Three Things We Learned after Arsenal beat Brentford as Champions League date with Lens looms

Here's the brilliant Alan Alger's latest Three Things We Learned after Arsenal beat Brentford ahead of Lens at the Emirates

Three Things We Learned after Arsenal beat Brentford as Champions League date with Lens looms

The Arsenal team celebrate at the final whistle at Brentford as the Gunners seal a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the Bees with Kai Havertz's late winner that sent them to the top of the Premier League. CREDIT: @laythy29

Here's the latest Three Things We Learned from the brilliant Alan Alger's after Arsenal beat Brentford to go top of the Premier League

Praise Thomas for being Frank with the press…

I’d certainly welcome more Premier League bosses taking to task the bad questions of the press, especially those designed to wind-up and make controversial copy.

When asked if Mikel Arteta had celebrated a bit too wildly after our goal yesterday, opposition boss Thomas Frank rightly put the journalist in their place.

The Brentford boss replying with “if you can’t celebrate something you set the team onto the pitch to do and the hardest thing in football to achieve on the pitch then what’s the point”. Wise words indeed.

This kind of telling-tales journalism is something all fans of Premier League clubs have to put up with week in week out, as the scribes try to stoke up something controversial to get their headlines.

There’s enough drama in the game without this kind of ‘did you see what he just did or said?’ playground style lines of questioning.

I’d welcome more bosses giving it short shrift in order that the lazier journos have to work a little harder to ask better questions. It was a huge win and Arteta, the players and the travelling fans deserved to lap up every moment of joy from it.

Are we not entertained? That’s okay isn’t it..?

I was tidying up this column as I sat down to enjoy Super Sunday on Sky and thought about the contrast from both matches to that of our win yesterday.

I’ve got to say that our game didn’t get me out of my seat at the stadium, not just because I was sitting in the wrong end, but it just didn’t feel like an entertaining game of Premier League football.

Now a lot of that had to do with our hosts who rightly take the approach to big teams coming to their patch to kill the game and keep well organised. They’re usually pretty good at it too. I really couldn’t get on board with the way we stuck to our plan without variation and I think this piece would have been a little punchier if Kai Havertz hadn’t popped up at the end with the winner.

It’s still worth sharing the concerns that we need to find a little more flair and dynamism to show something different and produce a game that we’d enjoy watching.

Also, the delayed restarts – I can’t get on board with them. I know someone somewhere has shown Mikel some great data on disrupting the opposing team’s set-up by delaying, creating panic and crowd anger, then getting the team to make additional late movement as the crescendo is reached.

I just haven’t seen any evidence that the return is worth the wrath. It’s certainly not worth the embarrassment when Leandro Trossard sends a corner over barely a foot high and out of play before it reaches one of our players.

*Late edit* - I’ll add this, maybe it’s fine to settle for being entertained by Tottenham losing at home to Villa and Manchester United scoring overhead kicks, because they won’t be challenging for titles and we will. 1-0 to the Arsenal? Boring, boring, Arsenal? Well if you must!

Staying at the top. Is it about finding gears or harder fixtures..?

Top of the league. A third best start to a season in the last 15 years. One extremely unlucky defeat. A superb defensive record.

Yet I can only need one hand to count the games where we’ve been at our absolute best in this first third of the season!

As I’ve mentioned in recent columns, there’s a little divide opening up in the fanbase between Gooners who feel we have plenty of gears to move into and those that feel we might be at our limits and it can’t last.

My eyes are telling me I need to be in the camp of the latter – without taking any joy out of the above achievements or indeed a last-gasp win in a London derby.

I think it’s a little more fixture-based than related to gears and it’s possible that the second half of the season could contain many blips.

We play eight of the current top-ten in the table away from home from December 9th to May 11th. The other two games we’ve played against teams in those positions have returned one point from a possible six.

I’m not getting carried away, although I really hope those who say we are building our way into the league and using it as a lower key coping mechanism for handling Champions League football are right and I’m wrong.

Onto Lens and qualifying in style…

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