Arsenal’s Partey requires better security to stop Emirates gatecrashers

By on November 4, 2021

thomas partey arsenal

Ambition is to be applauded. Without the odd calculated risk, nothing of any note is ever achieved. There is, however, a fine line to be trodden between adventure and adversity. Points still make prizes, but a lack of them will deliver a P45.

Mikel Arteta knows as much and is fully aware that, in the cut-throat business of Premier League management, he is only one untimely stumble away from finding himself on the wrong side of that divide.

The Emirates expect the best, as does Arteta, and the Spaniard needs no reminding of how fickle life at the top can be. The flavour of the month – or manager of it in Arteta’s case – to public enemy number one: it does not take long to hit a slippery slope.

In order to avoid this dismal deterioration, Arsenal must find a winning formula and establish the kind of consistency that has been missing in north London for longer than many care to remember. The Gunners have been scratching around for those intangibles for far too long.

What is the answer?

Injuries and suspensions will always happen, as will loss of form from certain individuals. Sometimes, tactical tweaks will be made for no other reason than those calling the shots fancy a change and to try something different.

A combination of those factors resulted in Arteta fielding a starting XI against Crystal Palace that was loaded with creativity and attacking talent. On paper, there looked to be only one outcome. In reality, familiar cracks appeared.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang delivered a dream start and in the opening 20 minutes, it appeared as though the Gunners could blast their way through local rivals with a performance full of energy and vigour. The Eagles, though, took flight.

Martin Odegaard is many things, but a holding midfielder he is not. The Norwegian can prosper in a deep-lying role, the kind that fits that archetypal ‘quarterback’ mould that has become so fashionable in modern football.

He does, however, require legs around him to do the dirty work – to track back and put tackles in, allowing his playmaking ability to shine through and impact proceedings at the opposite end of the field.

According to the outright markets for football bets from Space Casino, Arsenal are currently priced at 149/1 odds to be crowned the outright winners of the Premier League and 27/5 for that coveted top-four finish. There’s time yet this season for them to cement their status as worthy contenders, but there will need to be some serious changes to ensure they’re at their best in the coming months.

More changes on the way?

The Gunners’ decision to go bold against Palace was an exciting one, but they did miss an extra body alongside Thomas Partey. The Ghanaian international is yet to fully adjust to the demands of life in England and will need bailing out occasionally.

That assistance was not there against Palace – as highlighted by the costly mistake that allowed Christian Benteke to restore parity – and more needs to be done to plug leaks in that area of the field. Albert Sambi Lokonga has been seeing game time but started on the bench versus the Eagles.

Shoehorning Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka into the same team may, for now, not be the right approach.

The graft is as important as guile for the Gunners at present, with there still plenty of positives to be taken from Alexandre Lacazette ensuring that an unbeaten run is extended to six games in all competitions and the Champions League spots remain within sight, if not quite touching distance.

The party is not over for Arsenal, but better security is going to be required if gatecrashers are to be kept out and a final dance taken in.