Arsenal overcame Aston Villa in impressive style on Saturday, so what did we learn about them?
Arsenal returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory against Aston Villa on Saturday. A 192-second goal blitz saw the Gunners secure the win before half-time, with Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil and an own goal from Aly Cissokho giving Arsene Wenger’s side the three points.
Here are five things we learned about Arsenal from their latest win:
Welbeck needs patience
Following his £16million move from Manchester United, Danny Welbeck was hailed as the answer to the Gunners’ goal-scoring problems in the absence of Olivier Giroud. And yet the England international was just as quickly the subject of scorn as he failed to find the net in his first two appearances.
However, the front-man netted Arsenal’s second on Saturday and that will give him plenty of confidence going forward.
Arsenal fans must be patient as Welbeck gets used to his new surroundings and learns that he is now an out-and-out front-man, not the utility player he was so often used as at Old Trafford. He is still young, and in time there is no reason why he cannot become a prolific target-man.
The real Ozil is still in there
Mesut Ozil has also come in for a whole heap of criticism in the past, but against Villa he scored one and set up another to ensure Arsenal quickly put their high-flying opponents to the sword.
Is this the beginning of a new dawn for the German international at the Emirates Stadium? It is far too early to tell. But he certainly looked a far better player on Saturday than Arsenal fans have seen too often since his club-record move from Real Madrid.
Arsenal’s passing remains imperious
The Gunners had a remarkable 71% of the ball on Saturday, and that is one of the club’s key strengths that they must focus on if they want to progress this season. On-song there are few clubs in Europe better than Arsenal when they pass their opponents to death. And that was certainly the case at the weekend as the North London club simply out-passed their hosts.
They will not usually have things all their own way, and the early goal blitz certainly helped to take the wind out of Villa’s sails, but this was a master-class in ball-retention.
The Gunners must create more chances
Despite scoring three goals on Saturday, Arsenal had just three shots on target in the entire match. In this case that did not matter, but creating only three clear-cut chances will simply not be enough most days of the week.
It is up to the likes of Ozil, Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey to create more chances and really test their opposing goalkeepers in the weeks and months ahead. Otherwise they will be left to rue missed opportunities.
Arsenal are one more setback away from a defensive crisis
The Gunners did not have a single defender on the bench on Saturday, meaning that Wenger will be praying for no more injuries or suspensions.
The players who were out there did well, and will surely be the club’s first-choice back-four for the upcoming matches, but Arsenal are so light when it comes to reinforcements that surely Wenger will do all he can to bring in a new centre-back in January…or possibly even a free agent before then.