ikel Arteta’s gamers have given him loads of complications he didn’t want this season, however after this victory over Leicester City they’ve supplied the Spaniard with a welcome one.
Often this season we’ve got bemoaned Arsenal’s lack of squad depth and the truth that when their star gamers are rested they fail to ship.
And if you noticed Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey had been rested for this journey to the King Power, you feared it might be a case of deja vu.
Arsenal, nevertheless, bucked the pattern and people gamers who had been handed an opportunity to shine did so because the Gunners ran out deserved 3-1 winners.
Nicolas Pepe was most likely the choose of the bunch. The Ivorian has had a troublesome time in north London so far since becoming a member of for £72million, nevertheless he ran riot right here.
Pepe tormented Leicester left-back Luke Thomas within the opening 45 minutes, so a lot so the teen was hooked at half-time and Ricardo Pereira was moved to full-back.
It did little to cease the 25-year-old, who scored Arsenal’s third purpose by tapping residence a slick counter within the 52nd minute.
That was not more than Pepe’s efficiency deserved – which was arguably one of the best of his Arsenal profession so far – however there have been loads of others who stepped up to the plate too.
The much-maligned Willian seemed rather more just like the participant Arsenal thought they had been signing from Chelsea and ending the sport with two assists will do wonders for his confidence.
The Brazilian, who was deployed out left, was brilliant and direct – a bit like Pepe on the opposite flank – nevertheless his work off the ball was a lot improved too. Willian tracked again and did the soiled work too, which won’t have gone unnoticed by Arteta.
At the again, Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari additionally put in regular and composed performances. They, like Pepe and Willian, could have put strain on these beginning forward of them and that could be a most welcome for Arteta. The Spaniard now has a range headache forward of Burnley subsequent week – which has not typically been the case this season.
Xhaka the fixed as Arsenal full testing fortnight
Throughout this troublesome fortnight of fixtures for Arsenal – which has seen them play Benfica twice, Manchester City and Leicester – there have been few constants. Arteta has rotated his workforce to hold gamers contemporary and match, however Granit Xhaka has remained.
The Swiss has began all the previous 4 matches and he has proven in that point how very important he’s to Arsenal. Xhaka actually is the glue that holds this workforce collectively and, not like prior to now, he’s going about his enterprise underneath the radar.
The 28-year-old was wonderful in opposition to Leicester, quietly breaking up play and offering a platform for the likes of Pepe and Willian to flourish. It was very a lot a no-thrills show from Xhaka, however within the function he performs that’s what you need from him.
It seems like Xhaka is maturing with each sport he performs underneath Arteta and, given his troublesome previous at Arsenal, that’s no imply feat.
Saka will get an important relaxation after hectic run
After his heroics in opposition to Benfica on Thursday, Arteta confessed Bukayo Saka would wanted to be rested in some unspecified time in the future. Until this sport, the 19-year-old had performed each minute bar considered one of Arsenal’s February fixtures and he wanted a break.
The winger obtained that and it’ll absolutely do him the world of fine. In this hectic and unprecedented season breaks are hard to come, so the very fact Saka has had his – and Arsenal have received – is a dream for Arteta. It is just not one thing the Spaniard will need to do typically, however no less than now he can really feel simpler about counting on his teenager star going ahead.