A 3-1 victory over Chivas de Guadalajara yesterday was just the ticket for the Arsenal squad. We all know these games are about building up fitness, about preparation for the long Premier League season, but winning is fun and seeing that Arsenal won again in the States yesterday was good on my tired eyes as I munched down my Granola this morning.

Again, due to the time of the game and the fact I have a busy day of work ahead of me, I wasn’t able to capture the full 90 minutes, but I did see the 10minute highlights reel and there were some small snippets for me to make complete snap judgements on for the whole season ahead.

For example, isn’t it great that we now don’t need a wide forward, because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is going to solve all of our woes by having a stormer? His goal yesterday was brilliantly executed and example of that little bit of pizazz he has in his locker compared to some of the other players fighting for the same position. The drop of the shoulder, the back heel beyond the second defender, then the controlled curling finish in to the opposite corner was exactly the sort of move that I was expecting more from him last season. Sadly his season was punctuated by injury and a loss of form, but if he can capture the composure that he showed against Lens last week and Chivas yesterday, then whoever comes in will have a real fight on their hands to take the jersey from The Ox.

Might it be Mahrez? Half the world has probably watched the Bein sports video now, in which the man with the mike asks Arsène about the Algerian, only to get a non-committal answer and the Arsène smirk. I’m sure Arsène has an interest in Mahrez and I’ll bet he’d make a bid if he thought he could get him for the right money, but I’m not convinced that we’ll pay what Leicester believe is the right money. Mahrez has a few years on his deal, he doesn’t have to move (although we know he wants to) and whatever happens he should be playing Champions League football next season. So Leicester could just hold on to him for another year with the promise of a gentlemen’s agreement next season. So whilst Arsène has many in a tizz because he’s giving his wry smile on a player, it means nothing more than he probably likes the player, which I’m sure many of us could have guess with what he’s said in the past.

Back to the game itself, in which newbie Rob Holding got himself on the score sheet. Good for him and it will give him the world of confidence, but we all know that it’s not where we’ll want to see him at his best in the future. Again, snap judgements being made here, but his loose pass in the first half to give the Chivas centre forward a shot at goal showed he’s still a young player and still makes mistakes. I do feel like I want to watch the full 90 minutes of the game, not least to see how the central defensive pairing of Chambers and Holding held up. I hope well. I’d love them both to establish themselves in the team but after Arsène confirmed over the weekend that he definitely felt he’d have a defender in place before the season started, my gut tells me one of those players is going out on loan, probably Chambers I would have thought. I just hope he doesn’t go all Jenkinson and get frozen out by the manager.

The other player I’d love to see some action of would have been Xhaka and whilst I didn’t see much of him in the short highlight clip, I did get a glimpse of what he’ll be about with his decent through-ball to Theo in the first half that was just toed wide by a Chivas defender. I’m excited about this guy, I have to tell you, especially if he does what we’re all thinking and knits the midfield together better than anybody has for a number of years. 

Arsenal’s next game is against City next weekend and by then we’ll have most of the first teamers back and probably in action. There’ll be a little rustiness in some no doubt, but whilst the talk of the last few weeks has been despairing over the lack of transfers secured, the positive is the actual football and some of the individual performances that could help us in the coming seasons. 

Keep that in your mind – I’m going to try to – when you next see Ivan telling us all we can’t afford anybody at the moment! 😉