The appearance of Emile Smith Rowe and the maturity of Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal a new breath. Mikel Arteta has found the true identity of the club.
Like people who have resolutions in the new year, wishing luck in life so that everything will be brighter than before.
Arsenal are feeling that way. The dark months passed by the London Cannon in 2020 even almost approaching the relegation zone. Now Mikel Arteta’s squad is like reborn.
Probably more than a phrase reborn, remember The Gunners seems to have returned to their heads as a team attached to the label ‘Young Guns‘. Arsenal fans will certainly agree to take their hats off to Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
Again, second performance youngster Arsenal’s potential was awe-inspiring as the team opened the new year with a sensational streak: a thick 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
It’s been a long time identity ‘Arsenal Way‘invisible in the game The Gunners since Arsene Wenger’s departure, but Arteta has slowly begun to find the right system, with academy stars at the heart of the team.
English football public understands, Arsenal have a special talent in Saka, but the name Smith Rowe from today deserves to be reckoned with that status.
For the first name we have seen various actions from him since the start of the season, but the second name is really a surprise package. Since appearing fantastic against Chelsea, he has continued to repeat similar performances, including when he clashed with The Baggies. Two assist has been produced, a sign that Arsenal don’t seem to need to bother looking for a creative midfielder in the January transfer window.
Creativity in this team has become a major issue since the 2020/21 edition rolled around, as reflected in the number of goals Arsenal scored this season, until finally the problem was resolved in Boxing Day against The Blues.
It should be noted, of the three matches played by Smith Rowe in the league with the role of No.10, The Gunners has scored eight goals! In comparison, the number of goals is as much as they made in the 13 matches before against Chelsea.
The combination of Smith Rowe-Saka with a senior figure at the forefront, Alexandre Lacazette, whose brace against West Brom saw him now have five goals in four games, has changed Arsenal’s course.
The defeat against Everton last December 19 was the lowest point, with the team falling to 15th in the standings and registering start worst since 1974. To make matters worse, they are only four points clear of the relegation zone.
However, two weeks since then, three wins have been secured and they are now improving their ranking to 11th place, only three points behind the top six and six points off the Champions League area.
The game that Arteta brought was much bolder and more energetic. It’s rare for the Spaniard’s polished Arsenal to score two or more goals in the first half, but the presence of Saka and Smith Rowe bridges what the team desperately needs at the moment. The two names collaborated with each other to make Arsenal’s second goal in the first half.
The opener was born thanks to a brilliant solo from Kieran Tierney, but the next goal was even more wide-eyed.
The team movement which featured more than 20 passes with Smith Rowe as the actor, then made it easier for Saka to move to the goal mouth to then do tap-in welcomed his colleagues at the club’s academy.
Arsenal’s second goal was quite typical of what their fans have seen over the years, which has been rare under Arteta.
The heavy burden that Arteta and his players carried towards last Christmas are slowly starting to lift. The manager has found the right system to accommodate new energies within the para youngster, so that the absence of Thomas Partey and the decline of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang does not seem to be an important problem anymore.
Don’t forget about club talents like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah, who often get thumbs up when given the trust of Arteta.
High appreciation also deserves to be pinned on Lacazette, who managed to change her fate from what the club had expected to be sacked because of her months-long defensive appearance to becoming the club’s top scorer with nine goals and is starting to look to get a turning point in her career.
Most importantly, Lacazette is now surrounded by young runners around her, ready to keep her “exploding”.
Arsenal’s bleak period in 2020 is over. The launch of Saka and Smith Rowe in 2021 for Arteta is a new breath. Agree?