So the Emirates Cup is over and unfortunately we didn’t win, not that it is that important anyway. It would have been our first win in the cup in four years but a spirited performance from Monaco and some dodgy refereeing probably cost us a draw. Instead it was Radamel Falcao who scored the winning goal and Valencia went on to win the trophy. What we did learn from this tournament is the following things:
- Calum Chambers could be playing as a centre back often this season
- Aaron Ramsey is going to have an excellent season, he finished right where he left off
- Joel Campbell is unlikely to be staying at Arsenal even though he’s quality – I really liked the way he linked up with Yaya Sanogo against Benfica
- The players are some way off of full fitness, it will be a real test against Man City
Our next game takes us to the Community Shield at Wembley against Man City, which should be an interesting one. What we do know is that Bacary Sagna is playing for the opposition and I doubt there will be many negative feelings toward him, fair play to him for moving elsewhere after what he’s done. City are also probably a bit short on fitness having had so many players on international duty at the World Cup.
I really liked the look of Alexis Sanchez during the game against Monaco. He looked lively and ready to run with the ball, something Arsenal desperately need throughout the season. Someone who can go at the defence. Walcott can give it a go but for me he doesn’t have that little bit of skill to get past the last defender as much as Sanchez has.
Jack Wilshere was a bit off the pace as well – I know the guy gets a lot of stick for smoking and also for under performing, but this is a massive season for him. He needs to prove that he is a class act as Arsene Wenger has put so much faith in him.
In transfer rumours, there seems to be some noise from Portugal that we’re going to wrap up a deal for William Carvalho for 30 million euros. I will believe that when I see it. If we do get him, that could spell the end for Mikel Arteta (who has today been linked with a transfer to Athletic Bilbao as it goes)…
That’s all for now.
Morning Gooners – hope everyone’s having a pleasant weekend.
I’ll jump straight into the weekend’s events at Arsenal. On the back of Chelsea dropping points to Crystal Palace and ahead of a crucial showdown with Man City our hopes of catching up in the title race were well and truly on going into the game. Arsene Wenger put out a pretty solid side of which I think many were happy to see Mathieu Flamini retain his place in the side. Excluding him from the Chelsea drubbing was suicidal in the first place so the Frenchman getting a full game was nice to see.
Into the first ten minutes, City looked dominant. Nice free flowing passing and Yaya Toure was at the centre of most of their good play (I still can’t believe we missed out on the burly Ivorian!). From there on, I think Arsenal controlled most of the game. Of course, City would take the lead through David Silva having had a bit of luck after Edin Dzeko hit the post and the ball rolled out to David Silva. cue alarm bells and a thought back to last week’s 6-0 defeat – very concerning.
However, Arsenal fought back with real guile and really made an impression. Most of the day’s good play started through Santi Cazorla, who has really come in for some stick of late. Him and Flamini battled hard in the midfield. Mikel Arteta was a bit disappointing, on a few occasions he was caught out in possession and his pass was a bit wayward, we have to assess whether or not he is the right player to keep as our holding midfielder next season.
Finally, in the second half, Mathieu Flamini scored a delightful goal to set the scores up at 1-1. We were really going for it and looked impressive as we moved into the last ten. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a Wenger. Arsene looked very disappointed on the touchline, and rightly so. I reckon this could be our title ambitions dead in the water. Liverpool will play Tottenham later today and you have to fancy the Reds to pick up 3 points against a pretty poor Tim Sherwood side.
For us, it’s to the drawing board. Will Wenger sign a new contract on the back of 2 points out of a possible 9? The FA Cup is looking increasingly more important… we have to just wait and see…