Saturday, June 22, 2024

Rice: I’m so happy for Havertz

Declan Rice says that Kai Havertz’s first goal for Arsenal was an emotional moment for all involved, as the Gunners romped to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was 2-0 when we were awarded our second penalty of the day, and after scoring one already, it looked as if Martin Odegaard would take it. However, he took time to consult with Gabriel Jesus, and handed the ball to the summer signing who has struggled to make an impact since his arrival from Chelsea.

The 24 year old put the ball down, buried the spot kick, and was mobbed by his teammates. That was immediately followed by a non-stop rendition of a Kai Havertz song from the travelling faithful.

Speaking afterwards, fellow summer arrivee Rice told the official Arsenal website, “It was emotional, for the fans, for Kai, for everyone involved, because we want him to succeed so much.

“Honestly, he works his socks off every day in training. In games he gives absolutely everything.

“He’s had chances to score this year, hadn’t scored yet, but today to slot away a penalty in that high pressure moment, shows the mindset that he’s got, shows the talent he’s got and his all-round performance was so special, I’m so happy for him.”

Mikel Arteta also thanked fans for their support of the Germany international, saying, “I’m so thankful to our supporters the way they sang his name, have made him feel in the way he has felt today and if there’s a person in a dressing room that deserve that, it’s Kai Havertz.

“We have all tried to give him support and the right tools to do what he has to do, he’s doing so many great things in the game, it was about that moment, that was the question that had to be resolved.

“Today, he’s done it and to show that level of empathy and understanding and worrying and caring for somebody, it’s just great.”

Let’s hope that eases some of the pressure on him, and he can kick on from here.

Bournemouth 0-1 Arsenal – player ratings

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Doesn’t seem like Mikel realised what exactly the supporters were singing about Havertz does it…


It’s sarcastic. They’re singing it in a positive way.


If he really is amenable to that type of banter then he’s an even better man than I thought

Var will solve the problem

I think it also tells you a lot about the captain. Arteta didn’t know Havertz was gonna take the penalty admittedly. I guess Odegaard is the one who decides who takes the penalty during the game and to think of one of one his teammate and realizing it would give Havertz such a boost shows such empathy. No fist pumping or chest thumping stuff. But a beautiful gesture. I would run through a brick wall for a captain like that! Pure class!


It’s not banter. It’s support. They include the line about how much he costs because opposition fans (and some our own fans) focus on that one issue like they were robbed to pay the 60M. This chant takes the piss of that particular talking point.

For any of our online fans to think our away fans would deride one of our players for several minutes after he scored the penalty is pretty clueless. I am amenable to having less clueless fans (oh, that’s just banter).


As a non-native English speaker, the sarcasm was also lost on me. Would’ve been better to keep the whole waka-waka song and only change the last part: Kai Havertz scores again.


Hopefully Havertz has been in England long enough to understand some of the vagaries of British humour… If not I’m sure someone can explain.


I’ve known people who lived in England far longer than Kai and still don’t fully get British humour (myself included apparently). Germans in particular find it a tough going with sarcasm. But as you say, probably someone will explain…
and then Kai Havertz scores again


I’m from Brazil and I love this kind of humour from the fans. I love Monty Python as well, since a kid. I think in Brazil the song would make sense to a lot of fans too.
The way I understood It:
“While people whine about The price tag, Havertz just keep scoring and doesn’t give a fuck about It, as should do the majority of the fans” Game on…

Var will solve the problem

Absolutely. The way I interpret is by thinking of the Most Angriest Man in Twitter yelling “60 million down the drain!”
And then Kai Havertz scores again! To shut him up !


I’m very happy for him. I’ve been critical as I think any fan would be, but I hope this helps him to kick on and become the player he was at Leverkusen for us.


The Leverkusen player is still there somewhere, he just seems more of a confidence player. Similar to Reiss Nelson, ESR. As fans we’re the ones who can help these kind of players thrive.


“Kai Havertz scores again”

He’s only scored once, though

One goal from a penalty that Odegaard should have taken doesn’t change his slow lethargic performances all season where he has produced basically nothing

He plays almost like how I would imagine a CB would play if he was asked to play AM


Just read from ESPN Stevie Nichol that the decision to let Kai took the penalty was unprofessional!! WTF ?! I LOVE the decision made by our captain and would stand by him!


Unprofessional is a strange choice of words given it’s their profession to maximise the team’s chances of winning not just this game but the coming ones, and surely raising his level of self confidence will increase those chances.

If this was the final of the Champions League then I might agree, but it wasn’t. It was Bournemouth.


Steve Nichol was absolutely right.

The team takes priority over the individual. At 2-0 the game was very much still in the balance. Either of the two designated penalty-takers, Oderguard or Saka, should have taken it. Had Havertz missed and then Bournemouth scored we would have been under pressure.

