Arsenal’s summer business has vastly improved Arteta’s squad and made the Gunners stronger than last season.
Seeing Declan Rice start at midfield, playing the No. 6 role, Jurrien Timber start at left-back, and Kai Havertz playing the No. 8 role, It is obvious so far that the recruits have all settled in and have reinforced the positions they ought to have, as was widely expected with their arrivals.
Timber (before he exited the field due to injury) and Rice excelled; if you didn’t know anything about Arsenal or their acquisition but watched them yesterday, you would have thought they were just at Arsenal all along, considering how in sync they were with the other players. Kai Havertz wasn’t remarkable, but he will no doubt grow from strength to strength, one game at a time.
We may have seen the three in clearly defined roles on Saturday, but remember how versatile they are. Timber can play almost everywhere in the backline; Rice can switch from playing a holding midfielder role to a box-to-box midfielder role when called upon, and Havertz can play as a false nine, a winger, or an attacking midfielder.
Last season, Arteta opted to be rigid with his line-up and formation, which got him back to contending for the Premier League.
This new season, with someone like Thomas Partey being played at right back and Tomiyasu being played at left back, squad rotation could now be the foundation for Arteta’s tactics this season.
With the squad Arteta now boasts, it will take time for teams to break down what he’s trying to do, just as much as us Arsenal fans were confused by his starting line-up on Saturday!
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