Our 1-0 defeat at the hands of Man City surfaced a fair amount of negativity on social media.
There is always a presence of it – no matter the result. But our lack of creativity was one element that really stoked the fires of criticism.
The other, was once again the performance of Hector Bellerin and how he hasn’t returned to his best.
The Spaniard was in focus probably due to his pretty tame effort to stop Phil Foden as he cut in. Bellerin’s failure allowed Foden to shoot, which Leno parried but only to a lurking Raheem Sterling in the box, who swept home.
Bellerin was solid throughout, aside from that error. True, Foden was giving him a bit of rough game, but City’s openings didn’t really stem from Bellerin’s flank from then on. It was a mixture, and Arsenal kept it pretty level for the rest of the match.
Bellerin’s strong suit has never been defending, but he can hold a line and he certainly has the ability to steal the ball – how many times have we seen the pace of Bellerin rescue us as he darts back to put in a last-ditch tackle?
Bellerin is most effective as an attacking outlet however – but what cannot be underestimated is his value to the team. He is far from a weak link and adds value at both ends of the pitch. With AMN and Cedric offering ample competition for his position, Arteta has plenty of options but his first choice is Hector.
If he is good enough for Arteta then who are we to say he isn’t?
Some pockets of fans cry that since his big injury, he has lost something.
He has – it is his inexperience.
Before, Bellerin was raw. Explosive and always popping up to offer a shot or cross. But too often he would leave his flank exposed as he marauded up the pitch. Now though, he is far more balanced.
There will be a time in the season, when Bellerin will once again be flavour of the month with some of our more negative fans as they jump on the bandwagon of hatred for another player.
Until then, we must support our players and back them, show them that it isn’t every Gooner who thinks he should leave.
Bellerin, his attitude, his charitable donations and his actions on the pitch make him a firm fan favourite with most – and his talent means he could be a huge player for us in the Arteta era.