Well that’s one shiny and oh so important trophy safely tucked away in the cabinet for another season, as Arsenal conspired to lose to Sevilla but still win the Emirates Cup due to the bizarre system of points scoring based on goals that is in place.
The 2-1 defeat to Sevilla saw us pick up the trophy by virtue of the Saturday result against Benfica and I think I speak for nobody when I say that justice was done by seeing us win a competition that we’re hosting. You could kind of tell that some of the players were a little sheepish about it too.
However, we did learn a few more things about Arsenal yesterday that we didn’t know on Friday, including:
Lacazette is going to take time to settle
He didn’t real do much else other than score yesterday, having clearly spent hours researching how Theo Walcott has carved out a career for himself at Arsenal, but I suppose the goal will give him a smidge of confidence and for that we should be pleased going into the fancy friendly that is the Community Shield next weekend.
Whether or not he’s done enough to dislodge Giroud just yet I’m not sure though and I do wonder if we’ll see the larger of the two Frenchman starting against Chelski next Sunday. To my mind there’s no doubt that Giroud has had a better pre season, but when you pay £50million+ for a player you can hardly give him the Lucas Perez treatment.
Defensive square pegs in round holes don’t work
Elneny has had a lot of time at centre half this summer, but I think it’s fair to say that we won’t see a Monrealian conversion for the Egyptian. He did ok at times, but there were still moments in which he got caught out and when it all matters and players are trying a little harder, I think he’d get caught out even more, so I’m hoping we never have to see that experiment again.
It’s the same with Maitland-Niles, who I think has hardly been given the opportunity to show his skills by playing as a centre half, and personally I’d have preferred to see Chambers or Holding start yesterday. But that’s Arsène for you; he likes to play a certain percentage of youth and that’s exactly what we got yesterday
Contracts running down are apparently a ‘good’ thing
Yeah, I don’t get this latest bit of spin from the manager either, to be honest with you. Arsène was asked post match about the deals and contrived to tell us all that it makes players work harder. I haven’t seen the video so I don’t know, but unless he was smirking on sounding exceedingly sarcastic, I’d suggest that he’s trying to go for an absolute pearler in terms of his dressing up of a situation.
Where we’re at right now with some of these contracts is a complete lack of strategic planning and Arsène – and those at the club responsible for negotiations – are the chief protagonists. He seemed to suggest that we’re going to see more and more of this given the size of fees being banded about at the moment.
No Arsène, in fact, I suspect what’s more likely is longer contracts and negotiations starting earlier. There is absolutely no way clubs are going to be as naive as we seem to always believe and get themselves in to situations like we’re in. They’ll have more forsight and we can only hope that this contract lawyer we’ve brought in will help to eradicate – or at least minimalise – the situation we’ve got ourselves in pretty much ever since we moved in to The Emirates Stadium.
And somewhat related to this point…
We need to keep The Ox
He played as as left wing back yesterday in the first half, then a right wing back in the second, and looked really dangerous throughout I thought. He seems to have an edge about him at the moment and I hope that we can sort his future out because if – and this is a massive if – he can stay fit, he looks to have something about him.
If his situation, like Alexis, Özil and I believe Ramsey too, is ‘ideal’, then I am a monkeys uncle*.
That’s it from me today. Back tomorrow with some more musings.
*I am in no way related to any monkey.