Arsenal sent West Brom down with a 3-1 win at the Emirates as the Gunners kept their slim hopes of qualifying for Europe alive. Although the Baggies were already virtually down, this defeat confirmed their departure from the top tier with Sam Allardyce being relegated from the Premier League for the first time in his career.
Three points and three excellent goals would normally be something to celebrate at the Emirates but this isn’t your typical season. Normality has been a stranger similar to Arsenal’s lack of consistency throughout this campaign and the static image of Mikel Arteta in the technical area after each goal went in best summed up the feelings of the fan base.
Emile Smith Rowe continues to grow and by adding ten goals per season to his repertoire, he’ll quickly grow into a very special player indeed. His volley from a Saka cross was no more than the Hale End prospect deserved as he continues to blossom into the complete player.
Pepe has certainly found his form and gets maximum points for improvement and effort. He topped off another fine display with a scorcher into the top of the WBA net which came with the lush sound of a stretched net. In a season full of surprises, Willian, the Brazilian, scored his first goal in an Arsenal shirt with a blistering dead ball strike just to remind us all of what Arsenal saw in him in the summer.
Willian marcou seu 1º gol pelo Arsenal, após 37 partidas com a camisa dos Gunners.
Olha o golaço do brasileiro de falta, diante do West Brom ????pic.twitter.com/Krx4rco9pW
— Esportudo (@EsportudoBR) May 10, 2021
In a disjointed and disastrous season, some of the players that have struggled are surfacing from their self-induced hibernation to remind us of their possible worth. Yet, Arsenal delivered an unconvincing performance against West Brom, full of twitches and possible calamities, with holes appearing all over the pitch which the Baggies couldn’t take advantage of and that’s why they are now in the Championship.
Against decent opposition, Arsenal could have found themselves on the receiving end of the scoreline, but perhaps, the football gods thought better of heaping more misery on the club’s supporters under the circumstances.
There’s a lot of work to be done in the summer to prevent players such as Matheus Pereira from strolling through the midfield to grab what was a great goal with a thunderous low strike past Leno, but it was entirely avoidable. The forward cut through Arsenal’s middle with the precision of a surgeon without causing any alarm in the Gunners’ backline.
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The fact that Pereira was allowed to do so with such ease should see Arteta prepared to cut the central defence department to the bone until he finds instinctive players prepared to put their bodies on the line. Arsenal players watching the run from just over the halfway line seemed incapable of closing down or putting a foot in, another example of no heart or pride. Something has to give and many have to go.
Saka stood out as a make-shift left-back bringing a desire and quality to the proceedings which more than made up for any defensive lapses. This young man could play in absolutely any position and is a rarity as an individual that brings the same craft and intensity to any role he is given.
Arteta is fortunate to have such a player and one could say that Saka is probably, at this moment in time, the most important player he has at his disposal. The 19-year-old has shown that again and again this season and did the same in the Arsenal vs West Brom game. Name one more important to Arsenal’s immediate future?
The whistle blew and there was a mild and perfunctory celebration of sorts, nothing extravagant or over the top because this season has ended in disgrace for many so-called professionals who aren’t worth their exorbitant wages.
Perhaps, one of them should have handed in his notice to permit some or all of the 55 devoted employees who were dismissed in the middle of Covid to resume their duties. At least, they added value to the club and had its interests at heart. You may disagree, but I’m done- caring about offending people when it comes to Arsenal.
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