Words of wisdom
We’ve written about Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg’s involvement during games before.
He’s highly respected within the game and after the Gunners’ defeat to Liverpool he could be seen deep in conversation with Virgil van Dijk, a player he knows well from his spell as coach of the Dutch youth teams.
Stuivenberg has traditionally worn Airpods during games where he is kept in the loop with what Arsenal’s analysts are saying throughout the 90 minutes.
Once again on Saturday, he was deep in conversation with substitute Gabriel Martinelli as the Brazilian was given a rare first team opportunity under Mikel Arteta.
And whatever Stuivenberg said clearly worked as Martinelli made an immediate goalscoring impact, finishing off an excellent move and drawing praise from Arteta after the game.
What Arteta said to Tavares
It had been a tough week for the likes of Nuno Tavares and Sambi Lokonga after the match against Liverpool.
Neither player had their best game against the Reds and Tavares in particular was guilty of giving the ball away for Diogo Jota’s goal.
However, Arteta showed astute man management to leave both players in the team for the home game at Emirates Stadium.
Tavares appeared so desperate to make amends for his error at Anfield that he squandered several opportunities to pass, instead opting to shoot from long-range distances.
This was much to the Arsenal coaching staff’s frustration and more so the supporters inside the ground, who were urging the Portuguese not to shoot from such a long way out.
Fortunately for the Gunners, Tavares improved significantly in the second half and assisted Saka for the opening goal.
Set piece advice
Arsenal’s set piece coach Nicolas Jover took advantage of a break in play before a corner to give advice to Nuno Tavares.
Jover, who has been credited for the Gunners’ improvement in set pieces since arriving from Manchester City in the summer, was deep in conversation with the former Benfica man as he issued instructions to him.
Tavares immediately went to the edge of the box in what was clearly another one of Jover’s trademark set piece drills that the players have been working on in training.
Whilst it didn’t come to anything on this occasion, Jover’s attentiveness to game situations is a facet that has won him a lot of support at the club.
With the post-game interviews taking place on the pitch, some Arsenal fans took the opportunity to stay behind in the freezing cold and thank their heroes.
Gabriel Martinelli was the first to receive a warm welcome from those who braved the cold, while former midfielder Joe Willock was also met with a nice reception after returning to Emirates Stadium for the first time since joining Newcastle in the summer.
But it was Mikel Arteta who received the loudest cheer from the crowd as the Arsenal manager guided his team back to winning ways in the Premier League.