Current Date: 22 Feb, 2024

Declan Rice injury woe hangs over five-star Arsenal as David Raya justifies Aaron Ramsdale snub

That is how you respond to the trials and tribulations of a poor run of form that has raised so many questions over the past month. Five goals and a five-star display come full time which has put to bed plenty of the questions over goalscoring.

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With further queries toward the title credentials, this is a run of games to make or break the side’s hopes of even being considered as potential runners for the league culminating in the clash with Liverpool in a couple of weeks.

There was plenty to be pleased about on the day and there’s always a greater challenge finding the frustrations when the scoreline is so emphatic. football.London reflects upon Arsenal's 5-0 win over Crystal Palace and what’s to come next.

Successes

Martinelli at the double

Having scored just one goal in their last three matches of which they all ended in defeat it was vital that the Gunners secured not only a win but one in which they scored plenty. Settle the nerves but importantly also build encouragement in the side and the fans.

The corner differences with Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka putting the crosses in high and dropping down on the box have been something that has been needed much sooner. Arsenal has one of the tallest sides in the league and so utilizing this asset with the loftier corners needs to be a mainstay in the club’s attacking options.

It was also key to see Gabriel Martinelli get on the scoresheet not just once but twice as he doubled his Premier League tally for the season in just a few minutes. This will be a big boost to him and improve the view of his scoring talents.

David Raya

The Arsenal goalkeeper had one of his strongest performances in an Arsenal shirt. Granted there was a passing error when he kicked his own foot when attempting a clearance but the rest of his game was very strong and that should be celebrated.

I had initially wanted to see Aaron Ramsdale start and I was definitely disappointed that he didn’t. But giving Raya his flowers is important and the throw for the third goal was stunningly good amongst some other good stops on the day.

Smith Rowe comes on

With around twenty minutes left of the game, Arteta brought on Emile Smith Rowe to the delight of the Arsenal crowd. Besides the goals, and maybe even more so than some, it was the biggest cheer of the afternoon with such love for the Hale End graduate.

Smith Rowe had fallen down the pecking order behind even Reiss Nelson but perhaps his performances over this winter break have been enough to raise his stock. The club were resistant in an approach from West Ham United over a potential loan and him getting some important game time will be of serious encouragement.

Frustrations

Injury woes

Both Declan Rice and Gabriel Magalhaes had to be withdrawn in the second half as the club wanted to take no risks regarding potential further harm. When asked after the game, Arteta was not able to give much in the way of detail but provided the explanation and reaction behind the substitutions.

“He was feeling some tiredness,” Arteta said. “I don’t know exactly what muscle it was but when he says that at 3-0 obviously we don’t want to take any risks, and the same with big Gabi as well.

“He had some discomfort, he had a tackle in the first half and was a bit struggling so it was the right moment to take them off.”

Atmospheric challenges

For a 5-0 win the Emirates Stadium was frustratingly quiet throughout the game and despite the best efforts of the Ashburton Army, the crowd failed to respond. The group have seen a cut to their allocation and there is a noticeable difference in their effect in the Clock End.

Multiple attempts were made to get a back and forth with the North Bank with chants but they seemed to fall on deaf ears. Even an early goal from Gabriel Magalhaes was not enough to get the crowd going.

With the next team to visit the Emirates Stadium Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, hopefully the clash under the lights will be an electric one as the team will need all the help they can get. Certainly, this is a topic that will continue to be discussed as to how it can be solved.

So long to wait

Arsenal are without FA Cup action this week meaning that they have to wait around ten days before they head up to Nottingham to face Forest a week on Tuesday. The club might have wanted their next game to come sooner so that they can continue this momentum.

Perhaps having the break will allow the likes of Rice and Gabriel time to rest these muscle concerns. Yet it is frustrating that after two weeks off with a winter break that yet another weekend of action will be missed before the Gunners play again.

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Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

I enjoy marketing, technology and business. I help businesses and brands connect with their ideal customer profiles and build products that excite them and solve their problems.