Five of Arsenal’s summer signings started the 1-0 win over Norwich, but perhaps the most eye-catching was the decision to give Aaron Ramsdale his Premier League debut.

Bernd Leno hasn’t been brilliant this season, but the defeats against Man City and Chelsea could have been even worse without some of his saves. Nevertheless, Mikel Arteta gave the nod to the £24m former Sheffield United man, and was pleased with how he responded to the occasion.

“I think he was terrific,” said the boss afterwards. “It is not only what he did on the technical side, it is what he transmits, his energy, his chemistry with the backline, how he reacts, his body language.

“I think it was top.”

It sets up an interesting dynamic now, with Leno’s future already under some doubt, it remains to be seen how he will respond, but Arteta was not making anything definitive about that situation.

“We have two fantastic goalkeepers and never forget what Bernd has done for us and what a good goalkeeper he is.

“I had to make decisions and I felt Aaron was the right one to do so and like in any other position, and that is what we decided today.

“I want to see how they perform. Now we need performances and we need to win football matches, so whoever gives better performances and whoever transmits more confidence and is more reliable will play.”

There was another Premier League debutant in the shape of Takehiro Tomiyasu, who was impressive on his first run out in red and white. Again Arteta was happy with what he got from the signing, and explained why he took him off during the second half.

“Really positive,” he said. “Just the first impression when you met him, it was just joy and happiness and good energy.

“The moment he steps on the pitch he was really focused, determined, he understands the role really good. He was cramping.

“Obviously he only trained a day and a half with us, he had to travel, and emotionally it was his first game and we had to take him off.”

It’s just one win, but it’s a small step in the right direction, with Albert Sambi Lokonga, Ben White and Martin Odegaard all impressing today too, perhaps there are some green shoots emerging.

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Bendtnerschristmastree

He wasn’t cramping, Arteta’s just making up excuses to play as many right backs as he possibly can

Stonebenge

Spanish Southgate

Azeez Is Good

Surportón

Wrighty's hats

Crampgate

Qwaliteee

The Spanish Hodgson.

Abdul bakar

the best form of defending is attacking so I was very confuse, I thought Laca should have come on. Who play could have open up space for Auba to score or score himself.

Tankard Gooner

I don’t think attacking space was a problem yesterday.. We managed to pull off 30 shots. With a little more luck and increased clinical shooting, these performances will get us more goals.

Omash

Bruv shot your word hole if can’t at the very least reason as a human being

Qwaliteee

J is for Joke.

Bendtnerschristmastree

wow, the sarcasm detection is strong in 120 of you

Joe Butler-Biggs

Yea right. Amazing how many didn’t get the sarcasm.

Maybe they’re the international commenters as apparently British sarcasm is too subtle for a lot of non Brits?

Qwaliteee

That’s putting it mildly.

A Different George

You know, like Benny Hill. Subtle.

Bendtnerschristmastree

yeah cause sarcasm is exclusive to brits

Qwaliteee

That’s Brits, not brits. 😉

Lack of Perspective

Touché.

Sarcasm = Great Britain
Not sarcasm = brexit.

Gooonah

Zing…

Azeez Is Good

I feel for Leno. I think he’s like the Djokovic of football and Arsenal. He’s been really great. He’s played some absolute blinders. But there’s something about his personality that makes it hard to love him.

That sounds harsh. I don’t mean it to. He’s just very uncharismatic and cold. And I don’t think fans warm to him as a result.

Hedgehog

Not to be rude, Djokovic the winningmost and most dominant tennis player in history. Compared to Leno as good and accomplished goalkeeper. I get the both hard to like as a fan which doesn’t matter in the slightest. I can’t get worked up really about either but it is an odd comparison.

Havyn

His weakness is lack of control over his area. The second goal we conceded against Brentford was due to his lack of control

Azeez Is Good

And being horrendously and blatantly fouled.

