The New Arsenal: Gritty in Pink

Ahhh we are playing meaningful football again and how good is that?! Having watched the game again, I just loved our focus and hunger to see the result over the line. Arsenal were Gritty in Pink! I love the ‘third kit’ even though it clashed with the ugly (imho) red and blue kit of the home team.

Do we still have the youngest squad in the PL? If so, it did not show as we had a lot of physicality, height and athleticism in the team at Selhurst Park. Saliba, White, Big Gab and Zinchenko in front of rocking Ramsdale gave us real maturity at the back. Nobody is going to mess with those five. In midfield, we have two established, strong midfielders who will not be bossed by anyone either. Even up-front we have the matured-again Martinelli, the tenacious Martinelli and Odegaard, and a surprisingly strong Gab Jesus.

Palace positioned well and had clear instructions to contain the creative players. They managed to subdue Odegaard and Saka for a while but Martinelli used the extra space on the left very well. He really should have scored from the Jesus pinball that came gloriously towards him. The same goes for the Ode who had a few decent opportunities for which the likes of Jesus and Saka worked hard only to be wasted. Luckily, Martinelli scored the all important first goals and the Ode at least found himself in promising positions, and it is of course only the start of the season. Still, Mikel wants to push on and these two guys will have to become more ruthless soon. The likes of Vieira, Nelson, Marquinos, Eddie, and a new wing player yet to be signed, will keep them on their toes.

Under pressure, a few of our players mis-directed their passes, especially White was at fault. But Ben is getting used to an slightly unfamiliar role and he really is trying hard. In this position he is much more exposed and his passing remains a work in progress. What cannot be denied is his physicality and good positioning and I just love that look on his face after a hard tackle, a yellow card or a foul he has committed: nothing does perturb him it seems.

Saliba is so beatifully zen-like. He oozes calm and focus and for such a young guy this is extraordinary. We know all about his key stats but how do you measure such great composure and positioning? Still, as a team we need to look why the two best chances for the Eagles fell in ‘his area’. I know for the second one White was out of position and there was too much space for the Ode to cover. Eze should have done better but Aaron positioned himself really well and put the young English midfielder off. The first one was a training ground exercise from a freekick, and we almost got, as the Dutch call it, ‘a cookie made of our own dough’. Andersen head-pumped the ball into an area of space and Saliba could not get to it, whilst White just about put off Edouard to give Ramsdale a chance to make a very smart safe. It was pretty similar to our first goal situation but luckily our goalkeeper was more alert than theirs. We were the better team, had more chances and deserved our win but the above also shows how small the margins can be.

The one player who seemed in and out of the game a lot is Partey. I did not notice this the first time I watched the game, but Thomas did seem lost in space and time occasionally. I am not clear what exactly his role is in our team. The deepest midfielder, shielding the defence? I did not see him do this very effectively? On a good day Thomas is just brilliant but all too often he seems to lack the dominance of midfield we think he is capable of. One to watch going forward. I predict if Tielemans joins us at last, he will become direct competition for TP5.

Watching GJ9 – Mr Emoji Face – again was pure joy. I still believe we need an extra attacker, but Jesus brings so much directness and energy to our team. Just bliss.

Well our first game is out of the way and three precious points are in the bag. Lessons will be learnt and I have heard the words ‘we have to remain humble’ by our players enough to trust that they will in no way believe the game against the Foxes will be a walk in the home of football.

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners.

By TotalArsenal.

30 thoughts on “The New Arsenal: Gritty in Pink

  • Thanks GN5.
    Nice obit for Terry Neill in yesterdays Telegraph.

    Aston Villa v Everton….. D
    Arsenal v Leicester……..H 3-0
    Southampton v Leeds Utd……..D 1-1
    Wolves v Fulham……….H 2-1
    Chelsea v Tottenham….. D 1-1
    W Bremen v Stuttgart… D

  • Racing Club de Lens, Stu
    The player was (is!!) Eric Sikora, one of the last one club-man in France
    He was the typical Lens player, born in a family of miners, originally from Poland
    My father often told me about what French football owed to these players he admired, like Wisniewski, who was in the 1958 French squad, of which the most famous member – the first “French” football star- was Raymond Kopa, whose real name was Kopazewski.
    My pa was particularly fond of Cisowski, who played for “Racing Paris”, probably because Rouen being not far from Paris, he happened to go and see them play quite often with buddies of his.
    My own personal memories of one of these players go as far back as the sixties when I saw Georges Lech play, either for Lens (again) or for Sochaux – what he did on the right wing looked like magic to me (I played RW in youth teams), but his career was cut short by injuries …
    Thanks for that delightful trip down memory lane, Stu, and btw I got my own personal copy of the original “Pretty in Pink” single – probably bought in London, can’t remember
    Now, as far as away kits are concerned, any other than the traditional 1971 FA Cup final yellow-and-blue one is anathema to me, probably because Rouen home colors being the exact same as Benfica’s, these are the colors I saw arsenal play in when I saw them for the very first time – but I must confess I find our 2022-2023 black away kit real classy
    Well, on these runway considerations ‘night to y’all BKers

