Kai Havertz: Best player on the pitch. Full stop.


Okay, so that might be a mild exaggeration, but seeing Havertz finally break his duck, finally scoring a goal after a 20-match drought, has to finally ease the pressure of the player. That it was a relatively meaningless third goal matters little. The player who’s been doing so many other things so well to so little recognition finally has his goal. I’ve been insisting that his critics have to stop ball-watching and focus on Havertz off the ball. He’s an intelligent, incisive player, and he’s turned in another strong if not quite stellar pitch. And that chant? [kisses two fingers and thumb like a French chef]. We’ll have to give Havertz a curtain call. For now, let’s get to the post-match poll.

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6 thoughts on “Kai Havertz: Best player on the pitch. Full stop.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      You should know me by now. By most objective measures, it was Odegaard. Still, let’s not let stats get in the way of a good narrative. If that penalty goal lets Havertz kick on, it’ll be worth it.

      1. A Simple Truth

        that was a silver platter affair of epic proportions, yet we still only scored once from open play with our starting 11 on the pitch…of course, I’ll take the easy 3 points against a League One side, but we need to exhibit the capacity to put our foot on our opponent’s throat when the opportunity arises…instead we played keep away for large chunks of the 2nd half…thankfully we tallied a fourth goal from a set piece header…as for the whole gifting of a penalty to Havertz, if he had any self-respect he would have declined such an obvious “mayor for a day” offering…here’s hoping that we can get a decisive victory away to Lens mid-week so that we can rest some of our starters prior to our weekend fixture against a City side who will likely be chumping at the bit after dropping 3 points at the Molineux

  1. Palladio43

    Whether you have now become a shill for Havertz or are just trying to annoy some of the faithful, it is becoming hard to tell as we move forward. The penalty was nicely taken and, I suspect, Jon, you closed your eyes knowing if he missed both you and Kai would have been shamed off the 8nternet and the pitch, respectively.
    My one major complaint today that somewhat involves Harvetz, but more so Arteta. Given that we have a big match coming up and with both Jesus and Saka having not fully healed or recovered, why would Arteta leave them on when leading 3-0 and, instead pulling Eddie and Harvetz. Those two could use as much time as possible, if only to try to perfect their shooting ability. Instead both Saka and Jesus stayed on and, wonder if wonders, both suffered injuries of a sort trying to tackle and score, when they should have been sitting on the bench. I suspect you can guess my ratings for Arteta’s substitutions and timing, thereof. Hopefully, neither injury was serious. Let us see what he now does midweek.

    1. Davo

      Nketiah has played a lot of minutes at huge intensity and needs to be rested before he pulls up.

      Jesus has had his return to the squad carefully managed and has been protected recently by being subbed off early as not to overload him but now needs a full 90 minutes to sharpen his game before our biggest game of the season so far.

      Saka came off instantly after taking a kick to the foot and rightly so.

      We won 0-4 away from home against a top manager, there should be absolutely no complaints.

      1. Jon Shay Post author

        Squad management is always dicey. I wanted Saka, Jesus, and Saliba off after the second goal, but there are many reasons why I’m sat in my basement typing rather than getting booked for roaming outside of the technical area.

        There’s a fine line between resting a player and playing him to keep up (or train up) his fitness. For Jesus and Saliba, this was an almost-ideal chance for them to play. For Saka, I’ll admit that Arteta should have subbed him far earlier; he had suffered a few harsh tackles and knocks.

        The midweek match against Lens should give Arteta a chance to rest key players ahead of the clash against Man City. If Rice, Saka, Jesus, and Saliba (among others) watch Tuesday’s proceedings from the bench, so much the better.


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