Mikel Arteta Must Use Norwich Win Momentum - He Now Has His Players
By Jahid Islam
Hello, readers of We Love You Arsenal! I’m Jahid (@JahidFullStop) and this week’s article reflects on the Norwich game, as well as on the expectations on Arteta and the club now. In my opinion, ‘Teta has to deliver on the pitch now that he’s got the players he wants and, if the Norwich game is anything to go by, attacking football could be seeing a renaissance at the Emirates, albeit with a strong defensive input.
With all the tools at his disposal, if he doesn’t turn into Arteta Da Vinci, he’ll be cut by the board like Van Gogh’s ear.
The Norwich game may have only been a narrow 1-nil win at first glance, but it was a noticeable improvement from the chance-starved games we’ve gotten used to seeing as of late. Part of that I think is the solid defence Arteta named on the team sheet; Tierney-Gabriel-White-Tomiyasu was a comprehensive exhibition of attacking prowess, brutal physical strength, ball retention, and ‘pashun and desiyah’.
With our Japanese debutant receiving a stellar reception every time he got on the ball, he seemed to be everywhere; winning nearly all of his aerial duels at the back and whizzing a volley just over the bar. He’s a t’rrific player it seems, and one who clearly relished the opportunity to impress the home support, including some of our very own WLYA writers!
Ben White was also great with the ball today. In terms of aerial duels, however, he was utterly dominated. Like he was in one of those ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ movies. However with the ball at his feet, the kid was beating Norwich’s half-hearted press and finding incisive passes to our forwards. We’ve missed balls like that since David Luiz left the club, and we loved Luiz’s balls.
Anyway, with the aerial behemoths of Tomiyasu and Gabriel on either side of him, White’s relative aerial ineptitude is sort of compensated for. It’s a defensive unit that works together, full of players that complement each other’s style of play, and who’s collective performances will only improve over time as they get better at communicating with each other. It’s almost as if signing them was part of a long, meticulously thought-out plan. Some might even say… a ‘process’.
If you really think about it, everyone that played today was someone that we either refused offers for, signed, or renewed under Arteta and Edu’s stewardship. Pepe might be the only one who doesn’t fall into those categories, but talking about his performance today would open up a whole can of salty worms that I can’t be asked for right now.
And that’s the reason why the onus is on ‘Teta to perform now. Not that Pepe thing, but the fact that he’s handpicked every player in the team, and as a result the blame for bad games can’t be offloaded onto his predecessors anymore. Arteta’s responsible for all the personnel choices, good or bad, but he also deserves some praise too. When we were in need of that extra spark, he brought on ‘The Smith’ and Partey, who were game changers. Fair play. But my God, if he gladly starts Mari and Kolasinac again, I will start breaking stuff.
The match today was a good win, don’t let anyone tell you different. Should it have been by a greater margin? Hell yeah, we had like 30 shots, 7 of ‘em on target, and Tim Krul was an absolute pain in the arse. Pepe, Auba, and ‘The Smith’ all fumbled multiple chances that should’ve bagged us a comfortable win.
But that’s the difference; WE’RE FUCKING CREATING CHANCES! Yeah we might have wasted most of them and the only goal we scored was an absolute shitshow, but to be actually creating multiple chances during a Premier League football game under Arteta is great. I have no doubt that as long as we keep creating those chances, we’ll be at the top half of the table in no time. "No shit Sherlock!"
And for all you lot thinking “oh the kid’s celebrating chance creation and not being bottom of the table anymore, whoop-de-fucking-do, what a moron”, well you’re absolutely right. I’ll probably open a bottle of Schloer later. We might have won against Norwich, but the things we saw in this game in terms of quicker transitional play, rapid counter-attacking, and that beautiful Norwegian kid with the Number 8 jersey were truly reasons for optimism that I didn’t mention in my last article.
With Burnley up next, we’ll be tested against a side predominantly known for their low-block, counter-attacking football. It’s fortunate that we now have a defence that’s able to repel any attack and be a springboard for our own attacks, key players in Thomas Partey and ESR available for selection, and a very special player in Martin Ødegaard who can create brilliant opportunities for our forwards like a Sixth form careers advisor. Ladies and Gentleman, get your hopes up!
I’ve been Jahid (@JahidFullStop) for We Love You Arsenal! Cheers for reading, and I’ll see you soon for my next article. Ba-bye!