  • You are a veritable font of French football, LG, a blessing to have association with on this blog. St Etienne caught my eye and ear when they were formed back in the early 70’s. The names of those European clubs were all so romantic, Red Star Belgrade, Locomotive Leipzig, Grasshoppers Zurich. And then the great Platini emerged, remember that ’82 final v PSG? And Etienne, herself, one of the great women and voices hidden in history. The past is a mine richly veined with gold.
    I bet that Furs vinyl has a scratch or two on it?

  • Never mind the culture wars, when I want some real culture I visit BK certain that on here I shall find some uplifting music to while away a few moments and to forget about the madness all around us.

    Of course when I’m driving to work on the A13, Stevie Ray Vaughan usually does it for me….

  • Stevie Ray, taken too soon Total, did some nice work with his brother on one of his last albums.

    A fit ESR and we might not be hearing all these transfer rumours TA, I’m not sure how good this young Pino is or if any prospective deal for Gakpo is off, but the rumours won’t go away. It would be nice to see both Smudge and Vieira get some minutes this Saturday.

    I saw some snippets on YouTube of Charlie Patino playing for Blackpool and he looked really good, the Tangerine fans have fallen in love with him already and Trusty is winning hearts and minds at Birmingham and the fans are chanting USA USA USA, which is very encouraging.

  • Inside forward perhaps Total, Smith Rowe has a definite eye for goal and we don’t have too many midfielders with that knack unfortunately, it’s not just about the press it’s also about putting it in the onion bag.

  • In fact, statistically Smith Rowe is better than Martinelli and Odegaard when it comes to goalscoring and that was in a team that didn’t create as much as this one…

  • Sad to hear that Reiss has picked up a quad injury and will be out for a couple of months

  • All agreed, Kev. Emile is lethal in front of goal. He loves getting it in the onion bag haha. And of course he is 50% of that song, he just has to play. 🙂

  • Well that means that Reiss is set be part of the senior squad at least up until January, maybe that was always the plan but he’ll not let us down, look forward to seeing him play in October.

  • I think we maybe do need maybe 1 more wide forward…IF….. Arteta doesn’t want to use Pepe. The Smith would not be dependable as 3rd choice on the wings, because he’s often injured and can never do a full 90. So 1 injury to Saka or Martinelli and depth would be minimal. At least Vieira is an option. I had been thinking of Nelson as an emergency backup… Hopefully he’d be fit before we might need him.

    A midfielder who can add goals is what we need most to improve. Something we don’t currently have… a player like Gundogan.

  • Cannot disagree with you, Big Apple J. A Winger and more goals from midfield. I have a feeling young Vieira and Marquinos may have something to show us in the next few months.

  • HT wham u21 1 AFC u21 2 (Marquinhos 2) – west ham youtube channel
    2 headers for marquinhos, olayinka and sagoe’s assists were top-class
    awe looked very awkward (understatement) on the hammers’ goal
    couldn’t watch the whole half, so no overall assessments, there’s bound to be something on jeorge bird’s twitter
    COYYoungGuns

  • 3-1 Olayinka, Smith’s assist masterclass
    WHam had been under constant pressure since the second half’s kickoff
    our U21 were thrashed last season against this team (1-6 I think)- are we in for revenge, cold dish, etc … ??

  • 65′ sagoe off, salah-eddine on
    not seen much of marquinhos in this half
    i like matt smith a lot – too bad he doesn’t seem to stand even an outside chance of making it to the first team

  • 3-2 it is
    we faded away after wham’s goal, even though salah-eddine did his best to wake everyone up
    2 wins, great start for the new coach, though, well done to him and the lads

  • Only saw the briefest of brief highlights but Olayinka did well setting up Marquinhos for the first goal and then scored the third himself. I’ve always liked Olayinka but he’s never had a chance unfortunately.
    Two more goals for our Brazilian winger, his adaption is going very well…

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