With such a big game tomorrow, today feels like a bit of a lull day.
The Conor Benn v Chris Eubank Jr. has certainly contributed to there not being much to do today. Benn has probably ruined most of our weekend plans.
The void in anything meaningful happening has been filled by moaning fans.
We are top of the league, top of our Europa League group, 9 wins from 10 and just won 3-0 on Thursday. But some fans have spent the last 24 hours moaning about Mikel Arteta’s substitutes.
In thr 58th minute against Bodø/Glimt, Arteta took off Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli for Martin Odergaard and Gabriel Jesus.
This has led to the Arteta-boo-boys crawling out from under their rocks, complaining about why Arteta would “take a risk bringing on senior players”.
For those with a low football IQ, lets work through it.
Xhaka and Martinelli played around an hour, Odergaard and Jesus played half an hour. This is clearly Arteta sharing the work load, ensuring no player gets close to entering the “red zone”.
If he left Xhaka and Martinelli on and they picked up an injury, the same people moaning about the substitutions would moan that they were not substituted.
“But he could have bought on kids” the incels cry.
First 15 minutes of the second half, Bodø/Glimt had taken some control.
In the first half, Arsenal had 11 shots agasinst Bodø/Glimt’s 2.
The first 15 minutes of the second half Bodø/Glimt had 4 shots. Arsenal ZERO.
Bodø/Glimt were dominating the ball, whilst it felt like the Arsenal players had lost intensity.
So lets say Arteta took Xhaka and Martinelli off to rest them for Liverpool. But decided not to bring on the experience of Jesus and Odergaard. His other midfield options were Cătălin Ionut Cîrjan, Matt Smith and Reiss Nelson.
We also took off Marquinhos at the same time as Xhaka and Martinelli.
Had we bought on the trio of youngsters and not regained control of the game, we would have continued to invite Bodø/Glimt on.
And what if with the momentum they were gaining they went and scored? Made it 2-1? It would then be squeaky bum time. And those moaning that we bought experience on to replace Xhaka and Martinelli would then be moaning we had bought youth on.
As it happened, Jesus and Odergaard immediately increased the intensity of the team, which led us to regain control.
Following those subs, we were back in full control of the game without really being out of 2nd gear. We got the 3rd goal and it was good night Vienna.
On a side note, I maybe would have done bought on Odergaard and Martinelli, but then bought on Nelson for Marquinhos. But we won and Bukayo Saka did not really exert himself so I am not going to complain.
The last big name to come on was Ben White.
Kierant Tierney was coming back from his latest knock.
The Scotsman played 17 minutes against Tottenham and exactly 70 minutes against Bodø/Glimt.
This was clearly a planned substitution as we looked to slowly rebuld Tierney’s fitness ahead of the Liverpool game – with Alex Zinchenko potentially out it was important that we did not overexert Tierney.
My issues with the moaners is whatever the scenario in-front of them, they would have moaned.
- Had Arteta left on Xhaka and Martinelli, and one got injured, they’d have moaned
- Had Arteta put on the inexperienced youngsters and Bodø/Glimt scored, they’d have moaned
- Had Arteta bought on experience to regain control of the game, they’d have moaned (and did).
Some fans hated Arteta as a player, never wanted him as a manager, and every now and again that mask slips and they show their true selves.
If you are moaning the day after we won 3-0 and sit top of two leagues, then maybe it is you that has the problem?
In other news, I see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is being linked to PSG.
If he does move to the French side in next summer (it won’t happen in January as you can not play for 3 clubs in a single season), it will be his 4th club in 16 months.
Some will still moan about his departure from Arsenal (incidently the same people who moan about substitutions after a 3-0 win); but potentially 4 clubs in 16 months will justifiy Arsenal’s decision to dump him.
Enjoy your Saturday. Use the lull to get some chores done. And UTA.