Exciting talents emerge and we’re only 3 games in

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I have been out of the game for a few days, taking in some Tenessee. Amazing, that even when rocking the Smokey’s, you find Arsenal fans wandering around. We are truly a global powerhouse when it comes to fans.

So we’ve now dropped 3 games of preseason, and whilst it’s hard to draw aggressive conclusions you’re willing to die for, one thing can’t be denied, the team has changed.

Some early observations, it’s quite clear we signed Leno because he’s sharper and very good on the ground. We play out of the back much more frequently and it appears the hoof is only reserved for mega danger moments. That’s so refreshing to watch. The German has a nice range of passing, I get very nervous watching him play balls through the middle, but when the team is built around giving him options, it works.

That said, I felt that our transitions through the back were clunky at times. The team is still getting used to the pressure associated with a system and we’ll see unforced errors particularly in the beginning. But damn, when the players get it right, it’s a spectacle. Some of the movement was so fluid, real dream-like stuff at times.

The PSG game was fun to watch, but we were given space to run wild. The pressure test comes in the Premier League, where we’ll be pressed and rattled. That said, you can’t knock a great friendly result. 5-1 against the richest team in the world is not to be sniffed at. Could have been 10 if it weren’t for Buffon.

I thought Guendouzi looked very impressive. He isn’t shy, he wants to ball, and his range of aggressive passing through the lines is very, very exciting. What he has that Xhaka doesn’t is pace over 10m and bags of strength. I loved his work rate and I thought he looked far more experienced than his 19 years on this planet would suggest. Sven really has uncovered a gem there. Imagine that, 2 DMs in the side that want to play there?!

It’s also clear that however the backline works out this season, we have a disgraceful amount of talent going forward. Ozil looked very fit and focused. I’m expecting big things from Mikki. I’m hoping to see a lot of development with Iwobi and decision making. We’re also going to do some damage with Auba and Lacazette. Goals are gold, and Emery is very lucky to have such a potent force this season.

Final part of this review, because my hand is hurting… Smith Rowe looks a bit tasty, no? I love his leggy style of play, reminded me of Paul Pogba the way he’d control the space around the ball, turn, and he’d be away. He has bundles of creativity and that little bit of youthful fearlessness that sees him try the sublime (that goal). It’s early days, but he looks the biz, has the frame for it too. Oh, and it was great to see Eddie score. Imagine Emery bringing through an English striker?

Right, over and out. A great few days for the Arsenal!

 

237 Responses to “Exciting talents emerge and we’re only 3 games in”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    Let’s judge Xhaka under Emery and not Wenger.

    There are too many posters who make hasty judgments about players based
    on past performance at the club in a system to which they were unsuited.

  2. Marko

    You could absolutely find better players than Ramsey and Xhaka easily no question. What a ridiculous statement. You’d actually find a replacement for Xhaka for free right now. Used to be CAM now deep lying playmaker Meyer.

    Personally I would
    not sell him this summer even if he does not sign a new contract.

    This is ridiculous

    N’Zonzi is not
    remotely the type of midfielder we need

    This also is ridiculous.

    We’ve struggled defensively for years especially at DM. We’ve gone years without properly having ball winners in midfield when rivals have had at least two and now we’ve finally started to addressed that with Torreira but will it be enough? I’d argue that we need more of an Nzonzi type than another Ramsey or Xhaka. I mean at this stage Ramsey isn’t even a competent CM so any sort of comparison with an actual CM is ridiculous

  3. mysticleaves

    Honestly haven’t seen any reason why Lacazettte won’t be a resounding success at Arsenal. I know it’s preseason but I thought he looked very sharp vs ATM where he didn’t score.

    I am not sure Ramsey will cut it at Sarriball. The manager is already saying how he isn’t impressed about the pace of their one touch passing and movement and Ramsey would be a liability in a team like that. I am even afraid for Kante.

