Norwich 0-5 Arsenal: I like this team

Match report – Player ratings – By the numbers Arsenal served up a delicious slice of festive fare last night, hammering hapless Norwich 5-0, making it 9 goals from our last two away games. Mikel Arteta was without four right back options – Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric, Calum Chambers, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles – all of whom…

Match filePlayer scoresBy the numbers

Arsenal served up a savory nick of festive fare closing night, hammering hapless Norwich 5-0, making it 9 targets from our closing two away video games. Mikel Arteta used to be without four neutral aid alternatives – Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric, Calum Chambers, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles – all of whom had tested sure for Covid. It meant the one change from the facet that beat Leeds used to be Rob Conserving at centre-half of with Ben White transferring to neutral aid.

We began brightly, going forward within the 6th minute after we won the ball in their half of and moved it rapid from left to neutral. Bukayo Saka’s shot curled in, a form of targets that looks so straightforward you shock why the keeper didn’t cease it. Taking nothing some distance flung from Saka, however I instruct it’s the roughly enact you peruse extra in most cases when you’re playing a bottom of the table facet whose first resolution time-waster goalkeeper is out of motion.

Though the 2nd objective didn’t arrive unless neutral earlier to half of-time, we were consistently on high. Martin Odegaard used to be supreme, pulling the strings and oiling our attacking engine. His fresh compose has been so correct, and that you just must perchance perchance peruse how influential he is popping into. Norwich didn’t net powerful to give beyond a pair of meaty challenges, and for a small while the sport looked dangle it could perchance perchance per chance effectively be getting some distance flung from the referee who let a pair of things crawl. Xhaka obtained booked for being Xhaka while it used to be seemingly okay to clatter Saka from within the aid of (there must be sufficient of these now this season for the video compilation makers to position one alongside with a naff Europop soundtrack). I enjoyed Ben White’s provocative, however neutral, tackle shortly afterwards and his steely response to a pair Norwich lad taking exception to it.

The reliable formula for us to answer used to be consistently going to be with the ball although, and when Martinelli brilliantly won it aid on the neutral hand facet, Odegaard switched it to the overlapping Tierney whose flippantly placed enact off the inner of the some distance put up gave the scoreline the bit of daylight hours our performance deserved going into the atomize. I wrote about Martinelli’s workrate and his pressing after the West Ham sport, and the 2nd objective used to be one other ideally suited instance. Stare the establish he is when he begins the tear:

Stare how rapid he wins it aid and the establish he wins it aid:

Turning over possession powerful extra on a customary foundation within the opposition half of has, I instruct, been piece of why the team has been so powerful extra fair correct from an attacking standpoint of slack. Yes, quality of opposition blah blah blah, however it’s light a really welcome pattern from a facet whose classic topic used to be chance introduction and an absence of targets.

We could perchance need had a penalty because of the a handball early within the 2nd half of (I instruct it would were harsh to be loyal); Martinelli had a objective disallowed for offside after a unbelievable White pass; however Saka showed his quality again, bamboozling a defender one formula then the opposite course earlier to making his 2nd enact of the night look for as straightforward as his first. Arteta made adjustments with Elneny and Pepe coming on for Partey and Saka, however it used to be the introduction of Emile Smith Rowe that added the icing to the Christmas cake.

His straightforward, however massively efficient creep, noticed him play a really desirable pass to Lacazette who used to be bundled over within the field for a penalty. The Frenchman, having missed his closing establish-kick, made no mistake this time to develop it 4-0, and remarkably, Smith Rowe himself obtained on the scoresheet to tap home a Pepe notorious to develop it 5-0 neutral earlier to the tip. That made it 4 targets in 4 successive exchange appearances, the first participant in Arsenal historical past to ever enact that:

Smith Rowe is the first participant in #Arsenal’s historical past to derive in 4 consecutive exchange appearances, while #AFC net had a sub derive in 4 successive matches for neutral a third time, previously doing so in September 2004 (scamper of 5 beneath Wenger) & July 2020 ( scamper of 4 beneath Arteta)

— Harvey Downes (@HarveyDownes92) December 26, 2021

It’s unbelievable to seem for at his influence over the closing 12 months, no longer to mention the reality he’s  doing it from the bench for the closing few weeks. What’s captivating about here’s that it doesn’t genuinely feel dangle an unlimited topic. Obviously it’ll’t crawl on with no raze in sight – by that I mean his goalscoring or his omission from the beginning line-up – however neutral now the avid gamers Arteta is selecting are doing the exchange and deserve to play. What I’m no longer seeing are the worst case direct assume objects, the roughly outlook that as soon as things are 100% silver lining we now net got to develop some clouds. I’m able to’t relate for certain, however my design is that the closeness and togetherness of this community of avid gamers makes that roughly ingredient redundant neutral now.

