Dress rehearsal time

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Here we are people, one final game of preparation against Lazio before the new season starts.

I’ll be removing the AKB page in time for the new season. In a world of Gooner optimism, all relics of the past must be cast aside.

It’s all quite surreal. I genuinely feel a sense of hope about the start to a new season. There’s no nagging doubt about massive misses during the window. Outside Aaron Ramsey signing a new deal, and an imminent world-class wide player to replace Alexis… we’re pretty much where you’d hope any competent manager would want his team.

Lazio will give us a big clue as to how we plan to set up for Manchester City.

Ramsey will be out with his calf issue, which could be a Chelsea-dream-move issue, but who knows. Kolasinac is absent with an injury that’ll put him out for 10 weeks. I’m not sure who fills in for him, Monreal might be about for next week but it’d be early, so maybe AMN gets the nod this evening?

I’m hoping we get to see Torreira this evening. I’m interested to see who the final centre mid pairing is going to be. Does Xhaka start? Has Guendouzi done enough to merit keeping his place? What happens to BIG MO ELNENEY?

It’ll also be interesting to see how much love the manager is prepared to give the kids this season, like, Smith Rowe. Is he good enough to slug it out in the first team, or should we move him out to West Ham for a season? What are we doing with Reiss, Willock and Eddddiiiieeee?

I think the objective of the next 9 months is to reestablish what being a focused club is all about. Ground rules need to be bedded in, good habits need to be adopted, and the team needs to embrace the aggressive education blitz they’re being onboarded with. Ultimately, success this season is Arsenal making the #Top4. It’s going to be tough, in the end, every club pulled it together. The top 7 teams this season are all capable of putting on a winning run, all of them are capable of collapsing. The league is stronger than ever this year, but at least we’ve got a fighting chance.

Fingers crossed this evening is a breeze and we pick up no injuries.

See you in the comments. x

306 Responses to “Dress rehearsal time”

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  1. Michael24


    Yet another player fudged around by the French master.

    Always impressed me when he played.

    Poor guy must be totally spent.

  2. Ishola70

    lol @ Licht going in with the elbow in the first couple of minutes of a friendly match.

    Would have been in danger of getting sent off in a competitive match.

  3. Zfree

    The value in 2 short years that Mustafi, Perez, and Xhaka have plummeted from what we paid (in what is generally an inflationary market) is shocking. Just shocking.

    £87M to what today is probably worth £40-45M, and that’s not considering the wages we’ve dumped on Perez in that time. Wenger’s sacking was tardy by at least 2.5 years based off that summer of spending alone.

    And yea, it’s frustrating that Alderweireld in last year of his contract, injured much of last season, 29 yrs old can fetch £60M, but a younger Ramsey has had barely any links, and what he has had is rumored around £30M…

  4. useroz

    Don’t understand the apparently conflicting hypotheses around ridding of deadwood/ poor squad players.

    Unai gives some players a chance/ clean slate this season before finalising their future.

    Afc finished outisde top 4 again so these players are perceived to be poor and don’t command half decent xfer fees, even in this market.

    These players are on higher than market wages and can’t shift, or xfer fees would be peanuts.

    Club had turned a corner but still operate in a financially sustainable manner so budget is limited. In which case perhaps can’t afford players walking out free.

    Yet, we see several contract extensions that presumably would see players harder to be shifted due to the wage rises.

    Xhara, Iwobi, Elneny, Chambers, etc aren’t under 20 and won’t make Arsenal great again. Each of them has some rather fatal weaknesses to play at the ‘next level’ it’s pace for Xhara, decisions for Iwobi, etc.

    Why is Carl. J. still collecting wages?? Arsenal fan at heart my arse.

    The Lazio game was quite entertaining. Definitely saw better ‘shape’ compared to earlier games. Still looked ‘rusty’ and a work in progress for some time before it becomes second nature for the players.

    Guendozi, Rowe, Auba AMN, Marvo continue to look good at their levels

    Lich, Torreira look good

    Xhara, Chambers, Holding manage to be consistent in making the obligatory errors

    Nelson should watch the 1H replay of the Chelsea game and reflect on own performance vs that of a 17 yo hudson somebody , before fucking about with his contract extension.

    Some debate who should start betw Guendozi and Xhara. It’s not as hard….

    With Xhara, fans would worry when he’d make his customary mistakes (some fatal) or get the inevitable card for a crazy tackle.

    With Guendozi, fans would wonder when he’d have a moment of brilliance and make a decisive pass that wows… even if not quite the Cesc sort of way.

    I know which i’d prefer.