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HomeMatch Reports & PreviewsWhy Fabio Vieira shouted at Martin Odegaard in Arsenal win at Everton

Why Fabio Vieira shouted at Martin Odegaard in Arsenal win at Everton

Why Fabio Vieira shouted at Martin Odegaard in Arsenal win at Everton

It’s not particularly complicated to say that high-level sports often come down to very narrow differences. If Gabriel Magalhaes had worn shoes one size larger, Arsenal might have faced a defeat against Manchester United before the international break.

For Mikel Arteta, these small differences had been significant. Before Sunday’s match, the Spaniard had been asked to evaluate his team’s performance in the season so far. He expressed contentment but also mentioned his desire for more convincing victories.

The visit to Goodison Park didn’t provide that assurance. Right from the start, it was evident that this match would be closely contested. 

Arsenal’s recent record at Goodison Park has been surprisingly poor, especially considering the differing fortunes of the two teams. This game seemed to be following a similar pattern to the one from the previous season when Arsenal lost in Sean Dyche’s first game in charge.

Arteta’s decision to choose Raya over Ramsdale wasn’t the only significant choice he made on that day. In the period leading up to the international break, Kai Havertz had become a focal point for criticism among Arsenal fans. Despite his less-than-impressive start with the Gunners, Arteta had consistently supported the German player.

Therefore, it was surprising to see Havertz left out of the starting lineup. Even more unexpected was the replacement, Fabio Vieira. The 23-year-old had made a positive impact as a substitute in previous matches against Everton and Manchester United. After the latter performance, Arteta suggested that Vieira was gaining more importance within the squad. Sunday’s match provided clear evidence of this development.

During his worst moments last season, Vieira appeared to be a mere shadow of his former self. When Arsenal found themselves trailing 2-0 at home to Southampton, the Portuguese midfielder had retreated and seemed hesitant to receive the ball. None of that was evident at Goodison Park.

Repeatedly, he actively demanded the ball from his teammates. On one occasion, he even felt confident enough to express his disagreement with captain Martin Odegaard for passing to Bukayo Saka instead of setting him up for a shot. 

Gone was the timid figure who had disappointed in his first season in England. In his place was the player who had taken the Portuguese league by storm during his first full season with Porto.

What made Vieira’s performance in the left eight role particularly intriguing was how differently he approached it compared to Kai Havertz. Havertz tended to stay relatively central, often almost partnering with Eddie Nketiah as a second striker on occasions. In contrast, Vieira consistently switched positions with Gabriel Martinelli and later Leandro Trossard on the left wing. He played a pivotal role in both players’ goals during the match. Vi

eira provided a perfectly weighted pass for Martinelli’s first-half strike, which was unfortunately ruled out, and initiated the slick short-corner play at the edge of the box that resulted in Trossard’s winning goal.

Considering how frequently Martinelli and Trossard like to drift into central areas, having a player who is comfortable moving out to the wing seems to be an ideal fit for them to excel. La

st season, Granit Xhaka often fulfilled this role, and it led to consistent end product from both Martinelli and Trossard. In contrast, Havertz appears to be a less natural fit in this tactical setup.

While a discussion about Havertz’s suitability can be reserved for another time, this was undoubtedly Vieira’s day to shine. D

espite a challenging first season at Arsenal marred by injuries and disruptions, the 23-year-old had faced skepticism. Perhaps now, we will begin to understand why Arteta was so convinced that Vieira would eventually win over the fans.

Why Fabio Vieira shouted at Martin Odegaard in Arsenal win at Everton

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