Arteta at last saw the light and reacted well to Arsenal going a man down after Gabriel’s sending off in the second half. A draw is a start for the gunners in the long road to climbing up the table. I firmly believe they have the personnel to do this. They now need a manager who can instill the discipline necessary to achieve this. Whether Arteta is the right man or not is still debatable. Arsenal indiscipline is in the club’s DNA in my opinion. It dates back to the days of George Graham and Arsene Wenger. The only difference between then and now is that Arsenal had great and experienced players capable of holding their own even with a team of ten. Talk about Adams, Keown, Viera, Parlour.I am not trying to belittle the current crop of gunners but the likes of Gabriel, Holding, Ceballos can only dream of reaching the later group’s heaghts.
On the match at the Emirates on Wednesday. The Saints were all over the gunners in the second half and should have gone to the break at least two up. Their goal came from who else but former Arsenal stalwart Theo Walcott. Walcott did well to stay onside after being put through by Adams to clip the ball above Leno. Pepe started for Arsenal along with Nketiah which was a wise move by Arteta given Aubameyang’s lack of goals. The Ivorian came the closest as the first half drew to a close but his side foot finish only found the hands of McCarthy.Ward-Prowse was at his best from set pieces. SOUTHAMPTON are a first half side and their intention was clear. Put daylight between themselves and ARSENAL as quick as possible before half time. That unfortunately did not materialise.
The half time pep talk by Arteta seemed to work wonders as Arsenal were the best team in the first ten minutes of the second half.Bukayo Saka is the only player that can stand up and say I am an ARSENAL PLAYER in this game. The young left back’s (he was playing more as a winger)run set up the equalizer for Aubameyang. He fed Nketiah whose flip set up Auba to place the ball in McCarthy’s left side of the goal.1-1. Ten minutes later, a moment of madness from Brazilian defender Gabriel. On a yellow card tightrope he held on to Walcott after the Saint’s winger had gotten the better of him after a tussle in midfield with no apparent danger to the Arsenal goal. Southampton now went for the winner all guns blazing such that Vestergaard and the impressive Bednarek were playing more as midfielders than center backs.The closet to scoring came from Redmond who came in for Walcott. He struck the post after great vision by Spaniard Romeu with a chip, with Leno beaten hands down. Saints goalie McCarthy was also beaten all hands down by Rob Holding in injury time but his header from a peach of a Saka free kick struck the cross bar. If it had gone in imagine the load that would have been off Arsenal’s back.