Arsenal supporters showed their undivided appreciation for the whole team following their 1-0 triumph away at Aston Villa, but Martin Keown and Joe Cole have highlighted three players in particular for specific praise.
The Gunners take a big step towards securing fourth place with the three points, which were earned by Bukayo Saka’s 30th-minute goal. They are now four points clear of Manchester United in fifth with a game in hand over their rivals.
Match winner Saka was one of three players singled out for adulation by BT Sport pundits after the match. Former West Ham and Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole described the England international as a “shining light” in the team, lauding over his talent.
He said: “He’s a brilliant player and a brilliant personality. That man is the shining light, he scored the goal but he’s so much more than that. He’s a fantastic young player.” Gabby Agbonlahor also name-checked Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka, who also put in notable shifts for Mikel Arteta.
He said: “Partey, for me, today was immense. Xhaka as well, as a defensive midfielder, they were so strict. They knew their jobs and shut out Buendia and Coutinho.”
Ex-Gunners defender Martin Keown also commented on the performances of Saka and Partey, adding: “Partey in midfield had a good performance, Saka just keeps getting better and better.”
Keown also noted the overall display of the team, adding: “Now, people are getting a taste of Arsenal. They realise they’re stronger and completely different. They’re playing with this nice and constructive football, but they’re also resilient.
“Gabriel at the back was nice and strong with Ben White beside him. Partey in midfield never really ventured too far. So, it’s nice in those departments and all over the pitch you have people doing their jobs, who know their roles and responsibilities, with the ball and without. They get the job done and clear off him with three points in the bag.”