Ivan Toney had an afternoon to remember on Saturday as he put in a brilliant performance to inspire his Brentford side to an entertaining 2-0 win against Wolves at Molineux. The 25-year-old forward had already shown glimpses of the brilliance he displayed in the Championship last season in the top tier, scoring the equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last month.
But the match against Wolves was without a doubt his most complete performance in the Premier League so far – and it meant that his scathing recent comments about Arsenal were justified with his actions.
Toney looked bright from the start at the lunchtime kick-off, and on 26 minutes won a penalty which he himself coolly converted to put the Bees into a deserved lead.
Just moments later he thought he had another when he took advantage of hesitant Wolves defending with a clever backheel into an empty net, but the goal was disallowed for a handball in the build-up.
Toney didn’t stop there, though, sending a brilliant ball into the box for his strike partner Bryan Mbuemo to make it 2-0 before half-time.
Although he was slightly quieter in the second half, the Englishman had already showed everyone just what he is made of, and was rightly awarded the Man of the Match award.
And it’s fair to say he will now not regret the comments he made about Arsenal following Brentford’s opening day of the season win against the Gunners.
Following that 2-0 victory in August, in which Toney looked sharp but failed to score, he told Baller Talk: “Arsenal fans are going to batter me for this, but you see Arsenal at the moment and they’re not the best.
“There was a difference [between the Championship and the Premier League], don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t crazy like: if you make a mistake, it’s going to end up in the back of the goal.
“I didn’t really see that. They were good at keeping the ball, but it didn’t really affect us.
“They weren’t as crazy as I thought (they might be). I don’t know if it was (whether) they weren’t so good or we were just excited as it was our first game and it was Arsenal and Premier League (and) all these things coming into the picture.
“I just didn’t see them how they used to be. You used to look at Arsenal and think (they were) crazy and they were going to win this game, win this game.
“These days, I don’t see them winning nothing any time soon.”
Those words could easily have left Toney looking silly if he ended up being a flop at the top level, but his showing against Wolves was some way to show that he has what it takes to be a successful Premier League striker.
Ironically, Toney himself could have been the answer to Arsenal’s offensive woes, with the club strongly linked with a swoop for him in the summer.
But speaking to FourFourTwo in May the player dismissed the speculation, saying: “It was flattering, but I’m a Brentford player. You read things, but I don’t look too deeply into it.
“I have to keep doing what I can to get Brentford promoted, and then I won’t have to worry about other clubs so-called buying me.”
Judging by Brentford’s performances compared to Arsenal’s so far this season, Toney is unlikely to be regretting his decision.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, on the other hand, will be left wondering whether they should have tried harder to sign the former Newcastle man, with Toney’s scathing opinion on the north Londoners likely to be smarting even more now that he has displayed his true qualities.