Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Young players show us what we’ve been missing,
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Wow. A not loss. What a factor it’s.
It’s troublesome to learn an excessive amount of into one sport, and into one efficiency, however anybody who has watched Arsenal of late can have famous that the inclusion of some younger, hungry players in key positions had a marked impression on how we performed.
Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe began and the group appeared sharper. Bukayo Saka, 19 years of age, was man of the match. At one level Smith Rowe took the ball in a central space in entrance of Chelsea’s closing third, fed it to Kieran Tierney who then mixed with Martinelli, and all I may consider is ‘That is the long run’.
Maybe there’s a component of over-egging this explicit pudding, as a result of the earlier pudding has been so turgid, chilly and lumpy, nevertheless it’s the form of pudding I can get behind even when it doesn’t all the time end up so effectively. It looks like one thing to construct on, fairly than a determined try and make one thing work from disparate items that we really feel we now have to make use of.
In an Athletic article about Edu (£) which got here out over the weekend, there was a piece about his long-term imaginative and prescient for Arsenal:
In the long run, he envisages a squad primarily based on youth and academy players, however with a sprinkling of stars that carry high quality and management. He needs a mode of play that’s engaging and suits with the Arsenal ideology.
If he and Mikel Arteta, having witnessed that efficiency final night time, can’t see that a few of that long-term is now, then we needs to be apprehensive. So most of the issues that had been missing had been rediscovered. Players who had been courageous on the ball, took duty, tried to make issues occur, and who weren’t cowed by the event. We’ll by no means know for certain how a lot the pre-game absences of Gabriel, Willian and David Luiz compelled Arteta’s hand, however handing Emile Smith Rowe solely his second Premier League begin in a sport like this does reveal religion within the participant.
We all know Martinelli is a stellar expertise, he’s principally made himself un-droppable within the house of three appearances. Sure, we now have to handle him rigorously after an extended harm, however if you’d like Arsenal to attempt to turn out to be the Arsenal we wish to see, he’s a key ingredient. Saka was tireless and impactful, and just like the Brazilian, a participant who simply has to play.
We began the sport actually brightly, Chelsea obtained again into it, however we got here round once more. Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli and Tierney gained us a nook. We stored it alive, Granit Xhaka made a very sensible go to the left-back and his drive into the field noticed him fouled. Penalty all day lengthy. I don’t know what Gary Neville was on about. Alex Lacazette stepped up and slotted it house completely.
Saka driving throughout the sting of their closing third with the ball at his ft noticed him fouled by N’Golo Kante. Lacazette and Xhaka stood over it, and the Swiss worldwide buried it. He was an fool within the sport towards Burnley, however he performed an enormous half in final night time’s efficiency, not simply with the aim. It’s an odd factor, we will all see we have to enhance midfield, however he stays principally our second greatest participant in there after Partey so he kinda has to play till we will make additional additions. If he can produce extra like this, and fewer of the opposite stuff, we’ll be higher off.
‘Course man!’, stated Saka when requested if he meant to attain the way in which he did. Did he? Who cares?
— arseblog (@arseblog) December 26, 2020
Don’t fear if he meant it.
Take a look at Arsenal taking part in it out from the again once more with some assurance. Leno > Elneny > Mari > Leno > Holding > Xhaka > Lacazette > Xhaka > Bellerin > Smith Rowe > Saka. In 24 seconds the ball went from our keeper’s arms into the again of the Chelsea internet. That’s extra prefer it. If there was a contact of excellent fortune to the end – and I’m selecting to imagine it’s an enormous IF as a result of that’s my inalienable proper as somebody who likes to see the ball go in towards Chelsea – it was deserved due to how we usual that chance. It’s been briefly provide anyway, so we had been overdue a bit, if it was luck (which it wasn’t for the explanations I’ve beforehand specified).
Modifications got here with Joe Willock changing the tiring Smith Rowe and Pepe for Martinelli round 70 minutes (a smart sub given his lengthy harm absence and the very fact we had been 3-0 up). We misplaced one thing on that left hand facet, which isn’t to be crucial of Pepe per se as a result of the sport state meant we didn’t look to get ahead as a lot, however we may have sealed the sport a few occasions. Lacazette, who had an excellent sport general, didn’t take advantage of a Mendy mistake; Elneny cracked a shot off the crossbar; Mendy saved from Holding.
After which the fear got here.
Abraham’s chest from shut vary appeared offside however VAR demonstrated it wasn’t. 3-1 on 85 minutes. Thiago Silva headed simply vast. Then Pablo Mari conceded a careless penalty. It was a drained problem from a participant beginning his first Premier League sport of the season, and who had been injured a couple of minutes beforehand. Up stepped Mr Tumnus to do his hop, skip and leap penalty routine. I noticed the long run play out as clearly as you all did. They’d make it 3-2 and someway, a way, within the final minute of harm time we’d let in one other and the deflation could be immense.
However wait! Bernd Leno learn it effectively, dived to his left and made an excellent save. Mari hugged him for saving his blushes, and also you kinda knew that was gonna be that. Mustafi got here on for Lacazette. The ultimate whistle went.
Arsenal had not misplaced. Arsenal, my good previous mates, had gained. And it was good.
Afterwards, Mikel Arteta stated:
I stated that at this time we needed to take this chance now to place a number of the performances previously the place we didn’t have the outcomes into every little thing, we wanted an enormous efficiency to win towards this group and we’d like the three factors, and I believe the boys, proper from the start, did rather well.
However I believed one of the best summation got here from Kieran Tierney, who stated:
It’s a begin, innit.
And look, I believe we’re all completely entitled to take a seat right here this morning and revel in this end result as we a lot as we would like. It’s been so lengthy since we gained a sport within the Premier League – 56 days and 7 matches – that basking on this a bit isn’t solely completely acceptable, however actively inspired.
There have been real positives from final night time, not least the younger players I’ve talked about, but additionally the way in which they had been backed up and supported by a number of the extra skilled members of the group. Beating Chelsea is all the time enjoyable, and after such a troublesome interval, it’s okay to be ok with this sport. Whenever you’ve felt such as you don’t know the place and the way the subsequent three factors are coming from, embrace the factors.
Nevertheless, that mindset that Tierney lays out is vital. It must be simply the beginning. It must be adopted up with extra of the identical. The fact is that the schedule right now of the yr calls for some rotation, so people who assume we’ve seen the final of sure players shall be disenchanted by some group picks, I’m certain. However what the younger players confirmed us as followers, and Mikel Arteta final night time, is that they’ll make a distinction. Smith Rowe is totally able to play at this stage. He won’t be a 90 minute, 3 times every week participant but, however that’s what we now have to look to construct him into.
It’d even mild a hearth below the arses of a few of these disappointing senior players, who ought to now be made very conscious that their place within the group isn’t a foregone conclusion. Arteta has, too typically, erred on the facet of expertise and been let down. Final night time, whether or not it was enforced or not, he was rewarded by youth, by enthusiasm, by power, and by their burgeoning high quality.
We now have some robust video games arising, however that’s the principle takeaway from this end result and efficiency, and I hope it’s one which he pays shut consideration to.
Proper, that’ll do it for now. I’m wanting ahead to an Arsecast Further with James tomorrow, so be part of us for that. Within the meantime, take pleasure in the remainder of a weekend which hasn’t been shat on by soccer.