Kai Havertz (29)

What’s funny about yesterday is that if you really analyze his game yesterday and see the average position of the team, he pretty much played the same role that he usually does when he starts as an #8.

Essentially, we played our usual box midfield with Havertz and Odegaard as the two more advanced midfielders, in and out of possession.
Rice and Jorginho were behind them.

You’ll also notice Zinchenko didn’t invert much yesterday and stayed wide for most of the game, same for Kiwior.

I think the main reason why it may feel like he is far more influential when he plays up top, isn’t that he plays up top, it’s that he has more space to exploit. His spacial awareness is incredible.

Probably why he always shone in the CL for Chelsea and also for Germany against top sides.

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Looks much better in that false nine position. Just wish he could learn how to finish.

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Yeah it looked intentional too. I’m still not wholly convinced by him, but he did some solid work yesterday.

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Was he good yesterday? I can’t figure it out!

Just made things click and had a physical presence. An okay performance.

Shame he couldn’t get on the scoreboard, but I guess that’s not always his job.

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He was very good but wasn’t one of our best players. Saka, Rice, Odegaard, Gabriel and Saliba kinda ran away with that.

He was however crucial in our dominance with his presence. Once again won the most duels in the team and the ones he didn’t he usually put enough pressure in that usually meant the second ball was ours.

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A bit lethargic in areas, but I thought overall he did well.

I genuinely have no opinion on his performance yesterday if I am honest.

Okish wasn’t as poor as he has been in some games.

He was one of the front three that kept dropping deep for defensive transitions and building from there. I honestly thought that would be the hard part for him to learn but he appears to have the work ethic and defensive play for Arteta to trust in him so much.

Maybe the more natural side of his game (as an offensive player) will come as time draws on. I just think there were plenty of other stand out performances that he wasn’t noticed.

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Best positional rotation I’ve seen from the left side this season. Martinelli-Trossard-Havertz all found themselves playing in each others position and it always felt ‘right’.

EDIT: For the Rice goal below. Martinelli is playing as the #9. Trossard has dropped deep. Havertz starts at #10 and attacks the box. Kiwior holds the width.

https://x.com/arsenal/status/1757033311489458491?s=46&t=eJpgg6uHWRsStnASv-OePg

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Yes.

I haven’t seen our players rotating position in such an meanigfull and effectful since Arteta got here. This came out of the blue you could say.

That was a huge problem for us before and I often said you don’t see enough of it on the pitch, or it’s just too slow, just not fluid enough…

Martinelli was drifting all the way to the righ wing a few times, and creating a few chances that way. You saw that very rarely all last YEAR. Trossard dropping deep, then Havertz taking the number 9 spot, Odeegard dropping very deep when needed to start attacks, then being arund the box, Saliba as the RB at times, etc… Everything was quite smooth.

Plus, it’s probably the first time we saw White acting as a false CM, while Kiwi acted as a normal LB… I’ve been calling for that for more than a year!

I’d say it’s even strange to see it, compared to our mostly pretty rigid way of positioning.

Definitely want to see MOAR of this.

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Arteta was trying this at the start of the season with Partey as the RB then joining the midfield in possession.

Plenty of fans screeched about it at the time even though Partey was basically playing the same position he usually does for most of the game.

I think we might have seen more of it if Partey wasn’t made of glass and Timber didn’t get injured.

On the flipside, it might not have resulted in Gabriel being recalled and having a beastly season like he is now.

But overall, agree with you and glad we are seeing White do this more now and I think Kiwior looks more comfortable not having to invert like our LB usually does.

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https://twitter.com/imn0tkimm0/status/1757109373015372052

What’s that saying?
“When I lose a duel, I’m a upset!”

“Space investigator” sounds like some bad interpretation for a German word that doesn’t have a direct translation in English lol

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His off the ball work aside, I haven’t seen him looking so sharp on the ball in the Arsenal shirt yet.
He did no miracles, just looked more comfortable and composed on the ball than usual. Would like to see more of this.

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Tactically a good player to have but wish he had more to his game

I think I much prefer him playing in that deeper role. He’s not a no.9, false or otherwise.

Given the strength of the teams performance, that same system should probably be given a run against Burnley. Havertz functioned well in a system with Martinelli, Trossard, Saka, Odegaard who all seemed to combine really well there with Rice and White offering the cover in midfield. Although Arteta wouldn’t just keep the lineup for the sake of it and fair play if he identifies a specific way to handle Burnley. Trossard might just be the perfect compliment for Havertz role in the team.

As much as I liked Havertz work against Liverpool’s big CBs I’m still favouring Trossard in that 9 in most games.

We certainly have better variety in how we want to approach a game.

If only Vieira, ESR, Partey and Timber were more available.
Clear desire from Arteta to play around with the XI more this season and shake things up.

With almost no exceptions, the team last season when everyone was fit was pretty much fixed as:
Ramsdale
White-Saliba-Gabriel-Zinchenko
Odegaard-Partey-Xhaka
Saka-Jesus-Martinelli

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