Listen right here friends, you’re allowed to read into the Community Shield when you win it.
WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE
I kid, I kid. Yesterday was however, a very reassuring day out. A 1-1 draw against the Champions when you finished 5th is pretty good going, especially when three starters were unavailable, two of whom are your best men.
Chelsea looked kind of lost and uninspired, Arsenal looked lively, hungry, and fluid like a pint of beer gently gliding down a bar.
Match reviews aren’t my thing, but I have some highs and, well, mostly highs to talk about.
XHAKA XHAKA XHAKA
He had a very impressive game yesterday, he found space, he kept the ball moving up the pitch, he hit 100% pass completion, he mostly kept his discipline, and he led like the warrior his mother knew he’d be when she trusted him with that spare key. Many things to be pleased about against a very good Chelsea side.
However, it has to be noted that his sloppy clearance started the move for Chelsea’s goal (certainly didn’t finish it). You can’t avoid the reality that he’s very slow and he struggles to keep up with play if there’s a counter. It’s tough to ignore that this is an on-going issue, regardless of the beauty he bestows upon us in games like this where he’s free to dictate.
He played very well yesterday, but he needs to work on his carelessness, or Wenger needs to work out a way of protecting the team against his weaknesses. The major positive is that unlike Ozil – who the purist evangelicals spent three seasons misrepresenting (until this summer when literally no elite club in Europe gave a fuck about him) – Xhaka actually cares. You can see in his game he wants to be better and will hopefully make good on that.
Look, I really like the Egyptian. He’s not spectacular, but he does a lot of grunt work. He has a great engine, he’s very reliable when it comes to his passing game, and he really does have the height and power needed for the league. When I complain that our starting 11 is kinda small, this guy ups the level. I do hope he lands more game time this year, because it’s apparent already that Aaron Ramsey is going to go missing for large chunks of the season (out for Leicester). It was also duly noted that Jack Wilshere wasn’t at Wembley, ominous for his future.
Came on after Cahill ripped Mertesacker’s face off and had a very good game. The 6ft BEAST from Bosnia was committed, good on the ball and a threat going forward. His goal from a strong header from a Xhaka freekick to equalise was a brilliant way to start his Arsenal career. I don’t want to say he’s a massive upgrade on Monreal, because the Spaniard has been a warrior for us and offers goals as well. I think the Bosnian is going to offer value with his brutish style, combined with his class in the final third. Very much on the pace today. Brilliant to have two super left backs.
Wasn’t overly enamoured by his performance. He needs to tighten up his decision making and he has to stop giving the ball away. His pace bails him out of a lot of bad positioning. Would like him to work on the craft of defending and attacking at the right time this season. Last year was a bit of a tough third album for him, he needs to push on if he wants to hit the next level of excellence.
This is another player who really has to make something of himself this season. He’s a terror moving forward, he was the main man harassing Chelsea from the left yesterday. His pace scares the shit out of the opposition, but his finishing is laughable. I do hold out hope though, Adebayor was a donkey in front of goal until something clicked inside in 2007 and he tore up the league. Would love Danny to find the magic.
It really is early days for the Frenchman, I just have worries about his style and how he can make an impact in the league. His movement looks average at the moment, and his physical presence is limited, which I fear will annonymise him in big games. He did wrap his foot around a Welbeck pass, which ended up rattling the post, outside that, he found it tough.
Another player I really want to see work some magic this year. He has great control, he used his pace well at times yesterday, and he had a very good game. I think the key to his success will be how often we play him, he certainly tired last season and his confidence dropped. Think it could be a big year for him.
Well done young man, 15 minutes of game time and he’s already won more than Delle Alli. I don’t know what this appearance means, but I’d love it if he was talented enough to make an impact like Nik Anelka did in his first season.
A very good day. I’ll take any trophy after 10 years of getting my rocks off to the Emirates Cup being major. Petr Cech won a penalty shootout without saving a penalty. Arsene Wenger won another trophy at Wembley. Arsenal look to be in good shape heading into the Leicester game this coming Friday. Let’s enjoy the day, but remember we won the Community Shield against Chelsea 2 years ago, then let Leicester win the league. A good day, but it was only a draw in open play.
Let’s hope the manager can make a cheeky addition or two this week to give our squad a bit of a lift.
RIGHT, see you in the comments. x