A morale boosting victory in Dubai to keep the winning run going, eh?
A 3-2 win which sees the Corporal notch up another goal to his Arsenal tally you say?
Some decent performances from Maitland-Niles and Denis Suarez I read?
Well this all boxes well for the inevitable unbeaten run that will take us to third and win the Europa League I think we can all see!
Flippant comments aside, it appears as though this trip has been good for the players and as Lacazette said after the game it’s helped them to prepare for what is a crucial run of games starting from next Monday.
As I was at work until late last night I haven’t been able to catch much other than the goals but it appears most of our players acquitted themselves quite well I believe. Of course the calibre of opposition is something we all have to bear in mind and you could see with two of our goals that there was some dallying on the ball by our opponents that you don’t usually see in the Premier League, but it was good to see that Arsenal’s intensity was still there.
I loved Maitland-Niles’ pressure higher up the pitch to win the ball back and drive at the opposition defenders for Lacazette’s goal. That’s the kind of thing we want to see more of and certainly that winning of the ball higher up the pitch was something that we all thought we’d see Emery’s side to do more of this season. It hasn’t quite transpired as we’d have hoped but perhaps the players are starting to ‘click’ a little more and if that’s the case it augurs well for the remaining couple of months of the season.
What is also splendid to see is young players getting chances and taking them like Tyrese John-Jules. We’ve heard little bits and pieces on him in the mainstream media but it’s mainly been Joe Willock and Smith-Rowe that have been talked up from the youth team, but by the looks of it there are a few talented players that we have coming through that academy and I think profile like this game yesterday will have been good for players like Gilmour et al.
They’ll of course have little impact on the remainder of the first teams domestic season but for me it’s just nice to know that we look to have some good, technically gifted, youngsters that we can
loan out and then sell in a couple of years time have hope that we can see them break through the first team in the next few years.
I do hope that Emery is looking at a centre half though. I don’t want to chastise Mustafi too much because it was a friendly but also he could have had a good game other than the first goal, but to be sold a dummy as easily as he was for Al Nasr’s first goal will have been a bit of an embarrassment for him. I don’t think he’s nearly as calamitous as some people make out but the problem he has is when he does make mistakes they do make him look like an absolute clown because they invariably lead to goals for the opposition.
It’s why I’m glad Mavropanos started and again because I haven’t had the chance to watch the whole game it’s been difficult to assess, but I hope he had a good one and I hope Emery is looking at him as a serious option for the upcoming weeks. He looks to have all the attributes we want in a centre half, he’s just got to demonstrate it at the top level and on a consistent basis. There’s a lot of hope and projection on him as a young and up-and-coming centre half but injuries have caused him a problem this season and so we have to hope he gets his chance soon and takes it.
Until then we might be seeing one or two more Mustafi performances between now and the end of the season so we might as well strap ourselves in.
Right, that’s me done for another one, so I’ll catch you on the other side of today.