    I think when the defenders get a free run at your CB in such a way his lack of pace is exposed, then something is not right with the set up in front of him. Sokratis’ lack of pace shouldn’t be a problem

  4. mysticleaves

    Worth remembering that Emre Can is still free up till now. I would be all over him if it was up to me

  5. Ivan

    HL – couse Ramsey is currently trying to hold club to ransom while overestimating his importance to the club.

    If he quietly signed da thing most of us would be perfectly content with him.

    This way there are to many implications with what he is doing.

  6. Marko

    Worth remembering that Emre Can is still free up till now. I would be all over him if it was up to me

    No he’s not he’s been a Juve player for a while

  7. Marko

    30-40 million and Loftus Cheek could be a decent deal. Home grown and got a bit about him. Would prefer others but you know

  8. Cesc Appeal

    “I understand the situation but that’s why I think it’s best for me to go to another club where I will have the chance to play regularly as a starter. It’s an opportunity that I think I can have and I want it now.”

    This is what Kovacic has said.

    If Chelsea want Ramsey that’s our guy I think.

  9. mysticleaves

    Marko, honestly didn’t know that.

    Well Kovacic is an interesting one. But will only be entertained if Ramsey goes. Would also not mind WE’s whipping boy Gomes Andre

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Jim

    I agree.

    If we make Kovacic the main man in the midfield I think we have a potential star there.

    All we would need then would be a winger.

    Although had an interesting discussion with WE last night and we were basically saying that if we want to play two up top, none of this Aubameyang at LM shit, but actually two up top instead of a winger we would actually need to buy an attacking LB, we both like Alex Telles. But was interesting in that we would have to play a different formation and suddenly our transfer requirements would be different.

    Have to play a 4-3-1-2 or 3-5-2 or something where you are then reliant on your RB and LB to provide pace and attacks out wide. Bellerin could improve but I would not be convinced about Kolasinac or Monreal at LB.

    City played the 3-5-2 for a while last season, I know Emery is a 4-2-3-1 manager but this whole Aubameyang at LM thing just doesn’t work for me it is a Wenger style shoehorn.

  11. Marko

    Point is though we shouldn’t be afraid to lose players like Ramsey thinking they’re irreplaceable or it’d be difficult to find better. It wouldn’t be in the slightest. Anyone who brings up potential transfer fees of replacements as an excuse to keep a player is just that an excuse. No need to get bent over by the likes of Aaron Ramsey when we can do better

  12. Abi

    Kovacic for Ramsey? Wow! We might as well get rid of the entire squad and replace with the likes of Zouma. I’m sometimes gratified that none of the Einstein here have a say in running The Arsenal.

  13. Cesc Appeal

    No one in the team is irreplaceable.

    The only player we would have difficulty upgrading on is Aubameyang.

    No worries about replacing anyone else, we have a good manager, good coaches and a good recruiting team now.

    If Ramsey wants out, bye bye.

  14. Paulinho

    Not sure about Kovacic. He’s 24 and still can’t get in ahead of Rakitic for Croatia, who is nothing more than a good player.

    He simply can’t be that amazing if he’s not strongly knocking on the door on both the teams he plays for. Sense a bit of classic Croatian overrating going on.

  15. Terraloon

    Ramsey has value that’s for sure. If he had two years left then would be worth north of £40 million although reading some of the comments about his worth you would think he was worth less that £1.
    If he signs a new deal the debate is all over but all this talk of getting more than £30 million at this point in time is just fantasy.
    If he is still at Arsenal come start of the season and for as long as he remains on his current contract not only does his value drop like a stone but once again Arsenal have boxed themselves in.
    Just before the 2017 summer window closed I was ridiculed when I said that Ozil and indeed Sanchez were in such a strong negotiating position I felt at that time whilst Sanchez would almost certainly leave Ozil wouldn’t and would get a mega deal. Guess what!
    Once Ozil was given that stupid deal and Wilshire left on a free Ramsey is in a far stronger position than most seem to even contemplate.