Azeez Is Good

I’m not saying I think he’s a world class keeper. But as a player in a failing team, he’s been in our top 3 performers every season since arriving. I can think of a couple of goals he’s been at fault for but apart from that, he’s been very good.

But, as I said, there’s something about him that’s hard to adore. And I think Ramsdale’s first interview just magnified that.

Bleeding gums murphy

He’s not good enough and I’m absolutely delighted Arteta is getting one call right. He got it wrong letting martinez go and he is now putting that right.

Vaibhav Pandey

It was Martinez’s call. Of course being a manager, I would need more proof from a player than championing 10 matches. If Emi wanted to leave good, we got good money too.

Guy

I dont think so at all. I find him a very likable guy to be honest.
Think he also has charisma, steely cold charisma.
But I dont mind Ramsdale starting, we need to figure which one of them works best in this team.
Leno is a great goalkeeper, but doesnt always work so well in the team. Maybe Ramsdale does…he did today anyway.

Merlin’s Panini

Nah, Djokovic is ruthless and seems like a massive twat. The way he shouts at ball boys/girls and acts like a prima donna is embarrassing.
Leno is none of those things. He’s a very good shot stopper but not commanding enough in his area (Brentford case in point). He seems like an alright, fairly subdued, guy and that’s about it.

Azeez Is Good

The comparison was really because I heard an interview once where Djokovic said he didn’t understand why he wasn’t more loved. He felt like the crowd almost always cheered for the opposing player. He recounted all his grandslams he had won as if the crowd should love him because he was very successful.

I think Leno might feel a bit like this too. He’s rarely put a foot wrong but he’s no ones favourite player and we are extremely critical the moment he has a wobble.

But I respect everyones disagreement with the comparison.

...and really bad eggs

While I agree that he’s better than most fans give him credit for. He does this think where he holds unto the ball a little longer than he should. Almost like he wants the opposition striker to press him before he passes. Now if this is done as a tactic to create an advantage for us, or he’s trying to find a good pass, it doesn’t work. It only serves to increasingly put more pressure on the backline and creates anxiety with the defenders. Compare that with Ramsdale today, quick passing. Long or short pass, he made the decision very… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

Absolutely, good keeper, excellent shot stopper just average or poor in every other other department, coming and claiming crosses, distribution, commanding his area, creating calmness in defence etc. He is a tad more reliable than Almunia. He was also great shot stopper. Lot of hope for ramsdale and I own I was against his signing.

Daveo

Leno is a little like xhaka. He has some really strong areas (shot stopping and reaction saves and positioning), but there are some alarming weaknesses (decision making: error prone, command of area, distribution, and communication, I’d also add his inclination to punch/push the ball a bit too often). Leni is a good GK, not great.
Ramsdale is raw, and from the analysis of his game in scouting videos it seems his positioning needs a little work, but he is strong across the board and distribution and communication look great. Ramsdale time.

Hakuna Matata

It doesn’t hurt that rams is British and leno is not

Daveo

I’m not so doesn’t bother me (and I lived in Germany for 3 years).

Matthinc

Error prone?? Distribution? Agree about punching and command of area but you’re overstating things

Matthinc

I agree man! He’s quality and doesn’t get the respect.

Stonebenge

Maitland Niles was impressive aswell

Russ

I think if he gets a few good games in him he’ll soon show his potential 👍

Abdul bakar

Lol not bad , he was sloppy in possession ND he’s decision making was poor as well. He lack match sharpness but a moral boost for him to finally play at the middle for arsenal more things to come

Daveo

He’s not the guy I’d like is depending on in the middle of the pitch. He’s good defensively and positionally, but passing and technically he just doesn’t have it to be that dominant midfielder we need. Decent rotational piece in midfield abs RB though.

Lokonga on the other hand. Wow! What a player we have. Can’t wait to see him and partey.

Wrighty's hats

I thought he slotted in to the setup today better than Xhaka or Elneny to be honest – fast passing, some good balls over the top, mobile. Sure he had some wobbles but it was his first time starting in that position for us and nothing terrible happened because of those few misplaced passes. I would be happy to see him there again, probably only against lower level opposition for a while though. He looked dangerous at RB too – just happy in general that he stayed at the club this season.

