It was like a Premier League game from 10-15 years ago. Their plan was just to kick our ankles in every challenge and try to scrape a draw. They had 12 fouls in the first half, which is really just an absurd number. And the ref basically gave us no protection because he refused to issue bookings.Looking at the match stats watford had 19 fouls, 2 yellows and a red.. arsenal with 6 fouls, 4 yellows.. I didn’t see the match, but does that seem odd? Or indicative of what was happening on the field? Was mike dean the referee?
I was happy to see us play and persevere through that kind of match, especially with such a young team on the pitch. When Odegaard came on for Laca, Auba was our only player on the pitch older than 24. The five in central and attacking midfield were 20, 21, 22, 22, and 24. But we didn't back down and would have won comfortably if Auba didn't have such a stinker.
I thought AMN had a great match in central midfield.
The difference in the athleticism of our central midfield and defense versus last year is really night and day. We regularly trotted out so many mediocre athletes in these positions last year - Elneny, Xhaka, Holding, Mari, Cedric, Chambers, Bellerin, etc. Only Partey, Tierney, and Gabriel were really up to the necessary level. But now we've added Sambi, AMN, White, Tomiyasu, and Tavares into that mix and it makes a big difference in how we can play.