Clear as day from the victory over Chelsea was the areas in the side that are in desperate need of an upgrade. One of, if not the, most harmonious team performance this season was full of individual brilliance, that much can’t be argued.
However, where the weaknesses are were equally visible.
Rob Holding and Pablo Mari had good moments on Saturday, the latter in particular making some crucial blocks and challenges to keep Tammy Abraham mostly under wraps. Considering the high line, Mari played particularly well.
Are either of those two as good as Arsenal can feasibly get? They’re not. A top quality right-sided central defender – ideally William Saliba in the not to distant future – and Gabriel Magalhaes back in the side would offer vast improvements. Not to discredit those who played, but Arsenal must look forward, not fall back into routine.
In midfield, the options are so poor, too. Mohamed Elneny, while a good squad option, is not going to pull up trees and become a Premier League stalwart. We must herald victories and displays, but these players will make mistakes that cost the Gunners matches over the course of a season. They needed upgrading before and they still do now.
Envisaging Thomas Partey getting a long run in this team is something to drool over. With the exciting youth around him and the profile of player he is, it’s impossible not to hypothesise about how that match could have gone even better if he were involved.
Beggars can’t be choosers, of course, but if the side can play to that standard without him, one can only purr at the thought of it with him involved. Him and others.