Matthinc

I like the lad, but he is often sloppy in possession, and hasn’t ever got the standard he needed to to nail down a place. I’d have sold him for anything between 15m-20m. Hope we still can. Obvs happy to eat my hat if he comes good this year.

Funsho Patrick

I’ll have him over xhaka! All day, every day! More mobile.. doesn’t slow the game down…and has a higher ceiling….

Jack

That’s a long winded way of saying ‘Ramsdale is no 1 now’

Andy

ramsdale has commited himself to the project. leno hasn’t. i’m sure that has to be at the front of arteta’s mind. i like leno but have to say i have been impressed with ramsdale. he has a big personality and he dominates his box and never stops talking to his defence. he could be a big difference maker for us.

Daveo

Long may it last. He was a breath of fresh air at the back today. Excuded confidence. Exact opposite of Leno.

Bishop

I have said this and will shout this on the mountain top. Give Arteta enough time to work with this group.

We are going to have the unavoidable abysmal performances but if the team shows improvements, fighting spirit and a clear playstyle, I will give Arteta another season even if we finish 8th again

Rich

Keeping key players fit is going to dictate Arteta’s future, and how this season pans out

I want Arteta to be given time to work with the new players, and to see out the end of the season, but if he doesn’t get minimum Europa League, then his position becomes untenable

Bendtnerschristmastree

Shouldn’t we expect to see this already? I mean, it’s been two years.

Wrighty's hats

It’s been a crazy two years with crazy PL fixture schedules, plus he’s had to shift things around with the squad, getting to know who could be trusted to come along with him and his plan. I’ll never understand his persistence in playing Willian so many times when he kept playing poorly, but it’s clear that it’s taken some time to figure out who to sell (and actually manage to get them off our payroll), who to buy, and to form the team he wants. I feel like we caught a glimpse of it today though and I like it… Read more »

Joe Butler-Biggs

I assume he was training well, and his quality was clear in game 1 and his whole career. I guess he was just taking a risk, despite poor form, with the potential reward of a peak Willian worth taking

Wrighty's hats

Good point – I was excited when he was signed and after that first game v Fulham hopeful that we would have the Willian I was always impressed by at Chelsea. But even if he was training well, match after match he was playing awfully (even if he might have had 1 or 2 good contributions each outing) and it got to the point where I couldn’t understand it anymore – that risk didn’t seem worth it, even if there was a chance of peak Willian showing up. It sounds like all involved, including Arteta and Willian, have admitted that… Read more »

Icy

Men, just support the Club not manager!

Mpls

Two years of massive change. This is what a rebuild is.
We all knew the club needed it. We also knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

Kaj

This is really his first year with a team that he’s built. Our back four is his, GK his, spanking new midfield, apart from AMN, and rest of the team basically academy graduates from. This is the season that we judge him; past seasons were transitioning and rebuilding. On another note, as much as I appreciate Xhaka’s ability, he is quite limited and Lokonga is a more mobile, positionally aware and quicker distributor of the ball. We have to move on from Xhaka. I would like to think that handing him a long term contract was just an economical ploy… Read more »

A Different George

I think Xhaka’s most important ability (and why every manager, club and country, always choose him) is to protect the centre-halves positionally; he is very good at screening, at dropping between them, and at protecting the left side. (I know he has fine passing range too, but I don’t think that’s why he starts.) He’ll continue to be picked until he have confident, ball-playing centre-halves and a midfielder who can think about moving forward without Xhaka alongside him for security. I hope we now have that in Gabriel, White, and Partey. If so, the formation is Partey behind three of… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I’m strongly ‘Arteta In’ but nah if we finish 8th again it will be time for a change. This current squad shouldn’t be finishing behind West Ham or Leicester.

We’re miles away from the top 4 but we should give them up the road a run for 5th.

