Nke­tiah makes the dif­fer­ence for Ar­se­nal as Arteta urges him to win a start­ing place

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Total Football - By Sam Dean at the Emi­rates Sta­dium

worst that can be said about Ar­se­nal’s per­for­mance against West Ham was that, for long pe­ri­ods, they played like Unai Emery’s team again. The lat­ter stages of Emery’s reign were de­fined by vul­ner­a­bil­ity to the counter-at­tack and a stodgi­ness in pos­ses­sion, and those prob­lems resur­faced against a well-drilled West Ham side.

The big dif­fer­ence, though, was that Ar­se­nal still found a way to win. This was never a match in which they would have taken three points un­der Emery, but with Mikel Arteta at the helm there is a greater be­lief around the club and in the play­ers.

It helped Arteta’s cause that he had Ed­die Nke­tiah to call upon. Nke­tiah was on loan for the fi­nal few months of Emery’s reign, with Ar­se­nal lack­ing a preda­tor on the bench. The young English­man is noth­ing if not an old-school poacher and his win­ner here was fur­ther ev­i­dence of his nat­u­ral goalscor­ing abil­ity.

“I do a lot of work try­ing to be in the right po­si­tions,” Nke­tiah said. “It was a nice pass from Dani Ce­bal­los and it was a good fin­ish from me.”

With a will­ing­ness to run in be­hind and an abil­ity to find space in the penalty area, Nke­tiah has the at­tributes to be a use­ful im­pact sub­sti­tute. But Arteta does not want him to be lim­ited to such a role – Ar­se­nal’s man­ager sees Nke­tiah as an op­tion to start in­stead of Alexan­dre La­cazette, who also scored on Satur­day.

Asked about Nke­tiah’s knack of find­ing goalscor­ing po­si­tions, Arteta said: “It is a nat­u­ral abil­ity that he has. He has the in­tu­ition and then ob­vi­ously he is able to put the ball in the net.

I am de­lighted with him.

Nat­u­ral: Ed­die Nke­tiah scored Ar­se­nal’s win­ner

He is some­one in the box who is a real dan­ger and we have to use him.” The fe­roc­ity of Arteta’s cel­e­bra­tion at the end was proof of how dif­fi­cult a night it was for Ar­se­nal, who strug­gled to con­tain West Ham goalscorer Michail An­to­nio. Mo­men­tum is with the Spa­niard’s side, who are still rid­ing the high of their FA Cup vic­tory last sea­son. “Ev­ery­one is buzzing and we’ve had a taste of suc­cess and we’re hun­gry for more,” Nke­tiah said. “It’s been a great start.”

There were plenty of pos­i­tives for David

Moyes to take from his side’s per­for­mance, al­though the defensive lapse at the end was an­other re­minder of why they are in the mar­ket for a new de­fender.

“Ul­ti­mately I would like to sign three or four play­ers, but I to­tally un­der­stand we are not in a fi­nan­cial po­si­tion to do so,” Moyes said.

West Ham’s frus­tra­tion was made worse by ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions, with Moyes say­ing Ar­se­nal should have been pun­ished for a hand­ball in the box by de­fender Gabriel Ma­gal­haes.

“The hard­est part is that we never get any clar­ity in the re­ports,” Moyes said. “When we get the re­sults back, very rarely have the ref­er­ees or Var made any mis­takes.”

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