For all those doubting Deborah’s in Arsenal’s fan base after the 4-0 Norwich thumping, who thought, that particular performance was overrated, Mikel Arteta’s side dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s with an extremely satisfying result against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Few on social media on Saturday morning contemplated a compelling 0-2 victory against the Wolves, with many looking at a draw at best, but Arsenal decided to put in a dogged display with a degree of physicality, not something they are generally known for.
Over the years, Arsenal have become a team with a soft belly that can be bullied into defeat by teams like Wolverhampton Wanderers but by the end of this match, Arsenal looked, dare I say it, comfortable. Wolves are an extremely good side, with quality across the board, unlike a desperately demoralised Norwich and they provided a significant obstacle to any ambitions Arsenal secretly harboured for a European slot.
Mikel Arteta is conducting a quiet revolution that requires dedication and commitment behind the scenes, energy and execution on the pitch, and trust and faith in the stadiums. Arsenal are still a work in progress, but they are looking to get results by any possible means at present, pretty or not, but eventually, Arteta will get his attractive and slick football.
In terms of the match, there was something for everyone against a Wolves side that had ruthlessly dominated them in recent seasons, under Wenger and Emery. Arsenal’s win now signals an auspicious future as Arsenal can realistically look to aim for one of the European slots this season, moreover bookies and online slots have started offering significantly better odds on Arsenal finishing in the top-6 this season.
Arteta’s decision to continue with a back three was good, but it wouldn’t have been the trio I would have chosen myself. Kolasinac was the surprise after some hammer footed moments in the area recently, but Mustafi appears to have become something of a ‘Mr. Dependable’, yes, he makes me nervous but he is starting to look slightly more solid next to Luiz.
It’s almost like the pair have swapped roles but Luiz appears to give Mustafi confidence, something the German has lacked for two seasons at least. The Brazilian still can ping an exquisite ball through the length of the pitch and I’m keen on him to get an opportunity further forward so that he can show us that aspect of his game but as a defender, his time is up. He has no reverse gear and as the opposition accelerates, Luiz relies on others to dig out the trenches.
The Wolverhampton vs Arsenal Match:-
Arsenal looked clumsy from the first whistle but soon, started to find their passing game which looked very smooth at times. Wolves huffed and puffed with Traoré sneaking through the wall of Red and White shirts but, he couldn’t find anyone who fancied the job as much in his low key side.
Luckily for Arsenal, Martinez was determined to keep the Wolverhampton striker out and he was exceptionally brave and agile throughout the game. Arsenal finally have two keepers that are worthy of an Arsenal shirt.
The Gunners’ intensity was much better than their opponents and around the 35 minutes mark, Eddie Nketiah nearly nudged them ahead. He surged forward with two defenders on his shoulders to unleash a shot that was flipped around the post by Rui Patricio.
Then, with 43 minutes gone, Bukayo Saka completed a memorable week with his first Premier League goal. The impressive Kieran Tierney hammered down the left and cut the ball back for Saka, who executed a sweet left-foot volley into the net.
As fans, we’ve believed in the player for a while but now, he’s joined our ranks as he continues to develop before our eyes. Never has a player had so many roles in one season. Left-back, midfielder, winger, and forward have all been foisted on the youngster but not once has he disappointed. This was a reward for his unbelievable appetite and exquisite technical ability.
Wolves came again in the second half with Jota joining the action to give the hosts more attacking purpose as Traore continued to ask questions but it was another sub, Alexandre Lacazette, who put the result beyond doubt after 83 minutes.
The Frenchman took a touch in the box to breeze past Coady to riffle the ball into the net. Arteta was loving this, probably more than any other result so far in his short career as Arsenal boss. With time in short supply, Ruben Neves cleared Joe Willock’s goal-bound effort off the line to deny Arsenal their third, but perhaps that would have been a bit harsh for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Now, it’s on to Leicester (Tuesday/home) and Spurs (Saturday/away), after which Arteta will have a clear idea of Arsenal’s destiny this season.
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