Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League table for the first time this season with a Kai Havertz winner against Brentford at the Gtech Stadium on Saturday.
Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool earlier in the day means a win for the Gunners ensured they finish the weekend on the summit of the log with 30 points from the opening 13 matches of the season.
Havertz has struggled to impose himself since making his big-money move to Arsenal in the summer, but his cameo and the winner at Brentford will hopefully inject confidence into the German as he looks to help the Gunners make another push for the title this season.
3 positives & negatives from Arsenal’s win at Brentford
Positive #1: Huge confidence boost for Kai Havertz
Ever wonder why some players struggle when they move to a new club? Well, sometimes, it is because they are not good enough. Some are yet to reach the level required at the new club while some move to the wrong team at the wrong time that does not fit their playing style. For Havertz, no one at this point knows what to think.
I am sure that every Arsenal supporter wants to see Havertz succeed at the club because of the £65m the club paid to Chelsea to bring him over to north London. His goal against Brentford has been coming for a very long time, but his timing and some good defending have prevented it from happening until today. The cross from Bukayo Saka to the far post is becoming a thing when Kai is in the team, it is clearly instructional from the coaching crew to find him at that position for a simple tap-in because he has an advantage with his height over many defenders, and it paid off today.
That is a confidence boost goal. Two goals in the Premier League this season is not that bad for a player playing from the midfield, but, because it is Havertz who joined for a lot of money, many critics have made a case out of it. Let’s hope he kicks on from here.
Negative #1: Front three fails to click
The first thing I have to say is that Bukayo Saka is a freak. He is producing a 6/10 performance this season but keeps ending almost every game with an attacking return. Teams have figured out Arsenal from last season, the free-flowing attacking unit has been stifled by man-marking and three players doubling up on our wingers. The lineup was supposed to be exciting to watch but they failed to click once again as a unit.
There could be reasonable explanations for this with Jesus just returning from a month-long injury and Gabriel Martinelli returning from a long trip to South America, while Saka is yet to get to his best so far this season. There is also a case to be made about chemistry and how often they have played together, and also Martin Odegaard not being at his best and Leandro Trossard adjusting to the left eight role, which prevented a free-flow from the team.
Let’s hope all the pieces stay fit and hit top form in no time, but it is a struggle at the moment.
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