Aaaand we’re off for pre season with some actual football to speak of! Yessir, yesterday Arsenal played against Sydney FC and its was a decent line up in both halves, with just a smattering of young players who ended up being some of the more interesting talking points it seems.
Of course everyone’s going to mention Lacazette’s goal and for the Sky Sports News team it’ll be the bit of footage they’d take and show again and again, but for us there was a lot more to be excited about than just a Laca debut goal. Even if it was a well taken one and showed he’s a guy who might just be one of those ‘right place, right time’ strikers getting on the end of sweeping movements.
Of course as I’ve already said this week, Gervinho also scored on his debut, so we can’t read too much in to the game too soon. But he’s done his bit so far and that brought a raucous cheer to the Aussie Gooners so that’s positive.
But as I was saying, back to the youngsters, the youngest of which – Reiss Nelson – captured the eye of many of us as well as the manager, it seems. He was deployed as a right wing back yesterday and it enabled him to make use of his trickery and bit of pace to beat the Syndney FC players and possibly see him play a few more minutes during the rest of this pre season.
There always seems to be one youngster that excites every summer, doesn’t there? We had Jeff, we’ve had Chuba Akpom, now Nelson. But the proof of the pudding is usually later in the season when the League Cup games come around. That’s when we usually see which players seem more natural in men’s football and if Nelson is to follow in the footsteps of players like Fabregas at 16/17, then that is where he’ll want to make his name. Maybe there’s the odd Europa League game too in it for him, when we play FC Betchanevaherdofuz in the group stages.
But it’s a positive start for him and the same can be said for Brammall who many of us heard of in January but haven’t seen since. Joe Willock played too and with him there’ll be hope he can break through where his brother didn’t quite manage too.
Kolasinac was the other debutant and he seems to have coped well enough with left-centre back in a three. I’m not surprised Arsène tried him there though. We had Chambers, Holding and Mustafi all still away on holiday and there was always going to be rotation, plus having another versatile player in our injury-prone football team who can cover in multiple positions is certainly handy. I’d be surprised to see him play there too often during the season given the numbers we have at the back, but isn’t it nice to be throwing a player in to a different position to trial during meaningless friendlies, than having to do it away to West Brom or the such like?
I wonder if there’s also something in the getting together of players that will help some of them to feel more grounded at the club. You know what I’m talking about; players like Giroud and the Ox who have been away from the club suddenly surrounded by all things Arsenal and having that drilled in to them all the time. It can only be a good thing for them, despite what Ollie G was saying a couple of days ago about not knowing where he’d be at the end of August.
I just hope that when the dust settles on the Australia tour, the ink can dry on some contracts, because it would be nice to get a bit of clarity on that which is currently unclear at the football club. And there is plenty that is still foggy at The Arsenal at the moment.
But we’re in a good space right now. It feels more positive than a couple of months ago, when I’m sure we all thought this would be the summer from hell with regards to Arsenal, yet it doesn’t feel like that to me.
Ooh, I almost forgot, how about a shout out to Big Per, who hooked himself a proper poachers goal in four minutes yesterday? Alright, it was hardly Tony Yeboah or Trevor Sinclair bicycle kicks from the edge of the penalty box, but for a man with legs that are like stilts, it was a pretty accomplished finish. He’ll be a very useful player for us next season I think. He’s an organiser, a leader and with three at the back he’ll certainly get game time, so I hope we see one hell of a farewell tour from the BFG this upcoming season.
Catch y’all tomorrow.