Morning folks – hope you are all well. Before the usual match review stuff today, it is worth taking a moment to celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II of the UK, who died yesterday aged 96. I am certainly no royalist or major fan of the Royal Family, but she has always been a dignified person with whom we could all appreciate in terms of her devotion to her country, which is certainly to be respected and appreciated. A family has lost their mother/grandmother/great grandmother, etc, which is always sad.

It was made official during the game against FC Zurich and at halftime a minute’s silence was held for Her Majesty as a mark of respect. At that stage it was 1-1 and Arsenal had – I thought – laboured a bit to get to that point in which we should have been out of sight against a team that you could visibly poorer than us technically. Arteta made a fair few changes, but didn’t shuffle the pack completely and the likes of Gabriel, Sambi, Xhaka and Martinelli all played from the start. And when we went ahead on 16 minutes I thought it would be an easier evening than how it actually played out. The goal itself was impressive in terms of the speed in which we transitioned from defence to attack; the ball turned over just outside our box, Fabio Vieira picked it up and played a lovely channel ball for Eddie to chase. Eddie is rapid as we know and he beat his man, crossing it for Marquinhos and the finish was very tidy indeed. Running at pace and then connecting with the ball the way he did was really impressive and he should certainly earn kudos for that.

As I said, we really should have kicked on from there but we never really managed to get that second goal in that first half and I think had we done that, the match would have turned in to a cricket score. Statistically it was ours throughout with 70% of the ball, 18 attempts to their 10 and a feeling that we were in control without really being in control because we didn’t get that second goal. So of course when Eddie went through a Zurich player in the box just on halftime, they got a chance to level and when they did, I suspect Arteta was a frustrated man in the dressing room after the game.

It wasn’t really what they deserved and was their first attempt on goal up until that point. But we had shown enough about us to know that it wasn’t the most composed of evenings; Matt Turner looked a little shaky at times and you wonder whether that was down to nerves or the fact that he might not actually be very good. Let’s opt for the former for now because we haven’t see enough from him. But a lot of the players came out of last night’s game with six out of 10 performances. I thought Gabriel wasn’t great and I am starting to wonder if we could try White and Saliba as our centre halves, if the Brazilian continues to look a little shaky. He’s had some really good games this season as well as some shaky ones, but the good news is that we keep winning and it hasn’t cost us. Yet.

Nketiah had an up and down game too. He was excellent with the assist for the first goal and he was predatory in at the back post for the second goal, but some of his play in between that wasn’t amazing and of course he was at fault for their goal in giving away the penalty. But ultimately he’s there to deliver end product up the attacking end of the pitch and ultimately he delivered there so you have to say his job was well done.

The three players I thought were excellent though were Marquinhos, Vieira and Xhaka. The two newbies getting their first start for the club looked on it and sharp; the Brazilian getting a goal and assist like Eddie, but he also had his full back on toast all evening and drew a couple of desperate lunges from the defender last night. I know Zurich weren’t up to much in the grand scheme of things, but last night hopefully showed us that for the Europa League and maybe the League Cup, this guy is a definite option and hopefully we see more performances like that in an Arsenal shirt. If he can continue to deliver games like yesterday with his pace, running power and trickery, we’ll have quite some talent on our hands.

Fabio Vieira looks good too. Really good. From a technical perspective I was so impressed. The way he strokes the ball around, his movement, as well as the fact he also made some clever runs forward (including one good effort that he only just lobbed over when through on goal) all point towards a player who I think we’re going to like a lot, as Arteta said.

Then finally to Granit Xhaka, who is having one heck of a season so far and who once again yesterday looked like the boss on that pitch. Cool, calm and composed on the ball, he kept us ticking over all game and once again I think there will have been a small pocket of Arsenal fans who will have perhaps changed their minds a little bit about him. Long may this form continue because he’s at the heart of our team right now and one of the major contributory factors towards the six wins out of seven in all competitions this season.

There’s talk that football matches might be postponed this weekend because of the death of the Queen. Obviously I hope that doesn’t happen, because we have Everton on Sunday and I’m hoping that we can see the boys get their game faces on and hopefully grab us three more points. But I suspect there will be some kind of confirmation today as to what the authorities are planning on doing so we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires.

Right, off to work for me, so I’ll catch ye all tomorrow for some more Arsenal-related ramblings.

Laters people.