IceCoolMilkyT

Why are abysmal performances unavoidable?

Adam

It all comes down to fighting spirit and clear signs of a concept of play that we as fans can buy into. One thing is winning (I obviously like that) but ohh how I miss the days when Arsenal was fun and beautiful to watch.

Qwaliteee

I think Bishop deserves a round of applause for getting his ton.

21 hours at the crease.

Icy

Ohh shut up!

Giuseppe Hovno

It is weird to me why Leno has stopped transmitting confidence but he really has. I’m sure he used to be confident.

Public Elneny

I think a lot of that is to do with the personnel he’s been working with

He’s had to work with Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Luiz, Sokratis, Xhaka, Mari, Kolasinac, Elneny, Cedric etc. Their limitations, brainfarts and constant, unnecessary backpasses

I think if Leno played today with this defence/midfield/opposition he would look much the same as Ramsdale did. I don’t think we’ve learned much about Ramsdale yet, he hasn’t been put under much pressure. But early signs are encouraging

Giuseppe Hovno

What you say makes sense and I agree with you except for that I think if Leno had been out there today he would still have lost confidence. He’s just lost that part of him. Needs a change to somewhere else

Public Elneny

Perhaps, can’t really say. But there was only one occasion Ramsdale came under pressure from a shite backpass and he dealt with it with a slightly lax first touch and semi-convincing shimmy that Leno would probably be slaughtered for making. Leno has been getting multiples of those backpasses every game for ages Maybe he can be rehabilitated with some time behind a more capable defence and midfield. It feels like such a shame to give up on a keeper as talented as him, coming into what should be his prime years too. I feel like people are forgetting how good… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

It’s sad, I think ever since that injury his confidence has never recovered. I’m sure it wouldn’t have helped his confidence that Martinez played so well while he was out and that Leno only got to come back into the starting line-up when Martinez was sold. Hopefully healthy competition between these two will help rather than hinder our prospects.

Ben

I love Leno, really do. And I hope he picks up again.

My Favorite Martin

Solid assessment of what Leno had to work with, but in that situation I’d expect him to be more of a boss, take charge more forcefully to try and get that dumpster fire under control. I’m generally not a “body language” critic especially as long as the player is producing, but maybe I am with the keeper?

Qwaliteee

All that backpassing..? That, my friend, is Arteta’s instructions.

Quick question. We all know that Granit Xhaka is shit. So why does he play differently for Switzerland…?

In your own time, mate…

Public Elneny

You know I wasn’t defending Arteta right? I was defending Leno Every PL team knows we try to play out of the back through Xhaka. That he can’t turn or dribble anyone, can be pressured into errors, but mostly just passes that pressure back to the defence and GK. The most basic tactic every team now uses against us is to press him tightly, confident that the space left behind won’t be exploited. Xhaka isn’t limiting his game by playing the way he does for us, he just doesn’t have the skillset to evade the press. For Switzerland, for whatever… Read more »

Qwaliteee

I have always backed Leno – a lot of people easily forget how he kept a lot of score lines respectable when we had Mustafi and Co doing the level best to fuck up the gig. I’ve additionally always thought that these goalkeeper shenanigans could have been easily avoided by keeping Martinez as the first choice and offering to improve his deal. You have good players – you make it worth their while to stay. Arteta’s playing from the back clearly doesn’t work when we face anyone decent as evidence at Man City (and against Chelsea) when we began hoofing… Read more »

Runzac

It is a statement to play all the new signings. Look to the future it says. I am patient and I am a supporter

Atom

The narrative definitely is ignore the past 2 years as we’re in full blown project youth.

Daveo

It’s frustrating because we should have been doing this (project youth, high Tempo football) at the start of each of the last two seasons. We’ve both been saying exactly that. But man that was actually fun. Even at 0-0 I was thinking of this is a draw I can deal with it because we’re actually seeing something different and not the fans old failures and the style was positive, high Tempo and attacking. Today I’m happy because I saw everything I’ve been asking for. Mikel has his lifeline. The real test comes in 2 games when xhaka is eligible again…… Read more »

Atom

Yep. Fully support project youth. However we need to ask if he’s the right guy to oversee it.

