Mikel Arteta must have sighed in relief after Arsenal cruised past Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. That is majorly down to the fact that many fans still believe that the former Arsenal captain’s feet aren’t the right fit for the big and bulky shoes of Arsenal Football Club.
After losing three on the trot at the start of the season, the odds were all stacked up against Arteta. But the Spaniard has found a way to turn the ship’s nose in the right direction.
A win against Brighton tomorrow can put Arsenal within a touching distance of the top-four place, which was unthinkable just a few weeks ago. But what are the things that we learned from the win against their age-old London rivals?
Aubameyang Shows A Different Face
Since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made a big-money switch from the German side Borussia Dortmund at the start of 2018, he has been prolific in front of goal. 110 goal involvements in 154 appearances isn’t a bad return at all. He has been one of the torch-bearers for the Gunners in the past few years. But the one criticism that has been constantly thrown at the Gabon international is his hold-up and link-up play.
✅ Our No 14
✅ Scoring in the north London derby
✅ Bringing out the knee slide
Iconic celebration 😎 pic.twitter.com/tiXTWonuF6
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 27, 2021
When the 32-year-old is not on the scoring charts, it’s very hard to find him in other statistics of the game either. He almost goes invisible at times and that was a thing of huge frustration among the Arsenal faithful, especially last year.
But against Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, Aubameyang looked a different player. He looked like a number nine who had all the possible qualities a centre-forward can have. His link-up, hold-up play, out-of and in-possession movements were pretty impressive throughout the Arsenal v Tottenham game.
Arsenal have been constantly linked with a striker recently. But if Aubameyang continues to show this side of his game, Arteta and technical director Edu will have serious food for thought.
Statement Win For Arteta
In his almost two-year spell at North London, the only positive thing that Arsenal fans can recount from Arteta’s tenure is the impressive FA Cup win in 2020. After Arsenal lifted the trophy, many believed that the Spaniard had a master plan. It soon turned out to be the opposite as the Gunners were fighting relegation just four months after their triumphant win at Wembley Stadium against Chelsea.
Arteta was an animated figure last weekend
🔜 Bench Cam: North London derby special 😍 pic.twitter.com/GnznmwqEB8
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 28, 2021
The scars are still fresh among many supporters and they were revived when the team were so underwhelming at the start of the campaign. But two hard-fought wins, combined with a positive performance *plus* result last Sunday against their arch-rivals, strengthened the trust between the club’s supporters and Mikel Arteta. If the Arsenal manager builds onto that win against Tottenham, fans can be in for a treat!
Hale End Academy Is Colossal
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka had two goals and one assist between them against Spurs. The two boys who are adored by the supporters cut open the team in white, similar to what a knife does to butter. At certain points of the game, it just looked like two boys having fun in their backyard. But it wasn’t. Millions of eyeballs were fixated on them. And the duo made it look like it was nothing.
Smith Rowe and Saka stood up when it mattered
Hale End is the best academy in England. I won’t have it any other way ❤️ pic.twitter.com/J0UNe6yD47
— Adam (@AFC_Adam7) September 26, 2021
Arsenal’s famous Hale End academy deserves huge credit. Now Arsenal boast two players and many others who are close to breaking into the first-team picture, sooner rather than later. The Red and Half side of London had the fifth-youngest squad last season. Now they have taken the crown by being first. That means the team will only move in one direction: Up.
Stay tuned to get more Arsenal Matchday updates.