Mikel Arteta smoothed out Arsenal’s knots – lead them to the start here | Barney Ronay | Soccer


FFive minutes before halftime at Wembley Stadium, Mikel Arteta could be seen leaping from his chalk rectangle and down the sideline, feet pounding the turf like an angry puppet, hands sculpting strange jagged shapes into the air. Here is a man suddenly seized by visions of collapse and disaster: planes falling from the sky, grasshoppers through the sun, a tidal wave on the main stand.In fact, the cause of Arteta’s panic was a slight drop in intensity from Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who was roaming the left wing a little loosely and not pursuing, at the wrong time, the manager’s plan. attacking the space behind the full Chelsea. -backs. Maitland-Niles sprinted through the space Arteta had seen, curving his run to meet a nice float pass from Kieran Tierney. And that was sometimes the case in the FA Cup final on Saturday, especially in the half hour after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tied the score at 1-1, as Arsenal framed Chelsea, overloaded the flanks and allowed their own score. moving forward three to tap sensitive points in a slowly rotating defense.

Mikel Arteta’s plan to attack the space behind the Chelsea full-back has finally paid off. Photography: Eddie Keogh for The FA / REX / Shutterstock

It’s, of course, easy to get ahead of times like these and forget that trophies are an end in themselves. Arsenal now have a 14th FA Cup to cheer on. Arteta has tangible success in sharpening the impression of a manager of true transformative energies. And when the final whistle sounded, it was unexpected to hear the screams and screams of the players echoing through the empty stadium. Rob Holding, in particular, seemed defeated by winning the big old founding trophy. For Aubameyang, this is a national trophy on a par with all those in his rich career.


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