Nicolas Jover has been praised for his work with the Arsenal squad on set pieces since his arrival at the club last summer.
Nicolas Jover worked his magic for Arsenal once again on Friday night as the Gunners took the lead through a clever set piece routine.
Jover moved to the Emirates Stadium last summer and reunited with Mikel Arteta after the pair worked together at Manchester City. The Gunners benefited massively last season from Jover’s set-piece improvements with the Gunners going months without conceding from a corner last term.
New signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko made an instant impact in their official debuts for the north London outfit, with the latter grabbing his first assist just 20 minutes into the game. Arteta admitted he wants the new signings to ‘inspire’ his current squad, but it’s Jover’s work that caught the eye against Crystal Palace.
Speaking at half-time during Sky Sports’ coverage of Arsenal’s trip to Selhurst Park, Gary Neville discussed the opening goal of the game.
Neville said: “They’ve played really well in the first half Arsenal, and obviously you saw them celebrate with that goal, they were electric up front in that first five or 10 minutes.
“Two things, one they didn’t have anyone back I thought what if there’s a counter-attack then Jesus fooled me into thinking something was going to happen, but it was Zinchenko, the header was brilliant. Palace couldn’t do anything more here.”
Jamie Carragher supported Neville’s praise for the Gunners’ set piece routine during commentary. The former Liverpool defender said: “Well they certainly deserved to take the lead based on the start. They worked something on this corner and Zinchenko’s involved.
“Every Arsenal player up, Ben White goes up, Zinchenko goes in behind, heads it back and Crystal Palace just don’t deal with it. It’s really well worked from Arsenal.”
Jover’s work in both attacking and defending set pieces has improved a key area of Arsenal’s play, and with the return of William Saliba in defence it adds more of a physical presence to the Gunners’ team. Speaking prior to the game, Arteta commented: “His [Saliba] physicality, he’s a big boy, he’s learned a lot. The experience in the last three years have helped a lot then his composure on the ball, his decision making and what he brings to the team is something we didn’t have.”
Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners in the end as Bukayo Saka’s deflected cross was turned into the Palace net by defender Marc Guehi late in the second half. Arteta’s side currently sit top of the table heading into the rest of the weekend, a nice change compared to the start of last season.