Mesut with Attitude, Versatile Bukayo, Cup Fighter Mentality: 8 Observations

Arsenal 2 – 1 Fulham

You’ve gotta fight for your right to party!

Eight very quick observations from our hardest win of the season so far:

  1. Our defenders almost had a perfect game v the beast of the Cottagers. Mitrovic was very impressive in terms of how he tries to make space for himself and others. Our team controlled him well but for a moment of indecision by Big Gab. Was it the fear factor or just a blip in concentration? These sort of goals we will concede a few times this season; it’s almost inevitable. I am glad for Gabriel that he could undo his mistake`and that will have made him sleep much better.
  2. The Ode is playing out of his skin at the moment. He danses around the pitch but with the vision of an albatross. His passes and crosses were at times from a different dimension. Martin is Mesut with attitude.
  3. Ramsdale to the rescue. It was good to see Bernd in the Fulham goal and I thought he did well. But the outstanding saves of the game were made by Aaron. He was quietly one of our best players.
  4. All our attackers lacked a bit of final composure yesterday. Saka missed a half decent chance but also Martinelli and Jesus, who simply have a bit more fan credit at the moment, were below par in terms of their execution. But I also want to stress that Fulham defended very well.
  5. Saka is just such a useful player. He can play almost anywhere and I saw him having spells in all four corners. His dribble and pass let to our equaliser and he was continously involved. Bukayo may not be at his sharpest but even then he is one of our best players.
  6. Elneny started brightly with very good positioning and tidy passes. Like Partey does a lot, he did seem to be less involved towards the final third of the game. Still I thought Mo stepped in well for Thomas.
  7. Kieran was a bit rusty and maybe a bit nervous too, but I am glad he had a start and I hope he will start again on Wednesday. I don’t think Zinchenko is really injured but that he and Thomas are spared for the game at the Old Toilet Bowl. They may both play the last thirty minutes v Villa but I don’t think they will start.
  8. The last fifteen minutes were awesome. The pressure on Fulham was unbelievable and it all paid off. Every game is a cup game right now, it seems. Only by giving everything for ninety minutes can we win. These boys know and live this, and Arteta has done so well to get them to this stage.

By TotalArsenal

25 thoughts on “Mesut with Attitude, Versatile Bukayo, Cup Fighter Mentality: 8 Observations

  • Yep, got there, mate.

    Amen to all of your post.
    A real captains game from our nifty Norwegian. His is not a languid brilliance like Mesut could display, rather a totally involved, concentrative, cleverly combatative, technically astonishing number 10 (I know he wears 8). Our club has been blessed with some wonderful technicians in recent years; Bergkamp, Rosicky, Hleb, Santi, Ozil, and this fella sits comfortably in their company. He is 23 yet playing like a 27 year old. I smile as I think of what we can look forward to.

    It was encouraging to come back from a losing position, something we struggled with last season. Eddie made a big difference when he came on, full of intensity and aggression, indeed the whole team looked determined to get the win.
    A thought on Kieran, he did look a little rusty but he does get further forward and wider than our Ukranian (who tends to interchange with Xhaka). The change of lineup on the left affected Gabbie’s game a little, and Granites. Different but not detrimental.
    The fans were in great voice, with the rendition of “North London forever” on kick off causing my heart to swell in its chest. The Emirates will never be Highbury, but as long as we have the songs we will enjoy the glory, the ‘dóxa’ the great beauteous weight that is our tradition.
    The tube afterwards was resplendent in red and white and resonant with chanting and singing, very tribal. Similar to my journey to Heathrow this afternoon, with all the colourful festival folk in their own diverse tribal gear.

    Just checked in to the airport hotel for our final night in Blighty. I’m hoping Forest give me a happy end off…

  • Excellent call on the impact of the Zinchenko omission. The Ukrainian is so versatile and mobile that he can play in all kind of positions and roles.

  • I had to wait for this post as I trusted TA to give me an idea of how the game went down. I was in transit from Paris to Toronto at the time of the games, you see, but have seen highlights and a few comments.

