THEY certainly aren’t ‘boring, boring’ Arsenal any more.
At least, not when disgruntled fans keep their pitchforks close to hand protesting outside the Emirates.
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka shone but Arsenal’s win over West Brom won’t paper over the cracks of their Europa League humblingCredit: Reuters
Mikel Arteta will have been relieved to edge past West Brom unscathed but the pressure is still very much onCredit: Reuters
However, Mikel Arteta must have breathed a huge sigh of relief when his players held out to scrape a win of any kind at the end of another volatile week.
Of course it doesn’t make up for a calamitous league campaign or even put a sticking plaster on the gaping wound caused by crashing out of the Europa League to Villarreal on Thursday.
But any recovery has to start somewhere.
And Arteta will be happy to have negotiated this potential banana skin without adding more injury to insult.
When the kids are united Arsenal look less likely to be defeated.
And once again Arteta had his baby-faced assassins to thank for setting up a deserved win.
Bukayo Saka – 19 and the best player on the park – played in Emile Smith Rowe, 20, who notched his first Premier League goal after a nervy start.
Nicolas Pepe thought he had floored them with a screamer six minutes later to finally end Big Sam’s wildest hopes of somehow performing a miraculous escape act.
However Matheus Pereira scored a second half stunner to give the Gunners the jitters, which were only ended by Willian’s late free-kick.
In the end, Allardyce’s proud boast of never being relegated from the Premier League is over after more than 500 top-flight games as a boss with eight different clubs.
He’ll remember this game for as long as he lives – and so will Smith Rowe.
But most Arsenal fans will hope they have forgotten it when the curtain comes down on their season in a fortnight’s time.
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.