So powerful of football is about how that you just must perchance perchance effectively be feeling, and neutral now it feels correct. If you identify in thoughts that there are potentially divisive concerns (Aubameyang, our membership file signing being in actuality a small-piece participant), it says a lot relating to the core of this younger team and the design they’re developing collectively as people and a collective.

I genuinely need to relate I dangle this team. I dangle how we’re playing now. I dangle the character we’ve confirmed. I dangle the event and I dangle the possible. It’s exhausting to quantify precisely, however there were avid gamers and personalities, cliques and cultures which net no longer created a healthy surroundings at this membership within the no longer too some distance-off past and that’s an impediment to connection from this fan’s standpoint. There are myriad reasons for that, and we don’t need to switch over them again – that ground is effectively trodden – however neutral now I dangle what this community of avid gamers does and the design they enact it. I dangle how it’s been set collectively and the design we are able to peruse enchancment essentially based fully totally on an evident plot.

They’re no longer ideally suited, there’ll be bumps within the dual carriageway and video games which don’t crawl to boot to they’re going to, however I don’t peruse somebody available phoning it in, I don’t peruse heads crawl down, I don’t peruse avid gamers who care so small they won’t stick up for his or her teammates or the shirt, and that’s one thing I’m able to absolutely get on board with.

Afterwards, Arteta said:

I’m very gay, it’s no longer straightforward to make a choice some distance flung from home within the league. The formula we conducted, how dominant we were from the origin and the quality that we showed at some level of the sport, genuinely spectacular this day.

Who can argue? And on the pattern of the team:

The course the team is taking, and the design we’re growing the working out between avid gamers. Obviously they’ve been playing now for a pair of months collectively. The solidarity that we level to in customary, and the pork up that we’re entering each and each ground from our supporters is terribly powerful linked with the formula we are able to transmit the formula we would like to play.

Again, that you just must perchance perchance’t crawl overboard after a pick in opposition to a bottom of the table facet who were lacking heaps of avid gamers, however we had absences of our contain, and these are video games when previously we’ve had some struggles. With all due appreciate to the opposition, here’s what we must enact in these conditions, so after we enact, it’s gorgeous and credit is due.

I’m certain the manager will be keeping feet on the bottom, guaranteeing no person will get carried away. Treading that incandescent line between reality and the design powerful there could be light to enact, while at the same time embracing a pair of of the positivity and self assurance the avid gamers must be feeling. That’s a wanted ingredient too. All in all, a really correct afternoon’s work.

The topic of how we would address two video games in much less than 48 hours is now moot, after the Wolves sport used to be known as off because of the Covid cases + accidents which formula they couldn’t self-discipline a team. On the one hand, that you just must perchance perchance peruse how it could perchance perchance per chance effectively be functional, especially given the further relaxation they’d net had, however on the opposite legs by no formula genuinely feel that tired when you’re a success and playing effectively. Presumably our momentum would net viewed us by.

It’s also a staunch shame for fans, in particular people that net made plans to trudge from afar, with flights and accommodations and the total relaxation. For these whose Christmas gifts for the children were Arsenal tickets. In the fully abstract sense we are able to perceive a postponement, however to many supporters it’s a staunch blow, and I’m sorry for somebody whose plans were massively impacted thanks to it. Extra on that tomorrow, and it formula Man City is subsequent up within the Premier League. Easy-peasy (/sarcasm).

Merely a like a flash change on the podcast time table – we will have the opportunity to net a Patreon podcast later this afternoon/early evening, after which because Wolves is off, James and I could bring forward the subsequent Arsecast Additional to Tuesday, so we’ll net loads to chat about then.

For now, capture it straightforward.