Mikel Arteta has once again been reassured over his future as Arsenal manager and has even been encouraged to trust the club’s youth stars over experienced but flawed players.
Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe started for the Gunners as they shocked Frank Lampard’s side with their energy and willingness to press the Blues high up the pitch.
After missing 168 days through injury, fans weren’t expecting Martinelli to come straight back into the Arsenal side and make a difference but he has.
In fact, what made supporters the most excited wasn’t a shot on goal or a mazy run through the centre of the pitch but rather the way he single-handedly pressured Chelsea’s backline in the second half.
Arteta’s decision to drop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and to play Emile Smith Rowe in midfield was one that not only paid off but one that has seen his stock within the Arsenal setup increase.
After we exclusively reported that Arteta’s job was not critically at risk in mid-December, we have now also been told that the Arsenal board has been encouraged by the good result against Chelsea and have suggested to Arteta to keep putting faith in the likes of Smith Rowe, Martinelli and Saka.
The Gunners’ game this evening against Brighton Hove Albion is another chance for the young stars to prove to their manager that their display against Chelsea was not a fluke and if he once again puts his faith in the up and coming stars, it might help turn Arsenal’s poor form this season around.
The North Londoners are 15th in the Premier League table and a win could see them go up to 12th in the table provided Leeds United don’t pick up any points against West Brom.