Saturday, February 24, 2024

Arteta: Havertz is a great example for the team

At full time at the Community Stadium, Mikel Arteta frog marching Kai Havertz towards the away fans to soak up their appreciation was a real sight to behold.

The German, a late substitute, had just scored Arsenal’s winner against Brentford with a close-range header and the relief was palpable.

For a player who has battled with confidence issues since his £65 million move, his telling contribution fully earned him the moment in the spotlight.

While it’s too early to suggest the manager was right to allocate so much of his summer budget to recruiting the 24-year-old, all parties will hope this to be a turning point in his career at the Emirates.

For the supporters, so willing to sing Havertz’s name, both in celebration and occasionally with tongue in cheek, there was also a welcome opportunity to blow off some steam at the end of a tight match that threatened to go the way of the hosts.

“He fully deserves it,” said Arteta of the love shown to Havertz from the travelling Gooners.

“When you’re there and sometimes you have to face it, he’s done it, he’s faced it, he didn’t hide. So now go and face the beautiful moment because you fully deserve it. I knew he wasn’t going to do that, so I had to push him!”

Arteta was also asked about the significance of Havertz’s cameo and whether this strike means more than his first goal; a penalty at Bournemouth back in September.

“Yes, but I think that’s the beauty of it,” he replied.

“When things come easy, you don’t value them. If things would have come easier today, he’s [probably] not getting the reception that he got; everybody hugging him and cuddling him, and telling him how much we love him, and it’s for a reason.

“It’s because of the way he behaves in difficult moments and he’s an example for all of us to do what you have to do when you have difficulties, and he’s a great example for the team, and we cannot be happier that a big player like him wins the game for the team.”

Arriving at Arsenal, Havertz had a reputation for being a creative player with a preference for sitting behind the attacking unit. At the same time, he’d spent much of last season leading the line for a disjointed Chelsea side. For the Gunners, he’s already played in three positions and in midweek for his country, he found head coach Julian Nagelsmann deploying him as a left-back and left wing-back.

He’s versatile, there’s no doubting that, but pinpointing his best position is proving a head-scratcher.

“Well first of all, it’s one of his qualities, because a player that can play in different positions needs a lot of qualities to be able to do that,” said Arteta.

“He puts his head down and drives the team, and he needs to do that in any position that I ask of him.

“He’s not the only one though, I asked Jorginho to play three minutes. I said “Jorgi”, and by the time he’s done that, he’s taken everything and he’s ready to go. It’s just a joy of a team to work with.”


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Let him settle in and then judge. Bergkamp took a lot of games before he scored his first Arsenal goals (v Southampton, I was there!) and was criticised for that. Obviously it would be tough for him to reach Denis’s levels but I reckon he can be an importatnt player for us once settled.

Naked Cygan

I remember that day. It was a start of a beautiful journey for the legend Dennis Bergkamp. I still go back and watch his goals. We were so lucky to have him and combine his playing same time with Henry……. amazing times.

Bleeding gums murphy

It was his tenth game without scoring. Stuart fuckface Pearce made his famous statement “Bergkamp is a waste of money” the Fa later made him manager in england set up. Cxxts


his parents really set him up to fail with that middle name

Only one Dennis Bergkamp

I don’t think it’s humanly possible to reach Dennis’ levels (such was the technical mastery and elegance of that God) but even if he reaches 20% of where Dennis was, we’d have got ourselves a brilliant player and a fantastic bargain.


One game faster to his first Arsenal goal than T. Henry

Naked Cygan

He scored his first against Bournemouth. This was his 2nd Premier League goal.


Haha that’s a comfortable straw to clutch onto.


Arteta is a great manager. I don’t like hime aniway, because he is always right.. but after the Nketiah thing, we must eat our hat again! I love the taste! COYG!


He told us all along but sometimes we can’t handle the truj.

Gavin Mcadam

No read all the post-game press or see the after game footage, but did MA shower Ramsdale with the love? He certainly needs it just now, as much as Havertz, if no more.


I’ve lost count of how many times a sub has come on and scored for us this season. It really highlights Arteta’s ideology on having ‘finishers’. Players are coming off the bench not only knowing exactly what they need to do but more importantly they seem to believe they will execute.

