3️⃣ points after Wolves win away at disappointing Arsenal

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Dan Burke

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Wolverhampton Wanderers got their first ever win at the Emirates Stadium when they overcame Arsenal on Sunday evening.

Premier League


Here’s our analysis of the action from north London …

We need concussion substitutions NOW

Our thoughts go out to Wolves striker Raúl Jiménez tonight, who had to be rushed to hospital following a sickening clash of heads with Arsenal’s David Luiz early in this game.

The incident highlighted two huge flaws with how football deals with head injuries.

Firstly, it’s ridiculous that Wolves had to use up one of their three substitutions to replace Jiménez.

Plans are in place for a trial to take place in the FA Cup later this season whereby clubs will be allowed to make a free substitution if one of their players sustains a head injury.

But what is there to trial?

Given that Jiménez was knocked unconscious it was obvious he would have to come off, but clubs should already be able to substitute a player who has sustained even a minor head injury, because you really cannot be too careful when it comes to the head.

Which brings us on to the next point: Why on earth was David Luiz allowed to carry on playing?

The Arsenal defender may well have felt he was fine to play on (although the blood seeping through his bandage would suggest otherwise) but that’s besides the point. He may not even have realised he was concussed and the consequences of allowing him to stay on the pitch until he was eventually subbed at half-time could have been grave.

We’re sure you will join us in wishing Jiménez a speedy recovery, and hopefully this incident acts as a wake up call to football’s law makers.

Get well soon Raúl.

A textbook Premier League away win

After witnessing what happened to their team-mate, nobody would have blamed Wolves if they’d retreated into their shells and spent the rest of the evening going through the motions.

But instead they quickly went 1-0 up through Pedro Neto and though that lead didn’t last long, Nuno Espírito Santo will have been delighted by how his team responded to another setback by going 2-1 up thanks to a cool Daniel Podence finish.

What followed was a very professional away performance which might have been even more comfortable had their best striker been on the pitch.

The visitors defended in a controlled manner and sprang quickly into counter-attacks when the opportunity presented itself.

Adama Traoré’s wait for a goal goes on but he was a dangerous threat on the break and was perhaps unlucky not to get a penalty in the second half, while João Moutinho and Leander Dendoncker bossed the midfield.

This result leaves Wolves in 6th. They probably aren’t good enough for top four this season, but a top six finish is well within their reach.

They get slightly better every year.

Are you Emery in disguise?

Exactly one year ago today, Arsenal sacked Unai Emery with the club eight points off the top four.

Today, with Mikel Arteta in charge, they sit five points off fourth with over a quarter of the season gone. Is that sufficient progress?

Of course, they did win the FA Cup at the end of last season, but if anything they seem to have gone backwards since then and it’s difficult to see what Arteta is trying to do at the moment.

Willian was often accused of being a luxury player during his time at Chelsea and he’s a luxury this Arsenal team cannot afford.

The Brazilian was anonymous tonight, while captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked worryingly disinterested in the central striker position.

Arteta has undoubtedly made the Gunners a more solid defensive outfit but problems quickly arise when they do concede goals.

Their decision making in the final third was poor in this game, they finished it having had just two shots on target, and Gabriel is their joint-top scorer in the Premier League this season.

Moreover, that midfield two of Granit Xhaka is being too easily bypassed while creating nothing.

There are still plenty of reasons to believe that Arteta is a better coach than his predecessor, but Arsenal are no closer to being a title-challenging force than they were 12 months ago, and that’s quite disappointing.