  16. Wallace

    Marko

    “We’ve struggled defensively for years especially at DM. We’ve gone years without properly having ball winners in midfield when rivals have had at least two and now we’ve finally started to addressed that with Torreira but will it be enough? I’d argue that we need more of an Nzonzi type than another Ramsey or Xhaka.”

    a Torreira/Nzonzi central midfield?

    did you watch England at the World Cup?

    that Jan/Feb a few years back when we had Coquelin/Ramsey in the middle?

    if you’re West Brom or similar you can get away with it, but a big club has to have some ability in there.

  17. HighburyLegend

    “Ramsey is in a far stronger position than most seem to even contemplate.”

    Why are you looking at me ??
    (lol sorry, couldn’t resist)

  18. Ishola70

    France won the World Cup with two responsibly defensive midfielders.

    Not a big enough team I suppose.

    The narrative is nonsense and stems from Wenger induced snobbishness.

  19. Ivan

    Paulinho – wow. You rate Rakitic that low. Man walked in Barca midfield and remained there. Barca offloaded Cesc and got him.

    Agree on Kovacic part, he is unproven jet, but good gamble like Thiago Alcantara. Good players unfortunate to play with some of best MF-s in game so their bench time wasnt really reflecting their lack of talent.

  20. Marko

    that Jan/Feb a few years back when we had Coquelin/Ramsey in the middle?

    Wow two whole months really?

    I don’t get why you referenced England by the way they were kind of shite at the world cup more than lucky and had just Henderson deep with Alli and Lingard ahead of him. Also I don’t think people realize Torreira is actually a good passer he’s good technically and he can easily play with someone else being the deeper DM.

    but a big club has to have some ability in there

    I agree hence why we’re talking potential signings and upgrades

  21. Michael24

    Jim Lahey

    I know he didn’t play under Wenger. Read my post.

    You can still condemn something/ someone from afar.

    Sokratis knew what Arsenal/ Arsene was like, even though he didn’t play for them/him.

  22. Marko

    Kovacic was good enough to get a move to Madrid in the first place and it’s more of a testament to the qualities of Modric and Kroos and Casemiro that he hasn’t played more. He’d flourish here I think. Just needs games and a proper role in a team to get to a high level

  23. Ivan

    Modric – Kross – Casemiro is dream mf combo.

    Think they won 2 or 3 cl finals with same mf’s. One cant brake into that team without injury or serious loss of form from first teamers.

  24. Cesc Appeal

    ‘The narrative is nonsense and stems from Wenger induced snobbishness.’

    Could not agree more.

    Not to mention with two more defensive and solid midfielders would it not be Ozil and Mkhitaryan’s job to provide the creativity in a 4-2-3-1, is that not what some crazy people refer to as balance?

  25. Cesc Appeal

    United will be shit this year I think, 5th or 6th. Complete meltdown at some point.

    Spurs will struggle as well, lack of signings, stadium move and the World Cup.

  26. TR7

    ‘Man U fans in meltdown over Jose.’

    For years I have been saying there’s no bigger fraud in football than Jose Mourinho. He bought success with huge investment and a very safe brand of football. Now that there are many clubs who can spend a lot of money and hire tactically suave managers, his ‘tactical genius’ is thoroughly exposed. I am sensing a mega meltdown this season.

  27. Jim Lahey

    “Not sure about Kovacic. He’s 24 and still can’t get in ahead of Rakitic for Croatia, who is nothing more than a good player.”

    Lets not forget that a lot of national team sides seem to be picked more on inner politics than ability.

  28. Ishola70

    Cesc

    These more responsibly defensive midfielders don’t have to be hacks or as portrayed as.

    As Marko said Torreira can play, Nzonzi as an example can pass the ball as well.

    Really some should start focusing more on matters in the team that have seen the club suffer rather than thinking about Wengerball all the time.

    We have seen it too many times in the past trouncing certain teams in the EPL but then falling short over the longer period. This points to fundamental weaknesses in the make-up of the team in the past. But still some want to soldier on regardless and play the same record over and over again.

