Mikel Arteta himself couldn’t have penned a more perfect return to the Champions League, even if the weather was crap. Four goals, the first from the boy turned man Bukayo Saka and then three goals of pure quality. A clean sheet, three points and our European campaign is underway and in some style.
Before that though, in equally poor weather, we made the tricky trip to Goodison Park. But its not always been that way. Older readers will remember a time when it felt like we simply couldn’t lose up there. Year in, year out we went up there and won. Playing brilliantly, playing poorly, it simply didn’t matter. We always took the points. Fast forward to more recent times and our last win there came under on Arsene Wenger. Their thuggish, often brutal style caused us problems. We all remember those times when we got labelled “soft” by all and sundry. No more.
I’m paying no attention to the goalkeeping decision before we start but it was far from a classic display. But it was a very classic score line. We huffed and puffed but lacked a cutting edge. Everton offered even less and if that’s the way they play all season, it’s going to be a long one. This however, is an Arsenal blog. I always felt like we’d eventually get the ball over the line and boy did we. Leandro Trossard whose stock simply gets higher with every game at the moment, expertly guided the ball into the corner. This of course sparked wild celebrations in the away end. We held on but realistically we were never in trouble.
There was some good news today ahead of Sundays game against Middlesex FC, with club captain Martin Odegaard signing a new deal keeping him with us until 2028. Fantastic news for all parties involved.
But now attention is firmly on that lot up the road. They’ve got a new boss and a new look but hopefully we get the same result as last year. I’ll be back with a post match blog but until then get behind the boys.