I find it a little sad that despite an absolutely thumping victory – albeit against a poor Norweigen side in Viking FK – most of the talk after the game and today amongst Arsenal fans, is the post match comments about signings that he made. Certainly if you read just the written word about what Le Boss said, some of it doesn’t make for great reading, saying quite passive stuff like “we do not need to panic but we are on alert in the transfer market so we can make the right move when the opportunity comes up”.
People will be worried hearing things like that, and rightly so I think, because that doesn’t sound like somebody who has any kind of plan or strategy when it comes to squad acquisition. That feels like somebody who is waiting for a big move with another club to spark him having a go at a quality player surplus to requirements. We all rejoiced with the Özil signing, but let’s not pretend that the deal was going to happen unless Bale went to Madrid and so our plan was very reactionary. Those comments feel the same and that makes me apprehensive to say the least.
It’s a shame though, because I thought we saw some impressive football yesterday. Ok the opposition was ropey to say the least, but I was encouraged by the performances of Bielik, who looked like an absolute unit at centre half. The guy looks like he’s 31, not 18, so whilst we’re all still hoping a bit of experience comes in, bizarrely Arsène has a very difficult decision to make in terms of who will be the fourth choice defender between Bielik, Chambers and Rob Holding, who also had a solid performance in the second half.
I was also impressed with Debuchy. I know he’s probably playing for a move elsewhere, but his performance going backwards and forwards was decent enough. I find it weird that we’re giving him so much game time. If he’s got no future at the club, then why are we giving him so much game time? Why not test Holding out there? Hey, I’m not the boss so I’m not privy to information about the squad, but it just struck me as odd.
Speaking of other members of the senior squad, there were some very positive performances. Elneny looked sto no, solid and at a time where everyone is talking about Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere and Santi, it’s good to see a solid 7 or 8 out of ten performer in that midfield. How much game time he’ll get this season remains to be seen though.
Santi was his usual delightful self too. He was spraying the ball about beautifully, he was the fulcrum of our team and I’m so pleased he managed to get through the majority of the game unscathed. I do wonder if Le Boss will play him at number 10 against Liverpool next weekend? That’s a debate for next weekend.
I thought Campbell looked impressive too. He scored a few, looked controlled in possession and I think he’ll probably get a chance at the beginning of the season. If I had to guess right now I’d say he, Iwobi and Walcott are our front three against the scousers. Maybe with Santi behind? Iwobi was particular impressive with a couple of goals. Boy, am I glad he broke through last season, you?
Theo got himself a decent goal, but still looked a little tentative with some of his runs, and there was a couple of slightly shaky moments for Gabriel. That doesn’t exactly fill me with the most happiness in the world, given that he’s currently the only senior central defender that’s fir to play next weekend. Again though, let’s worry about that then, rather than off the back of this game.
We have another game on Sunday and that will probably be the closest to the first team we’ll see. Until then, we can’t really get carried away with the performance, but we can be encouraged by a few of the performances I think.
See y’all tomorrow.