A Different George

I think it’s partly because some of our players–Martinelli is the best example–are “exhausters.” You’re the opposition right fullback, you’ve been trying to run with him on the outside for 70 minutes, and now you have to follow Trossard making his constant runs. Your legs and, more important, your mind is really tired.

Dr. Gooner

I belive this is by design. Arteta is saving some of his powder this season, both over the course of the season and in individual games.

But it’s not just the individuals, it’s also that Arsenal as a team begin to take more risks and the opposition is obviously not as quick to close down as they were. The combination of all of those things means those late goals are all but inevitable against teams that we have pinned in all game.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Yes he is a long may it continue as we’ll need him contributing if we have any chance of winning the league.

Massive kudos for the immense away fans support of Ramsdale. Until he unfortunately is forced to leave to ensure his international career stats on track, he’ll always be our true warrior No1.
Not Raya. Never. Bland, uninspiring and makes just as many errors.


Not just the managers but the fans are emotional beings too. We have no responsibility of course but entitled to our opinion. The thing I don’t like at all is how much The Arsenal is vasting talented keepers. (Fabianski, Sczesny, Ospina, Martinez etc.)


Please don’t put Ospina and Fabianski in the same class as either Martinez and Szczesny.

A Different George

I don’t think that much of Martinez; there’s a reason he spent all those years at Arsenal without ever challenging for the top spot. Decent shop stopper (though on the low-average end for a typical keeper at any big club), very good on high crosses and corners (which is why he looks good to the average fan), very suspect with his feet, generally not a good distributor. Well above average on penalties, especially if the referee allows his shithousing, the single area where he is genuinely among the best. Also he scores last-minute headers to win games, and I certainly… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

I thought it was a joke that he won the Lev Yashin trophy. He’s a good player, but nowhere close to the best in the world.


You said you don’t rate him that highly and then went on to describe what seems like a pretty good keeper? Not top rung for sure, but any keeper who can save you some penalties at a high rate and is decent enough at the rest that he’s unlikely to cost you games during the 90mins, will probably win you more games than all but the top dozen or two keepers on the planet. Especially in cup competitions where penalties can become crucial. So maybe we’re a bit undervaluing that aspect, now that you described him like that I don’t… Read more »


Also he just helped Vila beat Sp*rs today so for that reason alone maybe we can be nice to him for one day 🙂


I think both of them proved himself to be a very good keeper.


There is nothing Raya could do positively (i.e. leading the stingiest defense in the league) or Rammers could do negatively to change your mind (basically every goalkeeper statistic has him behind Raya). Whatever, Rammers is your favourite. The issue though is that the issue is only an issue because one goalie is English and one is a foreigner.

A Different George

I’m okay with Arteta choosing Raya because that’s how football works, but I connect with Ramsdale much more. I always liked him, but that extraordinary interview clinched it (ironically, just when he was losing his place). His talking about football setbacks, including being relegated, and their connection to “real life” like his wife’s miscarriage and his brother’s place in his life, was really quite different from what most players are willing to share. A first-class, thoughtful, empathetic young person–and we shouldn’t forget how young he would seem if it were any other job. You may be right that many like… Read more »


Actually I think it’s more that Ramsdale could be crap and still have us like him, because he’s that sort of bloke, whereas I have socks with more personality than Raya (and all my socks are identical boring black cotton ones).


I like Rammers too – top dude! However, the simple fact is he’s not as good a goalie as Raya. There is no statistical evidence that shows otherwise – the only arugment left is bias “cyclops eye-tests”. If anyone out there is watching Raya hoping he fails, you really need to take a mirror to bed.


Well said — I would say that I think Ramsdale can become a better all-around keeper than Raya, including his distribution (as we’ve seen him make laser-eyed passes of all kinds, we’ve seen him give the pressing forward the how’s-she-going, we’ve seen him throw the ball well), but he has to want to do that and not rest on what he’s admirably achieved and earned thus far. In a few years, he could be the best in the world, and a smile to match the trophies he could catch with us.


