Arsenal are playing very much the way people including myself have been talking about for a long time.
They have always had great and skilful players but they missed that never give up attitude of doing whatever is needed on the pitch. But this week I watched a group that looked very calm and knew exactly what they had to do to break down West Ham.
I was very impressed with Ben White. I know he has played that position before but how easy is he making things for Arteta. The moment he had put him on the right of the back four, you could see when in attack Arsenal look like a three at the back, or even two sometimes. That’s how smartly Arteta adjusts his whole team tactically. This helps because Arteta has found that White has shown that he can add this side to his game that includes skill and drive.
Normal central defenders have a hard time playing in a right-back or fullback position, but the way he makes overlapping and dribbling look easy is great.
I saw Arsenal having a hard time in trying to get back into the game after the Benrahma goal for West Ham, but Odegaard started to do what you want all captains to do, looking for where he could receive the ball and getting his team to play and get back in the game.
I enjoyed the game because Arsenal needed to come out and try to break the defensive block of West Ham, and I knew it was going to happen any moment as Arsenal were slowly getting more comfortable, and I saw the talented Declan Rice lose his cool at his own players, and Coufal was too deep meaning Saka wasn’t offside for Arsenal’s equaliser.
The next goal was 1v1 for Coufal and Martinelli, who outsmarted his opponent and Fabianski at the first post. But the best was by far the goal of Nketiah. The pressure he has been getting (which players see as an opportunity) now that Jesus is injured has been huge. Arteta gave him some confidence in saying he keeps on growing as a player and this goal was the answer. He turned Kehrer so nicely and made him look like he was invisible.
This Arsenal team looks like they have started as they left off before the break for the World Cup, so and let’s see how cool Arteta can keep them to let their run carry on because they have two big games coming up when they meet Newcastle on the 2nd Jan and Man City on the 15th of Feb.