There should have been no room for sentiment: winning the match was all that mattered. Had we been 3- or 4-0 up then letting Havertz take that penalty would have been acceptable.

But not at 2-0

A Different George

Taking your comment seriously and on its own terms: Odegaard and the rest of the players believed that Havertz would score, that scoring would help restore his confidence, AND (most important) that a confident Havertz would make the team–not an individual–more successful this season. What part of that is “sentiment” rather than a completely professional determination to take advantage of every possibility to mount a title challenge?


Sorry, George, but you’re talking complete bollocks. Professional sport at the highest level is all about fine margins, especially in a low-scoring sport like soccer, Just one percent can make the difference between Winning and losing. At the professional level you should do absolutely everything you can to gain that tiny advantage, and that means making sure your best penalty-takers take the penalties. Sentiment should not come into it. Look at the ethos of ALL the great sporting teams – not just soccer – and you’ll see that the number one rule is that the team comes first. Havertz should… Read more »


Yes, Fats, but that’s a) short-termism and b) fails to take into account player psychology, which I think you are smart enough to recognise the value of. The judgement call here made by Ødegaard is that the odds of Havertz missing that penalty and the consequent negative repercussions thereof are outweighed by the likelihood of him scoring and the consequent positive repercussions thereof. 80% of penalties are scored, Havertz has taken penalties successfully before, it was a fairly low-pressure moment – those are fair winds. So if you weigh it up and say Saka has an 85% chance of scoring,… Read more »


Your post wasn’t long enough: can you please provide some more detail.


hehehe the lack of substantial retort suggests i provided enough

Bleeding gums murphy

Oh course we are thinking short term. We want to win the fecking league. The rebuilding is over. It’s now. Grab it by the horns and stop your amateur psychology


First of all “winning the league” is way more long-term than “going 3-0 up against Bournemouth in September”, and it’s exactly the kind of long-term thing “helping Havertz end his goal drought and consequently play with more freedom” was aimed at helping us do. Second of all it’s not “my psychology” when it was employed by the players, and given they employed it in a professional capacity it’s also not “amateur”. anyway I don’t want to fight you guys, I want to win the league too. I just think you’re being obstinate in underestimating the value of player psychology and… Read more »


Kai has scored 16 penalties and missed just 1 in his career. How is he not a good penalty taker? You’re talking nonsense. He was taking penalties at Bayer and he took several while he was at Chelsea. He moves to Arsenal and suddenly he’s a bad PK taker? You’re saying the best penalty-takers should be taking them. Well statistically, he’s a better PK taker than Saka. Stop this negativity and support our player, this whole thing can do him a world of good


Why are so many of Arsenal supporters like this? I don’t think modern science with all the potent antidepressants or 4-0 victories can help


You always see the glass half empty. You must be fun at parties.


If I always see the glass half empty at parties then that means that I love my booze.

That’s true.


Haha what a hoot. I’ve been reading your tedious comments on this blog for years and i think its all cybernetic posturing. My personal theory is that you’re the bastard child of Jacob rees-mogg and David Brent.

Emi Rates

“you’re the bastard child of Jacob rees-mogg and David Brent”

Now THAT is an insult!


I actually think Fats provides a good counterpoint to the general consensus and don’t really get the hate. Like yeah he drops some duds every now and then but I’d rather read his comments than “great performance COYG!” 20 times under every article. And I think he’s true to his own version of fandom – he’s been here as long as anyone can remember and I refuse to believe anyone could be that consistently disingenuous.


He prolly has a condition. I’m sure of it. We still love you fatgooner, you miserable slob


But you forgot one very important thing, Havertz has only missed one penalty in he’s professional career. So it was much more to win on it then to loose. He was playing much better after that goal.

Bleeding gums murphy

He has but this was an unnecessary risk. If we are 4 up by all means it’s a feee hit. At two nil, Havertz misses and they come back and Nick a draw his career at Arsenal would probably be fine. Confidence absolutely shattered. As much as it was a lovely gesture at 4 nil, at 2 nil when we are playing to win the league it was not wise. Glad it worked out though fats is right this time.

A Different George

But Havertz is a better penalty-taker than Saka. If you’re serious, Odegaard should never let Saka take a penalty.

Bleeding gums murphy

Context my man. Very important


Or maybe i am just feeding a troll.


It could have made some sense If we were talking about giving the ball to a CB to take the penalty, someone without proper training to do so. But, It was not the case, far from It… It seems Havertz is yet to lose a penalty at club level…
Also, I think I would take Arteta’s opinions on that matter, maybe he should know a bit more on that regard…

The Beast

Can’t be certain but I’d wager that Ødegaard, every other player on the pitch, everyone on both benches & all kit men/women may have a better idea of what it takes to compete in & win a game of professional football.


