After the ecstatic scenes of 5 straight wins, all that raving on the terraces, dropping at Manchester United was a crashing comedown. The defensive wobbles there, the raging at officialdom and the lacking of clutch possibilities had been an Arsenal story typically informed.
Brentford, in contrast, quickly grew to become a Sunday session for his or her supporters, mixing up old-school anthems with the newest hits as their workforce returned to the highest of the league. Although Manchester Metropolis’s Erling Haaland-inspired menace grows week on week, Arsenal are having fun with life on the prime whereas they’ll. Do Arsenal followers belief Mikel Arteta’s course of? The bond the match-going contingent shares along with his gamers feels stronger than with any Arsenal workforce for a lot of a 12 months.
Brentford was the place final season started with a 2-0 defeat that demoralised, even permitting for a Covid outbreak within the camp as mitigation. It signposted a marketing campaign the place the promise of progress could be dashed by eventual disappointment. To win in such simple fashion on the identical floor instructed extra profound progress. Gabriel Jesus’s aim, Arsenal’s second, arrange by Granit Xhaka, flourishing in a free position, was a magnificence, the Brazilian heading residence in a vogue paying homage to Haaland himself.
Virtually three years into the job, Arteta is now not a rookie supervisor however the location of his ceiling continues to be undetermined. Having labored below Arsène Wenger and alongside Pep Guardiola, the hope was for a mix of each, although he’s working at a membership far much less wealthy in sources than these mentors loved. If Arsenal’s £79m summer time switch web spend appears meaty, then it’s nonetheless dwarfed by the £200m-plus lashed out for Todd Boehly’s Chelsea all-stars, and by United’s try and graft themselves into turning into Ajax.
Can this workforce problem Metropolis for the title? With Chelsea below a brand new supervisor in Graham Potter, United amid an umpteenth rebuilding course of and Liverpool frazzled after crusing too near the solar final season, it could come all the way down to the north London set of Tottenham and Arsenal so as to add any sense of intrigue on the prime.
A match-day squad containing a 15-year-old in Ethan Nwaneri and Lino Souza, himself simply 17, didn’t replicate heavy squad depth, even when it did enable Nwaneri, born a 12 months after the Emirates Stadium was opened, three years after Wenger’s Invincibles season, to grow to be the Premier League’s youngest ever participant when approaching in harm time.
Past rewriting that within the document books, Arteta might do with having each Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney round, moderately than in rotation. The Scot confirmed that, when match, he is without doubt one of the finest attacking full-backs within the recreation. Zinchenko and Martin Ødegaard’s absence gave Fábio Vieira the possibility to make a primary Premier League begin in midfield, which he topped with a particular aim, Arsenal’s third, whipped in, all disguise and fade, to go away David Raya sprawling within the Brentford aim.
Seventeen years on from the departure of a bona fide membership legend in Patrick Vieira, Arsenal followers have a namesake to hail, although he’s a moderately totally different participant. The 22-year-old Portuguese playmaker is small, adroit, all left foot, very a lot fashionable Arsenal moderately than an alpha male of the previous, however Arteta has one other artistic expertise to name upon.
Brentford in all probability symbolize a special check to that of a 12 months in the past, Thomas Frank having sought so as to add dimensions to a squad hardened by 12 months within the Premier League, even when the fundamental plan of swarming the opposition and selecting up the items has not significantly altered. Although maybe the novelty of a latter-day Loopy Gang chasing down each final throw-in has misplaced a few of its shock worth, even amongst these requested to hold it out.
Arsenal had been greater than able to residing with a Brentford power and software that was decidedly under-amped, and the house followers, despite the fact that an early kick-off provided cheap excuse for his or her stillness, got little to work with.
Ivan Toney was taking part in in his first match since his England call-up and should this week grow to be the primary Brentford participant to play for the nation since Les Smith in 1939, an honour celebrated by his membership throughout the half-time break. However there was little to counsel Toney might be the next-best factor to Harry Kane as he struggled to seek out any free change from a central defensive partnership of Gabriel Magalhães and William Saliba.
That Toney was additionally culpable in letting Saliba get a run on Bukayo Saka’s nook to move in Arsenal’s opener will likely have entered Gareth Southgate’s scouting pocket book.
“Good kick about with the boys” was what Toney wrote on social media after Brentford’s 2-0 residence win within the opening recreation of final season, revealing Arteta as an unlikely Twitter consumer in an enraged response caught within the All Or Nothing documentary. Late on this time round, Toney’s probability of imposing himself lengthy misplaced, the away followers threw these phrases again at him. Right here was extra proof of that rising bond with Arsenal’s supervisor and his workforce.