    From what I have gleaned, we seem to be playing the best football the EPL has to offer (or, at least, played the best football yesterday). Happy to see we have maintained our 100% record, coped well with Mitrovic even if the Gabbie slip let him get one goal, showed our depth in a game we should be winning (Elneny and Tierney held their own) and prevented a clean sheet for Leno. Just seeing the stats, it tells me how tense things must have been for the fans and players.
    Great job by the lads to get three points after dominating the visitors. What we need now is to improve our composure in front of goal and hone the killer instincts in the side. We take 50% of our chances and we will score bagful each game.

  • Forest are giving Spurs a game but Kane just missed a chance to make it 2, from the spot, after a silly handball by Steve Cook. Dean Henderson is proving to be a penalty stopper extraordinaire.

    Conte, it must be said, has turned Spurs into a more effective and patient side. They don’t rush things and are, uncharacteristically, more precise with their actions. But, it is not over and Forest would be good value for a goal (or 2) here.

  • Hi Eris,

    The game is well worth a full watch. It had a bit of everything. This Fulham side will take points from the top six, so for me this was a big three points this weekend.

    Hope you had good flights and are with family again. 🙂

  • I had good flights, TA, thank you. I am with the family but alone at home as they spared me the effort of rising early for Church.

    I took the time to watch three episodes on the Amazon’s Arsenal All or Nothing documentary. It is a must watch and makes you love the players and club, all over again. The pressure those kids are put through whether by the genuine desire for success by the fans, or the vile abuse on social media. It is.a wonder how they wake up day after day to go again. This team has to win the league within the next 3 years or it would not be worth it.

    Fulham had not lost a game in the league before us, you know and that says a lot. They drew 2_2 with Liverpool too in that run.

  • Good observations, TA, and sound point on Ode, Stuart.
    I would add that White was also much better than in the past weeks, but this time he add the most value when defended centrally. So I’m still not sure if his best place is at RB, but he really gives his best, and that block should count on the Canadian ta

  • Good observations, TA, and sound point on Ode, Stuart.
    I would add that White was also much better than in the past weeks, but this time he add the most value when defended centrally. So I’m still not sure if his best place is at RB, but he really gives his best, and that block should count on the Canadian table.

    Just a guess (and a single occasion is a really small sample to draw conclusion), but Tite’s presence to check out the members of the Brazilian squad seem to backfire yesterday. All 3 Gabis put there a hard shift to impress both managers, but it might have made their play a bit uneasy.

  • Hello, people! 🙂

    I’d like to agree with all 8 observations and add a few more from my POV.

    1) It was always going to be difficult knowing two incredibly important men would be unavailable. Zinny and Thomas are vital for our midfield. Zinny gives an extra body to our midfield while Thomas is the best in progressing the ball vertically. KT is primarily a LB of old school, the one who gives width to the team and perhaps more complement with Smith Rowe on the left wing. Mo Elneny is more about keeping it safe.

    2) Saka needs a rest. Arsenal will have 18 more games in the league and Europe respectively before World Cup. That’s a game roughly every fourth day. I’d like to see Marquinhos in action, at least in cup games. The Brazilian has done well for U23 so far.

    3) Nketiah is sharp and has every right to believe he’d get more minutes as our schedule becomes more hectic.

    4) The crowd was 12th Arsenal player on Saturday.

    5) Let’s get one or two more players before the window slams.

  • Great title T.

    Øde can do anything that Mesut could, but he does so much more in pressing, defending and leading. His tackling was excellent .. especially for a creative player!

    Second choice for motm was Ben White. He has rare abilities for a player of his physique.

    Marinelli work rate is amazing even if he isn’t scoring. That’s how you keep your place in the team.

    Loved the subs! Tierney was looking tired, we wanted to go more attacking with Eddie, moved Saka to left because of his LB experience. Then having Tomi come in with that strength and boundless energy. What a luxury on the bench.