Bleeding gums murphy

I’m with ya, personally praying he is moving on from Xhaka and realising we cannot progress with a man who is slower than a sloth 🦥 on Valium marshalling our midfield. I’m hoping that part of me that thinks he will recall Xhaka against the scum is just being projected from a historical wound.

Zenithreptile

We are staying up!!!

Public Elneny

Tomiyasu is really the best kind of signing – relatively cheap, low profile, quite young but not totally green, and obviously quality right from the start. The sort of signing Wenger built our success on for his 1st decade or so, and Dortmund their CL finalist/Bundesliga winning team When someone says “we should replace Xhaka but there’s no one better for £13m”, well the solution is the CM equivalent of Tomiyasu, or Koscielny, Sagna, Ljungberg etc. There are always signings like these to be made, even if they fly under the radar of us plebs. Basically the reason you need… Read more »

Giuseppe Hovno

I’d say Lokonga has all those qualities too!

FezzyB

Santi Cazorla was signed for 10m!
And Giroud for 12. There’s value to be had if you can find it

Daveo

Who’d have thought scouts might be useful? What a matter strike from edu to hire a head hunting firm to try abs find us a few more scouts…

Andy

if we can put another couple of good results together xhaka is really going to struggle to get into this team. the biggest problem with him is we have to re-arrange so many things when he plays in order to compensate for his weaknesses. i expect we re-signed him with the hope of getting a better offer for him in january or next summer.

Daveo

I never want to see that guy play for arsenal again (of course he will). Its just not enjoyable on all many levels.

...and really bad eggs

Agree with you, just one part you missed out – the player’s club must be willing to sell or the player willing to join the club. Sadly, right now our reputation is not at a high and a number of players are not looking to join us.

I highly suspect there were a couple of players we went if for during the summer where everything worked out, but the player was not just interested.

Abdul bakar

There is still room for improvement, lots of misplaced passes, not being sharp in there box we should be more clinical in taken our chances. At least we should be scoring those half chances. They have not gel as a team but I love the fighting spirit.Good debut for Ramsdale & Tomiyasu he’s going to be an important player for us. Mikel substitution were off AMN should have finish the match, Cedric coming for him? I don’t get it we need goals so I taught laca should have come on. Not convincing but it’s a step at the right direction.… Read more »

Giuseppe Hovno

Wasn’t AMN cramping up?

Andy

AMN was completely knackered. you could see he was struggling to get back down the pitch just before he got hooked.

Can’t see Leno sticking around to be #2 so that’s probably him back to the Bundesliga next summer after the Turkish press link him with 10 different Turkish clubs.

It’s a pity Okwonko or Hein didn’t go out on loan for the season to see what they’re made of and to see if they can step up to be #2.

Hein by many accounts had a terrific performance for Estonia against Wales during the week.

Andy

i’d be happy with hein as number 2 – he has been doing great for estonia at a very young age. very few teams have a top quality keeper as a backup.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

The issue with Hein is when and how often is he going to get full games this season.

Leno will now get the cup matches, Okwonko played for the Under-23’s yesterday so seemingly is the #1 choice for them, so that leaves Hein with just a handful of Estonia games.

Perhaps a January loan to a Championship club.

Andy

i think we are waiting on him to sign a new contract too.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

In that case, that should be at the top of Edu and Richard Garlick’s current inbox.

Daveo

Leno seemed to have no interest sticking around anyway. Ed sheeran all day everyday.

Fuhgedaboudit

Leno’s big problem is with the ball at his feet and moving the ball out from the back. Poor decision making.

Prakhar

I like these signings where there is no two year adjustment period.
Tomiyasu & Odegaard are going to be transformational.

