Arteta’s Arsenal shows physicality and strength in depth to beat Wolves
Arsenal gave that extra 10 percent needed for victory against Wolves, as they beat an in form side boasting three wins in their last three matches 2-0.
Critics might argue that Wolves were not at their best, but it was the Gunner’s defensive discipline that made Woves look ordinary. People who felt Norwich might have been a ‘soft touch’ for Arsenal, were shown up because if Arsenal play in this fashion till the end of the season they look a tough team to beat now.
The Arsenal Argentine Goalkeeper, Martinez made a crucial save in the opening minutes and since Bernard Leno has been injured has stepped up to the role, looking commanding and assured. Leno might find it hard to get back in the team, but two top class goalkeepers is an essential component in this Arsenal squad if they want to compete for silver wear.
Later in the game against Wolves, David Luiz made a last ditch block to deny a goal bound shot and looked composed on the ball. He certainly silenced his critics keeping his passes simple. Arsenal stepped up physically to the challenge collecting bookings and more fouls than the Wolves side did, and also conceded possession overall. Adama Traore, the talented Wolves player has caused many teams to splinter at the back with his aggressive running on the ball. However, Arsenal chose to close him down continually with two or three men surrounding him and snuffing out the danger.
When Arsenal did have the ball they always looked dangerous on either flank with Aubameyang and Kieren Tierney causing the Wolves defence trouble. It was Tierney who claimed an assist for Arsenal’s first goal from the 18 year old Buyako Saka who struck a sweetly timed volley into the top right corner of the goal with his left foot.
Mikel Arteta showed his exuberance when Alexandre Lacazette sneaked in to the Wolves box as opposition legs tired, allowing Joe Willock’s cross onto his right foot before arrowing a shot into the far left corner.
The new 5-man substitute rule shows how sharp Mikel Arteta is at using new guidelines to his advantage. Arsenal now can count on that extra depth in squad that they always had, but their bench and reserves are just as good as the starting 11. For instance, Ainsley Maitland Niles who came on for Tierney who marked Jimenez out of the game – continued to defend well down the wolves right flank.
No player has been guaranteed his place, as Mesut Ozil has found; If you have a strong bench and can rotate your team for injury or tactical nouse it makes the on field team play harder and that is what Arteta is looking for.
I feel a short transfer window and summer break might benefit Arsenal, who will be chomping at the bit should they qualify for the Champions League for next season. Arsenal face Manchester City in the FA Cup on July 18 and I feel we could upset the party in Manchester in this fixture. We could turn around from our loss to them in our first game after the Premier League break.
VAR was not called upon against Wolves but luck in sport comes as a factor. Decisions tend to go your teams’ way if that side are playing well. Even when decisions go against a team of winners, the side with the bigger belief can over come adversity. Arsenal will play Leicester City in their next Premiership fixture of the season and I feel off the back of this resounding victory against Wolves – the Gunners will keep fighting and beat them.
Passionate and loyal Arsenal Fan since 1994, hoping for European Glory once more.