Arsenal secured a vital win during Sunday’s Premier League clash against West Ham United.
Goals from centre-backs Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes helped clinch all three points for the north Londoners, sending them two points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
It was the Gunners‘ third successive league victory – a run that also saw them defeat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge and Manchester United 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
London takes a closer look at the win against David Moyes‘ side and details two major things we spotted ahead of next week’s encounter with Leeds United, who are currently locked in a feisty relegation battle with Burnley and Everton.
Edu’s £50million signing proves his worth.
On a day that both Arsenal’s centre-backs scored and also played well, it may seem strange to bring up Ben White considering the former Brighton star didn’t even play due to a hamstring problem.
Sunday’s victory still illustrated just how important the England international is in the build-up phase.
White and Thomas Partey, who is also currently sidelined through injury, are probably the two players that manager Mikel Arteta relies on the most when it comes to beating the opposition press, with both players often providing line-breaking vertical passing – bypassing opposition attackers in the process.
Arteta was left thoroughly unimpressed by his side’s showing in the first half, with Holding and Gabriel both struggling to progress the ball in central areas.
“Yeah, we were a bit disappointed to concede that coming in just before halftime,” Holding told Arsenal Media after the match.
“It would have been nice to go in one-nil, but he gave us all a shouting and telling off and we came out and looked more like a team and played how he wanted to play.”
Egyptian international Mohamed Elneny has been a revolution for the Gunners in recent weeks, taking Albert Sambi Lokonga’s place in Arteta’s starting XI for the last three outings.
The former Basel midfielder is into the final two months of his contract at the Emirates Stadium and his recent performances may prove that he deserves a new short-term deal.
London understands that the north Londoners are keen to sign at least one central midfielder at the end of the current campaign but keeping Elneny around could be smart, especially as it seems that Lokonga may need a loan to get guaranteed game time.
Arsenal hero Ian Wright has made it no secret of his admiration for the 29-year-old.
“Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day after the Gunners beat Manchester United last month, Wright said:”Xhaka was magnificent, Odegaard did his stuff again, but Elneny – for someone that last played before Chelsea was in December – he came in todaydependable, professional, he never lets the team down.
He had the most passes today and the most interceptions, he just gets himself in the right position.
“He’s the kind of player, he wants to pass forward. He’s somebody who kept the ball going and kept Arsenal going.”
“He’s the kind of player – and he may leave – you come in when you haven’t played for so long and he’s been magnificent.” Arsenal supporters were extremely worried when the aforementioned Partey suffered a thigh injury against Crystal Palace last month but Elneny has proven that he is a more than capable backup.