Eight Observations from Arsenal v Norwich

Arsenal 1 – 0 Norwich

Eight short observations from a crucial win:

  1. Arteta made a number of changes and dared to start this vital, must-win game with a new GK, a new RB, a new central midfield pairing and a new CB pairing. There was occasionally a lack of comms between the players but the whole team did seem a team from the start.
  2. Odegaard had a free role and looked isolated in his efforts to make things happen at times. But his workrate was tremendous. Things changed when ESR joined the team in the second half, and Arteta must try to play them both as much as possible.
  3. Ramsdale was a joy to watch. Dynamic and dominant from the first moment, and yet so calm and in control. The CBs looked at ease with such a fine GK behind them. It’s only one game of course but first signs are promising.
  4. Pepe and Saka started off with a lack of composure, poor touches and misplaced passes, but they finished on a high, especially after ESR had joined the party. Once they have lost their summer rustiness they will torment a few defences, I reckon.
  5. Lokonga and AMN did relatively very well. They both had the all important presence in midfield and worked hard for the team. Their contributions to the attack is a work in progress but the hunger was there all the time.
  6. Auba was very involved and was a good captain for the new look team. He missed a few good chances but maybe this is the price to pay for more overall involvement from Auba. Others also missed (half) decent chances, and scoring goals is a team responsibility.
  7. The last ten minutes were very promising. Norwich managed to put some late pressure on us but the team stood strong. Big Gab and Soares made great blocks and Ødegaard intervened at the last moment.
  8. I was very impressed with the home crowd and the support for the team. Together we can take our team forward. CoyGs 🌋 🌋 🌋 🌋

By TotalArsenal

25 thoughts on “Eight Observations from Arsenal v Norwich

  • I only saw MotD highlights and they’re often slanted but even those showed that Arsenal should have won more comfortably, but it’ll come and someone in the Premier League will cop an absolute tanking from us.

    Arteta was really brave in his team selections and not many of us expected Ramsdale and Tomi to start, but they did and credit to Mikel for that.

    I’d like to see an unchanged team for Burnley on Trent.

  • What Arteta did, starting with apparent “strange bedfellows”, is probably unheard of. It is an unwritten rule (of thumb) that you don’t start newbies in a crucial game, and certainly, you don’t change up a team so much, at such a significant period for the side. But, he did and the team work was not bad.

    I did not expect Ramsdale to start and certainly didn’t think we would risk Tomiyasu so soon; credit to him for being so up to it. I felt we could see the midfield we had (AMN and Lokonga) because of injuries and suspensions we have in that department. What I didn’t think was the pair would handle themselves so well. Mike Arteta deserves the plaudits for that selection and the boys need to respond now.

    A team in need of confidence can build from such a game and hopefully, we see that in the next few games.

  • Kev,
    Brave is exactly the word I would use to describe the choices Arteta made. He also was showing his faith in the players he helped to recruit.

    TA, big agreement on point 2. Ødegaard pressing and work rate impressive, and Øde and ESR are both needed. We were right in saying here that Emile would be good as an aggressive central midfielder. Maybe with him,, and the kids coming through,, we won’t desperately need another cm right away.. That was a great double switch. I really think Ødegaard and Smith Rowe should switch shirt numbers. I only didn’t like that Martin never looked like taking a shot. I don’t want an Ozil carbon copy. But now Tierney may have competition for the future captaincy from him.

    On Saka, he must improve end product. Stats don’t lie, and that’s one that can only be interpreted one way. Not good enough. I have faith he’ll find his groove and it will all seem easy then.

    I’m glad you noticed the effort of AMN and Sambi. Hard work and aggression made up for some errors. Being less passive from there got us all those shots.

    On the crowd, they were more patient than I expected, and proved all the pundits and twitter knobs wrong.

  • TA good comments. I felt that Tomiyasu played very well. He didn’t put a foot wrong. His desire, agression and ability to go forward was good. He took a volley under pressure which showed his technique as well. He will only improve once he starts training wiht everyone.
    AMN I thought was good. Yes he misplaced passes and his body language looks a bit casual. But I have always said that he could be better than Eleney who I love for doing his job. Arteta missed a trick by not integrating hom into the team last year. He could be surely better than Eleney which will raise the bar of the team. He looks for the forward passes and not shy about making them. He looked rusty but will improve if he plays regularly. Sambi is way ahead of Dani and Guen. We are very lucky in that sense.
    Finally Pepe is a worry. He looked so poor till he provided taht assist which showed his tenacity. But when he gets the ball his decision making and speed is a case to worry. He starts and then stops, goes into blind alleys and losses the ball. He should be more closer to the box where he creates chaos for the defenders. Defenders are comfortable with him getting the ball on the touch line and happy for him to cross to no one. Pepes postioning is a serious problem which Arteta needs to solve.

