Ray Parlour was thrilled to see the Arsenal fans get behind Mikel Arteta’s side during Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Norwich City while hailing Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu, as he told talkSPORT (14 September, 9.20am).
On paper at least, a 1-0 victory over a newly-promoted, bottom-of-the-table Norwich City side does not feel like the sort of result capable of turning around an entire season.
But look beyond that all-important number in the top-left corner and you will find an Arsenal performance far more commanding, far more convincing than the score line suggests – albeit against rather limited opposition.
The Gunners mustered 30 shots on goal – their most in a league match since a clash with Manchester United four years ago – while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang broke his and Arsenal’s top-flight duck after five goalless hours.
And Parlour was relieved to see the supporters do what supporters should during a morale-boosting victory – ‘support’.
“(The fans) really got behind the side, which I was so pleased about. It does give you a lift, knowing the fans are behind you. The energy levels were very good for Arsenal,” says Parlour, a member of that iconic ‘Invincibles’ side from 2003/04.
“I was very impressed with the atmosphere.
Could this be a turning point for Arsenal?
Arsenal also kept their first clean sheet of the season, with new £16 million signing Takehiro Tomiyasu slotting in effectively at right-back alongside fellow newcomer and England international Ben White.
“I thought they did well, the back four. Ben White I thought had a really good game, strong. I was very pleased with how they played at the back,” Parlour added.
“Tomiyasu looked very good. Tierney didn’t have his best game but we all know how good he is, putting deliveries into the box.
“If I was Mikel Arteta now, I’d be saying ‘right, they’ve done enough to keep their positions’. I’d be working them most days in training, repetition work, when to push up when to drop off, getting that understanding.
“It’s so important you have a solid base. That’s what Arsenal have got to get back to; being solid. They’ve been too easy to score against the last five, six, seven years.”