Distribution at this level is about consistency. Rammers was putting up the same or even slightly better distribution numbers in his early career in the EPL with Bournemouth and Sheffield. He’s not improving there. It looks a bit like he’s reached his ceiling of his distribution. He makes a few defense splitters, but the majority fail – well he fails consistently quite a bit more than Raya. Raya is really an ELITE level distributor (right up there with the Brasilian goalies at Liverpool and $ity), he’s super comfortable with the ball as either foot, turning and pinging it with either… Read more »

The Beast

That’s fair. Slightly harsh as Raya could be naturally more introverted than Ramsdale (most ppl probably are), so we don’t get to see his personality on show.

Either way, personality can only take you so far & I trust the manager & coaches to pick the better keeper to start, which seems to be Raya atm.


Hopefully Ramsdale can learn from Havertz, put his head down and work hard and contribute to the team when it matters most. They are the same age, pretty young all things considered. As Arteta said, we all love Ramsdale for his character and his courage, and if he can block out the noise and continue to improve his game, we will be dominant for years to come. If he’s more concerned with his status under Southgate than he is under Arteta, then I am sure there is a bottom-half table team who would love to have him.

Naked Cygan

Hopefully this goal will improve his confidence going forward. His overall teamwork and defensive work has been great from the start. He just needs to improve his movement and final passes when we are on the attack. This is also his first season and with time he will get even better. Very happy for him.


I am not a Kai hater, just a doubter but after yesterday’s cameo and goal that sent us top, I will dine on a small serving of crow today. Just a small morsel, like the beak. Hoping that as the season progresses I will be forced to eat the entire bird. There are certainly signs as of late that he has turned the corner.

Feel sorry for Ramsdale. I was hoping he’d be stellar yesterday.


Well, Ramsdale was stellar yesterday, he had a clean sheet. What more do you want from a goalie than not conceding?

Dr. Gooner

Sarcasm, surely

Yankee Gooner

I’m a huge Ramsdale fan, but Rice saved his ass yesterday; without Rice, there would be precisely zero pro-Ramsdale posts after that game.

Dr. Gooner

Anyone watching this Spurs / Villa game? A stark reminder of what we’re “missing” with Emeryball. For a man vaunted for his attention to detail, it’s unbelievable how naive his teams can be. Ok, you play a high line, but then your forwards have to run their shorts off to close down. Instead, they play high AND let the midfielders pick up their heads and measure crosses. They left Alexander-Arnold unmarked in similar situations. It’s mad. Also, I have no love for Spurs, but I despise the kind of thing Cash just did to Bentancur. Knows he’s just back from… Read more »


28pts and 4th place. Just not sure why people love to hate that guy so much. He seems like a good man, just made a mockery of because his English wasn’t perfect, by might I add, people that probably cannot even say hello in a single other language.


I think his point is that Emery’s football is relatively two-dimensional, as opposed to Arteta’s fourth-dimension football. Emery loves athletes and plays a brand of football that is exhausting, whereas Arteta loves brainy footballers with an equal measure of brawn. I had nothing against Emery when he was with us, but it wasn’t the right fit — and that is all the more clear and stark with Arteta at the helm. I think Emery’s Villa will finish in the top 8 if they don’t lose Watkins or Luis for any length of time, but I don’t see him repeating his… Read more »


I’m not arguing Emery is a better manager, I believe firmly Arteta is (and despite your repeated comments on my Arteta take, I always thought Arteta would have a good or better long-term career success, but I believed he started at Arsenal too early as his early career mistakes really tied to his lack of experience managing players – that paid off in the end – well done Arsenal for picking him and sticking with him during his learning curve). I agree Emery wasn’t the choice, the character mocking was always a bit ugly as he seems one of the… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

My broader view on Emery is that he’s an instant floor raiser, but his ceiling is not very high. He’s a details manager who gets lost in his own web and can’t seem to spot obvious things sometimes. Coming in after a disaster appointment like Steven Gerrard and immediately lifting a good squad back into relevance is not surprising or especially impressive. It’s just sad when I see them get picked apart in the same predictable way and he does nothing to address it. Or when he knows he’s going to play a high line but spends lots of money… Read more »

El Mintero

They’re 4th ffs…give the guy a break.

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