Eight Observations: Arsenal’s Super Spine, Youngsters Impress, Bem-vindo Vieira!

Brentford 0 – 3 Arsenal. A late summer stroll in the park.

Ah what a happy return to PL football. I wanted to see attitude, pride and professionalism and that is exactly what we got from our boys.

Garth Crook’s Team of the Week contains key players of Arsenal’s Spine

Eight short observations from a masterclass performance:

  1. Partey and Xhaka together makes such a difference. I am less of a Partey fan that most on this blog, but his influence cannot be underestimated. Thomas is imo a limited passer of the ball (too many unforced errors) BUT he offers great midfield ‘presence’ and his positioning is simply excellent. Thomas gives us shape and structure, and nobody messes with him.
  2. Xhaka in a more advanced role is working really well (to my surprise). His ability to see the right pass and execute it quickly is second to none in the team, except for the Ode maybe. His left foot can deliver balls with both speed and feeling, as was demonstrated by his fine banana shaped cross towards GJ9 for our second goal. Granit moves the game on quickly and yet he also defends his area well.
  3. The defenders dealt really well with all the high balls pumped towards them. Rather than one defender going to meet the ball it would often be two, thus sandwiching the CF and not allowing easy lay-offs for the second attacker. It made the Bees attacking plan stingless. The defence also dealt well with the Stoke-esque throwies into the box and corners. They really meant business today.
  4. Our full backs positioned themselves very well today. Both White and Tierney were excellent in balancing out supporting our attack and not leaving too much space at the back.
  5. I think we missed the Ode but Fabio did a good job for the team. His goal was pure class and he fitted in very well. I also noticed how Martinelli had a free role during large spells of the game, and I need to watch the game again to see whether he in effect was playing the Ode role rather than Vieira. Martinelli may not have played well in terms of goals and assists but he covered a lot of space and brought the ball forward on many occasions. Really mature game by him.
  6. I praised the midfielders and I would like to add the fab performances by Saliba and Jesus. WS,GX, TP and GJ gave us a mighty strong spine today. William brings calm and natural dominance, and Jesus brings energetic leadership. We could add Aaron to this spine as well. He brings to the back what Jesus brings to our attack. This spine can win us a lot of games this season.
  7. There was something old fashioned about Arsenal’s outfit today, especially with those long grey socks, but I loved it. It made us look like hard, no-nonsense workers.
  8. Ethan Nwaneri first PL game minutes was a very nice move by Arteta and I look forward to seeing more of this promising 15 year old. His forhead reminded me of that of a young, just starting Cesc somehow. But this last point is really about the other boy wonder we have: Bukayo Saka. He just turned 21 and is once again delivering the goods. I don’t think he is at his normal best yet, and yet he is the PL second highest assists maker after the genius KdB. What a player.

Two weeks rest now and then we will face the mashable Spuddies. How do you like your mash?! 🤩

By TotalArsenal

33 thoughts on “Eight Observations: Arsenal’s Super Spine, Youngsters Impress, Bem-vindo Vieira!

  • I didn’t see people talking about Viera yet he played his heart out and it payed with a goal worth mentioning and this is what made your post very special to me today.

  • Spot on, TA
    Partey’s performance was indeed his best in an Arsenal outfit, by a mile. He was so good Granit felt free to unleash his creative self, so much so that we played in something looking very much like the 4-1-4-1 Pb considered not so long ago – and it worked just fine
    Kieran and Ben’s performances might have gone under some radars – but not yours! Our “back-6” was a windowpane Brendford’s mosquitoes kept bumping against; I haven’t taken any look at the stats but I have the feeling our boys achieved this with next to no tackle at all – a defence masterclass indeed.
    As for Bill and GabMag, just bring on Kane, Haaland to them! I don’t think I’ve had such confidence in our pair of CBs since … well, since the Sol-Kolo Wall Years, no less.
    But most of all, it’s the quality of the team moves that’s jaw-dropping; ever since the KO of the second half against Nürnberg, we’ve been spoilt with creative, attacking football, something Arsène must be so proud of (“I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art.”) – and so happy to watch.

  • Absolutley agree with TA’s and Le Gall’s observations I can summarize the progress in my opinion: we win games by a significant margin without being lucky.
    Yesterday we kept Brentford at 0.54 xG, and we had many further chances to score.
    Against Aston Villa (albeit Lokonga played in Partey’s position) even though the 2:1 scoreline could imply a tough and balanced game, it wasn’t close at all. We had 22 shots (xG: 2.8) compared to Villas 4 (xG: 0.30), and their only goal probably should have been chalked off.

    Our defense has improved significantly, and so did our offense – even though the clinical finishing and preventing individual mistakes are still not our strong suit.
    We have a tall CB pair capable of defending set pieces and offering aerial threat in the opponents box. I don’t have statistics to support, but my personal perception is that we concede less yellow cards in the first 7 rounds (13) than we did in the similar period of the previous campaign. The only alarming detail is Gabriel Jesus collecting 4 cards already, but even if he gets a game suspension we are good with a Martinelli-Odegaard-Saka-Nketiah line-up against Leeds, Southampton or Nottingham.

  • Here are the results of our competition:-

    For the weekend:-
    1st Kev with 3/6 plus a correct score & 4 bonus points = 9
    2nd OX10 with 2/6 plus a correct score = 4
    3rd Le Gall & Eris with 2/6 = 2
    4th GN5, Total & Stuart 1/6 =1
    Season to date:-
    1st – Kev & OX10 with 33.00
    3rd Eris with 24.33
    4th Madhu with 21.00
    5th Stuart with 20.00
    6th GN5 & Total with 19.33
    8th Le Gall with 15.00
    Madhu I could not find any predictions from you, correct me if I’m wrong and I will make the necessary changes.

