Thomas Partey’s first goal was far from what the fans had expected, and even further from what fans would have ever had imagined it would be. A headed goal is something that wasn’t totally on the imagination of Arsenal fans as his (Partey) cracking shots outside the 18-yard box narrowly missed the target on numerous occasions. Yesternight marked the end of the Ghanian’s goalless streak for the Gunners after 42 total failed long-range attempts since he made his debut for the Gunners.
However, I reckon that things will now change for Partey going forward, tactically that is. Having discovered that Partey is a goal threat on set pieces, corners to be particular, his involvement inside the box will be maximized. Remember, Arsenal recently recruited a set-piece coach whose work was to solely increase Arsenal’s probabilities of scoring from dead-ball situations. And Partey proved to be a valuable asset in such situations.
This being said, Partey’s shot attempts are likely to regress thanks to Mikel Arteta’s advice against wasting the ball by shooting from long range. Arteta will now encourage Partey to sharpen his heading accuracy and power so that he can be more dangerous on the box rather than outside the box waiting for a rebound. Arteta might also taunt him to recycle his shooting power on long free-kicks so that it doesn’t wear out. But all of these are just suggestions.
What is backing my thinking however is the fact that Partey yesterday did not make any shot attempt on goal mainly because he was bullying the Aston Villa defenders on the corners. Nuno Tavares was the one who was making the most out of the out-of-the-box chances because of his strong weak foot ability. So this presumably means that Partey was assigned another task before the match with regards to attacking tactics and it definitely paid off.
All in all, with Partey’s first goal for Arsenal, come adverse changes to his playing style and this may affect his performance on the pitch. Scoring screamers from outside the box is not very easy, with the probability being almost non-existent but neither does scoring from corners, especially when you are just a beginner in jostling for aerial balls.
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