  29. Ivan

    Well when you manage ManU and say that you went for a tour only hoping not to lose badly you know something went south there.

    Bet Fergie could never say anything like that.

    4:0 spanking by Klopp didnt helped either ManU preseason.

  30. Marko

    Considering how bad we’ve been the last few years in defence and considering it looks like we’re not going to make anymore signings in that area then playing with two DM’S might just be a way of saving our season potentially. Especially if it looks like our full backs will be given opportunities to attack. Otherwise Torreira will have to be doing a fuck load all by himself this season

  31. Cesc Appeal

    Ishola

    It is nothing more than a defence mechanism because Wenger did not give a shit about buying in a CDM so they have to make out like it is not important or risk being seen as criticising Wenger. Don’t give a shit what they say in response either, totally true.

    Spurs played with a solid base of Wanyama, Dembele and it worked very well, Chelsea played a solid base of Kante, Matic and it worked very well.

  32. TR7

    We don’t have any fit and experienced quality center back in our squad, so two DMs might be the need of the hour. Torreira and Guendouzi/AMN partnership as a double pivot is worth trying. Ozil, Auba, Laca and hopefully a new winger in front of the double pivot should be enough offensively.

  33. Rambo Ramsey

    “Not sure about Kovacic.”

    Agree, Paulinho.

    People just see the Madrid tag and go ‘Oh, he must be special’.

  34. mysticleaves

    Its understandable that Kovacic hasn’t played much for club and country. You don’t displace Kroos nor Modric and he is not a DM.

    Also have to add, Rakitic is world class and deserves to be ahead of Kovacic in Croatia. All these CMs though are better than Ramsey which is why we shouldn’t hesitate to get Kovacic if Ramsey goes. He’s available

  35. raptora

    “France won the World Cup with two responsibly defensive midfielders.”

    Kante – yes, but Matuidi is very good going forward which he does often, player like Vidal, offers a whole lot in dribbling with the ball, has huge step as well. Emre Can is another one like him. They can do pretty much everything. In that regard Matuidi is closer to Ramsey than Nzonzi surely. Pogba as well but he’s a bit more offensive. France had three responsibly defensive midfielders if you think about it. Doesn’t mean their players are not good going forward though. One of the reasons they won the WC is that their midfield was seriously strong in all aspects of the game.

  36. englandsbest

    I have always been a fan of Ramsay. Arsenal’s finest, as a footballer and as a man.

    He’d be a fool not to take advantage of a win/win situation. But he’ll pay it back in value-for-money.

  37. Rambo Ramsey

    mystic is exactly the type of plank that swoons over shiny labels. He’s probably not even seen a lot of Kovacic.

  38. Marko

    Don’t want to get into a thing here but only Ramsey fanboys seem to have a problem with Kovacic… and Xhaka fanboys have a problem with Nzonzi. Almost like they can be easily replaced

  39. leon

    It looks as if Ramsey is holding out for 200k at least if not more, me personally if the stories are true and Chelsea are willing to put 30 million I would take it. We have good players coming through in that position and we can use the money together winger. I really don’t see what Ramsey has done to Warrent getting such a contract. And I have never seen him demonstrate any real leadership qualities either

  40. Ishola70

    Raptora

    The point is they can all put their foot in defensively.

    That French midfield that won the World Cup was predominately about being defensively responsible rather than being really good going forward. France gave up possession in most of their matches in the World Cup because they had confidence that this base would be solid enough defensively to see them through.

    I agree that Matudi can play but don’t think he is nearer to Ramsey than to Nzonzi. Matuidi can defend to good levels. Ramsey has not even shown this if you want to compare.

  41. Michael24

    Rambo

    It’s great to see all the Arsenal players enjoying each others company.

    Ozil grooving away on the bench.

    Have a good feeling about this season.

  42. mysticleaves

    “mystic is exactly the type of plank that swoons over shiny labels. He’s probably not even seen a lot of Kovacic.”

    Could say that about you and Nzonzi lol lol.

