the next two weeks, return fit and healthy and those who are already out injured, mend before we next play which is October 1st.

See you in the comments.