Here is your Arsenal morning digest for Saturday, March 13.
Arshavin names favourite team-mate
Andrey Arshavin has named Cesc Fabregas as his favourite team-mate after playing with the Spanish midfielder at Arsenal.
Fabregas, who was Arsenal captain and the club’s best player at that point, was heralded for his performances before his move to Barcelona in 2011. And Arshavin, like many others, was clearly impressed.
“Best team-mate? Let’s say, Fabregas,” said Arshavin in an interview with UEFA as reported by The Mirror. “He can deliver the ball from any point to another in the right moment and with the right timing.”
Arshavin also named Emmanuel Eboue as the biggest joker, adding: “He was very funny, and I liked his humour; it was Rossisski [Russian].”
Analysing Arsenal’s playing out from the back
Mikel Arteta has demanded that his team play out from the back. However, as Andrew Dowdeswell analyses for football.london, it has put the team into trouble in recent matches, specifically with Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos committing crucial turnovers.
However, while Xhaka’s mistake against Burnley was on him, Bernd Leno, not Ceballos, should take the majority of the blame for the second error.
Xhaka had the opportunity to play a first-time pass into David Luiz, but he took a touch and the passing lane closed up.
Conversely, Ceballos never had the chance to release the ball, with Olympiacos closing down the space quickly. In reality, Leno should never have passed him the ball.
Arsenal U23 talking points
Arsenal’s U23’s lost 3-0 to Blackburn on Friday, and football.london covered the main talking points from the game, which you can read here.
They included the impressive Miguel Azeez, who, despite the scoreline, showed his class in midfield.
The analysis also covered Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, both of whom are hoping to force their way back into the first-team set-up. Neither really did enough to move the needle to prove to Arteta that they deserve more senior opportunities.
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Folarin Balogun also featured. A decision must be made on his future imminently as he is in the final year of his contract.
Arteta recently expressed his desire to keep the young striker at the club. “No, I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager,” he said last month.
“As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.”