  43. raptora

    “And I have never seen him demonstrate any real leadership qualities either.”

    Guy has two FA Cup winning goals on his name. Both games won by a goal margin.

    We shouldn’t burn the bridges to our last recent history that easily. It makes sense to me to renew the contract of a player who’s been Mr Arsenal more than any player in the last 10+ years. Read interviews by Mikki saying that “Ramsey is the symbol of Arsenal” and Lacazette – “We need leader Ramsey”. Which player has done more for our club in recent years? Give me one name? None. Yes, if Ozil is on 350k giving 200k to Rambo should be the mosy normal thing. I suspect that Emery will give him the armband.

  44. Rambo Ramsey

    raptora, don’t go in too deep on the man-crush mate. If the chap leaves for Chelsea, you’ll be regretting these posts.

    I’ll be changing my moniker to Rambo Cvntsey, if its allowed.

  45. Marko

    It makes sense to me to renew the contract of a player who’s been Mr Arsenal more than any player in the last 10+ years.

    Thinking like that is why Walcott was here so long. You know it’s not enough to just be here for an amount of time

  46. HighburyLegend

    “It’s great to see all the Arsenal players enjoying each others company”
    I was thinking the same yesterday, seeing Ozil, Auba and… damn, who was the 3rd ?? – they were having fun together on the bench.
    And of course for Ozil it’s pure holidays compared to the german national team.

  47. Michael24

    HighburyLegend.

    Seeing Ozil looking happy is worth all the tea in China.

    Mind you, if I had been racially abused, but was on 350k, I think I could manage a jig or two.

  48. Michael24

    To be honest, if Ozil was on 500k, but he managed to lead us to the title, I wouldn’t give a toss.

  49. leon

    I would like us to get two wingers, but I think we have some young players who can play inn that role. Also I like to see another centre back come in

  50. Marc

    leon

    You’ll be lucky to see 1 winger come in, there won’t be another CB. The only other signing that’s a possibility is a replacement for Ramsey should we sell him.

    It’s not a computer game.

  51. Michael24

    Auba and Lacazette seem to be the jokers in the pack.

    A special bond developing between the two of them.

    Long may it continue.

    Defenders in the EPL should be shaking in their boots.

  52. HighburyLegend

    “Mind you, if I had been racially abused, but was on 350k, I think I could manage a jig or two.”

    lol you got a point.

  53. Marko

    Diego looking at signing his son. That’s gotta be weird asking for 40 million so you can buy your kid

  54. leon

    Marc allot will depend on weather or not we sell any players which could happen, which players would you Sell?

  55. Northbanker

    Really enjoyed that PSG game. Emphasised the emerging team spirit – there seems a real vibe about the place that I haven’t seen in a long time.

    The merge de of so many talented youngsters and the potential of new future value signings Guendouzi and Mavrapanos added to them is a real plus.

    Reallly hoping that Holding can emerge as a force this year too – so far the signs looks pretty good.

  56. TallestTiz

    Ospina to Besiktas

    But Besiktas are playing Hardball with the valuation coz they’re taking advantage of shit Mingolet being available and another goal keeper whose name evades my memory.

  57. TallestTiz

    Elsewhere, apparently, we did bid for Soyuncu, albeit probably a low bid to test waters. If another team doesn’t snap him up, he might well be heading to the Emirates stadium next summer once Freiburg lower the asking price.

    Freiburg Sporting director said “Arsenal have made made us an offer, we assume Soyuncu will play for us next season.”

  58. Emiratesstroller

    It beggars belief that there are posters on here who want to replace Ramsey at
    all cost despite the fact that he scored 11 goals and provided 12 assists in 30 games.

    Yet they prefer Kovacic who scored 0 goals and provided 0 assists last season
    and has also got an injury record

    This player for the record is valued currently by transfermarkt at significantly
    less than Ramsey. Yet there are posters willing to sell Ramsey to Chelsea for
    £30 million [£10 million less than his current valuation] and pay Real Madrid
    significantly more.