If there’s no room for sentiment, what are you doing supporting a football club? Shouldn’t you be a part of Suella’s squad?


He works very hard off the ball and contributes a lot defensively. Made some great runs, could’ve had an assist or 2, tackles, interceptions. We can all see on the ball he’s struggling. Seems to me like he goes full throttle off the ball then slows down when he’s on it. This might sound crazy considering some of his misses but he has a lot of composure in final third (not finishing). Like he can slow the game down in his mind which long term could be a real positive. When small Gabi comes back and medium Gabi moves back… Read more »


Great post. Sadly there is a minority of our fanbase who need to hate on our players. Huge difference between criticism and blind hatred because they need a good cry on the internet (even when things are going well). It’s the same every season. Between their blinkered views on Nketiah and Havertz, the AFTV crowd will have enough to keep them rabid for the whole season because both players will remain our players. Divisive bullshit. They both had good games, we’re 7 wins and 2 draws out of 9 games played, we’re one point behind Man City in the league,… Read more »


Nonsense. Kai’s performances have been improving with every game. Nothing electric, but efficient. Less back passes, and he isn’t hiding on the field anymore.


Sam Nitpicky.

Santi’s Phonebox

“Produced basically nothing”. One of our better pressers, tidy with possession, great final third passing numbers but hasn’t scored. He still has time to beat Henry and Bergkamp’s initial goal droughts. Arteta’s player responsibilities for understanding how he wants to play the game and recognizing the need for changes in the game are also strength areas fo Kai’s. He only needs to get 7 goals and 7 assists to improve on the offensive side of his position from last season. He’s already improved the off the ball work. He’s improving each game.


Then play ESR more frequently and we are going to be very happy for him too.


Top class nal, love it


I bet Havertz is absolutely shit hot in training. He’s got everything physically and technically, it just seems to be something mental holding him back. If the team and the fans can help give him the confidence to take the game by the scruff of the neck then there is an incredible player waiting to burst out.

Man Manny

I see a Kai Havertz winner against City next week. That would cement his place as an Arsenal legend already.


That would be grand! A winner from anybody would be great against those fuckers!


I’d love me a Haaland own goal. And then if only Saliba can kiss his head to celebrate/console. (Listening, God?)

djourou's nutmeg

it’s interesting how demands have changed in this club recently. im not happy with the way kai has performed so far, but he’s been playing with us for just two months. a few years back a player was given a whole season (or half one, at least) to settle and start performing. now the demands are so high that if a player doesn’t hit the ground running, he’s a waste of money and will never ever be good for us. it’s quite unrealistic and extremely unfair for players. i don’t think im being toxic by saying he hasn’t been brilliant… Read more »


Not to mention he’s been playing the 9 the last four seasons, so he’s not only still adapting to our system but also getting used to being in the midfield again.


No you are not being toxic, but your post offers some very useful perspective. There are 3 reasons why he isn’t liked by the moaners: He comes from Chelsea He cost and earns a lot of money – both 1 and 2 are not his fault, and once he starts shining will render both totally irrelevant In their blinkered and biased ‘perception’ he is keeping their favourite ESR out of the team; but there are several good reasons why Arteta is bringing ESR back slowly and gradually, and ‘Havertz must play in his position’ is not one of them. They… Read more »


Well said

Santi’s Phonebox

Nailed it.


A brave high stakes call to give it to Kai. Imagine if keeper pulled off a worldie!!! Also the more miserable moaners will no doubt soon be complaining it was only a penalty.


He is still learning the Arsenal system, and overthinking his role. Nothing is instinctive at the moment.
You got to remember he comes from the car crash that is Chel$ea, it takes a while to adjust to playing for a proper team.
He is contributing to the team and his curve is upwards.

Goodly Morning

I don’t understand the criticism or frustration with Havertz. Is it because he has that languid style of moving and is low key? Or is ot just because of his Chelski past. He is quietly coming into things now, doing well and adapting to a new system and team. Arteta will be asking for very specific things from him and we all know how ruthless he is if things are not done his way. I really trust Arteta on all of this. If Havertz stops doing what the gaffer wants he’ll be on the bench in the blink of an… Read more »


I had goosebumps watching that moment it was lovely..hope Kai kicks on from here what a great group of lads


This is an excellent example of the entire team looking out for one another. They didn’t abandon struggling Kai, reminding him that he is part of the great Arsenal family.
A proud moment for the supporters.



He genuinely looks so happy for him in that photo lol


It was a good gesture from the captain and his troops to hand the ball to Kai, this will go along the way to boost his confidence. Well done Arsenal.


For the supporters that song mean a lot.not only for the support Kai but a wake UP call to tell him this your time to show what you are capable

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