Contrary to what most people would have you believe that this victory is meaningless, it is not.
A good pre season for a top club like Arsenal has the potential to do the following:
1. Create genuine competition for first team places
2. Bring the younger players into the first team set-up without too much pressure on their shoulders
3. Watch the body language of your players, identifying those hungry for success with Arsenal, and those who are not
4. Acquire Fitness
5. Identify the youngsters that deserve a chance with the first team once the season starts
6. Generate revenue, increase brand popularity, and boost merchandise sales
…amongst other things (feel free to drop more in the comments section)
Arsenal started the game brightly and could have been a goal ahead after 34 seconds had Chuba Akpom finished off his chance more coolly.
It did not matter however, as when he was again presented with a chance in the 54th minute of the game, his calmness in front of goal to make it 0-2 was lovely.
The first goal came from old trusty, Theo Walcott. Chamberlain made a great run on the right wing, left a defender for dead, and then rolled it to Walcott to slot home from just inside the area.
Chamberlain arguably was the stand out performer of the match, though Ramsey will have something to say about that.
The rest of the first half dawdled on, though their were a few chances of note, but it was 0-1 at half time.
The real fun began in the second half with the introduction of Giroud.
But prior to that, Akpom put us two goals clear after brilliant work from Serge Gnabry on the left wing.
At this juncture, I would like to dispel any suggestion of us not needing a new striker. That’s complete and utter bollocks.
It’s amazing how one good performance can quikly make people forget why exactly a player like Higuain is a compulsory signing for us this summer.
Let me remind you:
– Sanogo scored 4 goals in the under 20 world cup, but he is untested in the bigger stages of football life, and with an injury record that Diaby would identify with.
– Akpom is 17
– Giroud, even if he somehow becomes a terror to defenses over night, cannot do it alone
– Joel Campbell is …Joel Campbell
– Bendtner does not exist
– Chamakh is still high from his last round of weed
– Walcott sucks at playing striker, and only Walcott doesn’t know that
– Afobe is out on loan again because he is not ready, and perhaps never will be.
Which leaves us with approximately nobody.
Giroud came in for Akpom in the 68th minute and got his first of two good goals two minutes later. He then completed his brace in the 73rd minute.
Both goals were from Sagna assists.
The second in particular is noteworthy.
He received a Sagna cross from the right and then turned gracefully in the box before nearly damaging the net with a ferocious top-corner effort.
0-4 to the Arsenal
Podolski grabbed the fifth in the 83rd minute After a nice combination with Rosicky. Rosicky then set up Kris Olsson for the 6th.
The seventh and final goal was scored by one of my favorite youngsters, Thomas Eisfeld. It came from a Giroud assist.
Zelalem did okay when he came on, and Gnabry also staked his claim for first team football. In fact, there was hardly any negative from today’s display.
Overall, it was a great watch dominated by Ramsey and the Ox’s performances in particular.
Only Ignasi Miquel played for the full 90 minutes.
I missed Ryo in this game. He did not feature at all, but considering that it is Wilshere and Szczesny that are rocking that boat with him, it may not mean doomsday for the Japanese winger.
It was a surprise for me that Jack did not play today considering that he is the new face of Arsenal, always taking the center stage in all Arsenal promotions, adverts and publications these days…fingers crossed, it has nothing to do with his former ankle problem.
Sczesny is the third and final player to not feature today and he may be getting worried, what with the club’s constant link to signing a new GK(Cesar, Krul). I don’t think it’s a big deal though.
So that’s that with the first match of the Asia tour, and I hope it’s a sign of greater things to come.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and keep a date with Wednesday as Arsenal tackle Vietnam in …erm… Vietnam.
Civilizedgunner, signing off.