Andy

i thought odegaard was really good today. he is the guy who links everything up. super smart player and he works his socks off too. i really think we got a bargain there. would love to see us play more with the midfield we finished with – partey as the boss with esr and odegaard pulling the strings ahead of him. i remember when arteta came in everyone was saying this is how he wanted to set his team up – with 2 tricky number 8’s and a dominator behind them.

Daveo

Sambi is already by far and away the 2nd best midfielder on this team. Can we make our bench out of granit?

Nainsley Aitland Miles

A granit bench, on Lenolium flooring, in holding chambers.

Viju Jacob

😁😁

Daveo

Maybe we could Mari the granit bench and Lenolium flooring in the holding chambers while downing a glass of Kola?

BillyKrystal

Oh Tomiyasu
You are better than Cafu
Cedric we’ll see you

Andy

cedric saved ben white’s ass today. just sayin.

BillyKrystal

I wrote that haiku
cause I like Tomiyasu
but Cedric is poo

Parisian Weetabix

Cedric scored twice in the behind closed doors friendly against Brentford, put some respect on his name.

Mikels Arteta

AMN is not a midfielder

Andy

i hope he will realise this himself soon enough and, if we are successful, i imagine he will be quite happy to become one of the managers favourites who can do a solid job in multiple positions.

Mpls

He made some terrible ‘passes’ today, and dallied in possession several times again. Hopefully some playing time and reminders from his coach and teammates can drive those out of him.

He may get some cup games but I don’t think he’ll be getting any more CM starts in the Premier League unless we’re missing 3 other players.

He’ll come in useful in January though when Partey and Elneny will be at the ANC.

Partey starting next week at Burnley will be massive.

Qwaliteee

Listen. I got a secret. Sshhh. I’ll whisper it to you. Ready?

He doesn’t want to play at Right Back.

Torterrier

Sambi needs some praise, he looks such a clever signing. I really hope he can put in a great performance alongside Partey in the next game so Arteta can’t not pick them both against Sp*ds. The thought of Xhaka coming back into the lineup gives me nightmares.

Daveo

Sambi has been nothing short of exceptional in his 3 games. He’s so calm on the ball, incredible at turning players and finding space (press resistant), has that glide across the ground to his movement – shades of Díaby/Vieira, positionally he’s excellent, and strong in the challenge. We have our midfielder!!!

Qwaliteee

Xhaka could well be the final sword Arteta falls on.

What an irony that would be.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

If Arteta starts Partey/Lokonga against Sp*ds, and we lose, fans will be angry of course but long-term it won’t really have an impact on Arteta’s job (unless it’s say 0-3).

If however, Arteta throws Xhaka back into the first 11, and we lose, there will be heightened outrage and a significant black mark against his name.

So I could see Mikel playing it safe and just going with Partey/Lokonga in the next couple of Premier League games.

Maitland-Niles and Charlie Patino can play in the middle against Wimbledon.

Qwaliteee

If Arteta wants a smooth ride from the Arsenal fans in the future, he’d do well to give Xhaka the cones, the bibs, the drinks cooler and the keys to the Colney lawnmower and tell him he can count himself lucky to be playing in the stiffs.

But, you know what? I reckon he’ll play Xhaka as soon as he possibly can. That being the case, le’s just say, in the grand scheme of things, I won’t be shedding too many tears – if you know what I mean. 😉

Viju Jacob

😁😁

Daveo

If arteta throws out xhaka against spurs that should be akin to him signing his resignation letter.

Good result also for Saliba yesterday; 2-0 win away at Monaco. And he’s got a Europa League fixture to look forward to this week.

Jordan 23

And don’t forget Guendouzi he is flourishing. Marseille are a great watch this season under Sampaoli. The Argentine coach is getting a tune out of the 2 young Frenchmen and Payet is rolling back the years displaying that flair that he showed in East London.
I’d recommend catching them this season if you get a chance. They could make an unlikely title challenge in France this season (if Lille could do it last season why not) especially with trophy averse Poch in charge in the capital.