Positive #2: Kai Havertz continues to improve
Kai Havertz scored again. Wow! That’s incredible for the German. Last week, he scored a late winner at Brentford and scored again against Luton to help the team draw level. The goals are coming for him because of his hardwork and intelligence. The ‘left-eight’ he is playing is a very demanding position and I think Havertz is beginning to understand what Arteta wants from a player in that position. We’ve seen late runs into the box from Leandro Trossard in the same position in recent games and we are seeing the pattern continue with the former Chelsea man.
He is a very intelligent player who is willing to put in the effort. His body composition may deceive you but he looks to be constantly on the move when there is an Arsenal attack.
He was also used in different ways against Luton. Since the home side pressed higher up the pitch, he became the target man for Raya and he delivered, often knocking the ball down for Jesus and also held the ball up physically. I think this attribute is the revolution of the ‘perfect’ player in that position, to continue to be used as a foil for others to exploit the spaces behind.
Needless to mention that he looks more comfortable with the ball, running with it and his passes are improving every single game. Like they say, ‘confidence is the bread and butter for footballers’, and that was his third goal of the season for the lanky forward.
Not too bad for a £65m “flop,” according to naysayers.
Let’s move on!
Negative #2: Heavy tackles on our wingers
It was another day at the office for Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli to receive heavy tackles from the opposition defence. It is becoming a theme for Arsenal wingers to get kicked about in games with defences unable to cope with them.
Against Luton, Martinelli was on the end of very heavy tackles that were ignored by the referees, as was Saka. Of course, fouls were given but the referee could have been more decisive early and issued yellow cards to caution the players. Arteta has spoken many times on the need for the officials to protect his young wingers, with Saka often the target, but it seems Martinelli has become a target himself.
Early in the first half, the Brazilian was taken out and needed treatment to continue. They are strong boys and it is not right to receive the kind of kicks they are receiving.
Continued on the next slide...