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Arsenal must learn from Aston Villa mistakes as Odegaard provides the key details and the Gunners captain believe Arsenal can still win the Premier League…



Arsenal has the opportunity to learn from Aston Villa’s mistakes and make necessary adjustments. Odegaard’s pivotal role in the team provides key details for their success. The Gunners’ captain maintains a strong belief in Arsenal’s ability to triumph in the Premier League.


Arsenal’s defeat against Aston Villa serves as a valuable lesson for the team. Although the Gunners displayed dominance in the first half, their failure to convert their chances into goals proved costly.


Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, and Bukayo Saka all came close to scoring, while Ollie Watkins and Youri Tielemans hit the woodwork before Villa’s two goals shattered Arsenal’s hopes of winning the title.


The second half performance raises concerns and demands an explanation for the drastic change in the team’s performance. While the focus is often on Tielemans’ near miss and Villa’s goals, it is important not to overlook the start of the second half.


During this period, Gabriel Jesus attempted to win a penalty from Diego Carlos, a moment that has been somewhat forgotten amidst the subsequent events.


The standout moments from the second period included Tielemans’ shot hitting the bar and post, as well as two goals from Villa. On the other hand, the beginning of the second half, which has been overlooked, featured Gabriel Jesus attempting to earn a penalty from Diego Carlos.


The Brazilian appeared to have been fouled by his fellow countryman, but the incident did not warrant a penalty for Arsenal. Following this, Martin Odegaard had an opportunity from a free-kick after John McGinn committed a foul on the edge of the box.


Despite Tielemans’ goal being wedged between two Arsenal chances, the Gunners were unable to capitalize. The first opportunity came from a corner, with Rice taking a wild swing at the ball on the edge of the box, and the second was a great chance for Jesus that was saved by Emi Martinez.


However, the turning point of the match, in my opinion, was when Martin Odegaard was taken out of the game, not by substitution but by a kick to the chest from Watkins. Odegaard remained on the field for over 10 minutes after the incident, during which neither team created many chances, but the impact of the Norwegian’s injury was clearly felt by Arsenal.


During the matchday blog, I had expressed optimism by stating “the signs are positive” in the 70th minute. However, it wasn’t until the 84th minute, five minutes after Odegaard was substituted, that Leon Bailey finally broke the deadlock.


This reflection has caused me to reevaluate not just the second half, but the entire game. By the end of the match, I found myself questioning what had transpired during the second period. Surprisingly, it was the final 10 minutes of regular time that made all the difference.


Instead of bringing on a player like Fabio Vieira, who I assumed would be more similar in style to Odegaard, Mikel Arteta opted for Emile Smith Rowe. Unfortunately, Smith Rowe made little impact, just like Takehiro Tomiyasu who replaced Ben White (in my opinion, the wrong full-back substitution at that moment).


When Arsenal failed to clear the corner they had initially defended, they were caught off guard. Oleksandr Zinchenko found himself isolated on the right side of the Arsenal box instead of the left, creating a significant gap for Bailey to exploit. He managed to sneak behind Rice unnoticed and slot the ball in, as no one was able to clear the low cross. Kai Havertz also failed to intercept the cross at its source.


Arteta made the decision to substitute Zinchenko only after this crucial goal. However, before he could make the change, the game took a turn as Zinchenko, who was positioned high up the pitch, passed the ball to Jorginho, who carelessly gave it away. This allowed Watkins to break free and score a fantastic goal.


This goal served as a reminder of Leroy Sane’s impressive runs for Bayern Munich, which Arsenal must address before their upcoming match on Wednesday. As they face the former German champions, they cannot afford to make similar mistakes again, as it would have disastrous consequences.


Considering Zinchenko’s performance and Jakub Kiwior’s struggles against Sane, it seems likely that Tomiyasu will be brought in to play at left-back. Reflecting on the Villa game, it wasn’t a complete disaster in the second half, but rather a chaotic final 10 minutes.


It remains frustrating and disappointing to witness the team drop points, but it does offer some perspective and room for comparison. Last season, there were instances where the team struggled, such as the 3-3 draw against Southampton at home.


During the match against West Ham United, a West Ham victory seemed more probable than an Arsenal win. The games against Brighton at home and Nottingham Forest away were particularly disappointing.


Therefore, when people claim that Arsenal is repeating past mistakes or experiencing a déjà vu of last season, I fail to see the similarities. The team is still just two points away from the top spot and has a chance to progress to the Champions League semi-finals.


What is crucial now is for the team to not let this setback affect their performance in the upcoming league matches and European competitions. If this match ends up being the one that costs us the title, so be it, as long as both Arsenal and Man City continue to win their remaining games.


However, should we discard it at this point and fail to perform up to par in the remaining matches, it will undoubtedly be a difficult pill to accept. The ball is in Arsenal’s court now.