3 talking points as Arsenal survive a late scare to beat Wolves

• Who said Arsenal are not eye-catching? • Oleksandr Zinchenko continues to be a defensive risk • Ticketing shambles continues

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-WOLVES
FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-WOLVES / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages
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Despite controlling the vast majority of Saturday's game against Wolves, Arsenal had to withstand a late scare to overcome the Wanderers as the Gunners reaffirmed their place at the top of the Premier League table.

An explosive start from Mikel Arteta's side saw two early goals from Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard set the tone for the game as Arsenal went on to enjoy a comfortable afternoon in North London.

That was until, in the 86th minute, Matheus Cunha scored an impressive long-range effort to offer his side a lifeline in the game.

Despite some nervy closing moments, the hosts held on and secured a valuable, and well-deserved, three points to see them extend their gap, albeit temporarily, at the summit of the Premier League table.

Here are three key talking points that we unearthed during the game.


1. Eye-catching Arsenal put on another show

Bukayo Saka
Arsenal FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League / Julian Finney/GettyImages

In recent weeks, some have accused Arsenal of playing a more boring style of football than they did last season.

But can a team who have scored 12 goals in their last four games, including six last time out in the Champions League, really be given such criticism?

The fact is that Arsenal never stopped playing their attractive style of football, but instead, their opponents have adapted how they play against the Gunners, which understandably affects how we come across as a team.

We have seen time and time again, however, that when teams afford Arsenal even an inch of space in the final third, the Gunners play some of the best and most entertaining football in world football.

Having scored the fourth most goals in the league, and with dazzling wingers like Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, it is naive to suggest that Arsenal ever lost their 'flare', and our two goals today were just further proof of that.

Sure, we made life a little difficult, or at least nervy, for ourselves late in the game after a costly mistake in defence, but that does not make us any less entertaining on the ball, and certainly does not discount our previous excellence from the game.


2. Zinchenko costs Arsenal in defence again

Hwang Hee-Chan, Oleksandr Zinchenko
Arsenal FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

For all of his offensive qualities, of which there are many, Oleksandr Zinchenko once again showed his defensive frailties against Wolves.

While he had a fairly good game overall, he was at fault for Wolves' goal after being dispossessed in his own box despite having plenty of options ahead of him to offload the ball without issue.

It should go without saying that Zinchenko should not be dropped, but something certainly needs to change moving forward with regard to how we line up with him in the side.

The team needs to be set up with his defensive issues in mind, with an emphasis on taking the pressure off of him and not leaving him isolated with opposition forwards.

It is not an ideal situation, especially for a player occupying a defensive position in the team, but he has also proven to be a vital player offensively and while linking the defence to attack.


3. As demand soars, ticketing remains a disgrace

Arsenal v Southampton - Premier League
Arsenal v Southampton - Premier League / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Over the last few seasons, as results on the pitch have seen a drastic improvement, the demand for Arsenal tickets has reached an almost unprecedented level.

This season has seen the introduction of a new balloting system at the club, which has radically changed the process for acquiring tickets for games.

Whereas before you could have a very strong chance of getting a ticket simply by logging onto the ticketing website at the right time (which admittedly had its own flaws), you now have to enter a ballot and hope to be selected in the draw.

But the new system seems to have some glaring issues, with one being how 'random' the draws really are.

Some members have been unsuccessful in every single ballot so far this season, while others have been successful in the vast majority of draws - meaning that some fans, through no fault of their own, are unable to watch their team play in the flesh.

We saw again in Saturday's game, however, that there is now a plethora of empty seats at most games, despite the fixtures being sold out via the ballot.

This begs the question of why ballot winners are not attending games, and how they are being allowed to win tickets.

I do not have a shiny answer to offer for this problem, but do have one idea to hopefully at least alleviate the problem slightly.

A rule needs to be introduced whereby if a ballot winner does not attend a game, or list their ticket on the 'Ticket Exchange', twice in a season then their account is blocked from future ballots for that season.

This means if you genuinely cannot make a game, you are not punished so long as you list the ticket on the 'Ticket Exchange' so that another fan can attend in your place while punishing those who have no intention of attending and make no effort to allow someone else to fill their seat.

It is clear that there is no straightforward solution to this problem, but I think, as Arsenal fans, we can collectively agree that much more needs to be done to solve this issue, which is impacting both fans and the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium, which ultimately impacts on the team too.