Wright credits three ‘old Arsenal’ stars for ‘total change’
Ian Wright has credited Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe with Arsenal’s turnaround after Christmas.
Arsenal were in 15th place ahead of their Boxing Day win over Chelsea and have since claimed a further two victories to lift them to 11th, just three points off sixth.
Early loser: Big Sam, schooled by Arteta’s flying Gunners
The young trio were in sparkling form in the 4-0 win over West Brom on Saturday, and Wright says their influence has made the major difference to Arsenal.
“The team was playing with a lack of confidence, they really were,” Wright said on Match of the Day.
“There were too many sideways passes and I think with [Bukayo] Saka, [Kieran] Tierney and with Emile Smith Rowe, the way that they want to get forward and create, it has totally changed. Wins are going to help you gain confidence.
“Saka, today, again, had a magnificent game.
“I think what is good about what Arsenal have done, is that they had Saka and Tierney, who were Arsenal’s most creative players, both on the same side. Now they’ve switched them up and it seems a bit more balanced.”
The Gunners’ second goal was the perfect example of their quality, according to Wright.
“Look at Emile Smith Rowe in that nice No.10 area,” Wright added. “Passing, moving and then they’re in.
“He passes it to [Alexandre] Lacazette, gets the ball back, plays it across for Saka and it’s in. That is old Arsenal and what they can do. It is great to see them doing it.
“What Arsenal need from midfield is more goals and you can see Smith Rowe on the edge of the box getting ready to come in. He was so unlucky to hit the post.”