3 positives & negatives from Arsenal's late win against Brentford

  • Arsenal left it late to beat Brentford
  • Kai Havertz's header sent Arsenal top
  • German spared Aaron Ramsdale's blushses

Arsenal FC v Brentford FC - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Brentford FC - Premier League / Vince Mignott/MB Media/GettyImages
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Positive #3: Familiar faces are back on the pitch


Contrary to what rival fans have been saying, Arsenal have been hounded with injuries across the season. Players have stepped up in the absences which has helped to ease our injury woes but we have been without a full-strength squad all season.   

That is why it was so good to see so many familiar faces back on the pitch. The Gunners saw substitute appearances from Gabriel Jesus, Thomas Partey and Oleksandr Zinchenko. All three were instrumental last season but have struggled to make much of an impact in the current campaign. However, all three were fit to earn minutes in the game.

Not only that but unlike the last few games where the result was certain from practically minute one, the result was still in the balance against Brentford until the final whistle. This shows that the players are heading in the right direction as Mikel Arteta trusted them to make an impact on the game and turn it around (or in the case of Thomas Partey defend a slender advantage).

Unfortunately, the return of these players came at the cost of another…

Negative #3: No Martinelli in the matchday squad

Gabriel Martinelli
Sheffield United v Arsenal FC - Premier League / David Rogers/GettyImages

Gabriel Martinelli has been instrumental on the left wing this season and although his goal contributions are down from last season, when he is not on the pitch he is badly missed. The Brazilian was forced off with an injury in the last game against Sheffield United and did not appear in the squad to face Brentford.

His impact was sorely missed. Leandro Trossard did not play badly, but he offers a completely different option to Martinelli. Trossard is more likely to cut inside while Martinelli looks to drive to the byline. Another thing he has in excess is pace. In the first half, Trossard was played in by Aaron Ramsdale but the recovering defender was able to intercept. Whilst it was good defending, the added pace of Martinelli would have surely resulted in at least an attempt on goal.

The injury is not thought to be serious, Arteta stated that it was a foot injury and had expected Martinelli to be fit for Brentford. However, the Brazilian was unable to feature and with crucial games against Porto and Manchester City on the horizon, Arsenal fans will be praying that Martinelli will be back soon.