Our 3️⃣ points as Arsenal demonstrate size of Eddie Howe's task | OneFootball
Our 3️⃣ points as Arsenal demonstrate size of Eddie Howe's task
Arsenal overcame Eddie Howe’s Newcastle in his first game in the dugout with a deserved victory in north London on Saturday afternoon.
This is what we made of it.
No taking Tavares out
One of the biggest dilemmas facing Mikel Arteta at the moment is what he does at left-back.
For this one, he kept faith with Nuno Tavares and was richly rewarded by that decision.
While he’s not quite the finished product that the more senior Kieran Tierney is, the 21-year-old is an outstanding attacking outlet and has done nothing to merit being removed.
It would have been harsh and perhaps confidence-killing to take him out after a tough second half last week against Liverpool but who doesn’t find it difficult against that attacking behemoth?
He, like Takehiro Tomiyasu on the other side, excelled here and it was thanks to his inverted runs that he popped up to provide a perfect assist for Bukayo Saka’s opener.
Tavares keeps delivering and is giving Arteta the kind of problem every manager wants to have.
More defensive issues
In the build-up to the game, Newcastle No. 2 Jason Tindall was forced to answer questions on his team’s defensive preparations in the absence of Eddie Howe.
“We don’t prioritise defending in training, fully focusing on that and ignoring our attacking play,” he replied. “We know we have to be better defensively but some things take longer than others.”
The issues that plagued the game against Brentford were on show again and the problem for Tindall and co. is that sitting 20th at the end of November, time is fast running out.
Martin Dúbravka was back between the posts and performed decently behind a back four but they couldn’t cope with Arsenal in the wide areas at all.
That was perhaps best evidenced by Matt Ritchie’s concerning defensive line to allow Gabriel Martinelli to race through and kill the game – sitting 10 yards behind his colleagues.
It is those kind of basics that need to be addressed instantly.
Miss of the season?
It would be impossible to wrap up without mention of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s truly incredible miss from yards out into a gaping goal.
Although it didn’t cost his side in the end, it summed up what was a frustrating afternoon for the forward in front of goal.
He was caught flat-footed as the ball spilled in his direction and the effort, as a result, lacked conviction as it spun against the outside of the upright.
While it wasn’t exactly an open goal, there was still a lot of the corner for Aubameyang to aim at and a player of his quality simply has to hit the net in those circumstances.
He’ll know that better than anyone and be bitterly disappointed.