Arsenal continued their recovery after three successive losses to start the season in a 1-0 win away at Burnley at Turf Moor this afternoon.
The Gunners ran out victors away from home during a period where results are the bare minimum requirement even if the football is not particularly brilliant. The visitors were made to rely on a brilliantly struck Martin Ødegaard free-kick in the first half to secure the result, however, with hardly enough done in the final third to put the matter beyond doubt before full-time.
Arsenal board spent three months working to re-sign Martin Ødegaard since he left the club in May. It was considered “almost impossible” in June and July – then Real decided to sell him in August and Arsenal were ‘ready’. 🇳🇴 #AFC
He’s always been the priority – and not Maddison. pic.twitter.com/Bk8uc84EP5
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 18, 2021
But Mikel Arteta’s troops nevertheless got their first win against Sean Dyche’s Clarets in their last-three meetings, and now go into their midweek Carabao Cup third round clash with AFC Wimbledon with a chance to make it three wins from three in all competitions before facing-off against bitter rivals Tottenham in the North London Derby next weekend.
Ramsdale once again shows proof of purchase
Aaron Ramsdale continues to endear himself to the Arsenal faithful in the early doors of his career in north London this season, gate-keeping another clean sheet effort as the Gunners secured a 1-0 result in back-to-back Premier League weekends.
The former Sheffield United man has now presided over three clean sheets in three appearances for his new employers; both of the club’s Premier League wins, and their 6-0 demolition job of West Brom in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Aaron Ramsdale is yet to concede a goal in any of his three appearances since joining Arsenal.
3 clean sheets
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 18, 2021
But it is so much more than Ramsdale’s ability to shot-stop that has quickly elevated him to the point where he should be the undisputed number one. His command of the area, ability to communicate, and assuredness in dealing with set-pieces has set him apart from Bernd Leno. Though Mikel Arteta has hinted at his pleasure in there being competition for places, Ramsdale is proving that there may not be much competition after all.
Has Arteta learned to deploy Arsenal based-off his opponent?
The ability to deploy your match day XI in a manner to target your opponent is absolutely key; but it has also been a struggle for Mikel Arteta in the early part of his career, though today may have provided evidence that the former Arsenal midfielder is finally willing to mix and match given the tactical requirements on any given day.
It's a bold team from Arteta, but personally I like it. Football is about getting your best XI on the pitch and this, I think, is a way for Arteta to do it. Odegaard, Smith Rowe and Partey will be expected to boss the game.https://t.co/lQS43EnRsH
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) September 18, 2021
Against a Burnley outfit that will always look to sit deep to frustrate and break out on the counter, Arteta opted to go with as much creativity in his XI as possible; selecting Martin Ødegaard and Emile Smith Rowe in a midfield trio that featured Thomas Partey as the shield behind them. Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pépé featured on either side of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – and at last on paper – the Gunners were given their best chance to find chances. The result did not reflect dominance, but the willingness to switch things up was nice to see.
Aubameyang struggles again for Arsenal
Another narrow win for Arsenal will have many pleased about the three-point haul rather than focusing on the overall level of performance, but a continued concern for the fanbase is the offerings put forth by captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Despite tapping-in the match winner against Norwich after a fluke chain of events, the Gabonese hitman has hardly been brilliant this term after a questionable season in 2020-21 where he only found the back of the net on 10 occasions.
Thus far, one goal in four starts in 2021-22 is hardly the start to the kind of rebound campaign many will want to see from the mercurial goalscorer, and questions still surround his ability to be an effective number 9 in a system under Arteta that requires a more expansive center-forward capable of being so much more than just a poacher.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||0||3|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||3|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||3|
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|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||1|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||2|
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|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||2|
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|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||2|
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