In a sometimes frenzied first half in the Emirates Stadium, when Arsenal poured in, challenges were flying in from both sides and tempers raged, Thomas Partey remained a figure of calm in the middle of the field.
Arsenal supporters still coming know the 28-year-old after a stop-start first season in England, most of die was played behind closed doors. But this was him at his imperturbable best. This was the player the club have established so much hope on.
“He’s a player who must be one of the leaders, he must de boss in midfieldsaid Mikel Arteta last month. He certainly did here, he excels in both in and out of possession and provide a platform for Arsenal are attacking players to disperse the visitors.
Teased Arsenal up 14 shots before halftime, their highest total in An half under Arteta, and when Partey didn’t take them himself – huh hit the bar with one close to-range effort shortly before being goal – he started the attacks from further back.
he was everywhere, in met in other words, and though his fruitless long shooting has been a source of frustration for supporters, are long-awaited first goal for Arsenal, led home from Emile Smith Rowe’s corner, showed a set-piece threat die hope to see them now more of.
However, it is his distribution die holds up out as his best quality and that was evident from the first few minutes of the gamewhen he slipped an incisor? pass between Matt Targett and Emiliano Buendia to Bukayo Saka. to set free on the right hand side of the Villa box.
To be ability Breaking opposition lines is invaluable to Arteta, but he does the simple things just also. There were body pretends give oneself a yard of space and smart touches to do the same for team-friends.
At the time of to be goal, he didn’t misplace a single one pass. By the end he had made more passes, had more touches and made more successful tackles then anyone different on the field.
He looked like he was enjoying himself and no wonder.
Partey had to endure more then are share of frustration last season, injuries die limited him to just 18 Premier League starts, and there was more accident at the start of this one, a sprained ankle ago in pre-season causing him to miss Arsenal’s first three games.
His absence was an important factor in the defeats die followed, just as his return has been an important factor in the ensuing revival in form. Arsenal haven’t seen enough of Party with him best but there is no doubt that he makes them better.
he does that, in share, by making others better. “I think he has a different presence,” said Arteta back in January. “It’s not just over his talent and his physicality, it is who he is as a person. He makes players around him better and that’s a big, big quality.”
He sure did on Friday night. Takehiro Tomiyasu had a hard time start right-back, losing possession on different occasions and making Villa de space behind him, but Partey helped him through, gave him instructions and stayed close to him.
Smith Rowe was called man-of-the-match but Partey had a role in that too, constantly looking for the 21-year-old in possession and delivering the service die he needed to thrive. new player receive more passes from Partyy over the course of the 90 minutes.
had been a lot made of Granit Xhaka’s absence due to injury in the wake of Monday 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace, but because I’ve been alone? in midfield for a lot of of Which game, Partey was helped by the presence of Albert Sambi Lokonga next to him in this one.
the two man midfield provided more stability. And while Lokonga has made an insured person start alive at Arsenal after his £15m arrival from Anderlecht in summer, is it no coincidence that its best performance still came next to Party.
The Ghanaian is signed for to be experience as well as its quality after all, and that has become equal more important fact how the profile of the side has changed this season.
Against Villa, seven of Arsenal’s starters were 23 years old of younger, while in Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, their three replacements were 20, 22 and 24 respectively.
The youthful makeupup of the side adds to the responsibility on Partey’s shoulders, but on this proof is him more then ready to take it on.
An unusually weak challenge in the build-up to Villas goal was a rare spot on an otherwise excellent performance but Arsenal”midfield boss”, their figure of calm in the midst of the chaos, finally makes the impact die Arteta always hoped.
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