  • Yes Kev, a brave team selection by Mikel. I also feel Arsenal will win with a big margin soon, hence my 4-0 prediction for the Burnley game. 🙂⚽⚽⚽⚽

  • Cheers J.

    So Ode should shoot more on goal and Saka, who had a few shots, should become more efficient, if I read your comment correctly. I agree but it also shows how hard it is to get it right, right now. Saka is still a bit rusty but at least he has the confidence to try. Ode is the hard working brain of the team (especially when Xhaka and Partey are out) and will hopefully get more involved in finishing chances off going forward. As long as we see gradual progress I am happy 😊

  • Really good shout for Tomiyasu, Madski. I should have mentioned him in the post so thanks for highlighting this.

    Pepe frustrates me too at times but he is working hard now and keeps defenders occupied, hence creating space for others.

  • I’ve only read the headlines but it seems as if Arsenal and Wilshere are on the point of having talks about Jack returning in some capacity to Arsenal even if it’s only to train, how good would it be to have Jack shepherding our youngsters in the League Cup if he in fact signed a short term deal with us and having his influence around the training ground. I find it quite sad that Bobby Pires and Freddie Ljungberg aren’t around the place anymore, not pointing fingers mind, just saying…

  • Jack can pick a pass, Kev. Our players can still learn that from him. Really tough to start off that well and then to suffer such a tumbling down.

  • Love Jack to bits but, for me, we cannot be considering him for a playing role now. I would love for him to train with the lads to get back some fitness, or a job with the academy and all. Adding him to the playing staff will not add too many positives.

    Watching him play of late and you see he’s lost a yard of pace and his sense of positioning looks off. He can still pick a pass but that’s only when his team mates trust him with the ball; I didn’t see much trust for him at West Ham; same as with his stint at Bournemouth. He would lose the ball and fail to track back furiously, just jogging back (that always infuriates me). It looked like he was just being tolerated at times. It will be down to him to bring himself back up to the standard we knew by not feeling sorry for himself but rather, start working on himself.

  • Oh, well. For a moment, I may have misread the talk of “short term deal”, or “sheparding youngsters in the league Cup” and learning from him how to pick a pass…. ☺️

    Still, only have live for Jack.

  • Burnley v Arsenal * A 1-2
    Wolves v Brentford H
    Aston Villa v Everton A
    West Ham v Manchester United A
    Tottenham v Chelsea * A 2-3
    Valencia v Real Madrid * A 2-3

  • Burnley v Arsenal * A 1-2
    Wolves v Brentford H
    Aston Villa v Everton H
    West Ham v Manchester United D
    Tottenham v Chelsea * A 1-3
    Valencia v Real Madrid * D 1-1

  • I too mourn the passing of Jack’s peak. I observed the same as Eris regarding the stints at West Ham and Bournemouth. He gave us all so much joy, truly astonishing moments comparable to some of DB10’s. I saw him in ,what I think was his first senior game when he came off the bench against Real Madrid in the pre season Emirates Cup back in the 2000’s. His first touch absolutely skinned Sergio Ramos, but then he always loved playing against Spanish opposition. He flowered young and had a dribbling style with a propensity for an extra touch which drew in defenders often to be beaten but at times to foul Jack. The injuries and (perhaps) being overplayed while young have taken their toll. I hope he finds joy and fulfillment in his role as husband and father, and in continuing to play at what ever level his body and fitness allow for.

  • Who can forget how he ran the midfield in that game vs (Iniesta, Xhavi and Busquets) Barca, aged 18years+? It was unreal and had Pep enviously declare: He is a top player; we have many such players in our academy too, or something to that effect.

    He is 29; if he works hard and adapt his game, he should be useful to some middle table side. I wish him well.

  • Great video, Eris. Jack, Abou and Aaron should have been our new golden midfield but it wasn’t to be. And when Cesc wanted to return Wengers door was closed and he became a Mourinho Chav.

  • Eris, Jack is never going to be that type of player again, the hatchet men and referees have seen to that, but yes I was serious about a short term contract, but not for old times sake, only if he shows he can add something to the squad both technically and also in terms of character, coming back from all those injuries and rehab shows he has something in his character and passing that onto the youngsters would be a good thing surely?

  • Like Kev I have no problem if Jack proved his capabilities and was given a short term contract.

    My belief is that a player does not lose his basic skill set – but obviously it become somewhat muted and changes with age.

    It’s just unbelievable that he has not been offered a contract anywhere – maybe just maybe there are facts that have not become public?

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