Trust the process and judge Arsenal when the team plays together. That is what Arsenal fans have heard from Mikel Arteta and Edu over the last few months. What a difference a day makes.
After an eighth-placed finish last season and a three-game losing streak to start this campaign, fans and media personalities were calling for Arteta’s head, and understandably so. However, wait for the project to ‘bang’ and judge us when the team plays together were the staple replies.
Fans were disgruntled at results on the field and the signings that were made in the summer left a lot to be desired by many. Backups, they were called. However, a key component of the poor early season form was that Arteta had several of his stars missing: Gabriel, Ben White, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey, and Alexandre Lacazette all missed games in the first three weeks, not to mention Martin Odegaard who had yet to be integrated.
Then there were the summer signings fresh into London Colney: Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Martin Odegaard, and Takehiro Tomiyasu have all stamped themselves down as fan favorites in just a matter of weeks as they embody everything the fans want in a player; a real enthusiasm for the game, dogged, athletic, willing to put their bodies on the line and, most importantly, play for the badge.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal vision brought to life with Tottenham win as the process fans were told to trust is as clear as it has been
So after a horror start to the year in which Arsenal lost three consecutive matches, conceded nine goals, and scored none, Arteta was under severe pressure. Then came the home match against Norwich where he would finally have his full-strength team available. It was his team, his tactics. Everything was on the line.
While the Gunners sneaked over the line in a 1-0 win, it was three vital points and there were elements of it where fans could see how Arteta wanted his team to play with a gluttony of chances missed on the day. The away match against Burnley produced a very un-Arsenal like game from the visitors as it was a tough, gritty and united performance at a venue and with a type of opposition that had given Arsenal trouble in the past.
Going up against teams who play a physical style of football has been Arsenal’s Achillies heel in recent years. However, against Burnley, they dealt with everything the home side threw at them. Arsenal being a frail and weak side is a narrative that no longer exists. Consistent pressure and crossing from wide areas put the Arsenal rearguard to work for the majority of the second half but the team stood tall with Ramsdale, Gabriel, White, and Tomiyasu the standouts.
Moving on and there was a relatively comfortable 3-0 win over Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup and although there were several stars rested, Arsenal still had to get the job done, which they did.
And then came the North London Derby. A statement win Arteta needed to validate his ideas and signings. Could he get it? Oh yes.
Continued on next page…
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