    You know I always liked Eddie, as a skilled poacher. Arteta has slowly turned him into a complete striker and a dangerous weapon.

    Now he can drop deep, use strength and his good pace, hold up the ball, and uses body positioning like never before (that seems to be Artetas specialty, according to other players) He introduced loads of energy yesterday, but he’s been good in every game he’s come on, always working the keeper.

    So much fun to watch Arteta’s team.

  • #1 … to keep “looking on the bright side of our defenders’ lives”, that’s already 2 goals in 4 games, by two of four CBs; which is a big improvement (we had a chat about this not so long ago). I just wish Ben might score his first soon, the boy deserves it, he’s been perfect so far. The way he has adapted to this RB-RCB position has been really impressive. Gérard Houillier used to say “you don’t go very far with cunts”; well Gérard sure would have loved coaching such an intelligent player as Ben.
    #2 What a player, what a skipper, we’ll soon run out of words to lavish praise on the boy
    #4 … the attackers, I have a little caveat here … Emile deserves more playing time. He maybe our only natural-born-goal-scorer, which shows in the seemingly so simple way he writes his name on the scoresheet, as though he was just passing the ball to the exact few square inches of the net which had to be targeted for the goal to be scored. Make no mistake I love Marti as much as the next Arsenal fan, but I don’t find it fair that he should get all the playing time, while Emile gets none (not to mention Eddie, who looks like he’s on vibranium – you love to see it), I hope some kind of balance will be restored there
    #7 I don’t know, I’m more pessimistic about him than you and Stu are, TA. I had the visual (“couch”, not “live” POV!!) impression that he had not fully recovered from his injury yet, I think he needs to be given minutes at the end of games for quite some time, before being a starter again … but I hope I’m wrong, and both of you are right!!

  • I can’t quite comprehend why a player like Saka is getting any kind of criticism even gentle criticism, he’s an amazing player, one of best to have come out of our academy and he’s just having a breather in his growth before he pushes onto world class status – that’s it really.

  • Good post Total btw, I enjoyed the performances of Ramsdale and White in particular because they’ve been the recipients of some quite unedifying comments this season, I sometimes wonder if I’m watching the same games as other people who come out with the same tired old tropes regarding them as players.
    It’s all very predictable…

  • Watched the highlights of our u18s thrashing You-Know-Who’s, as well as Jack’s post-match interview and talk to the lads
    He’s very impressive, I’m pretty sure the boys ‘d be ready to climb the Everest for him if he asked them
    I hope the strongest eligible line-up will be picked for the Youth Cup, with Benjamin (16) – Nwaneri (15) who shone brightly against the WHLaners, but also Walters, Sousa, Cozier-Duberry who are slightly older and already doing great among the bigger boys
    Last year’s YC was a huge disappointment, it’s high-time we won it again; what an outstanding rookie-coach season it would be for J., should he win it after captaining our latest winning team!

  • Good to hear it, Erismus.

    Yes the pressure is immense and unless a player is lazy or messes with Arteta’s ‘non-negotionables’ they will always get my support.

  • That’s good shout, PB. The three Gabs will have all wanted to impress and maybe that made them too tense. I hope he is there again on Wednesday as I expect them all to shine if indeed they are not rested.

  • Admir
    Good to hear from you and don’t let us wait so much for your next visit. Your views, historical facts and statistical analyses are appreciated here.

    I agree with all your points except nr2. Let’s keep playing Saka in the big games but rest him for the cup games and the odd PL game.

    Your first point is a good one but I still think we did more than okay in midfield. We were dominant and gave Fulham little attacking chances. But I agree that Zinch and Partey offer a lot extra in midfield. That’s why I think they are being rested for the Mancs game.

  • Kev, yes I cannot get it either. People seem to think it is a God-given right to put their verbal/keyboard boots into any player they don’t like.

  • Ah LeG, all good points. We know how good Kieran is when fully fit and settled. I would play him again on Wednesday. Good point about ESR. I guess he will play in the cup games and then get a chance in the league games when he is showing really good form.

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