It was a night of unfamiliar superstars at the Emirates on Saturday night, with even Rihanna making an appearance. Although she was not on song, neither were Arsenal in the second half. However, by then, they’d already ripped the Toffees to shreds and were 4-0 up.
After a shaky start, the injection of new blood started to take effect with new boy Henrikh Mkhitaryan making runs off the ball that I’ve rarely seen in recent times at Arsenal. As well as being the provider for three of the goals, the Armenian tracked back well and defended to the best of his ability. It was a man-of-the-match performance for me, though he faded in the second half. My only worry regards his physical toughness, as twice he hit the deck from challenges that could be regarded as one step away from innocuous, unless I’m missing something. As long as he stays fit, perhaps it doesn’t matter if he has low pain threshold.
The other new boy was Aubameyang, who capped his display with a goal that was marginally offside, but still counted. It was a superb dinked finish with his left foot. I’m not sure if he’ll score a lot more than Lacazette, based on this performance, as both players seem to offer the same qualities to the team: pace and finishing. However, I was impressed to see him queuing up with Koscielny for one of the Arsenal goals. It shows he has a predator’s instinct, and maybe that is the difference between him and Lacazette. Although it was good for Arsenal fans to see Auba get on the scoresheet, they won’t be fooled by the fact that Arsenal (post-Giroud) no longer have a Plan B. It’s Plan A or nothing.
Plan A is great when everyone is on song like against Everton but that certainly wasn’t the case at Swansea. The Welsh are known for their singing, and Ramsey (with his Cardiff roots) more than most must felt the pain of an embarrassing defeat in Wales. Ramsey showed his ‘bounce-back-ability’ by scoring a hat-trick, but you have to wonder where the goals will come from in future (since the departures of Giroud, Sanchez and Walcott) unless Aubameyang can continue to finish where he left off in the Bundesliga.
Despite some Arsenal fans still maintaining that Theo Walcott is not a footballer as such, he still managed to put in some good crosses, one of which Everton nearly scored from. Theo also went close in a one-on-one situation and would have scored had it not been for Mustafi’s timely intervention. The German celebrated like he’d scored a goal, so certain was he that Theo’s shot was going in. All in all, Arsenal fans should be grateful that the club made a profit on a player who scored over a hundred goals for them, mostly playing in the wrong position. I will watch his progress with interest: he’s already scored two for his new club, which is not bad.
Regardless of that, Arsenal fans should be pleased about the new arrivals. They’ve delivered so far. The question is can they do the same to Tottenham at Wembley?