Arsenal beat Bodo/Glimt 1-0 on Thursday in Norway, with Bukayo Saka scoring the winning goal, but Joe Cole of BT Sport claims that Mikel Arteta may have been dissatisfied with the performance of Rob Holding and William Saliba in defense.
Saka, 21, has maintained his stellar play for the Gunners this season, and Arteta has put together a formidable squad. Many notable players, including Ben White, Saliba, Kieran Tierney, Martin Odegaard, Saka, and Gabriel Martinelli, trace their roots back to Norway. The Bodo/Glimt side was the superior one.
The Gunners, however, took the lead when Saka cut in from the right flank and scored. The goalkeeper made a save, but the ensuing shot hit Saka in the face and bobbled into the back of the net. This is his fourth tally of the year.
To get through, Arsenal rode their luck and relied on United States international goalkeeper Matt Turner. However, that was enough to make it three wins in a row, and 11 wins in 12 games overall. Both Saliba and Holding had superior options available to them.
It’s true that Bodo/Glimt had plenty of opportunities to score, but they missed a few simple ones thanks to Arsenal’s poor defense. Cole thinks Arteta was “nitpicking” when he dismissed the Saliba and Holding tandem.
Arteta might tell the team, “Come on guys, you need to concentrate,” because a couple of slip-ups lost them the game. Yet, you are being extremely picky. All the while, the band plays on. Exceptional, so far.
Cole: Arteta Could Criticise Arsenal Defenders Holding and Saliba
In fact, Holding was inserted into the lineup, with Saliba keeping his starting spot thanks to a stellar preseason. The match marked the debut of the Frenchman in the Europa League for Arsenal. In Europe, Gabriel has started the first two games.
Cole is correct; there were a few holes in the defense, and even if it wasn’t Holding or Saliba’s fault specifically, they are the ones in charge of the unit’s organization. Bodo and Limit counterattacked, and they should have brought their guys back in.
The Arsenal machine keeps on rolling with another victory. The Gunners’ next game is on Sunday at Elland Road against Leeds United, a Yorkshire team that will come at them at full speed. They should get ready for it.