As I’ve been saying all summer there’s very little that you can take from these friendly matches other than who’s at what stage of their development, but it looked like it was one heck of a crazy game against Madrid last night, especially when you have sendings off in friendlies.
I didn’t watch the match but have seen some of the goals highlights. The sending off for Real was one of those where the ref shrugs his shoulders and says to the player “what can I do? You just handled the ball on the line son, you’re off” so I get that and Lacazette’s penalty was an interesting one off both posts.
But it was the second goal that – if you’re going to take any positives from a game like – was one that I really enjoyed. Mainly because the art of bearing down on a ‘keeper appears to have been lost by this Arsenal team of recent seasons and so I always love a player through on goal from a static back line and a rounding of the ‘keeper. As well as that though, Lacazette’s flick was grand and Auba’s run perfectly timed. Those two have a connection we are all very clear of and although many have questions about how often those two can and should play together, I always love it when they both connect, because it just works and always gives hope ahead of the new season.
The Real Madrid goals were sloppy. Martinez didn’t cover himself in glory for the first and for the second one to see Mkhitaryan just ambling back to Asensio in the box isn’t too surprising from a player who I think I’d rather was shipped out more than any other.
I just don’t think the Dortmund player is there any more. Özil gets more attention and ire from Arsenal fans than Mkhitaryan but for me the Armenian has worse output, isn’t anywhere near as good as Özil and at this stage I’m wondering how he’s going to have any kind of meaningful contribution this season. We’ve started to see some flickering signs that Özil might have got his head screwed back on for the upcoming season but whilst Mkhi was ok in one of the games, every other report I’ve read about pre season. Has him as an average five or six out of ten this summer.
Not good enough from a guy on £200k-per-week. The club won’t be able to find a buyer but if some Chinese team could come in and take him off our hands to pay those wages I’d be inclined to say “hell yeah” I have to say.
Attention now turns to the Q&A this week with Sanllehi and a few other representatives with the fans. The event takes place in a sweltering London tomorrow and I hope whoever is there gives some proper questioning to the club because this summer hasn’t exactly sounded like the ‘plan’ that Raul and Vinai spoke about has any kind of sign of coming to fruition. Certainly not in the timeframe that we were all led to be believed it would be in.
Then focus switches to Sunday’s Emirates Cup game against Lyon and with tickets clearly still available in large chunks (having just looked at the interactive map on the website) with just a couple of games to go, fans appear to be voting with their feet. And that is how it should be because again, although it’s only a friendly, if Arsenal are struggling this summer unlike most summers, it is a slight indication that fans are losing a bit of interest at a time in which excitement should be reaching fever pitch for the new season.
There will most likely be some announcements on new signings within the next 24 to 48 hours but as we all know, it’s not just about the signings at this stage, because the club need to reconnect with the fans better than it has done over the last few years. It’s time they realised that we have a dissatisfied fan base and that is not only manifesting itself online any more; it’s also filtering through to match day too.
It’s time for things to change at The Arsenal.
Catch you all tomorrow.