    Looks like we have a dog fight starting between OX10 and Kev………….

  • International this coming weekend so here are my selections, I couldn’t resist putting in the Arsenal vs Spurs women’s match.

    Italy v England *
    Spain v Switzerland
    Scotland v Republic of Ireland
    Arsenal Women v Tottenham Women *
    Netherlands v Belgium
    Wales v Poland *

  • Thanks for your example of faithfulness, GN5. To your Mrs and to our club. God bless you, mate.

    Italy v England * 1-2
    Spain v Switzerland H
    Scotland v Republic of Ireland H
    Arsenal Women v Tottenham Women * 2-0
    Netherlands v Belgium D
    Wales v Poland * 1-1

  • Italy v England * 2-1
    Spain v Switzerland H
    Scotland v Republic of Ireland H
    Arsenal Women v Tottenham Women * 4-1
    Netherlands v Belgium D
    Wales v Poland * 1-3

  • TA, you are so spot-on with your observations, and equally brilliant comments by LeGall and PB. I have been able to see a re-run of the game; this team has certainly matured and ready to compete. One area this becomes even more pertinent is in the defending and midfield composure. We look like we are still capable of the odd slips here and there but on the whole, we look more competent at the back while midfield play exudes greater calm.

    It was a nice touch bringing on the kid, Ethan Nwaneri to be a record maker. Imagine how thrilled he would be when he returns to meet up with his fellow cadets. Per Mertesacker would be so chuffed seeing all the effort paying off. It will be even more meaningful if we can allow him taste a few more games, getting introduced when we’ve put games to bed. Hopefully, next time the players will deliberately “conspire” to ensure he gets to touch the ball more times.

  • Happy anniversary,GN5. That’s commendable loyalty to be emulated. Trust you are having a good time of it.

  • Everyone in the comments, and TA in his post, described in more detail what I’ve been saying. We have been dominating all opponents since pre season. The X stats show it, and our eyes can see it as we watch the games.

    N5 … Happy Anniversary!

  • GN5, happy anniversary, mate, but let me tell you that: it is much easier to dedicate the entire day with the missus, if there is no Arsenal game on the telly. 🙂

  • Maple wedding!! You’re just in the right place, aren’t you?

    Was it
    “Candlelight and Dubonnet on ice”
    “Tonight we dine at Hotel Ritz
    A golden dish with every wish
    It’s mirrored walls, and velvet drapes,
    Dry champagne, and bursting grapes
    Dover sole, and Oeufs Mornay,
    Profiteroles and Peach Flambe,

    The waiters dance on fingertips
    The nights we dine at Hotel Ritz

    It’s serenade and Sarabande,
    The nights we stay at Hotel Grand
    The nights we stay at Hotel Grand”
    Congratulations to you and your sweetheart, GN; “cent’anni” the Italians are used to saying

  • Congratulations GN5, thanks for all you do on the blog.

    I still feel a bit rough after a dose of the lurgy but it is what it is, loved our performance at Brentford, so many good things to see, not least the togetherness of the whole group, we’re gonna do something special this season, I can feel it…

  • Congratulations GN5!

    My predictions:

    International this coming weekend so here are my selections, I couldn’t resist putting in the Arsenal vs Spurs women’s match.

    Italy v England * 2-2
    Spain v Switzerland H
    Scotland v Republic of Ireland H
    Arsenal Women v Tottenham Women * 3-0
    Netherlands v Belgium A
    Wales v Poland * 1-2

  • PB, after being with each other for over 60 years my wife knows only too well that Arsenal take priority over everything else in my life. It’s always been that way and since I retired some twenty odd years back it’s been a lot easier.

  • Le Gall – thank you that was a wonderful poem. We first met in 1958 after a mutual friend invited us for drinks without either of us knowing we were being set up.

  • Thank you for the blessing Stuart, I hope you can sneak in a prayer for me as well – I’m going to need all the help I can get in the next few months.

  • Not wishing to miss anybody I would also like to thank Total, Eris and JYNC.

    We spent some time going over the ups and down’s in our lives (not always an easy thing to do) and both had tears in our eyes over the realization that regardless of the bumps in the road we are still together and enjoying our lives in our eighties.

  • Congratulations on the anniversary GN5. I didn’t give my prediction last time as I was travelling to UK I guess. Here are my predictions
    Italy v England * 1-1
    Spain v Switzerland H
    Scotland v Republic of Ireland H
    Arsenal Women v Tottenham Women * 3-0
    Netherlands v Belgium A
    Wales v Poland * 1-2

  • Italy 1 England 0
    Spain SWitzerland H
    Scotland Irish Republic D
    Arsenal W 3 Tiny Totts W 1
    Netherlands Belgium H
    Wales 2 Poland 2

    I started watching “Inside Hale End” yesterday.
    I didn’t expect too much of it, but I just couldn’t turn my computer off before the last shot of the sixth part, and today I feel like watching it again
    Awesome, brilliant documentary, if ever there was one

  • Italy vs England……….. H (2-1)
    Spain SWitzerland…….H
    Scotland vs Eire………. H
    ArsenalW vs Tott W…. H (4-0)
    Holland vs Belgium…. A
    Wales vs Poland…………H (2-1)

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