So a fairly fun weekend of football. When I say fun, I mean, next to, say, not watching football.
We ripped Benfica to bits in a bit of a weird game. Sure, we won 5-2, but it was a game of mostly half arsed goals, bar one magic rifle of a shot from Iwobi.
Highlights mostly centred around Theo Walcott showing us he ‘might’ be incredible for 12 games this season. The spotlight was also shared with Nelson, the 17 year old hotshot from Elephant & Castle. The young winger showcased his explosive pace and keen appetite for whipping in tasty first-time crosses.
DO NOT BE FOOLED
This is standard practice for preseason, there’s always one kid we lose our mind about before not seeing them the whole season, followed by 14 loans, followed by a swift exit to Reading.
The kid looks great, but he’s most likely far too young to impact our season… though my Arsenal senses lead me to believe we don’t need a Thomas Lemar, because we already have the British version.
Anyway, nice to spank a team in the opening game.
The second match versus Sevilla was a bit more interesting, the team lined up closer to how you’d imagine it will next week. The really interesting experiment was playing Elneney as a ball playing centre back for the whole game. The Egyptian gives us more options moving the ball forward, he has a strong physical presence, but I think he lacks that recovery pace of Koscielny. Interesting all the same, would be fascinated to see how that sort of move would play out in a real game.
The rest of the 90 was pretty low energy. Lacazette looked mostly lost in our line up. He had some nice touches, but he looks out of sync at the moment. He did score in the second half. Alex Chamberlain powered through on the right, cut a ball back to WELBZ, who dropped his customary air shot, cleverly allowing the Frenchman in at the back post to tap in.
Tough to really comment on the rest. It was a very lazy game.
What? Do I have concerns?
I’m struggling to see how we’re developing our pressing game. The cup final was a superb example of what sort of team we can be when we press as a unit. I saw none of that. People keep on bleating that it’s just a friendly, and sure, that’s true on paper. But here’s the thing, a friendly is preparation for what you plan to do in the new season. Pressing is a philosophy the club should be working on. To not see it present a week from the Community Shield is a worry.
We’re heading into the new season under prepared from a squad perspective. We still don’t have the best centre midfield options. We’re probably short a center back, if the choices we’ve made in preseason tell you anything. We’ve also struggled to shift on a bulk of our deadwood.
We’re going up against stiff competition this season, I’m not sure we’ve moved the needle. But we’ll see in a couple of weeks when we roll out against Leicester.
Maybe the marginal backroom changes have had an impact. Who knows. What I can say is looking at preseason so far, I’m not feeling too confidence we’re about to make moves on the PL. It’s laughable that Wenger thinks his coaching skills can take down Conte, Mourinho, and Pep spending.
What do you think dear fan? Let us know in the comments. xx