A brilliant start to competitive football from the Gunners this weekend. First things first. Chambers – WOW, Sanchez – WOW. The new boys in the team looked very impressive on their ‘proper’ debuts and Debuchy had an OK game as well. There has always been a lot of promise in this team that’s for sure but by adding a few pieces of real quality we have the foundations of what could be a winning machine, but a machine that also feels like a piece of fine classical music. To think we were missing Ozil, Per, Walcott, Ospina from the squad entirely and Giroud from the start. Four of those 5 are guaranteed first team players. Granted City were also missing Aguero, Zabaleta, Negredo, Fernandinho and Kompany, but it was similar to the absentees we had and I think this was the first glimpse of the depth we have created within the squad. It’s similar to that of City and Chelsea which is great to see. Ramsey seems to have started where he left off and his goal was my favourite one. A great counter attacking move that Sanogo could have scored with but knew Ramsey had something special to show us so laid it off to him and then made everyone in the stadium take one of those breaths where you just think WOW. A little dink between two players followed by an unerring finish had me absolutely stunned with joy to the beauty of the goal. Giroud’s goal was also something pretty special, there was an incredible moment of silence as the ball was in mid flight as everyone realised that it might actually go in. Stunning. We had fans from other clubs criticising the celebrations for it was “only the community shield” but as Wenger said “if we lose it’s ‘we lost another trophy’ but if we win ‘it’s only the community shield’ lol”. The best way to answer the baiters I think.
There was a good intensity to our performance and most of the team came through unscathed, which is I suppose the main thing for a game such as this. Although there was something mentioned regarding Koscielny with an Achilles problem which could see him miss the first game. If this doesn’t prompt le boss to go out and buy someone I don’t know what will. We are going to be tested from set pieces heavily against Palace and many others going forward so having an additional CB makes sense to most. I’m keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed for that to happen!
All in all it was a good day out for the fans and good to see that we, on the whole, kept a good shape throughout. Any game where Na$ri is left unhappy and thinking of the medal he can buy himself with all his cash is a brilliant one.
The other big news for this week concerned one Thomas Vermaelen. He’s now officially moved to Barcelona, a move that suits both us (as much as a loss of a player can I suppose) and them. In my ideal world we keep him and he’s happy to play the ‘squad player’ role but that’s never enough for a player who’s 28 and entering the final phase of his career. He was tremendously professional throughout last season and considering he was captain of the club and could have kicked up much more of a fuss to spite his situation he was committed throughout. Very much like Bacary Sagna, although it would have been a lot easier for Sagna as he was playing week in week out. I think he’ll suit Barcelona very well as they generally won’t have to do too much defending because they keep the ball so well. They need their back four to carry the ball out/forward and that something that TV was always very good at. Good luck to him I say (unless of course we play them in the Champions League!). In his place the captaincy goes to Mikel Arteta, deservingly so in my opinion. He’s been brilliant for us since he signed and will lead the team well this coming season. It does signal that even if we bring in another DM that Arteta will be alongside him which ours Flamini in the cold. Per will be vice captain and someone who I can fully see becoming captain in the next 1-2 seasons.
One week to go and it feels like we’re in good shape going into the first game. A lot less uncertainty surrounding the club as well as lots to look forward to. Two signings (CB & DM) would make us unstoppable, I can feel it. I just hope le boss thinks the same.
Have a great week putting your fantasy teams together people.