On Sunday, Arsenal kicked off their Premier League season with a 2-0 loss to the reigning champions Manchester City. Unai Emery gave debuts to four of his five new signings, with Matteo Guendouzi and Sokratis starting the match and Lucas Torreira and Stephan Lichtsteiner coming off the bench. However, it was the Swiss defender who the fans are raving about.
Disappointed in losing our first game! We will work harder to come back at the highest level!
Thank you fans for your great support! Keep it up, we need it! #WeAreTheArsenal #YaGunnersYa #COYG pic.twitter.com/sNRKMve5IN
— Stephan Lichtsteiner (@LichtsteinerSte) 12 August 2018
Lichtsteiner came on for his Arsenal debut after just 35 minutes against Manchester City, replacing Ainsley Maitland-Niles who came off injured after suffering a blow to his ankle following a tussle with Kyle Walker. The veteran Swiss defender had no choice but to be thrown in at the deep end at left-back despite being a right-back by trade, and he coped with the situation supremely well.
The fans are all shocked at how well the former Juventus man managed to cope with the pace of the Premier League and the fact he’s stepped into a new position 35 minutes into a game for his competitive debut says a lot about the mental strength and character of the 34-year-old. Considering he was signed on a free, the fans can count themselves lucky to have the Swiss international as his experience and know-how will be vital to the club this season.
You can read the Gunners’ verdict on Lichtsteiner here:
You was superb! Head high guys, difficult game to start with!
— Spanish Gooner (@elspanishgooner) August 12, 2018
You were excellent today. Your leadership is vital to the team and our younger players. Keep pressing on, hope to see you in the starting XI against Chelsea!
— reedafc (@reedafc) August 12, 2018
Great performance today! We are all behind you
— TommyAFC01 (@TommyAFC01) 12 August 2018
You were excellent today! Thank you for stepping into the LB role when needed.
— brooklyngunner (@brooklyngunner) August 12, 2018
You improved us a lot when you came on (even out of position!). So happy to have another Swiss player on the team. Alles gute Stephan!
— Swissgooner (@amackenz1e) 12 August 2018
Lichsteiner was good even when played out of position..
— ariyo abiola (@geetee2rule) August 13, 2018
You were fantastic today out of position sir, proper bruiser as well
— Whitton (@Whitton_XCII) 12 August 2018
The team is falling in place. Do not be afraid to take harsh decisions. Be ready for the next game
— Amit Das (@Itsamitdas4) August 13, 2018
The supporters will always get behind their players out on the pitch and it’s much easier to do that when they put in performances like Lichtsteiner did against Manchester City.